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Source: James Cook

James Cook - Cook's Journal: Daily Entries (1768)

30 Sep 1768

A Steady breeze and pleasant weather. At 6 am saw the Island of Bonavista / one of the Cape de Verd Islands / extending from SBE to SWBS, Distt 3 or 4 Leagues. Ranged the East side of this Island at the distance of 3 or 4 Miles from the shore, until we was were obliged to haul off to avoid a Ledge of rocks which stretched out SWBW from the body or SE Point of the Island 1 leagues. Had no ground with 40 fathom a mile without this ledge. The Island of Bonavista is in extent from North to south about 5 Leagues, is of a very uneven and hilly surface, with low sandy beaches on the East side. The S.E p.t of the Island, from which I take my departure, by an observation this day at Noon lies in the Lat.d of 16 N and according to our run from Madeira in the Long.d of 21 51' west from Greenwich and S. 21 West 260 leagues from Teneriff: drawing No. 1 and 2 represent the appearence of the East side of this Island where [***] is the SE point or the hill over it, which is high, of a round figure, and the southermost on the Island.

Source: Joseph Banks


30 Sep 1768

This Morn at day break made the Island of Bonavista, one of the Cape Verde Islands: Mr Buchan employd in taking views of the land; Mr Parkinson busy in finishing the sketches made of the shark yesterday.

This Evening the other Motacilla avida was brought to us, it differd scarce at all from the first taken, except that it was something larger; his head however gave us some good, by supplying us with near twenty specimens of ticks, which differd but little from the acarus vicinus Linn; it was however described and calld Motacilla.

Source: Gutenberg.org: James Cook / Voyage Round the World

James Cook - A Voyage Towards the South Pole and Round the World, Volume 1 (1772)

August 1772

Having got on board a supply of water, wine, and other necessaries, we left Madeira on the 1st of August, and stood to the southward with a fine gale at N.E. On the 4th we passed Palma, one of the Canary isles. It is of a height to be seen twelve or fourteen leagues, and lies in the latitude 28 38' N., longitude 17 58' W. The next day we saw the isle of Ferro, and passed it at the distance of fourteen leagues. I judged it to lie in the latitude of 27 42' N. and longitude 18 9' W.

I now made three puncheons of beer of the inspissated juice of malt. The proportion I made use of was about ten of water to one of juice. Fifteen of the nineteen half barrels of the inspissated juice which we had on board, were produced from wort that was hopped before inspissated. The other four were made of beer that had been both hopped and fermented before inspissated. This last requires no other preparation to make it fit for use, than to mix it with cold water, from one part in eight to one part in twelve of water, (or in such other proportion as might be liked,) then stop it down, and in a few days it will be brisk and drinkable. But the other sort, after being mixed with water in the same manner, will require to be fermented with yeast, in the usual way of making beer; at least it was so thought. However, experience taught us that this will not always be necessary: For by the heat of the weather, and the agitation of the ship, both sorts were at this time in the highest state of fermentation, and had hitherto evaded all our endeavours to stop it. If this juice could be kept from fermenting, it certainly would be a most valuable article at sea.

On finding that our stock of water would not last as to the Cape of Good Hope, without putting the people to a scanty allowance, I resolved to stop at St Jago for a supply. On the 9th, at nine o'clock in the morning, we made the island of Bonavista, bearing S.W. The next day, we passed the isle of Mayo on our right; and the same evening anchored in Port Praya in the island of St Jago, in eighteen fathom water. The east point of the bay bore E.; the west point S.W. 1/2 S.; and the fort N.W. I immediately dispatched an officer to ask leave to water, and purchase refreshments, which was granted. On the return of the officer, I saluted the fort with eleven guns, on a promise of its being returned with an equal number. But by a mistake, as they pretended, the salute was returned with only nine; for which the governor made an excuse the next day. The 14th, in the evening, having completed our water, and got on board a supply of refreshments, such as hogs, goats, fowls, and fruit, we put to sea, and proceeded on our voyage.

Port Praya is a small bay, situated about the middle of the south side of the island of St Jago, in the latitude of 14 53' 30" N. longitude 23 30' W. It may be known, especially in coming from the east, by the southernmost hill on the island, which is round, and peaked at top; and lies a little way inland, in the direction of west from the port. This mark is the more necessary, as there is a small cove about a league to the eastward, with a sandy beach in the bottom of it, a valley, and cocoa-nut trees behind, which strangers may mistake for Port Praya, as we ourselves did. The two points which form the entrance of Port Praya Bay are rather low, and in the direction of W.S.W. and E.N.E. half a league from each other. Close to the west point are sunken rocks, on which the sea continually breaks. The bay lies in N.W. near half a league; and the depth of water is from fourteen to four fathoms. Large ships ought not to anchor in less than eight, in which depth the south end of the Green Island (a small island lying under the west shore) will bear W. You water at a well that is behind the beach at the head of the bay. The water is tolerable, but scarce; and bad getting off, on account of a great surf on the beach. The refreshments to be got here, are bullocks, hogs, goats, sheep, poultry, and fruits. The goats are of the antelope kind, so extraordinarily lean, that hardly any thing can equal them; and the bullocks, hogs, and sheep, are not much better. Bullocks must be purchased with money; the price is twelve Spanish dollars a-head, weighing between 250 and 300 pounds. Other articles may be got from the natives in exchange for old clothes, &c. But the sale of bullocks is confined to a company of merchants; to whom this privilege is granted, and who keep an agent residing upon the spot. The fort above mentioned seems wholly designed for the protection of the bay, and is well situated for that purpose, being built on an elevation, which rises directly from the sea on the right, at the head of the bay.

We had no sooner got clear of Port Praya, than we got a fresh gale at N.N.E. which blew in squalls, attended with showers of rain. But the next day the wind and showers abated, and veered to the S. It was, however, variable and unsettled for several days, accompanied with dark gloomy weather, and showers of rain.