Early cheese sandwiches
The journals of Sir Joseph Banks, the young naturalist who sailed with Cook in 1768 toward Tahiti, New Zealand, and Botany Bay, has been transcribed online.
24.Land in sight, an Island or rather several small ones most probably 3 Kings, so that it was conjecturd that we had Passd the Cape which had so long troubled us. Calm most of the Day: myself in a boat shooting in which I had good success, killing cheifly several Gannets or Solan Geese so like Europaean ones that they are hardly distinguishable from them. As it was the humour of the ship to keep Christmas in the old fashiond way it was resolvd of them to make a Goose pye for tomorrows dinner.
25. Christmas day: Our Goose pye was eat with great approbation and in the Evening all hands were as Drunk as our forefathers usd to be upon the like occasion.
26. This morn all heads achd with yesterdays debauch. Wind has been Easterly these 3 or 4 days so we have not got at all nearer the Island than we were.
You don't know what will turn out to matter. You've got to write it all down, and share the best parts, and hope what you write and what you share turn out to be what people will eventually need and want. This is Kawasaki's point about the way, sometimes, you make the blog and sometimes the blog makes you. Nothing much happened on these days, because the wind kept the ship from going where they wanted to go. And Banks seems to have been in a bad mood, since his journal entries for the previous days are unusually terse. Still, we see lots of fun things that it's good to know. For example:
- Banks, educated at Harrow, Eton, and Oxford, and one of the leading scientists of his generation, couldn't spell.
- The first goal is to collect specimens and to describe new species. But if the specimens happen to be good to eat, that's nice, too.
- Sailing in confined waters and tricky winds, off an uncharted coast, was not considered a reason to prevent all hands from drinking. "As drunk as our forefathers" is an interesting expression as well.
Most of all, though Banks has little or nothing of consequence to report, he finds something to post to his weblog. Consistent updates help keep the narrative moving.