Captain James Cook

On the 5th December, whilst turning out of the Bay of Islands, it fell calm; and the Endeavour drifted so close to the shore, that notwithstanding the incessant roar of the breakers, they could converse with the natives on the beach. The pinnace was got out to tow the vessel's head round; but none expected to escape destruction, when a light land-breeze sprang up, and gradually they got clear from their perilous situation - the ground was too foul to anchor. About an hour afterwards, just as the man heaving the lead sang out seventeen fathoms,' she struck on a sunken rock with force; but the swell washed her over, and she was again in deep water. On the 30th December they made the land, which they judged to be Cape Maria, Van Diemens; and on the 14th January, 1770, anchored in a snug cove in Queen Charlotte's Sound, to refit the ship and clean her bottom. Here they caught a great quantity of fish by means of the seine - at one time not less than three hundred weight at two hauls. They also found an excellent stream of fresh-water. In one of their researches they discovered an Indian family; and it is related that they had indisputable proofs of the custom of eating human flesh. The place they were in is described as very delightful; and Mr. Cook took several opportunities of obtaining views from the high hills, and examining the nearest coast. The inhabitants were friendly disposed, and everywhere received the English with hospitality. Mr. Cook selected a favorable spot, on which he erected a pole, and having hoisted the union jack, named the place Queen Charlotte's Sound, in honor of her majesty. Coins and spike-nails were given to the Indian spectators; and after drinking the queen's health in wine, the empty bottle was bestowed upon the man who had carried it when full, with which he was much delighted.

On the 5th February he quitted this part of New Zealand, and proceeded to explore three or four islands in that locality, giving names to capes, headlands, rocks, etc. But this was not accomplished without considerable peril, on account of the strength of the currents. To one place he gave the name of Admiralty Bay, where he took in wood and filled his water-casks, and sailed again on the 31st March, intending to return home by way of the East Indies. On the 19th April they came in sight of New Holland (or New South Wales, as it is now called), and anchored in Botany Bay on the 28th, where they landed; but contrary to the will of two or three Indians, who attacked the English with their lances, but on the firing of muskets, fled. The voyagers left beads and trinkets in the huts of the natives, and during the time they remained at that place they were untouched. The inhabitants seemed utterly regardless of the ship, though they could never have seen such a spectacle before. Here they caught a fish called a string-ray, which, after the entrails were taken out, weighed 336 pounds.

Mr. Cook prosecuted his discoveries in New South Wales with zeal and energy over a tract of 1300 miles; but on the 10th June, near Trinity Bay, the Endeavour struck on a reef of coral rocks, and was compelled to start her water, throw her guns overboard, and use every mode to lighten the vessel; but with four pumps at work, they could not keep her free; and every soul, though struggling hard for life, yet prepared for that death which now appeared to be inevitable. Upon these rocks the ship remained for nearly forty-eight hours, her sheathing ripped off, and the very timbers nearly rubbed through: by great exertion, however, she was got afloat at high tide, and it was found that she made no more water than when aground; and the men, by working incessantly at the pumps, kept her afloat. At the suggestion of Mr. Monkhouse, a sail was fothered (that is, pieces of oakum and other light materials were slightly stitched to it), and being hauled under the ship's bottom, the loose pieces were sucked into the leaks, and in a great measure stopped the holes, so that they were enabled to keep the water in the hold under with only one pump. On the morning of the 17th, after running aground twice, they got into a convenient harbor for repairing their damages; and here, when the vessel was hove down, they found a large piece of rock in the ship's bottom, firmly jammed in the hole it had made, so as to exclude the sea, and which, if it had fallen out, must have proved fatal to all.

About this time the scurvy broke out amongst them, and attacked indiscriminately both officers and men; but the quantity of fish that was caught, allowing each man two pounds and a-half per day, together with turtle and herbs, somewhat checked its progress. Three of the turtle caught weighed together 791 pounds. The natives took but little notice of the voyagers at first, but afterwards became familiar; and on one occasion, when refused something which they wanted, one of them seized a firebrand, and going to windward of the place where the armorer was at work, set fire to the high grass, so that every part of the smith's forge that would burn was destroyed. A musket ball was fired at them, and they ran away. The fire was repeated in the woods shortly afterwards, but without injury, as the stores and powder that had been landed were already on board. The hills all round burned fiercely for several nights.