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The Endeavour Journal of Joseph Banks 1768–1771 [Volume Two]

[December 1770]

page 232

[December 1770]

25. There was not I beleive a man in the ship but gave his utmost aid to getting up the Anchor, so compleatly tird was every one of the unwholesome air of this place. We had buried here 81 people, in general however the Crew was in rather better health than they had been a fortnight before.

While we were at work a man was missd who it was supposd did not intend to stay ashore,2 so a boat was sent after him, which before its return delayd us so long that we lost intirely the sea breeze, and were obligd to come too again a few cables lenghs only from where we lay before.

26. Weighd and having very faint land breeze got no farther than to the Island of Edam.

27. Sea breeze was faint again today so that we got but little on our way.

28. We had a good sea breeze which carried us to Maneaters Island3 where we anchord for the night.

29. We were again fortunate and at night anchord under Pulo Babi.

30. This day in Entering the Narrows we found some dificulty, and at night came to an anchor under some small Islands on the Coast of Sumatra almost abreast of Thwart the Way,4 from whence we saw a large Dutch Ship at an anchor under North Island, a small Island likewise on the Sumatra Coast to the N of us.

Sumatra in this place was very woody and seemd but thinly inhabited; there were however some cleard spots and a few fires seen.

page 233

31. Workd all day against the wind hoping to see some boat come off to us which might sell us fruits or greens, but none came.

1 This is an error. Seven men died at Batavia: Green the astronomer, W. B. Monkhouse the surgeon, John Reynolds, Green's servant, Timothy Rcarden and John Woodworth, A.B.’s, Tupaia and Taiata.

2 Banks does not say whether the man was brought back; he probably refers to Patrick Saunders, who deserted on this day. Saunders began as a midshipman and was demoted to A.B., on 23 May 1770, apparently as a result of the horseplay which deprived Orton of part of his ears. See above, p. 65, n. 3; Cook I, pp. 323–4. This desertion seems to have been taken as a confession of his guilt.—Parkinson, p. 207.

3 An islet—‘Menscheneter’—lying just west of the outer point of the reef of the same name, which runs off the coast a few miles west of the western point of the Batavia roadstead; or, as Cook puts it (p. 444), ‘a small Island laying under the Main midway between Batavia and Bantam’.

4 Thwart-the-Way or Thwartway Island, in the Straits of Sunda; cf. p. 180, n. 3 above.