1:00 pm Light Winds and Cloudy Weather. Albatrosses, Pintada Birds and Rock Weed seen.
8:00 pm Thick Misty Weather.
11:00 pm Foggy Wet Weather.
4:00 am Misty Weather and Rain at times.
5:00 am At Day Break saw a parcell of Small Rocky Islands EBN 4 leagues distant.
6:00 am At 6 O'Clock the extremes bore from N68E to N78½E 3 leagues distant from nearest part.
7:00 am At 7 hour 45′ the West part of the Isles bore true North 3 leagues.
10:00 am Saw some Pengwins, Pintada Birds & Albatrosses as Usual and a Small White kind of Gull with a forked tail called an Egg Bird, and some Mother Careys Chickens. At Noon Strong Breezes & Rain. Sounded with 101 fathoms of Line & got bottom of a fine Brimstone coloured Sand. At Noon by Time Keeper got a Sight of the Sun which gives the same Latitude as per Account.
At Daylight this Morning we discovered a parcell of Rocky Islands the Wind directing us in as fair a course past as could possibly be Steered, and most providentialy; for what we would have considered three points more in our favor, under the present circumstances of very thick weather, would assuredly have carried me into the Midst of them, at least into much danger before we could have been aware of it. No Birds or any other thing except Rock Weed gave me an Idea of meeting with land, and this is a very uncertain sign at our distance from a known Coast as we are from New Zeland. I therefore considered all we had met with came from that part, altho I knew I was pursuing an unknown track, and it might of course be otherwise, and my cautions in that respect were fully attended to, as it was discovered with the early dawning of the day.
As the Wind was, I was under the necessity to pass those Isles (or rather Rocks) to the Southward, and I could not get nearer them than three leagues. At this distance I could not see things very distinctly, the Weather was so thick, but by ¼ past 8 I found their extent from East to West was only 3½ Miles and from North to South was not above 1½ Miles. On the Western Isles which are the largest I saw some Snow, but no Verdure on any part, and the whole appears to be nothing more than Rocks. Their Number including large and Small are about thirteen. The Surf broke very high round them and their height is such as will cause them to be seen full Seven leagues from the Deck. They appear in a variety of forms every Minute as you alter your position. The N.W. Island makes as a perpendicular Cape with the land at the back of it sloping off like a Wedge. A small Rock lies off the Cape.
The distance of these Islands from any known part made me desirous to try Soundings which I was greatly surprized to find at so Moderate a depth as 75 fathoms at the distance of 4 leagues from the Shore, and 104 fathoms at Noon which was 6 leagues farther to the S.E. But after running 9 leagues to the E.S.E. I could find no bottom with 280 fathoms of Line.
My Track with that of Captain Cook in 1773 must satisfactorily determine that those Rocks lie without any Islands near them, and they serve to account also with his meeting with Seals and Pengwins while he considered the nearest land to be New Zeland. From his description of the land near Cape South I begin to doubt whether what I took for Snow was not patches like White Marble the same as he describes that Coast, but as it laid only in particular places in hollows I took it for Snow. At 8 O'Clock in the Morning when the East part of the Isles bore true North of me I was in the Latitude 47°54′S. Longitude 179°09′E. by Time Keeper the Southmost Isle (which is also nearly the Eastmost) was 9½ Miles distant determined by Angles. From hence I fix the Situation of Southmost Isles to be in Latitude 47°44′38″S. Longitude Time Keeper 179°10′E. Longitude by Account 178°24′E. The exact situation with respect to the latitude depends on my Altitude at Noon, but I do not apprehend an error of a Mile.
To ships bound round the South End of New Zealand into the South Seas, these Rocky Isles lie exactly in the Way, only under these circumstances therefore is the discovery of consequence, and in order that they may be known to have been discovered at a different period as a caution, that altho we know of nothing more hereabouts, yet there may be many lurking dangerous Rocks, I have called them the Bountys Isles. They lie from the Traps off the South End of New Zealand S.89°E. distance 146 leagues.