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XXVI. Of the Tides in the South. Seas. By Captain 
Janies Cook, F. R, S* 


TO SIR JOHN PRINGLE, BART. F. R. S. 


SIR, 


April 2, 1776. 
Mile-End, 


R - ^' 6 l8> T N compliance with your requeft, I fend you 
my obfervations on the tides in Endeavour 
River, on the Eaft Coaft of New Holland, in latitude 
15 0 26' S. 

About 11 o’clock in the evening of the 10th of June 
1770, as we were handing off fhore, the fliip fuddenly 
ftruck, and ftuck faff on a reef of coral rocks, about fix 
leagues from the land. At this time I judged it was 
about high water, and that the tides were taking off, or 
deereafing, as it was three days paff the full Moon; two 
circumftances by no means in our favour. As our efforts 
to heave her off, before the tide fell, proved ineffectual, 
we began to lighten her, by throwing over-board our 
guns, ballaft, See. in hopes of floating her the next high- 
water; but, to our great furprize, the tide did not rife 
high enough to accomplifh this by near two feet. We 
had now no hopes but'from'the tide at midnight; and thefe 
only founded on a notion, very general indeed among 

teamen, 


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448 Captain Cook’s Account of 

feamen, but not confirmed by any thing which had yet 
fallen under my obfervation, that the night-tide rifes 
higher than the day-tide. We prepared, however, 
for the event, which exceeded our moft fanguine ex¬ 
pectations; for, about 20 minutes after 10 o’clock 
in the evening, which was a full hour before high- 
water, the Ihip floated. At this time the heads of rocks, 
which on the preceding tide were, at leaft, a foot above 
water, were wholly covered. I was fully fatisfied with 
the truth of the remark, after getting into the river, 
where we remained from the 17th of June till the 
4th of Auguft, repairing the damage the fhip had re¬ 
ceived. As this was to be done with the afliftance of the 
tides, it led me to make the following obfervations, which 
upon any other lefs important occafion might have 
efcaped my notice. 

The times of high-water on the full and change days 
I found to be about a quarter after nine; the evening- 
tide, at the height of the fpring, to rife nine feet perpen¬ 
dicular, the morning-tide fcarce feven; and the low- 
water preceding the higheft or evening-tide, to fall or 
recede confiderably lower than the one preceding the 
morning-tide. This difference in the rife and fall of the 
tide was uniformly the fame on each of the three fprings 
which happened while we lay in the place, and was ap¬ 
parent for about fix or feven days; that is, for about 
three days before and after the full or change of the 
Moon. During the neep, the tide was very inconfi- 
derable, and if there was any difference between the rife 

of 



the 'tides in the South Seas. 449 

of the tide in the day and in the night, it was not ob- 
ferved.j but to the beft of my recollection none was per¬ 
ceptible. Excepting two or three mornings, when we 
had a land-breeze for a few hours, we had the winds from 
no other direction than S.E., which is the fame as this 
part of the coaft, and from which quarter I judged the 
flood-tide came. The wind, for the moft part, blew a 
brifk gale, and rather ftronger during the day than the 
night. How far this laft circumftance might affeCt the 
evening-tide, I fhall not pretend to determine; nor can I 
aflign any other caufe for this difference in the rife and 
fall of the tide, and therefore muff leave it to thofe who 
are better verfed in this fubjeCt than, 

sir, your,8cc. 


XXVII. An