previous
next

FEBRUARY 1769

1769 February 1.

Calm this morn: went out in the boat and Killd Diomedea antarctica, Procellaria antarctica and turtur. Diomedaea antarctica the Black billd albatross is much like the common but differs from him in being scarce half as large and having a bill intirely black. Procellaria lugens the Southern shear water differs from the common one in being less and darker colourd on the back, but is easily distinguishd by his flight which is heavy, and two fascia or streaks of white under his wings which are very conspicuous when he flies. Procellaria turtur Mother Careys dove is of the peteril kind about the size of a barbary dove, of a light silvery blue upon the back which shines beautifully as he flies which he does very swiftly keeping generaly near the surface of the water; more or less of these birds have been seen very often since we left the lat. of Fauklands Island where in a gale of wind we saw immense quantities of them.

1769 February 2.

This morn calm and Foggy much like the weather on the Banks of Newfoundland; after dinner went in the boat and shot Procellaria fuliginosa, Turtur, gigantea and Fregata. I saw also a small bird not larger than a blackbird who flew quick flapping his wings like a partridge, but was not able to get a shot at him, probably he was of the alca tribe.

1769 February 3.

Calm again: went out and shoot Diomedaea Exulans Albatross or Alcatrace, differing from those seen to the Northward of Streights of La Maire in being much larger and often quite white on the back between the wings, tho certainly the same species; Diomedaea antarctica Lesser black billd Albatross; diomedaea profuga Lesser Albatross with a party colourd bill, differing from the last in few things except the bill the upper and under sides of which were yellow and between them black; and Procellaria vagabunda. Therm. 41.

1769 February 4.

Blew brisk today, made some northing and westing; we now began to account ourselves certainly past the cape and the Captain (as in his orders was recommended) resolvd to stand as far to the westward as the winds will allow him to do. Two crabs were taken today in the cloaths that hang overboard to tow.

I had been unwell these three or four days and today was obligd to keep the Cabbin with a bilious attack, which tho quite slight alarmd me a good deal, as Captn Wallis had in the Streights of Magellan such an attack which he never got the better of throughout the whole voyage.

1769 February 5.

All but calm today: myself a little better than yesterday, well enough to eat part of the Albatrosses shot on the third, which were so good that every body commended and Eat heartily of them tho there was fresh pork upon the table. The way of dressing them is thus: Skin them overnight and soak their carcases in Salt water till morn, then parboil them and throw away the water, then stew them well with very little water and when sufficiently tender serve them up with Savoury sauce.

1769 February 6.

Foul wind, myself something better.

1769 February 7.

Myself better again, in the evening ship made a little westing.

1769 February 8.

Fair wind, blew fresh.

1769 February 9.

Blew fresh all last night which has given us a good deal of westing. This morn some sea weed floated past the ship and my servant declares that he saw a large beetle fly over her: I do not beleive he would deceive me and he certainly knows what a beetle is, as he has these 3 years been often employd in taking them for me.

1769 February 10.

During all last night the ship has pitchd very much so that there has been no sleeping for land men. Today misty with little wind.

1769 February 11.

Fair wind, stand to the westward.

1769 February 12.

Foul wind, but prodigious fine weather and smooth water makes amends to us at least.

1769 February 13.

Wind still Foul and blew fresh, at night a little mended.

1769 February 14.

Wind South, water soon became smooth, at night little wind.

1769 February 15.

Calm this morn: went in the boat and killd Procellaria velox, Nectris munda and fuliginosa, which two last are a new genus between Procellaria and Diomedea: this we reckon a great acquisition to our bird collection. My stay out today was much shortned by a breeze of wind which brought me aboard by 11 o clock and before night blew very fresh.

1769 February 16.

All last night and this morn it has blown very fresh, wind South, so that we have 3 reefs in the topsails for the first time since we left the streights of La Maire.

1769 February 17.

Blew fresh yet and wind stood, so we went well to the westward. In the evening more moderate; I ventur'd upon deck for the first time and saw several porpoises without any pinna dorsalis, black on the backs, under the belly and on the noses white; also a kind of Albatross different from any I have seen, he being black all over except the head and bill which were white.

1769 February 18.

Fair weather, ship stood NW.

1769 February 19.

Went very slowly through the water tho pleasan[t]ly for the ship had scarcely any motion.

1769 February 20.

Wind still foul but very moderate and the ship almost without motion.

1769 February 21.

Still no swell from the west tho the ship had fresh way through the water. A bird not seen before attended the ship about the size of a pidgeon, black above and light colourd underneath, darting swiftly along the surface of the water in the same manner as I have observd the Nectris to do of which genus he is probably a species.

1769 February 22.

This morn settled rain and scarce any wind, the whole evening small puffs of wind and rain and calms succeeded each other.

1769 February 23.

Calm: went out in the boat, shott Procellaria velox, fuliginosa and velificans. At night wind came to the east tho very little of it, it was however a matter of comfort to have any as we have not had the name of East in the wind since 31st of Janry.

1769 February 24.

At 12 last night the wind settled at NE; this morn found studding Sails set and the ship going at the rate of 7 knotts, no very usual thing with Mrs Endeavour.

1769 February 25.

Almost calm so that we trembled for the continuance of our east wind and soon after noon it left us; at night Rain and dirty weather wind N.

1769 February 26.

Blew fresh, before dinner handed all topsails. Albatrosses began to be much less plentifull than they have been. Lat. 41.8'.

1769 February 27.

Moderate and fine, the weather began to feel soft and comfortable like the spring in England.

1769 February 28.

Weather fine with a pleasant breeze. In the evening a great many Porpoises of a very large size came about the ship; they differ'd from any I have seen before in being very much larger, in having their back fins a great deall higher in proportion, and in every one having a white spot on each side of his face as large as the crown of a hat but of an oval shape.

previous
next