This excerpt is dated to April 23-26, 1778. Cook was writing of his visit to Nootka Sound. It reveals the encyclopaedic approach to making observations while on expedition and the process of preparing to put out to sea.
“Mr. Webber, who had attended me thither, made drawings of every thing that was curious, both within and without doors. I also had the opportunity of inspecting more narrowly the construction of the houses, household furniture and utensils, and the striking peculiarities of the customs and modes of living of the inhabitants. … When we had completed all our operations at this village [in Nootka Sound], the natives and we parted very good friends, and we got back to the ships in the afternoon.
The three following days were employed in getting ready to put to sea, the sails were bent, the observatories and instruments, brewing vessels, and other things were moved from the shore; some small spars for different uses, and pieces of timber which might be occasionally sawn into boards, were prepared and put on board, and both ships were cleaned and put into a sailing condition.
Every thing being now ready in the morning of the 26th, I intended to have put to sea, but both wind and tide being against us, was obliged to wait till noon, when the S.W. wind was succeeded by a calm; and the tide turning in our favour, we cast off the moorings, and with our boats towed the ships out of the cove. … The mercury in the barometer fell unusually low; and we had every other fore-runner of an approaching storm, which we had reason to expect would be from the southward; this made me hesitate a little, as night was at hand, whether I should venture to sail or wait till the next morning. But my anxious impatience to proceed upon the voyage, and the fear of losing this opportunity of getting out of the sound, making a greater impression on my mind than any apprehension of immediate danger, I determined to put out to sea at all events.”