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Uddrag af James Cooks rejsejournal 1768-1771

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James Cook: The Journals. Prepared from the original manuscripts by J. C. Beaglehole for the Hakluyt Society, 1955 – 67. Selected and edited by Philip Edwards. Penguin Books, London 2003. 

James Cooks første rejse 1768 – 1771

Wednesday 11th. [January 1769]  Winds Westerly. Course S 30° W. Distce in miles 100. Latd in 54° 20’. Longd in West from Greenwich 64°35’ pr. Logg. A Steady gentle breeze and clear weather. PM after standing 13 Leagues SSW. Sounded and had 64 fathom, gravel and small Stones, standing SWBS a 11 Leagues farther had 46 fathom, the same sort of bottom. At 8 am Saw the Land of Terra del Fuego extending from the West to SEBS, distance off shore between 3 and 4 Leagues, sounded and had 35 fathom small soft slate stones. Variation 23°30’ E. In rainging a long the shore to the SE at the distance of 2 or 3 Leagues had 27 and 26 fm a muddy bottom, saw some of the Natives who made a smook in several places, which must have been done as a signal to us as they did not continue it after we pass’d. By our Longitude we ought not to have been so far to the westward as Staten Land as it is laid down in the Charts, but it appear’d from Subsequent Observations that the Ship had got near a degree of Longitude to the westward of the Log which is 35 Miles in these Latitudes, probably this in part may be owing to a small current seting to the westward occasioned by the westerly Current which comes round Cape Horn and through Strait le Maire and the in draught of the Straits Magellan.

Thursday 12th, Winds N & NNE, Varble, WSW. Latd in 54°34’ pr Obsern.

Wednesday 25th of Janry. …It appeared not unlike an Island with a very high round hummock upon it: this I believe to be Cape Horn for after we had stood to the Southward about 3 Leagues the weather clear’d up for about a ¼ of an hour, which gave us a sight of this land bearing then WSW but  we could see no land either to the Southward or westward of it, and therefore conclude that it must be the Cape, but whether it be an Island of it self, a part of the Southermost of Hermites Islands or a part of Terra del Fuego I am not able to determine. However this is of very little concequence to Navigation, I only wished to have been certain whether or no it was the Southermost land on or near to Terra del Fuego, but the thick Foggy weather, and the westerly winds which carried us from the land prevented me from satisfying My curiosity in this point; but from its Latitude, and the reasons before given I think it must, and if so it must be Cape Horn and lies in the Latitude of 55° 59’ South and Longitude 68° 13’ West from the Meridian of Greenwich, beeing the mean result of Several Observns of the Sun and Moon made the day after we left the land and which agree’d with those made at Straits Le Maire, allowing for the distance between one place and the other, which I found means very accuratly to determine.

[Iflg Danmarks Nationalleksikon, art. Kap Horn: 55° 59’, 67° 16’ v. lgd., en ca 150 m høj, stejl klippe på den lille ø Isla de Hornos. Kap Horn blev rundet første gang i 1616 af hollænderne Jacques Le Maire (1585 – 1616) og Willem Cornelisz Schouten (ca 1580 – 1625) og navngivet efter sidstnævntes fødested, byen Hoorn]

Sunday 12th[February 1769]. Winds SW & S. Courses N 48° W. Distce sail’d in miles 113. latd in South 49° 41’. Longd in West of Greenwich 89°36’. […] Having for some time past generally found the Ship by obsern to the Northward of the Logg, which is not owing to a current as I at first imagined but to a wrong division of the Log Line being 2½ feet in each knot; but this is now rectified.

Monday 13th. Winds West Norly. Courses N 75° W. Distce sail’d in miles 35. Latd in South 49°32’. Longd in West of Greenwich 90°37’.  […] Took several observations of the Sun and Moon, the result of which gave 90° 13’ West Longitude from Greenwich. The Variation of the Compass by the Mean of Several Azth 17° East. The Longitude by account is less than by Obsern 37’ which is about 20 Miles in these high latitudes, and nearly equall to the Error of the Logg Line before mentioned: this near agreement of the two Longitudes proves to a demonstration that we have had no Western current sence we left land.

Tuesday 28th. Winds West to NW. Courses N 13° W. Distce sail’d in miles 42. Latd in South 39° 33’ 30’’. Longd in West of Greenwich 110° 38’. […] At 9 am took three sets of Observations of the Sun and Moon in order to find the Longitude of the Ship.

Wednesday 1st [March 1769]. Winds WBS, NW. Courses N 76° W. Distce sail’d in miles 52. Latd in South 38° 44’. Longd in West of Greenwich 111° 43’. Bearings at Noon C. Horn 60° E distce 660 leagues. First part fresh breeze the remainder moderate breezes and clear weather. The result of the forementioned Observations gives 110° 33’ w. Longitude from Greenwich and exactly agrees with the Longitude given by the Log, from Cape Horn: this agreement of the two Longitudes after a Run of 660 Leagues is surpriseing and much more then could be expected, but as it is so, it serves to prove as well as the repeted trials we have made when the weather would permit, that we have had no Current that hath affected the Ship Since we came into these Seas, this must be a great sign that we have been near no land of any extent because near land are generally found Currents: it is well known that on the East side of the Continent in the North sea we meet with the Currents above 100 Leagues from the Land, and even in the Middle of the Atlantic Ocean between Africa and America are always found Currents, and I can see no reason why currents should not be found in this Sea Supposing a Continent or lands lay not far west from us as some have immagine’d, and if such land was ever seen we cannot be far from it, as we are now 560 Leagues West of the Coast of Chili.

Tuesday 11th [April 1769]. Winds Varble. Courses N 66° W. Distce sail’d in miles 54. Latd in South 17° 38’. Longd in West of Greenwich 148° 39’. Bearings at Noon Osnaburg Island E½S Distce 13 Leagues. First part little wind and clowdy, the remainder Little wind and very Variable unsettled weather with some rain. PM  Took several Observations of the Sun and Moon which gave the Longd of the Ship to be 148° 18’ and differs but little from that given by the Log. At 6 AM Saw King Georges Island extending from WB½S to WBN½N it appear’d very high and Mountainous.

Thursday 13th. […]
At this time we had but a very few men upon the Sick list and these had but slite complaints, the Ships compney had in general been very healthy owing in a great measure to the Sour krout, Portable Soup and Malt; the two first were serve’d to the People, the one on Beef Days and the other on Banyan Days, Wort was made of the Malt and at the discrition of the Surgeon given to every man that had the least symptoms of Scurvy upon him, by this Means and the care and Vigilance of Mr Munkhous the Surgeon this disease was prevented from getting a footing in the Ship. The Sour Krout the Men at first would not eate untill I put in pratice a Method I never once knew to fail with seamen, and this was to have some of it dress’d every Day for Cabbin Table, and permitted all the Officers without exception to make use of it and left it to the option of the Men either to take as much as they pleased or none atall; but this pratice was not continued above a week before I found it necessary to put every one on board to an Allowance, for such are the Tempers and disposissions of Seamen in general that whatever you give them out of the Common way, altho it be ever so much for their good yet it will not go down with them and you will hear nothing but murmurings gainest the man that first invented it; but the Moment they see their Superiors set a Value upon it, it becomes the finest stuff in the World and the inventer an honest fellow.

Monday May the 1st [1769].  […] This Afternoon we set up the Observatory and took the Astronomical Quadt a shore for the first time, together with some other Instruments.

Tuesday 2nd. This morning about 9 oClock when Mr Green and I went to set up the Quadt it was not to be found, it had nevcr been taken out of the Packing case (which was abt 18 Inches square), sence it came from Mr Bird the Maker, and the whole was pretty heavy, so that it was a matter of astonishment to us all how it could be taken away, as a Centinal stood the whole night within 5 yards of the door of the Tent where it was put together with several other Instruments but none of them was missing but this. However it was not long before we got information that one of the natives had taken it away and carried it to the Eastward. Immidiatly a resolution was taken to detain all the large Canoes that were in the Bay, and to seize upon Tootaha and some others of the Principle people and keep them in Custody untill the Quadt was produce’d, but this last we did not think proper immidiatly to put in execution as we had only Obaria in our power and the detaining of her by force would have alarm’d all the rest.

Fodnote p. 51: Minor damage to the quadrant was put right by Spöring.

Sunday 14th. This day we perform’d divine Service in one of the Tents in the Fort where several of the Natives attended and behaved with great decency the whole time: this day closed with an odd Scene at the Gate of the Fort where a young fellow above 6 feet high lay with a little Girl about 10 or 12 years of age publickly before several of our people and a number of the Natives. What makes me mention this, is because, it appear’d to be done more from Custom than Lewdness, for there were several women present particularly Obarea and several others of the better sort and these were so far from shewing the least disapprobation that they instructed the girl how she should act her part, who young as she was, did not seem to want it.

Tuesday 30th. We are now very busy in preparing our Instruments &ca for the Observation and Instructing such Gentlemen in the use of them as I intend to send to other parts to Observe for fear we should fail here.

Thursday 1st June 1769. This day I sent Lieutenant Gore in the Long-boat to York Insland [fodnote: Moorea, to the west] with Dr Munkhouse and Mr Sporing (a Gentleman belonging to Mr Banks) to observe the Transit of Venus, Mr Green having furnished them with Instruments for that purpose. Mr Banks and some of the Natives of this Island went along with them.

Friday 2nd of June.  Very early this morning Lieutnt Hicks, Mr Clerk, Mr Petersgill and Mr Saunders, went away in the Pinnace to the Eastward, with orders to fix upon some convenient situation on this Island [fodnote: The islet Taaupiri] and there to observe the Transit of Venus – they being likewise provided with Instruments for that purpose.

Saturday 3rd. This day prov’d as favourable to our purpose as we could wish, not a Clowd was to be seen the whole day and the Air was perfectly clear, so that we had every advantage we could desire in Observing the whole of the passage of the Planet Venus over the Suns disk: we very distinctly saw an Atmosphere or dusky shade round the body of the Planet which very much disturbed the time of the Contacts particularly the two internal ones. Dr Solander observed as well as Mr Green and my self, and we differ’d from one another in observing the times of the Contacts much more than could be expected. Mr Greens Telescope and mine were of the Mag[n]ifying power but that of the Dr was greater than ours. It was ne[a]rly calm the whole day and the Thermometer expose’d to the Sun about the middle of the Day rose to a degree of heat (119) we have not before met with.

Sunday 4th June. […] This evening the gentlemen that were sent to observe the Transit of Venus returned with success. Those that were sent to York Island were well received by the Natives; that Island appear’d to them not to be very fruitfull.

[Bryder op fra Tahiti 13 juli 1769].

Saturday 7th [October 1769]  Winds NE, SE, Varble. Courses N 70° Wt. Distce sail’d [in] miles 41. Latd in South 38° 57’. Longd in West 177° 54’.  Gentle breezes and settled weather. At 2 PM saw land from the mast head bearing WBN, which we stood directly for, and could but just see it of the deck at sun set. Variation pr Az. And Ampd  15° 4½’ East. By observations of the Sun and Moon made this afternoon the Longitude of the Ship is 180° 55’ W: by the mean of these and subsequent observations the error of the Ships accou[n]t in Longd from Georges Island is 3° 16’, that is the Ship is so much to the Westward of the Longde resulting from the Log which is what is insert’d [in] the columns. At midnight brought too and sounded but had no ground with 170 fath: at day light made sail in for the land. At Noon it bore from SW to NWBN distant 8 Leagues. Latitude Observed 38° 57’ s.

[New Zealand]

Tuesday 24th. […] Early in the Morning I sent Lieutenant Gore a Shore to superintend the Cutting Wood and filling of Water with af Sufficient number of men for both purposes and all the Marines as a guard; after breakfast I went my self and remain’d there the whole day, but before this Mr Green and I took several observations of the Sun and Moon, the mean result of them gave 180° 47’ West Longd from the Meridian of Greenwich but as all the obserns made before exceeded these I have laid down this coast agreeable the the mean of the whole. At Noon I took the Suns Meridian Altd with the Astrol Quadt and found the Latitude to be 38° 22’ 24’’ s.

Saturday 4th [November 1769] […]  My reasons for puting in here were the hopes of discovering a good Harbour and the desire I had of being in some convenient place to observe the Transit of Mercury which happens on the 9th Instant and will be wholy Visible her if the day is clear. If we should be so fortunate as to Obtain this Observation the Longitude of this place and Country will thereby be very accuratly determined.

Wednesday 8th.  […]  At Noon I observed the Suns Meridian Zenith distance by the Astronomical Quadrant which gave the Latitude 36° 47’ 43’’ s, this was in the River beforementioned, that lies within the s entrce of ye Bay.

Thursday 9th. Variable light breezes and clear weather. […]  At 8 Mr Green and I went on shore with our Instruments to Observe the Transit of Mercury which came on at 7h 20’ 58’’ Apparent time and was Observed by Mr Green only, I at this time was taking the Suns Altitude in order to ascertain the time. The Egress was observed as followes.


                                  h      ‘     ‘’  


By Mr Green

Internal Contact at    12    8    58


External Contact  -   12    9    55

By My self

Internal Contact at    12    8    45


External Contact -    12    9    43

Latitude observed at Noon 36° 48’ 28’’, the Mean of this and yesterdays observation gives 36° 48’ 5½’’ s, the latitude of the place of  Observation, and the Variation of the Compass was at this time found to be 11° 9’ East.