In Adventure Bay Van Diemens Land
The first and middle part fresh gales and Squally, the latter fair Weather. Employed wooding and watering, repairing the Rigging and Sails. A very heavy Surf continues round every part of the Bay. The Wind having been Southerly at the Sea, yet the Ship rides very Steady and there is no appearance of much Sea without.
This Evening the People caught with hook and line about two dozen Rock Cod. Mr. Nelson in his travels to day told me he had again taken a look at that fine Tree that had drawn his attention on the 23d. by its healthy look and large Size. That on measuring it round he found the circumference to be 33 feet 6 Inches.
Altho when the Sun gets up the Weather on shore is warm and Pleasant, yet he found ice in some places near an eighth of an Inch thick. The Snow still continues in some places on a high Flat Mountain to the Northward, but evidently is less than when we came in.
I now dispair of seeing any of the Natives (having had both sides of the Bay well traversed without that success) as I could wish to have determined whether the Natives had Hair or Wool on their Heads; a circumstance which is alluded to from Captain King's account, that they had the former, and that Captain Cook was convinced of it altho he expressly describes them to the contrary. I cannot therefore help paying this humble tribute to Captain Cooks memory, that I do not beleive he was mistaken as his remarkable circumspection in many other things has shown how little he has been wrong even when he had not the particular article before him to judge of; much less do I conceive he would have erred here in so very remarkable a matter, wherein it differed so widely with his observations on the Natives a few hundred leagues to the Northward amidst his own discoveries on the same continent. Besides altho I did not see them myself, I well remember that all those who did, described them to be wooly headed. I saw to day several large Birds that I took to be Eagles, and some beautiful blue Plumaged Herons, some pretty small Birds of different Colours, and several Paraquets.