At daylight, the next morning, we saw land, for which we made sail, and ran along the lee-side of it. On the weather-side there were very great breakers, and the lee-side was rocky, but in many places there appeared to be good anchorage. We saw but few inhabitants, and they appeared to live in a manner very different from those of King George’s Island, their habitations being only small huts. We saw many cocoa-nut and other trees upon the shore; but all of than had their heads blown away, probably in a hurricane. This island is about six miles long, and has a mountain of considerable height in the middle, which seems to be fertile. It lies in latitude 17 deg. 28’ S., and longitude, by our last observation, 151 deg. 4’ W. and I called it Sir Charles Saunders’s Island.
On the 29th, the variation of the compass, by azimuth, was 7 deg. 52’ E.; and early the next morning, at day-break, we saw land bearing from N. by E. to N.W. We stood for it, but could find no anchorage, the whole island being surrounded by breakers. We saw smoke in two places, but no inhabitants. A few cocoa-nut trees were growing on the lee-part of it, and I called it Lord Howe’s Island. It is about ten miles long, and four broad, and lies in latitude 16 deg. 46’ S., longitude, by observation, 154 deg. 13’ W.
In the afternoon, we saw land bearing W. by N. and stood for it. At five o’clock, we saw breakers running a great way out to the southward, and soon after, low land to the S.W. and breakers all about it in every direction.
We turned to windward all night, and as soon as it was light, crowded sail to get round these shoals. At nine we got round them, and named them Scilly Islands. They are a group of islands or shoals extremely dangerous; for in the night, however clear the weather, and by day, if it is hazy, a ship may run upon them without seeing land. They lie in latitude 16 deg. 28’ S. longitude 155 deg. 30’ W.
We continued to steer our course westward, till daybreak on the 13th of August, when we saw land bearing W. by S. and hauled towards it. At eleven o’clock in the forenoon, we saw more land in the W.S.W. At noon, the first land that we saw, which proved to be an island, bore W. 1/2 S. distant about five leagues, and had the appearance of a sugar-loaf; the middle of the other land, which was also an island, and appeared in a peak, bore W.S.W. distant six leagues. To the first, which is nearly circular, and three miles over, I gave the name of Boscawen’s Island; and the other, which is three miles and a half long, and two broad, I called Keppel’s Isle. Port Royal at this time bore E. 4 deg. 10’ S. distant 478 leagues.
At two o’clock, being about two miles distant from Boscawen’s Island, we saw several of the inhabitants; but Keppel’s Isle being to windward, and appearing more likely to afford us anchorage, we hauled up for it. At six, it was not more than a mile and a half distant, and, with our glasses, we saw many of the inhabitants upon the beach; but there being breakers at a considerable distance from the shore, we stood off and on all night.