1:00 pm Strong Gales and squally Weather some slight showers.
4:00 pm Boiled some Clams for to morrows dinner and cut the rest up in slices for to day. High Water at 5 hours 30′ Full and change 58′ past 10 in the morning. Gave People who were unwell a little bread & wine and I was happy to find them much better.
8:00 pm Parties now went out to look for Turtle and Catch Birds.
12:00 am The Birds party returned with only 12 small Birds owing to the fault of one of the men going too hastily among them.
3:00 am Mr. Samuel and Mr. Peckover returned from searching after Turtle but did not get a sight of one.
6:00 am Sailed with a Strong Breeze.
7:00 am Came into much sea as if here was no shelter from Reefs without. Passed an extensive shoal and two sandy spots on it.
8:00 am At 8 hours a small Isle N½E
3 or 4 leagues
two other West about 4 miles.
Apparently smoother and deeper Water in shore.
11:00 am A sandy Key East 3 miles.
12:00 pm Fresh Breezes and fair Weather a small
Island NE 2 miles. a Sandy Spit ENE 3 miles an Island beyond it #BN½N 6
miles and the North Western Land seen from Lagoon
Island and is a high Cape W¾S
3 leagues. A
low Sandy Isle west 4 miles and the extremes of the Coast from SBW to
Dined on 6 Birds and an allowance of Bread with 2 Jills water.
Rest was now so much wanted that the afternoon was advantageously spent in sleep, I had however some who were not disposed to it, and with those I employed myself in dressing some Clams to take with us for to morrows dinner, and others I had cut up in slices to day which I knew and foretold was the most valuable Supply I could find. But contrary to my expectation we have found them very scarce, and I do not from the present situation we are in, imagine I shall be able to get collected two days Sea Store at a very spare allowance.
Towards Evening I had cautioned every one not to make too large a Fire or to suffer it after dark to blaze up more than it was possible to prevent. Mr. Peckover and Mr. Samuel had therefore taken care of that business while I was strolling about the Beach to observe if I thought it could be seen from the main. I was just reconciled that it could not when on a sudden the Key appeared all on a blaze that might have been seen at a more considerable distance. I therefore ran to know the Cause of such an Open Violation of my orders when I found all the Grass set on fire owing to the Master while I was absent insisting on having a fire to himself, notwithstanding Mr. Peckover an[d] Samuel had remonstrated with him and told him the Consequence, and he knew very particular orders. This disobedience was of a very serious nature. I might have been seen by more natives than at the last place as I past the Coast; and now being assured that we were on this Key it only rested with them to come after us, and we must inevitably have fallen a sacrifice, for even when all were in health I had only 12 Men that had either spirit or resolution to Combat any difficulty. Thus the releif I expected from a little sleep was totally lost, and I anxiously looked for the flowing of the Tide to proceed to sea.
I found it High water at half past 5 this morning from whence I fix its time on full and change to be at 58′ past 10 in the morning and I imagine the rise to be about 5 feet. I could observe nothing of the Flood, but I presume it comes from the southward, and that I may have been mistaken at Restoration Island, for I draw my conclusion from the times of High water, and my observation at Sunday Island. Vis.—
At Restoration Island, High water full and Change.... 7h..10′ Sunday Island, flood from Southward.............. 9 ..19 Here............................................. 10 ..58.
After 8 oClock Mr. Samuel and Mr. Peckover went out to watch for Turtle and three men went to the East Key to endeavor to take some Birds. All the rest complaining of being sick took there [sic] rest except Mr. Hayward and Mr. Elphinstone who I ordered to keep watch. About Midnight the Bird party returned with only 12 Noddies a Bird I have already described to be about the size of a small Pigeon, but if it had not been for the obstinacy of one of the Party*, who seperating from the other two and putting the Birds to flight, they might have caught a great number. Thus all my Plans were totally defeated for which on the return of the offender I gave him a good beating. I now went in sea[r]ch of my Turtling party who had taken every pains but had met with no success. This however did not surprize me, as I was convinced no Turtle would come near us after the fire and noise that was made on the beginning of the Evening to get it put out. I therefore desird them to come in, but they requested to stay an hour or two longer as they still hoped to find some before day light, they however returned by 3 oClock without any reward for their labour.
The Birds I got half drest, which with a few Clams made the whole of my supply here. I tied up a few Gilt Buttons and some peices of Iron to a Tree for any Natives that might come after me, and happily finding my invalids much better for their Nights rest, I got every one into the Boat and departed at Dawn of Day. Wind at SE course to the NBW.
I had scarce got two leagues to the northward when I suddenly fell into much Sea, which from not having experienced such a sudden transition since within the Reefs I considered it owing to an open channel to the Ocean. Just afterwards I fell in with a large shoal on which were two sandy Keys, between these and two others 4 miles West, I passed on in my way to the northward crossing a rougher Sea than I had before. Towards Noon I fell in with 6 other Keys most of them produced some small Trees and Brushwood, and it had a pleasing contrast with the main I had passed which was full of Sand Hills. The Country now became Hilly and the northermost Land, the same I saw from Lagoon Island appeared as Downs with several sloping Clifts to the Sea. To the Southward of this is a flat Topped Hill resembling a Pudding Pan turned bottom up and was called Pudding Pan Hill and a little to the Northward two others called the Paps and here was a small tract of country without Land. The Eastern part of which forms a Cape that I consider to lie in Latitude of 11°18′S. From hence the Coast inclines to the NWBN. At Noon I observed in the Latitude of the Cape 11°18′ South. Five Small Keys lie from the NE to the SE from 2 to 6 Miles distant and one to the West between me and the Cape a low sandy Spot bearing West distant 4 miles. My Longitude 144°20 East and N½W distant 30 miles from Lagoon Island. I am sorry it is not in my power to speak of the depth of water, that would create trouble and delay, but is every other remark & observation that can be made falls upon myself, I can only say that a ship may pass wherever I omit representing danger, as far as a mans judgement can be relied on that is formed from appearances.
I divided 6 Birds and issued 1/24 pound of Bread and 2 Jills of water to each person for dinner, and to Mr. Nelson I gave a half Glass of wine who is now so far recovered as to require no other indulgence. The Gunner when he left the Ship brought his watch with him and had regulated our time untill to day when unfortunately I found it stopt, so that at Noon, Sun Rise and Set are the only parts of the 24 Hours I can speak to particularly as to time.