1:00 pm Fresh Breezes and fine Weather with a fair going Sea. Bailing every ten minutes keeps the Boat free of water.
1:00 am Heard the sound of Breakers and saw them under our lee Bow bearing WSW about ¼ of a mile breaking very high. Hauled the Wind and in 10 minutes we could neither hear or See them.
6:00 am Nothing in sight I steered in again for the Coast.
9:00 am Saw the Reef extending from NNW to SBW three miles off.
Hauled the Wind at 9½ hours saw an opening and distant land like an Island bearing
7 or 8 leagues
distant. Bore away and entered a Safe Channel about 3 cables length
wide with a Strong Stream running in.
Untill 11 oClock tryed to keep hold of the Reef to Fish but could not on Account of the tide, I therefore bore away at 11 oClock. The channel I came in at ESE 5 miles At Noon Fine Weather and smooth water, the land first seen or Island of Direction NW 5 leagues and other land NWBW½W. Sheltered from the Sea by the Reef without us.
Served 1/24 pound Bread and a Jill of water for dinner.
[The 'Journal' heading is missing from this page and there is a blank space about a paragraph high at the top of the page. However, the printer's page number appears in its usual place, which suggests that Bligh left it blank for some unknown reason.]
I have already mentioned a Gannet and the clouds kept so fixed in the west that I had no doubt of being near to New Holland and every person after taking his Jill of water for Supper began to please themselves on conversing on the probability of what they would find. At one in the morning the person at the Helm heard the Sound of Breakers and I no sooner lifted my head than I saw them close under our lee not more than ¼ mile from us. I now hauled the Wind to the NNE and in 10 minutes we could not see or hear them.
I have already mentioned my reason for making New Holland so far to the southward, for I never doubted of numerous openings in the Reef through which I could have access to the shore, and throwing the inclination of the Coast to be to the NW and the Wind mostly to the Southward of East, I could range such a barrier of Reefs untill I found a passage which now became absolutely necessary without a moments delay to search for supplies and get into smooth water, the very Idea of which seemed only now to keep some of my Peoples spirits up. The Joy therefore was great after we had got clear of the Breakers, to which we were much nearer than I thought it possible for us to be without knowing it.
In the morning at day light I bore away again for the Reefs and saw them by nine oClock. The Sea broke furiously over every part and I had no sooner got near to them, than the wind came at East and could only lie along the line of the breakers, within which we saw the water so smooth that every person already anticipated the heart felt Satisfaction he would receive as soon as we could accomplish my intention. But I now found that we were embayed, and I could not lie clear with my Sails such a heavy Sea Setting in and the Wind having backed against us, so that our situation was now become dangerous. I expected but little from the Oars because we had no Strength to pull them, and it was becoming every minute more and more probable that I should be obliged to take the Reef in case we could not pull off. Even this I did not doubt of effecting with success, when happily we discovered a Break in the Reef about 1 Mile from us and at the same time an Island of a moderate height could be seen in the same direction bearing W½N. I entered the passage, with a Strong Stream running to the Westward, and found it about two cables length broad and every appearance of deep water.
On the outside the Reef inclined to the NE for a few miles and from thence to the NW, and on the South side of the entrance it inclined to the SSW as far as I could see it, and I conjecture a Similar passage to this I have now entered lies between it and the Breakers I first discovered which are in latitude 13°14′ South 26 Miles south of this channel, the situation of which is 12°57′ South and Longitude 145°10′ East.
I cannot recollect what Latitude Providence Channel lies in but I consider it to be very near to where we have come in.
Being now happily within the Reefs and Smooth water, I endeavoured to keep hold of the Reef to fish, but the Tide set me to the NW. I therefore bore away in that direction, and having promised to land on the first convenient spot we could find, all our past hardships already seemed to be forgot.
At Noon I had a good observation from whence the forgoing situations may be considered to be determined with some exactness, and the Island I first seen which I have called the Island of Direction, in fair Weather will always show the Channel when bearing West, and may be seen as soon as the Reefs from a Ships mastheads being in the Latitude of 12°51′ South. These however are marks too small for a Ship to hit unless it can hereafter be known that passages are numerous along the Coast through the Reef, which I am inclined to think they are, in which case the risk is not so great if the Wind is not directly on the Coast.
I now guessed at the north part of New Holland lying in about the latitude of 10°30′ South and that the direction of the Coast was to the NW if my recollection was right, about which I was pretty certain. We have therefore about 64 or 70 leagues of Coast to run past to search for refreshments.
We now returned God thanks for his gracious protection and with much content took our miserable allowance of 1/24 pound of Bread and a Jill of water for Dinner.