Wednesday, June 20, 2018 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Joseph Banks

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In our return to the boat we saw the Indians amuse or excersise themselves in a manner truly surprizing. It was in a place where the shore was not guarded by a reef as is usualy the case, consequently a high surf fell upon the shore, a more dreadfull one I have not often seen: no European boat could have landed in it and I think no Europaean who had by any means got into could possibly have saved his life, as the shore was coverd with pebbles and large stones. In the midst of these breakers 10 or 12 Indians were swimming who whenever a surf broke near them divd under it with infinite ease, rising up on the other side; but their chief amusement was carried on by the stern of an old canoe, with this before them they swam out as far as the outermost breach, then one or two would get into it and opposing the blunt end to the breaking wave were hurried in with incredible swiftness. Sometimes they were carried almost ashore but generaly the wave broke over them before they were half way, in which case the divd and quickly rose on the other side with the canoe in their hands, which was towd out again and the same method repeated. We stood admiring this very wonderfull scene for full half an hour, in which time no one of the actors atempted to come ashore but all seemd most highly entertaind with their strange diversion.
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Documents the first sighting of surfing by Europeans

 
Joseph Banks

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in the lean hours awake listening
to the swell born somewhere in
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rising and falling, rising and
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and companionless. And the
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letting our prayers break on him,
not like this for a few hours,
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