Narrative of a Survey of the Intertropical and Western Coasts of Australia] [Volume 2 of 2]
Phillip Parker King

Part 5 out of 10

quarter to the south of Table Point, bears East-South-East 1/2 East;
close without them the depth is five fathoms.

The INNER HARBOUR is divided into two basins which extend in for two
miles on either side of Middle Head, a cliffy projection, surrounded by a
rocky shore for a quarter of a mile off. The anchorage between the
entrance and Middle Head is in five and six fathoms mud, and in the
centre of the western basin the depth is five fathoms mud. The shores are
higher than usual, and are varied by sandy beaches and cliffs, some of
white and others of a red colour. The western side of the port was not
visited, and our tracks and examinations were made principally on the
opposite shore. At the bottom of Knocker's Bay is a shoal mangrove
opening, of no importance. See volume 1.

POINT SMITH is in latitude 11 degrees 6 minutes 45 seconds, and longitude
132 degrees 12 minutes 30 seconds.

VASHON HEAD has a considerable shoal projecting from it, and extending
into the bay to the westward which was called TREPANG BAY. This bay has
an opening at the bottom, that appeared to be shoal. A small sandy island
lies at the distance of a mile and three-quarters from the shore; the
reef projects into the sea for nearly a mile farther, and apparently
extends to the South-West to the north head of POPHAM BAY, which has a
small opening at the bottom, but of shoal approach; good anchorage may be
had in Popham Bay in five and six fathoms, a little within the heads, and
as they bear North and South-South-West, it is well sheltered in the
easterly monsoon. Hence to CAPE DON is three miles and a half. The latter
cape is in latitude 11 degrees 19 minutes 30 seconds, and longitude 131
degrees 45 minutes 30 seconds.

VAN DIEMEN'S GULF is seventy miles deep, and more than forty broad. It
has two outlets to sea; the one to the northward, DUNDAS STRAIT, is
sixteen miles wide and very deep; the other, CLARENCE STRAIT, is
seventeen miles wide, and communicates with the sea round the south sides
of Melville and Bathurst Islands: it is probably not so safe as Dundas'
Strait, on account of Vernon's Isles, which lie in mid channel, near its
western end.

The north eastern side of Van Diemen's Gulf washes the south side of
Coburg Peninsula. It has several bays, and, to the eastward of MOUNTS
BEDWELL and Roe, the shore is fronted by SIR GEORGE HOPE'S ISLANDS,
forming a channel or port within them twenty miles deep and from three to
six broad; the entrance to it is round the north end of GREENHILL ISLAND,
which is separated from the land of the peninsula, by a strait a mile and
a half wide: the depth in mid-channel, for the shore on either side for
half a mile is shoal and rocky, is eighteen fathoms, and within it the
bottom is six, seven, and eight fathoms deep, and principally of mud.
This strait is in latitude 11 degrees 35 minutes.

The eastern side has several openings in it, but the shores are very low,
and of shoal approach. At its south-east end are the two (and probably
three) Alligator Rivers; the westernmost (or centre) is fronted by FIELD
ISLAND, the centre of which is in 12 degrees 6 minutes latitude, and 132
degrees 25 minutes 10 seconds longitude. These rivers have been described
in the narrative. See volume 1. The bottom of the gulf is very low, and
forms two bights, separated by a point that projects for seven or eight

In the neighbourhood of the rivers the country is sprinkled with wooded
hills, that extend in a straggling chain towards Wellington Range, of
which they might be considered a part: but between the rivers and
Clarence Strait the country is low and flat, and only protected from
inroads of the sea by a barrier of sandhills, beyond which not a vestige
of the interior could be seen.

CLARENCE STRAIT separates Bathurst and Melville Islands from the
mainland: it is seventy-five miles long, and from seventeen to
thirty-five wide. The narrowest part is at about its centre, between Cape
Gambier and Cape Eldon, and in this space is a group of four low rocky
islands, covered with mangroves (Vernon's Islands) from which
considerable reefs extend towards either shore.

The best channel is probably on the northern side, near Cape Gambier,
which is in latitude 11 degrees 56 minutes 20 seconds; and there also
appeared to be a wide and safe channel on the south side; but the
neighbourhood of Vernon's Islands is rocky. The flood-tide sets to the
eastward into the gulf.

MELVILLE ISLAND is of considerable size, and forms the western side of
Van Diemen's Gulf; its greatest length from Cape Van Diemen to Cape Keith
being seventy-two miles, and its greatest breadth thirty-eight miles; its
circumference is two hundred miles.

We did not land on any part of it, excepting in the entrance of Apsley
Strait, at Luxmoore Head (latitude 11 degrees 21 minutes, longitude 130
degrees 22 minutes) from which we were driven by the natives. It appeared
fertile and more elevated than the coast to the eastward, and to possess
several good harbours, particularly Apsley Strait, besides several bays
on its north coast; and from the appearance of the land on its east side,
and the extent and abrupt shape of the hills, it is probable that there
may be a port there also.

BRENTON BAY is the mouth of a small inlet, which may probably prove to be
a fresh-water stream; and the bottom of LETHBRIDGE BAY appeared likely to
yield one also. The hills and coast are wooded to the brink of the cliffs
and sandy beaches that vary the northern shores of
Melville Island.

The most unproductive part appeared to be the narrow strip that extends
towards Cape Van Diemen. On either side of the point, near Karslake
Island, is a bay, and at the bottom of each there is an opening in the
land, like those of Brenton and Lethbridge Bays.

The western trend of CAPE VAN DIEMEN is in latitude 11 degrees 8 minutes
15 seconds, and longitude 130 degrees 20 minutes 30 seconds. The coast to
the south-east of the cape is formed by a range of cliffs, extending
uninterruptedly for seven miles, of a most remarkable white appearance,
whiter even than the usual colour of the pipe-clay cliffs to the
eastward. Cape Van Diemen is a low sandy point, with a shoal spit
projecting from it for four miles, within half a mile of the extremity of
which we had no bottom with ten fathoms: from this a very considerable
shoal (MERMAID'S SHOAL) extends to the westward and south-westward for
seventeen miles; and, curving round to PIPER'S HEAD, forms the northern
limit of the entrance to Apsley Strait: its western edge is rather steep;
we coasted along it, and had overfalls between ten and four fathoms near
its edge. It is not only possible, but very likely, that there are
channels through it, but the most direct channel is round its south side,
across the bar, on which there is (at low water) five fathoms. To sail
into APSLEY STRAIT by this channel, if coming from the westward, steer in
on the parallel of 11 degrees 15 minutes, until the northern part of
Bathurst Island is seen: when the western trend of the island bears
South, you will be abreast of the west extremity of the shoal off Cape
Van Diemen. Steering on, you will see Piper's Head, a cliffy point,
forming the north entrance to the strait, which must be kept upon the
bearing of East by North, until the low, sandy, south point of the
strait's entrance* is in a line with the summit of LUXMOORE HEAD, a
remarkable flat-topped hill on the eastern side of the strait, bearing
South 59 degrees East. Then steer East by South, keeping the lead going,
and hauling to the north if the soundings are less than seven fathoms,
until the strait is opened bearing South-East by South, when you may haul
in for Luxmoore Head, and anchor at will.

(*Footnote. Point Brace of Captain Bremer.)

The narrowest part of the strait is where the low, sandy extremity, Point
Brace, bears South 40 degrees East; the channel then is from seventeen to
eighteen fathoms deep, and shoals suddenly on its south, but gradually on
its north side: it is about a mile and a half wide.

APSLEY STRAIT is forty miles long, and from one to three broad; the
widest part being at the north end: the southern end, for five or six
miles from the outlet, is very rocky; the south entrance is in latitude
11 degrees 45 minutes; the flood sets to the southward, and the ebb, from
Van Diemen's Gulf out of Clarence Strait, runs through the strait to the
north, which must cause many shoals off the south entrance; the depth is
generally from ten to thirteen fathoms, but is very irregular towards the
south end; at low water many parts are dry, which leave the channels very
intricate. We passed over it at high water without knowing our danger,
for the stream of the tide carried us through the deepest part of the

BATHURST ISLAND is from thirty to thirty-three miles in extent, having a
circumference of a hundred and twenty miles. GORDON BAY, on its western
side, affords a good shelter in the easterly monsoon; it is ten miles
wide, and six deep, and terminated by PORT HURD, the entrance to which is
fronted by a bar, having twelve or fourteen feet on it at low water. Near
the south-western head of the bay two projecting cliffy points (Twin
Cliffs) terminate a sandy bay, from which wood and, probably, water may
be obtained.

PORT HURD, at the bottom of Gordon Bay, in latitude 11 degrees 39 minutes
30 seconds, is a mere salt-water inlet, running up in a South-East
direction for eight miles; it then separates into two creeks that wind
under each side of a wooded hill; the entrance is three-quarters of a
mile wide, and formed by two low points. At the back of the port are some
wooded hills; one of them, Mount Hurd, kept in the opening between the
two points of entrance, is the mark for the deepest part of the bar. When
within the entrance the port opens, and forms a basin two miles and a
quarter broad, after which it narrows and runs up at from half to a
quarter of a mile wide, with a channel four and five fathoms deep.

The country here is thickly wooded, but very low, excepting a few ranges
of hills that may rise to the height of two hundred feet. The south side
of Bathurst Island has no sinuosities.

Near CAPE FOURCROY the coast is formed by sandhills: but, for the next
fifteen miles, it is low and backed by wooded hills.





The nature of the winds upon the North-west Coast, that is, between Cape
Van Diemen and the North-west Cape, differs very materially from the
regularity of the monsoons in the sea that divides it from Timor and the
islands to the northward; excepting in the narrower part between Cape
Londonderry and the Sahul Bank, where, from the contracted nature of the
sea, more regular winds may be expected. The easterly monsoon commences
about the beginning of April, and in the months of May and June blows
with great strength, and will be found more regular close to the
projecting parts of the coast, but they then rather assume the character
of a sea-breeze, for the nights are generally calm.

After the month of June the winds to the westward of Cape Londonderry are
very irregular, and generally blow from the southward or south-west; they
are however more constant to the westward of Buccaneer's Archipelago,
where the seabreezes blow principally from the North-West along the land.
At intervals, during the east monsoon, the wind blows strong from
South-East, but only for a short time, perhaps only for a few hours.
Ships may creep along the Coast of New Holland to the eastward during the
easterly monsoon, when they could not make any progress in the mid sea,
without being much delayed by calms. Towards the North-west Cape, neither
the monsoon nor the South East trade are much experienced, the wind being
generally from the South-West or North-West.

During the strength of the westerly monsoon, that is, in the months of
December and January, the wind is regular between West-North-West and
West-South-West, and, in the neighbourhood of the North-west Cape,
sometimes blows hard; but even in these tropical regions, when the
weather is very bad, the change is predicted by the barometer, which
otherwise is scarcely affected.

In February, near the coast of New Holland, the monsoon is less constant,
and the wind often blows off the land, so that a ship could make her
westing, when, if more to the northward, it would be impossible for her
to gain any ground. At the latter end of February the westerly winds die
away, and are succeeded by light, baffling, easterly winds, with damp,
unwholesome weather, and attended occasionally by heavy squalls of wind
and rain.

If a ship is detained late in the easterly monsoon, and wishes to get to
the westward, she will find the wind more regular and strong from the
eastward in the neighbourhood of Timor, where the easterly monsoon lasts
until the first or second week in November: in the months of September
and October, to the southward of the parallel of 12 degrees, the winds
are almost constant from South-West.

The currents are stronger according to the regularity and strength of the
wind, and generally set at the rate of one or one knot and a half. The
tides in this part of the coast are noticed in the description of the
places where they were observed. High water at full and change takes
place at:

The anchorage off Vansittart Bay at 9 hours 15 minutes.

In Montagu Sound at 12 hours 00 minutes.

In Careening Bay at 12 hours 00 minutes.

In Prince Regent's River at 12 hours 20 minutes.

The rise of the tide, to the westward of Cape Van Diemen, and
particularly to the westward of Cape Bougainville, appeared gradually to
increase: the greatest that we experienced was in the vicinity of
Buccaneer's Archipelago; and at the anchorage in Camden Bay the tide rose
thirty-seven feet; occasioned probably by the intersected nature of the

The variation in this interval is almost too trifling to be noticed for
the purposes of common navigation. Between Capes Londonderry and Van
Diemen it varies between 1/4 and 1 degree East. Between the former and
Careening Bay it was between 1 and 1 1/2 degrees East; at Careening Bay
the mean of the observations gave 3/4 of a degree West; but to the
westward of that, as far as Cape Villaret, the results of the
observations varied between 1 degree East and 1 degree West. Near the
North-west Cape, and to the eastward of it as far as Depuch Island, it is
about two degrees Westerly.

On the south-side of Clarence Strait the land is low, like the coast to
the eastward. PATERSON BAY appeared to be the mouth of a river, but it
was not examined. The opening to the eastward of the projecting point
that forms the eastern side of Paterson Bay, seemed to be a good port;
and to have an inlet at its bottom trending to the South-East.

CAPE GROSE, in latitude 12 degrees 32 minutes 40 seconds, and longitude
131 degrees 26 minutes, is the western head of Paterson Bay: it is
fronted by reefs that extend for a considerable distance into the sea;
their extremity is nearly nine miles north from the cape.

Hence the coast extends low and sandy to POINT BLAZE, to the northward of
which there is a bay: to the south the shore is wooded, and trends for
eighteen miles to the north entrance of Anson Bay, which is formed by
PERON ISLANDS; these are low and sandy; at the extremity of the northern
island, there is a sandy peak in latitude 13 degrees 6 minutes 30
seconds, and longitude 131 degrees 1 minute 20 seconds: the south end is
overrun with mangroves, and it appeared very doubtful whether a channel
existed between it and the smaller island, which is entirely surrounded
by mangroves. This entrance to the bay is very intricate, and useless,
since that to the south of the islands is so much better. Anson's Bay
affords good anchorage, and probably has a small rivulet at the bottom.

CAPE FORD, in latitude 13 degrees 24 minutes 35 seconds, longitude 130
degrees 52 minutes 20 seconds, has a reef projecting for three miles from
it: hence the coast trends round to the southward for thirty miles to a
bay, which also has a small opening at the bottom; five miles inland
there is a range of hills, on which two, of flat-topped summits, are
conspicuous; and, at a distance, assume the appearance of islands. They
are the Barthelemy Hills.

A few miles to the westward is PORT KEATS. TREE POINT, in latitude 13
degrees 59 minutes 20 seconds, longitude 130 degrees 34 minutes, the
eastern head of the port, is surrounded by a reef, which extends from it
for more than three miles. The west side has also a reef, but of much
more considerable size, stretching to the northward of Cape Hay for
fifteen miles; near its extremity there is a patch of dry rocks,
occupying an extent of two miles. The channel within the heads is from
two to four miles wide, and has anchorage in it between six and seven
fathoms, mud. The port gradually contracts as it approaches the narrow
mouth of the inlet to a mile and a half; it then trends to the south for
six miles, where it is divided into two arms, that run up for six or
seven miles more to the foot of a range of wooded hills, one of which is
MOUNT GOODWIN. The western side of the inlet is occupied by a bank of
clay, that dries at low water. At about three miles within the narrow
entrance on the western side, there is an inlet, and above this the
anchorage is good, the bottom being of clay, in which is mixed a small
ironstone pebble: between the inlet and the narrows, the bottom is deep
and rocky.

Between Cape Hay, in latitude 14 degrees 1 minute 30 seconds, and
longitude 130 degrees 27 minutes 30 seconds, and POINT PEARCE, in
latitude 14 degrees 28 minutes 30 seconds, longitude 130 degrees 17
minutes 15 seconds, the coast is still low, and was only seen at a
distance. Off the latter point there is a reef which does not extend to a
greater distance than a mile and a half.

To the south of Point Pearce there is a very extensive opening, which bad
weather and other circumstances did not allow of being examined. It is
nearly thirty miles wide, and the depth across between eight fathoms and
twenty. The south shore is lined by a considerable reef extending for
seven miles from the beach. The land was very indistinctly seen at the
back, but, in one part, there was a space of more than eighteen miles, in
which nothing was visible. The strength of the tide, the bottom being
sandy instead of mud, as in other parts of the neighbourhood, and the
rocky overfalls on either side of the entrance bespeak this opening to be
of considerable size and importance.

The shore to CAPE DOMETT was very indistinctly seen. It occupies an
extent of forty-five miles, and is fronted by extensive reefs, which
project for twenty-three miles; the north extremity of the shoal water is
twenty-six miles, nearly due west from Cape Pearce. It terminates with a
narrow point, and then trends in to the South-West towards the coast.

The Medusa Bank fronts the entrance of Cambridge Gulf; it projects from
the coast, near Cape Domett, to the North-West for seventeen miles, and
terminates with a narrow spit, thirteen miles north from Lacrosse Island,
in latitude 14 degrees 30 1/2 minutes. Both these banks are of sand, and
their edges are very steep to. They are covered with large quantities of
mollusca, which are also abundant in the sea in their vicinity.

CAMBRIDGE GULF extends from Lacrosse Island in a South-South-Westerly
direction for sixty-four miles. The entrance, between Cape Domett and
Cape Dussejour, is twelve miles wide; but Lacrosse Island, under which
there is good anchorage for vessels going in or out of the gulf, divides
the entrance into two channels. The western entrance is about two miles
and a half wide, and is deepest near the island: but, at a mile from the
shore, we had no bottom with fourteen and seventeen fathoms. The reefs
project from Cape Dussejour for nearly three miles. On the eastern side
of Lacrosse Island, within half a mile of the point, we had seven
fathoms, and there was every appearance of the channel being deep in the
neighbourhood of Cape Domett. Shakspeare Hill, the situation of which is
in latitude 14 degrees 47 minutes 55 seconds, and longitude 128 degrees
24 minutes, is a conspicuous object on this promontory: it is high and
rocky, and, at a distance, has the appearance of being insulated, like
Lacrosse Island.

Having entered the gulf, it trends to the South-South-West for
twenty-three miles to Adolphus Island, where it is divided into two arms,
of which the westernmost is the principal. At ten miles from Lacrosse
Island, the channel is narrowed by shoals to a width of five miles, the
shores being twelve miles apart. The land on the western side of the gulf
is high and rocky; but the opposite shore is very low, and apparently
marshy. The bottom is of sand, as are the banks on either side, and
affords good anchorage: the tide stream runs with great strength in
mid-channel, but is easily avoided by anchoring upon the weather shore
near the edge of the bank.

The channels on either side of Adolphus Island are called the East and
West Arms. The East Arm is from one to two miles and a half wide, and
four or five fathoms deep. At ten miles it is joined by an arm that
washes the south side of Adolphus Island, and the united streams trend
together in a South-East direction, under the foot of Mount Connexion,
for a considerable distance. This inlet was not examined. The West Arm
extends down the west side of Adolphus Island for seven miles; it is then
divided by a projecting point under View Hill; and, whilst one runs to
the eastward and unites with the East Arm, the other continues to trend
to the southward, and then opens out to an extensive basin eleven miles
in length, and from four to six in breadth; and, at seven miles,
gradually contracts as it winds under the base of the Bastion Hills:
before, however, you arrive at the basin, the stream is divided by
several islands and rocky islets, that narrow the channel in some parts
to the width of half a mile, in which the depth is very great, and the
tide runs with great strength.

At the entrance of the basin the high rocky character of the west shore
is superseded by low mangrove banks, with here and there a detached hill
rising from a plain of low marshy land, that, at the time of our visit,
was covered with a salt incrustation, occasioned by the evaporation of
the sea, which, apparently, had lately flooded the low lands to a great
extent: some of these plains are seven and eight miles in diameter. The
hills rise abruptly; those we examined are of sandstone formation. The
basin is very shoal, but there is a narrow channel in the centre, with
from five to nine fathoms water. The shore, opposite the Bastion Hills,
is low, and the gulf trends gradually round to the South-West for five
miles, when it is contracted into a narrow communication, called The Gut,
leading to an interior shoal basin, strewed with low marshy islands,
which the tide covers. This basin terminates to the southward in a narrow
stream, winding under the base of Mount Cockburn; and there also appeared
to be several others falling into the basin more to the westward. The
water was salt at the extremity of our exploration. The Gut leading to it
is two miles long, and not so much as a quarter of a mile wide: in some
parts we had nineteen fathoms, but in others it was deeper; it runs
through a chasm in the hills, which rise abruptly, and occasionally
recede and form bights, in which, in the wet season, the rains form some
very considerable mountain torrents. No fresh water was seen in any part
of the gulf; but as it was near the end of the dry season when we were
there, it might probably be found in a more advanced season in every part
of the western side, where the land is high and the gullies numerous:
there is, however, no durable freshwater stream without the Gut. An
alligator was observed swimming about, but very few fish were noticed.

The coast extends from Cape Dussejour to Cape Londonderry, a distance of
ninety-five miles, without an opening, and with but few sinuosities of
any consequence. The coast is chiefly rocky, with here and there a few
sandy beaches: but the shore generally is open and exposed: there are
many parts, however, where a boat might land; particularly behind BUCKLE
HEAD, and a little farther on at REVELEY ISLAND: at the latter place
there is a gully in the hills, at the back of the bay, which may probably
produce fresh water: this bay is near Captain Baudin's MOUNT CASUARINA, a
flat-topped hill, that is conspicuous from the sea. The mount is only
visible between the bearings of South and West-South-West, and may be
seen at the distance of seven or eight leagues. It is situated at six
miles from the shore, in latitude 14 degrees 23 minutes 15 seconds, and
longitude 127 degrees 36 minutes 50 seconds.

The coast is here but slightly wooded, and sufficiently elevated to
conceal the interior; no part of which, excepting Mount Casuarina, could
be seen. It is fronted by rocks, but they do not appear to extend more
than two miles from the shore. At CAPE RULHIERES, the coast trends more
westerly. To the westward of this cape are two sandy bays, in which boats
might effect a landing; but they are open and exposed to the northward.
To the eastward of it there are some reefs which project for more than
two miles from the shore; and, at the west head of the westernmost of the
bays, is an island with a reef extending for nearly three miles from it:
behind the island is another bay, that appeared to be fronted by the
above reef. In the offing, and at the distance of six miles from the
shore, is LESUEUR ISLAND; it is about two miles in circumference, and
surrounded by a coral reef, that extends for one mile and a half from its
north-east end. At this part the coast is more verdant in appearance than
to the eastward of Cape Rulhieres, particularly for ten miles to the
South-East of Cape Londonderry; in which space there are several sandy
bays, with the shores wooded to the brink of the beach: at about five
miles from the cape is a small boat harbour, at the back of which a gully
in the hills appeared promising for the search for fresh water, more
particularly on account of the verdant appearance of the trees near it.

CAPE LONDONDERRY is a low rocky point; it is easily recognised by the
reef that extends from it, and the trend of the land, which takes from it
a westerly direction; there are also two small sandy islets, Stewart's
Islets, at a little more than two miles from it, encompassed by the reef.
The cape is in 13 degrees 44 minutes South, and 126 degrees 53 minutes 50
seconds East.

The land then extends to the westward for nearly eleven miles, to CAPE
TALBOT; it is fronted by the reef that commences at Cape Londonderry, and
projects from the shore for nearly five miles, but to the eastward of the
cape a ship may approach it within two miles.

To the south of Cape Talbot the land trends in and forms a bay twelve
miles deep, and wide, that was not examined. It is fronted by SIR GRAHAM
MOORE'S ISLANDS, one of which is eight miles long, and low, excepting at
the east end, where there is a flat-topped hill; there is also another
remarkable summit on a smaller island, to the north of the principal

At twenty miles West-South-West from Cape Talbot is the east entrance of
VANSITTART BAY; it is formed between MARY ISLAND and the easternmost of
the ECLIPSE ISLES (Long Island) but this space, which is nearly three
miles wide, is much occupied by rocks, so that it is contracted to the
width of little more than half a mile.

The channel to this is between two extensive reefs, the innermost of
which commences at eight miles to the westward of Cape Talbot, and
extends along Sir Graham Moore's Islands to Mary Island.

The outer reef commences at about twelve miles from the cape, and extends
to the westward, embracing JONES' ISLAND (in latitude 13 degrees 44
minutes, and longitude 126 degrees 23 minutes) and the Eclipse Isles. The
passage is from three and a half to five miles wide, and is deep and free
from danger. The bottom is rocky until within five miles of the Eclipse
Islands, when good anchorage may be obtained in five and six fathoms,
upon a muddy bottom.

The entrance is between Middle Rock, and a patch of dry rocks to the
eastward of Long Rocks, the distance across being about half a mile. In
entering the bay by this channel, steer so as to pass round Middle Rock,
and upon bringing the peaked summit of Jar Island, at the bottom of the
port, between it and Long Rocks, bearing South 29 1/2 degrees West, steer
directly for Jar Island, until you are abreast of Middle Rock, when you
may haul close round it, with fourteen and sixteen fathoms: when you have
passed the Long Rocks, a course may be directed at pleasure into the bay.
There is also a deep passage to the westward of Middle Rock; but it is
too narrow to be safe. The tide sets through the channels with great
strength; with the flood-tide there is no danger, as the stream will
carry a vessel through the deepest part; with the ebb-tide, however, it
should not be attempted.

The western entrance to Vansittart Bay is between the land of CAPE
BOUGAINVILLE and the Eclipse Islands: it is three miles and a half wide,
and quite free from danger. The approach to it, between TROUGHTON ISLAND
(latitude 13 degrees 44 minutes 10 seconds, longitude 126 degrees 11
minutes) and the reefs in the offing, is six miles wide, and probably
quite safe. We did not ascertain the existence of a channel on the east
side of the island, but it appeared to be free from danger, and, if so,
would be the best approach. ECLIPSE HILL, being higher than the land near
it, and conspicuous from its flat tabular shape, is a good mark for the
port; it is in latitude 13 degrees 54 minutes 20 seconds and longitude
126 degrees 18 minutes 40 seconds.

Vansittart Bay is eighteen miles deep, and from five to ten broad; it
offers excellent anchorage. The eastern shore is rocky, and should not be
approached nearer than a mile; but the western shore is steep to, and may
be passed very close: on this side the port there are many coves and bays
fit for any purposes. The most secure anchorage is in the centre of the
bay, where there is from seven to nine fathoms, mud, and the sea-breeze
has free access: but, if a more sheltered place is required, such may be
found at the south-east corner of the bottom of the bay in six and seven
fathoms, mud. High water at full and change takes place in the eastern
entrance, at a quarter past nine o'clock; the tide rises about six feet.

JAR ISLAND is surrounded by rocks, but to the eastward of it the channel
is twelve fathoms deep. Its summit is in latitude 14 degrees 7 minutes 10
seconds, longitude 126 degrees 15 minutes 40 seconds.

The western side of Vansittart Bay is formed by a peninsula, the
extremity of which is Cape Bougainville; the northern part of this land
is fronted by a reef, that extends round it for three miles from the
shore, but the western side appeared to be of bold approach. The reef
commences at Cape Bougainville, and trends round to Point Gibson, where
it terminates. This part of the coast is fronted by extensive reefs,
which render the approach to it very dangerous: at sixteen miles to the
northward of the cape there is a range, the HOLOTHURIA BANKS, that extend
in an east and west direction for twenty-three miles; their north-east
extent was not ascertained, but the western end, in latitude 13 degrees
32 minutes, and longitude 125 degrees 46 minutes 45 seconds, is narrow,
and not more than five or six miles broad.

There is another range of reefs to the westward of the cape, that extends
in a north and south direction for upwards of twenty miles; and about
from three to five miles broad. The water breaks on many parts of it. Its
north extremity, in latitude 13 degrees 41 1/2 minutes, is sixteen miles
West 3/4 North from Troughton Island: in this space the sea is quite
clear, and from sixteen to twenty fathoms deep. The narrowest part of the
channel, between the reef and the peninsula, is at Point Gibson, where it
is more than eight miles wide, and in mid-channel about twenty-three
fathoms deep.

Between Cape Bougainville and Cape Voltaire is the ADMIRALTY GULF. It is
twenty-nine miles wide and twenty-two deep, independent of Port
Warrender. This gulf is thickly strewed with islands and reefs: a group
off Cape Voltaire was seen by the French and named by them the INSTITUTE
ISLANDS, the three principal of which, of flat-topped shape, are called
Descartes, Fenelon, and Corneille; besides these the Montesquieu Group,
and Pascal and Condillac Islands, were distinguished. On the eastern side
of the gulf, near the shore, are OSBORN'S ISLANDS, which are high and
rocky: the southernmost is remarkable for its steep, precipitous form,
and for its resemblance to Mount Cockburn in Cambridge Gulf. There is
also a conspicuous high bluff on the principal island, which appears to
have been seen by the French.

In the offing is CASSINI ISLAND; it is rather low and level, and
surrounded by cliffs and rocky shores: on the eastern side are four sandy
beaches, which are very much frequented by turtle: a reef projects off
its north end for a mile and a half. The anchorage is good near the
island, but the water is very deep. The situation of its centre is in
latitude 13 degrees 55 minutes 5 seconds, and longitude 125 degrees 42

PORT WARRENDER is an excellent port, and affords good anchorage in the
bay round Crystal Head, in which a vessel is quite land-locked; but
equally secure anchorage may be had for five miles higher up the port, in
from four to seven fathoms, mud. It extends for six miles farther, but
the depth in some parts is not more than two fathoms.

At eleven miles from the entrance, the port is separated into two inlets,
which wind under the base of a dividing range of high, steep, and wooded
hills; these run up for five miles higher, when they become mere mangrove
creeks. There is probably another inlet on the east side of Port
Warrender which we did not examine, since it appeared to be less
considerable in size, and important in appearance, than the arm which we
had examined. CRYSTAL HEAD is in latitude 14 degrees 28 minutes, and
longitude 125 degrees 55 minutes 30 seconds.

WALMESLY BAY appeared to be a good port also, but it is open to the
eastward. We did not enter it.

CAPE VOLTAIRE is the extremity of a promontory, extending for more than
twenty miles into the sea, and separating the Admiralty Gulf from Montagu
Sound. There is a flat-topped hill near its extremity, in latitude 14
degrees 14 minutes 30 seconds, and longitude 125 degrees 40 minutes 12
seconds; and, at three miles more to the southward, a peaked hill; its
shores on either side are rocky, and indented by bays. At one part the
width across to Walmesly Bay cannot be more than a mile and a half.

The MONTALIVET ISLES, about six leagues from the main, consist of three
rocky islands; they are visible for six or seven leagues from the deck:
the north-easternmost is in latitude 14 degrees 13 minutes 40 seconds,
longitude 125 degrees 19 minutes 30 seconds.

MONTAGU SOUND extends from Cape Voltaire to the north end of Bigge's
Island, a distance of thirty-one miles, and is from eleven to twenty
miles deep. It is fronted by a range of islands; the outer range, which
is eight miles within the Montalivet Isles, was called PRUDHOE ISLANDS;
besides which there were several scattered about the sound, and some of
larger size near the main: of the latter are KATER'S and WOLLASTON'S.
They are of a very rocky character, and furnished with but a poor and
shallow soil, although the surface is thickly covered with small trees,
growing most luxuriantly. WATER ISLAND, to the north-east, in latitude 14
degrees 21 minutes, and longitude 125 degrees 32 minutes 25 seconds, was
visited by us, as was also CAPSTAN ISLAND, in the south-west corner of
the sound. The latter island is in latitude 14 degrees 35 minutes 20
seconds, and longitude 125 degrees 16 minutes 20 seconds. They are both
rocky, and destitute of any soil but what is formed by the decomposition
of the vegetables that grow upon the island. The channels between them
appeared to be clear and free from hidden danger. The depth among the
islands is from ten to fifteen fathoms on a muddy bottom; but the
anchorage is better between Kater Island and the promontory that
separates it from Walmesly Bay, than any other part. It is a very fine
port, particularly near the bottom, in SWIFT'S BAY, where the depth is
from four to five fathoms at low water, It is high water at full and
change in Swift's Bay at twelve o'clock, which is two hours and a quarter
later than in Vansittart Bay: the tide rose eighteen feet, whereas in
Port Warrender its rise was only six. The islands off the north-east end
of Bigge's Island are more numerous than in other parts of the sound:
they were only seen at a distance, and too numerous to give correct
positions to. BIGGE'S ISLAND is fourteen miles long, and from six to
seven broad; it is of moderate height, and rocky character: its south end
appeared to be thickly wooded. A flat-topped hill near the shore of
Scott's Strait is a remarkable object, and may be seen six or seven
leagues off. It is in latitude 14 degrees 39 minutes 20 seconds, and
longitude 125 degrees 10 minutes 20 seconds.

SCOTT'S STRAIT is a channel separating Bigge's Island from the main: it
is thirteen miles long, and from three to one and a quarter broad. It is
of irregular depth, and has some rocks in mid-channel, which are dry: the
deepest channel is near the eastern shore, the depth being from ten to
fourteen fathoms. The strait does not terminate until you are to the
westward of Cape Pond, for there are several islets off the south end of
Bigge's Island, and a considerable reef, through which, although there
may be deep channels, yet they must be narrow. Off the north-west end of
Bigge's Island are several rocky islets; the outer ones were seen by me
in the Bathurst (see above): they are the MARET ISLES of Commodore
Baudin; they consist of four or five principal islands, of about two
miles in length, besides as many more of very small size off the south
extremity of the group. The northern point of the northernmost island is
in latitude 15 degrees 7 minutes 15 seconds, and longitude 124 degrees 56
minutes 40 seconds. The group is fronted on the north-west side by a
considerable reef, extending North by East 1/2 East for seven miles; the
outer edge being three miles and a half to the westward of the group.

YORK SOUND is fourteen miles wide and ten deep: it is contained between
Cape Pond and the northern extreme of the Coronation Islands. It is
spacious, but the bottom, in the middle, is rocky: there is, however,
very good anchorage near the Coronation Islands; and there is also,
possibly, as good on the eastern shore to the south of CAPE POND, which
has a rocky island immediately off it, the situation of which is in
latitude 14 degrees 43 minutes 20 seconds, and longitude 125 degrees 9
minutes 25 seconds.

At the bottom of York Sound is PRINCE FREDERIC'S HARBOUR, a fine spacious
port, fourteen miles long, and from five to seven broad: it is terminated
by two rivers, namely Hunter's and Roe's. It has several rocky islands on
either shore; and, at the bottom, they are numerous. The tide here rises
at the springs twenty-nine feet. The anchorage is not so good in the
entrance of the port, but a good bottom may be found as soon as Hunter's
River begins to open, and bears East 1/2 North, and when you are within a
small island that is in the centre of the port; but an anchorage may very
probably be obtained on the northern shore, or, indeed, any where out of
the strength of the tides.

HUNTER'S RIVER runs up for about fourteen miles. It is about one mile and
a half wide at the entrance, and preserves that width for more than four
miles, when it suddenly contracts and becomes shoal, and very tortuous in
its course, and winds through a narrow chasm in the rocks, which rise
precipitously in some parts for at least two or three hundred feet. A
vessel may anchor in seven fathoms near the end of the first reach; its
course is to the East-North-East. There is a remarkable rock at the
entrance, in latitude 15 degrees 1 minute 30 seconds, and longitude 125
degrees 24 minutes. ROE'S RIVER first trends for seventeen miles to the
East by South, and then, taking a sudden turn to the south, runs up for
thirteen miles more; after which it trends to the South-East, and was
supposed to run up for at least ten miles farther. Its entrance for seven
miles forms a very good harbour, being from two to six fathoms deep; but,
in anchoring here, it must be recollected that the tide falls twenty-nine
feet. This river, like Hunter's River, is bounded on either bank by
precipitous hills, which, in many parts, are inaccessible.

Five miles to the westward of Cape Torrens is Point Hardy: off the latter
is an islet; and three miles, North by East 1/2 East from it, is a reef,
on which the sea breaks. This point is the east head of PORT NELSON,
which extends to the southward from it for eight miles: its western side
is formed by the Coronation Islands: its width is three miles, with good
anchorage all over it. At the bottom is CAREENING BAY, where the Mermaid
was repaired. The latitude of the beach in 15 degrees 6 minutes 18
seconds, and longitude 125 degrees 0 minutes 46 seconds.* Port Nelson
communicates with the sea to the westward of the Coronation Islands,
which may be considered a strait. At the south-west end of the
southernmost island, where the strait is narrowest, and not more than one
mile and a quarter wide, there is a patch of rocks in the centre, which
always shows: the channel on the north side of these rocks is the best:
the water is very deep, and the tide sets right through.

(*Footnote. The latitude of the observatory was taken every day during
our stay, using the sea-horizon, but the effect of refraction was so
great that the daily observations varied as much as 3 minutes 43 seconds.

The mean of 15 meridional altitudes with the sextant made the latitude 15
degrees 6 minutes 22.5 seconds,
and of fourteen observations with the circle 15 degrees 6 minutes 13.8
Mean for the latitude of the observatory 15 degrees 6 minutes 18 seconds

The longitude was deduced by the mean of the observations of our two
visits; namely, in October, 1820, and August, 1821: the latter were taken
at Sight Point, in Prince Regent's River, the difference of the meridians
of the two places, by chronometers and survey, being 8 minutes 52.8

1820. September 28 and 29. By twenty sets of lunar distances with the
sun, containing one hundred sights with the sextant, the sun being to the
east of the moon, the longitude is 125 degrees 11 minutes 24.3 seconds.

1821. August 2nd and 3rd. By seventeen sets of lunar distances with the
sun, containing eighty-five sights with the sextant, the sun being to the
west of the moon, the longitude of Sight Point, in Prince Regent's River,
was found to be 124 degrees 41 minutes 15.3 seconds, or of Careening Bay
124 degrees 50 minutes 8.1 seconds.

The mean is the longitude of the observatory 125 degrees 0 minutes 46
seconds East.)

The CORONATION ISLANDS separate York Sound from Brunswick Bay, and are
situated in front of Port Nelson. The group consists of seventeen or
eighteen islands, besides numerous rocky islets. On the largest island
are two remarkable peaks; the easternmost is in 14 degrees 59 minutes,
and longitude 124 degrees 56 minutes 5 seconds. The island is eight miles
long, and from four to two wide; the others are from three to one mile in
length; they are covered with vegetation, and the larger islands are well
clothed with trees. The great rise of the tide would render this part of
the coast of importance, was it not for the wretched state of the
country, and the unproductiveness of its soil, which are great drawbacks
upon the advantage of the tide's unusual rise. It is high water at full
and change in Port Nelson at twelve o'clock, as it is also in Montagu

Beyond the Coronation Islands there is a string of small, rocky islands
extending for sixteen miles: the westernmost is Freycinet's Group; the
principal island of which Captain De Freycinet has described as
resembling an inverted bowl; and, from this description, we had no
difficulty in finding it out; it is in latitude 15 degrees 0 minutes 30
seconds, and longitude 124 degrees 32 minutes 40 seconds. Among the other
islands we distinguished the islets Colbert, Keraudren, and Buffon. On
the last there is a small, grassy, peaked hillock, in latitude 14 degrees
55 minutes 25 seconds, and longitude 124 degrees 43 minutes 20 seconds.

We passed out to sea between Freycinet's Group and Keraudren; and within
one mile and a half of the latter had eighteen fathoms: it appeared, from
the colour of the water, to have a reef projecting to the westward.

BRUNSWICK BAY is at the back of these islands, and extends from CAPE
BREWSTER, in latitude 15 degrees 6 minutes 10 seconds, and longitude 124
degrees 55 minutes 5 seconds, which terminates Port Nelson, to Point
Adieu. It is an extensive bay or sound, and is about twenty miles in
extent, with good anchorage all over it. The coast is here very much
indented by rivers and bays; among which may be particularized Prince
Regent's River, Hanover Bay, and Port George the Fourth.

PRINCE REGENT'S RIVER is, without exception, the most remarkable feature
of the North-West Coast. In general the inlets of this coast form
extensive ports at their entrance; and, when they begin to assume the
character of a river, their course becomes tortuous, and very irregular;
of which there cannot be a better instance than the neighbouring river,
Roe's River. Prince Regent's River trends into the interior in a
South-East by East direction for fifty-four miles. With scarcely a point
to intercept the view, after being thirteen miles within it. The entrance
is formed by Cape Wellington on the east, and High Bluff on the west, a
width of eight miles, but is so much contracted by islands, that, in
hauling round Cape Wellington, the width is suddenly reduced to little
more than a mile: at the branching off of Rothsay Water, it is little
more than half a mile, and also the same width at the entrance of St.
George's Basin. In this space, however, it is in some parts a little
wider, but in no part between projecting points is it more than one mile
and a quarter. For the first nine miles the stream is narrowed by
islands; beyond this, its boundaries are formed by the natural banks of
the river. On the eastern side, within Cape Wellington, is a deep bay,
but of shoal and rocky appearance. At six miles farther on are two
inlets, ROTHSAY and MUNSTER WATERS, near which the tide forms rapid
eddies and whirlpools, that render its approach dangerous. In mid-channel
is a group of isles; and, off the easternmost, a reef projects to the
eastward for more than half a mile, round which a vessel must pass; here
the channel is not more than half a mile wide. Munster Water, on the
western side, communicates with Hanover Bay by a narrow strait, with very
good anchorage in it in four and five fathoms mud; it is, however, an
inconvenient place to go to, if a vessel is bound any farther up the
river. Rothsay Water is a very considerable arm; and was conjectured to
communicate with Prince Frederic's Harbour, and, if so, would insulate
the land between Capes Torrens and Wellington. We did not enter Rothsay
Water; and the tides and whirlpools were too rapid and dangerous to trust
our small boats without running a very great risk. At the entrance of
this arm, on the south shore, there appeared to be a shoal-bank. Halfway
Bay offers very good anchorage out of the strength of the tides, with
abundance of room to get underweigh from. The northernmost point of the
bay, SIGHT POINT, has a small islet off it (LAMMAS ISLET) where the
observations were taken to fix the longitude of Careening Bay. (See
above.) The two bays on the opposite, or north-east shore, are shoal, and
not fit for any vessel drawing more than six or seven feet; and the
shores are so lined with mangroves, as in most parts to defy all attempts
at landing. After passing them, the shores approach each other within
three-quarters of a mile, but the south-west shore is fronted by a rocky
shoal, which narrows it to less than half a mile; here the tide runs very
strong, and forms whirlpools. On passing the point, the river opens into
a large, spacious reach, which was called ST. GEORGE'S BASIN; and two
conspicuous islands in it were called ST. ANDREW and ST. PATRICK'S
ISLANDS. At the north-east corner are two remarkable hills, MOUNTS
TRAFALGAR and WATERLOO: the situation of the summit of the former is in
latitude 15 degrees 16 minutes 35 seconds, and longitude 125 degrees 4
minutes. The basin is from eight to nine miles in diameter, but affords
no safe anchorage until a vessel is above St. Patrick's Island. The
northern side of the basin is shoaler, and has two small inlets, which
trend in on either side of the mounts, and run in for upwards of five
miles, but they are salt. At the south side of the basin there are two or
three inlets of considerable size, that trend in towards a low country.
At ten miles South-East by East from the narrow entrance to the basin the
river again resumes its narrow channel, and runs up so perfectly straight
for fourteen miles in a South-East by East course, that the hills, which
rise precipitously on either bank, were lost in distance, and the river
assumed the most exact appearance of being a strait; it was from one to
one mile and a quarter wide, and generally of from four to eight fathoms
deep on a bottom of yellow sand: the river then took a slight bend, and
continued to run up for twelve or thirteen miles further, with a few
slight curves, and gradually to decrease in width until terminated by a
bar of rocks; which, when the tide rose high enough to fall over, was
very dangerous to pass: here a considerable gully joins the main stream,
and, being fresh water, was supposed to have the same source as Roe's
River. The river trended up for about three or four miles farther, when
it is entirely stopped by a rapid formed of stones, beyond which we did
not persevere in tracing it; the tide did not reach above this, and the
stream was perceived to continue and form a very beautiful fresh-water
river, about two or three hundred yards wide. As our means did not allow
of our persevering any further, we gave up our examination. At seventeen
miles above St. George's Basin, on the south shore, we found a cascade of
fresh water falling in a considerable quantity from the height of one
hundred and forty feet; and this, in the rainy season, must be a very
large fall, for its breadth is at least fifty yards. At the time of our
visit it was near the end of the dry season: and even then there was a
very considerable quantity falling. Several small inlets trended in on
either side of the river above the basin, particularly one upon the north
side, which, from the height of the hills under which it trended, would
probably produce a freshwater stream. In 1821 the Bathurst watered from
the cascade, but the fatigue was too great, and the heat too powerful,
for the boats' crew had to pull nearly forty miles every trip. High water
took place in St. George's Basin at twenty minutes after twelve o'clock:
the tide rose twenty-four feet.

HANOVER BAY is a very convenient port, about five miles deep, but exposed
from the North-North-West; the anchorage is, however, so good, that no
danger need be apprehended. At the bottom of the bay there is a deep
chasm in the land, yielding a fresh-water stream; beyond this the bay
terminates in a shoal basin. In the offing are several rocky islets,
particularly one, a high rock, which is very remarkable. A little to the
north-east of the river is a sandy beach, the situation of which is in
latitude 15 degrees 18 minutes 21 seconds, and longitude 124 degrees 46
minutes 50 seconds.

HIGH BLUFF, the extremity of the promontory separating Hanover Bay from
Port George the Fourth, speaks for itself. It is in latitude 15 degrees
14 minutes 40 seconds, and longitude 124 degrees 41 minutes 35 seconds.
Between High Bluff and Point Adieu, in latitude 15 degrees 14 minutes 10
seconds, and longitude 124 degrees 34 minutes 45 seconds, is PORT GEORGE
THE FOURTH, having midway in its entrance a high island nearly two miles
long; and to the southward, in the centre of the port, a high rocky
islet, the LUMP, the summit of which is situated in latitude 15 degrees
18 minutes 30 seconds, and longitude 124 degrees 37 minutes 50 seconds.
The western side of the port is an extensive island, AUGUSTUS ISLAND,
eleven miles long; it is high and rocky, and has several bays on its
eastern side. The port affords very good anchorage, particularly between
Entrance Island and the Lump, in nine fathoms, mud; but there is also
very good anchorage with the Lump bearing west, in ten fathoms, mud. Port
George the Fourth terminates in a strait, ROGER'S STRAIT, communicating
with Camden Bay. The best entrance to the port is on the eastern side of
Entrance Island; for the opposite, although practicable and sufficiently
deep for the largest ships, is narrow, and must be buoyed before it can
be used.

POINT ADIEU is the last land seen by us in 1820: it is the north-east end
of Augustus Island, and is a rocky, bluff point. In the offing, at the
distance of three miles, there is a considerable range of reefs, that
extend from the peaked island of Jackson's Isles; and more to the
north-west is another group of rocky islands.

To the westward of Augustus Island is a range of islands extending for
five leagues; on their north side they are fronted by considerable coral
reefs, which at low water are dry; besides which there are several small
islets that contract the channels, and render the navigation intricate
and difficult. Between Augustus and Byam Martin's Islands there is an
open strait, of one mile and a half wide; but, its communication with the
sea to the north, appears to be little more than half a mile. BYAM
MARTIN'S ISLAND is separated from a range of small islets, extending
North-North-East by a strait; and these last are divided from the
Champagny Isles by another strait, from twenty-eight to thirty fathoms
deep, through which the tide runs with great force. Off the north end of
Byam Martin's Island are several smaller islets and coral reefs; the
latter extend from it for more than six miles: the north-westernmost of
these islets is the land seen in 1801 by Captain Heywood, and was called
by him Vulcan Point: RED ISLAND, which he also saw, is eight miles to the
westward; it is in latitude 15 degrees 13 minutes 15 seconds, and
longitude 124 degrees 15 minutes 45 seconds: between it and Champagny
Isles the ebbing tide uncovered several extensive reefs. Ten miles North
26 degrees East from Red Island, and South 71 degrees West from
Freycinet's Island, is a dry sandbank surrounded by a reef.

DEGERANDO ISLAND, so called by the French, is the southernmost of the
CHAMPAGNY ISLES: considerable reefs extend off its south end, which are
dry at low water; its centre is in latitude 15 degrees 20 minutes 45
seconds, and longitude 124 degrees 13 minutes 15 seconds.

CAMDEN BAY is formed between Byam Martin's Island and Pratt's Islands,
and extends to the eastward to Roger's Strait; it is twelve miles deep
and eight wide. Here the tide rose and fell thirty-seven feet and a half,
the moon's age being nineteen days. High water took place thirteen
minutes after the moon's transit.

Between Camden Bay and Point Swan, a distance of ninety miles, the
mainland falls back, and forms a very considerable opening fronted by a
multitude of islands, islets, and reefs, into which, from our loss of
anchors; we were not able to penetrate. From Camden Bay the islands, for
the coast seemed too irregular to be the mainland, extend in a range in a
south direction for more than fifty-five miles, to where there appeared
to be a deep opening, or strait, from three to five miles wide. An
irregular line of coast then appeared to extend for seven leagues to the
North-West, and afterwards to the westward for five or six leagues. To
the westward of this, the land appeared to be less continuous, and to be
formed by a mass of islands separated by deep and narrow straits, through
some of which the tide was observed to rush with considerable strength,
foaming and curling in its stream, as if it were rushing through a bed of
rocks: this was particularly observed among the islands to the south of
Macleay's Islands. After extending for thirty miles farther to the
South-West, the land terminates evidently in islands, which then trend to
the South-East; and to the westward they are separated from Cygnet Bay,
and the land to the southward of it by a strait five or six leagues wide.
The narrowest part of this strait is at Point Cunningham, where it is
twelve miles wide; two-thirds over to the islands are two rocky islets,
which bear due south from Sunday Strait.

MONTGOMERY ISLANDS, a group of seven islets on the eastern side of this
extensive range of islands, which are named BUCCANEER'S ARCHIPELAGO, are
low and of small extent, particularly the six easternmost, none of which
are a mile long: the westernmost, which has an extensive reef stretching
to the North-West, is more than three miles in diameter, and appears to
be of different formation to the other, being low and flat, whilst the
rest are scarcely better than a heap of stones, slightly clothed with
vegetation. Between the easternmost islet and the land, there is a strait
of a league in width. The tide prevented our trying its depth: a league
and a half to the north-west, at high-water, we had irregular soundings
between ten and sixteen fathoms, but six fathoms must be deducted from it
to reduce it to the depth at low water.

Three leagues to the north-west of Montgomery's westernmost island are
COCKELL'S ISLES, two in number, low and flat, but of small size. A reef
extends for more than five miles to the westward, and it was not thought
improbable that it might be connected with the reefs that extend to the
westward of Montgomery Islands. The centre of the largest island is in 15
degrees 48 minutes South, and 124 degrees 4 minutes East. To the
North-East of Cockell's Islands the flood-tide sets to the south; but to
the westward with great strength to the South-East, and, at an anchorage
ten miles to the eastward of Macleay Isles, the tide rose and fell
thirty-six feet, the moon being twenty-one days old. Cockell's Islands
are twenty miles from the land to the south; and in this interval, but
within four leagues from the shore, are several small rocky islets, on
one of which there is a remarkable lump; nearer the shore are two
islands, which have a more fertile and verdant appearance than any other
part near them: these form the western extremity of COLLIER'S BAY.

MACLEAY ISLES lie in a North by West direction, and are eight miles in
extent; the principal and highest island is near the south end of the
group; those to the northward are small and straggling. The centre of the
highest is in latitude 15 degrees 57 minutes, and longitude 123 degrees
42 minutes.

CAFFARELLI ISLAND was seen by the French. Its summit is in latitude 16
degrees 2 minutes 25 seconds, and longitude 123 degrees 18 minutes 35
seconds. It is the north-westernmost of a range of islands, extending in
the direction of North 60 degrees West; among which Cleft Island, so
named from a remarkable cleft or chasm near its north end, and DAMPIER'S
MONUMENT, are conspicuous: the latter is a high lump. This range is
separated from one of a similar nature, and extending in a like direction
to the eastward, by a strait from three to four miles wide, and from
fifteen to twenty deep.

Fourteen miles North 68 degrees West from the summit of Caffarelli Island
is BRUE REEF, a circular patch of rocks of about a mile in diameter;
three miles to the north-east of which we had irregular soundings,
between thirty-eight and forty-five fathoms on a rocky bottom. The reef
is in 15 degrees 57 minutes South, and 123 degrees 4 minutes 45 seconds

Six miles south of Caffarelli Island, is a rocky island, surrounded by a
reef; and eight miles farther are several small rocky islands, forming
the north extremity of a range, which, extending to the South by East for
ten miles, form the eastern side of Sunday Strait, which is the best, and
in fact the only safe communication with the deep opening between Point
Cunningham and the islands to the eastward. Between this strait and Point
Swan, a distance of eleven miles, the space is occupied by a multitude of
islands and islets, separated from each other by narrow and, probably, by
deep channels, through which the tide rushes with frightful rapidity.
Sunday Strait is more than four miles wide, and appears to be free from
danger. The tide sets through it at the rate of four or five miles an
hour, and forms strong ripplings, which would be, perhaps, dangerous for
a boat to encounter. The vessel was whirled round several times in
passing through it; but a boat, by being able to pull, might in a great
measure avoid passing through them.

CYGNET BAY is formed between the islands and Point Cunningham; it is
fronted by a bank, over which the least water that we found was two
fathoms; within this bank there is good anchorage, and near the inlets at
the bottom of the bay, there is a muddy bottom, with eight and nine
fathoms mud.

POINT CUNNINGHAM projects slightly to the eastward; its easternmost
extremity is in latitude 16 degrees 39 minutes 20 seconds and longitude
123 degrees 10 minutes; from the northward it has the appearance of being
an island, as the land to the westward is rather lower: two miles and a
half south of it is Carlisle Head, the north extremity of GOODENOUGH BAY.

The shore thence extends in a South-South-East direction for seventeen
miles, in which space there is a shoal bay, beyond which we did not
penetrate. Off the point is an islet, in latitude about 16 degrees 58
minutes, and to the south of it the land was seen trending to the South
by East for four or five miles, when it was lost in distance. From this
anchorage no land was distinctly seen to the eastward; between the
bearings of East-North-East and South-South-East, a slight glimmering of
land was raised above the horizon, by the effect of refraction; but this,
as in a case that occurred before in a neighbouring part off Point
Gantheaume, might be at least fifty miles off.

From all that is at present known of this remarkable opening, there is
enough to excite the greatest interest; since, from the extent of the
opening, the rapidity of the stream, and the great rise and fall of the
tides, there must be a very extensive gulf or opening, totally different
from everything that has been before seen.

There is also good reason to suspect that the land between Cape Leveque
and Point Gantheaume is an island; and if so, the mouth of this opening
is eight miles wide; besides, who is to say that the land even of Cape
Villaret may not also be an island? The French expedition only saw small
portions of the coast to the southward; but it does not appear probable
that the opening extends to the southward of Cape Villaret. (See above.)

Thirty-three miles in a North 14 degrees West direction from the summit
of Caffarelli Island is ADELE ISLAND. It is low, and merely covered with
a few shrubs, and is about three miles from east to west, and from one to
one and a half broad; its west end is in 15 degrees 30 minutes South, and
123 degrees 9 minutes 15 seconds East. At about a league North-West from
its western end are two bare sandy islets, which were uncovered as we
passed, but which as there was not the slightest appearance of vegetation
upon it, may be covered at high water. On the western side of Adele
Island, is an extensive patch of light-coloured water, in some parts of
which the sea broke upon the rocks, which were only just below the
surface. The light-coloured water extends for fourteen miles North West
by West 1/2 West from Adele Island, but there is reason to think that the
water is deep over the greater part of it; for we crossed over its tail,
and sounded in forty-five fathoms without finding bottom, whilst in the
darker-coloured water on either side of it, we had forty-two and
forty-four fathoms.

POINT SWAN is the north-easternmost point of the land of Cape Leveque; it
has an island close off its extremity, round which the tide rushes with
great force, and forms a line of ripplings for ten miles to the
West-North-West, through which, even in the Bathurst, we found it
dangerous to pass. Five miles to the north-eastward of the point are two
small rocky islets, two miles apart from each other.

CAPE LEVEQUE is low and rocky, with a small islet close to its extremity:
its extreme is in latitude 16 degrees 21 minutes 50 seconds, and
longitude 122 degrees 56 minutes 35 seconds. Between the cape and Point
Swan, there is a sandy bay, fronted by a bed of rocks. It was in this bay
that the Buccaneers anchored, which Dampier has so well described.

The coast between CAPES LEVEQUE and BORDA extending South 40 degrees West
nineteen miles, is low and rocky, and the country sandy and unproductive.
Between Cape Borda and Point Emeriau is a bay ten miles deep, backed by
very low sandy land; and five miles further is another bay, that appeared
to be very shoal: thence the coast extends to the South-West for
twenty-three miles to CAPE BASKERVILLE; it is low and sandy, like that to
the northward, but the interior is higher, and with some appearance of

Thirteen miles from the shore are the LACEPEDE ISLANDS; they are three in
number, and surrounded by a reef nine miles long by five wide. They lie
in a North-West direction, and are two miles apart: the north-westernmost
is in latitude 16 degrees 49 minutes 40 seconds, and longitude 122
degrees 7 minutes 20 seconds: they are low and slightly clothed with
bushes, and seem to be little more than the dry parts of the reef, on
which a soil has been accumulated, and in time produced vegetation. These
islands appear to be the haunt of prodigious numbers of boobies. The
variation is 0 degrees 12 minutes West.

In latitude 16 degrees 46 minutes, and longitude 121 degrees 50 minutes
30 seconds, the French have placed a reef, BANC DES BALEINES; which we
did not approach near enough to see.

Between Capes Baskerville and Berthollet, is CARNOT BAY; it is six miles
deep, and backed by low land. The bottom of the bay was not distinctly
seen, but from the appearance of the land behind the beach, it is not
improbable that there may be a rivulet falling into it.

At POINT COULOMB, in latitude 17 degrees 21 minutes, where there is a
range of dark red cliffs, the coast commences to present a more verdant
and pleasing appearance than to the north: the interior rises to an
unusual height, and forms a round-backed hill, covered with trees: it
reminded us of the appearance of the country of the north coast, and is
so different from the rugged and barren character of the Islands of
Buccaneer's Archipelago as to afford an additional ground for our
conjecture of the insularity of this land. The red cliffs extend for four
miles to the southward of Point Coulomb, and are then superseded by a low
coast, composed alternately of rocky shores and sandy beaches.

CAPE BOILEAU is seventeen miles to the south of Point Coulomb; here the
shore trends in and forms a bay fifteen miles wide and six deep: the
south head is the land of Point Gantheaume, which is composed of
sandhills very bare of vegetation, as was also the character of the
interior. From Point Gantheaume, in latitude 17 degrees 53 minutes, the
coast trends to the South-East for about fifteen miles, where it was lost
to view in distance: the extreme was a low sandy point, and appeared to
be the south extremity of the land. The space to the south of this, which
appeared to be a strait, insulating the land to the north as far as Cape
Leveque, is nine miles wide. The south shore trends to the westward to
Cape Villaret, on which there is a remarkable hillock, in latitude 18
degrees 19 minutes 5 seconds, and longitude 122 degrees 3 minutes 45

The space between the Cape and Point Gantheaume was called ROEBUCK BAY.
It is here that Captain Dampier landed, in the year 1688.

Three miles to the south of the hillock on Cape Villaret, are two lumps,
which at a distance appeared like rocks. Cape Latouche-Treville has a
small hummock near its extremity, in latitude 18 degrees 29 minutes, and
longitude 121 degrees 50 minutes 50 seconds; to the eastward of it, there
is a shallow bay open to the northward.

The depth of water in the offing of Roebuck Bay, is between eight and
twelve fathoms; the bottom is sandy, and there are in some parts
sandbanks, on which the depth decreased three fathoms at one heave, but
the least water was eight fathoms. The flood-tide sets to the eastward,
towards the opening, and at an anchorage near Cape Latouche-Treville, the
ebb ran to the North-East: but the tides were at the neaps, and did not
rise more than sixteen feet. Captain Dampier, at the springs, found it
flow thirty feet, which tends unquestionably to prove the opening behind
Roebuck Bay to be considerable, even if it does not communicate with that
behind the Buccaneer's Archipelago.

The interval between Cape Latouche-Treville and Depuch Island, was not
seen by us. The following brief description of it is taken from M. De
Freycinet's account of Commodore Baudin's voyage.

LAGRANGE BAY, to the east of Cape Bossut, is a bight, the bottom of which
was not seen. CAPE BOSSUT is low and sandy, as well as the neighbouring
land; and, with the exception of a small grove of trees a little to the
north of Cape Duhamel, the country is sterile everywhere.

The CASUARINA REEF is a bank of sand and rocks, parts of which are dry,
on which the sea occasionally breaks. The channel between it and the
shore is narrow and shoal, the depth being two and a half fathoms. The
dry part of the reef extends from east to west for about two miles.

Between CAPES DUHAMEL and MISSIESSY, the coast is sandy and sterile, with
rocky projections: GEOFFROY and DESAULT BAYS are of the same character.

With the exception of two intervals, one of which is to the west of Cape
Missiessy, and the other to the east of the Bancs des Planaires, the
French saw the coast between Capes Missiessy and Keraudren, but at a
great distance. It appeared low and sterile.

The BANCS DES PLANAIRES appeared to have a considerable longitudinal
extent; it was not ascertained whether they joined the mainland: some
parts seemed to be dry at low water.

There is a bank with only fourteen feet water over it, situated nearly
North-East from Cape Keraudren in 19 degrees 41 minutes latitude.

North, a little westerly, from CAPE LARREY, between which and Cape
Keraudren there is a bay with an island (POISSONNIER) in the entrance, is
BEDOUT ISLAND. It is in latitude 19 degrees 29 minutes, longitude 116
degrees 32 minutes, East of Paris, or 118 degrees 52 minutes East of
Greenwich. It is low and sandy.

The BANC DES AMPHINOMES is very extensive, and appeared to be connected
with the main; it is composed of coral, rocks, and sand.

The coast to the South-West of Cape Larrey is, as well as the Cape
itself, of a remarkable red colour. The country appeared to be sterile.

TURTLE ISLANDS, two in number, lie West-North-West from Cape Larrey: the
south-westernmost is merely a flat sandy islet (PLATEAU DE SABLE) the
other is surrounded by a reef of coral, upon which the sea breaks. The
Casuarina (M. De Freycinet's vessel) had nine fathoms within half a mile
of it; the reef appeared to be steep, and the island to afford a landing
in fine weather.

The land is equally low and sandy as far as CAPE THOUIN and CAPE

The GEOGRAPHE REEFS extend for more than twelve miles, and perhaps are
joined to the land. Their southern parts dry at low water. The Geographe
sailed through them, so that it is probable they are detached in numerous

At FORESTIER ISLANDS we saw the coast again. The main is here very low,
but from the shoalness of the water we were not able to penetrate behind
Depuch Island. It is very uncertain whether the coastline that is laid
down upon the chart is correct: it was scarcely visible from the deck,
and was so low that it might have merely been the dry parts of extensive
reefs. The high land retires for fifteen or twenty miles, and forms an
amphitheatre or deep bay, with some hills of considerable elevation in
the distance.

All the islands of this group are low and sandy, excepting DEPUCH, which
is high, and of a very peculiar formation; it is described in the first

We did not land upon it, but on its north-east side there appeared to be
a bay, on which the French found a stream of water.

Between DEPUCH ISLAND and CAPE LAMBERT the coast is very shoal. Towards
the latter the hills approach the sea, and the bottom is deeper. BEZOUT
ISLAND is connected to the cape by a reef, on which there are several dry
rocks; we passed close round its north-east edge, and had eleven fathoms.

To the westward of Cape Lambert, in latitude 20 degrees 24 minutes 30
seconds, and longitude 117 degrees 7 minutes, there are two deep
openings, which appeared to be merely bays, but their bottom was not
distinctly seen. On the top of the hill of the projecting point that
separates them, there are three remarkable rocky summits. The next point
has several round-backed hills upon it; it is the east head of NICKOL'S
BAY, into which there may possibly fall one or more streams; its shores
are low, and appeared to be lined with mangroves. Nickol's Bay affords
good anchorage in six and seven fathoms, and is only exposed to the
North-East. It is protected from westerly winds by high land: it is,
however, rather exposed to the South-West winds, from the little
elevation of the land in that direction; but if a vessel should drive,
the passage between Bezout and Delambre Island is clear and, as far as we
know, free from danger.

DELAMBRE ISLAND has very extensive reefs stretching to the northward, and
also to the eastward, but on its western side did not appear to extend
for more than half a mile: the hill at the north end of the island is in
latitude 20 degrees 23 minutes 35 seconds, and longitude 117 degrees 1
minute 25 seconds; the passage between it and the reef off HAUY ISLAND,
is about two miles and a half wide, and from nine to ten fathoms deep.
The edge of the reef off the latter island is not well defined, for we
passed several straggling rocks.

LEGENDRE ISLAND is the northernmost of Dampier's Archipelago: it is nine
miles long, and from half to one and a half mile broad: near its
south-east end, which is connected to HAUY ISLAND, there are several
rocky islets, and near its extremity it has three remarkable hillocks;
its North-West point is in latitude 20 degrees 18 minutes 45 seconds, and
longitude 116 degrees 46 minutes; its north-east coast and north-west
extremity are of bold approach: the latter has a reef that fronts its
shores, extending for about a quarter of a mile into the sea; the ground
under its lee is rocky, and not safe to anchor near. Our cable hooked a
rock, fortunately however it was rotten, and broke away, so that the
cable, being a chain was not damaged.

The islands of DAMPIER'S ARCHIPELAGO, are of high rocky character, and
very different from either the coast or the islands in their vicinity. It
consists of about twenty islands, besides smaller ones, scattered over a
space of forty miles in extent: Delambre is the easternmost island, and a
small sandy island to the South-West of Enderby Island is the

GIDLEY ISLAND, and two others to the eastward, extend in a north and
south direction; they are high and rocky. The west shore of Gidley Island
appeared to be fronted by a continuous reef, on which some patches of dry
rocks were observed. Gidley Island is separated from Legendre Island by a
very shoal and rocky strait, apparently impassable for anything larger
than boats. It has several small sandy islets scattered about it, and at
low water the greater part is dry. There is doubtless a deep passage
through, but it must be intricate and dangerous, and only to be attempted
in a case of the most pressing emergency. On the island to the southward,
are two sandy bays. The land to the southward is doubtless a part of the
main: and is, like the other islands, high and rocky. It forms the
eastern shore of MERMAID's STRAIT, which is an excellent port, affording
safe and secure anchorage at all seasons.

The islands on the western side of the strait, are LEWIS and MALUS. The
north-east point of the latter island, COURTENAY HEAD, is, without doubt,
Captain Dampier's Bluff Head. It is a very remarkable point; its summit
is in 20 degrees 29 minutes 5 seconds South, and 116 degrees 36 minutes
35 seconds East. On its west side is a sandy bay with good anchorage in
four and five fathoms. Malus Island is separated from Lewis Island by a
strait a mile wide; it is probably deep.

The north-east point of LEWIS ISLAND is a narrow projecting tongue of
land, terminating in a high rocky lump; and to the southward of it, are
two high rocky islets of similar appearance. There is also another, but
of smaller size, off the south-east point of Malus Island. In the centre
of Lewis Island there is a valley, that stretches across to the opposite
sides of the island, forming a bay on either side.

To the south of Lewis Island is a group of islands, which, from the
circumstance of our communicating with the natives, was called
INTERCOURSE ISLANDS. They are all small. The largest has a remarkable
summit upon it, in latitude 20 degrees 37 minutes 50 seconds, and
longitude 116 degrees 36 minutes 45 seconds: it is from this Island that
the natives drove us, and would not allow us to land.* The channel
between them and Lewis Island is more than a mile wide, and is seven and
eight fathoms deep.

(*Footnote. Vide volume 1.)

ENDERBY ISLAND is separated from Lewis Island by a channel one mile and a
half wide, apparently clear and free from danger. Its south-west point is
ROCKY HEAD, the summit of which was found to be in latitude 20 degrees 35
minutes 25 seconds, and longitude 116 degrees 23 minutes 5 seconds. To
the north is GOODWYN ISLAND; and further north, and West-North-West from
Malus Island, from which it is separated by a strait two miles and a half
wide, is ROSEMARY ISLAND, which, when viewed from the North-North-East or
South-South-West, has three hummocks bearing from each other West by
North and East by South. The centre hummock is in latitude 20 degrees 27
minutes 30 seconds, and longitude 116 degrees 31 minutes. In the vicinity
of Rosemary and Goodwyn Islands are several small rocky islands,
particularly on the north-east side of the former; and at the distance of
three miles, to the north of the centre of Malus Island, is a patch of
flat rocks, which are those seen and noticed by Dampier (Dampier volume 3
page 81 table 4 Number 10) but from his vague account, it is not at all
certain what island he saw; and, was it not for the peculiarity and
remarkable appearance of Courtenay Head, it might have been any of the
others. There is good anchorage in all parts about the Archipelago,
particularly within Lewis Island, where the Intercourse Islands will
shelter a ship from whatever point the wind may blow.

There is no wood of any size to be procured among the islands, which is a
great drawback upon its utility as a port. In the rainy season water is
doubtless abundant, but must be soon evaporated. We saw no rivulet or any
fresh water, excepting a few gallons that were protected from the heat of
the sun by being under the shade of a fig, but from the number of natives
seen by us, it is probable that there must be a large quantity not far
off. The natives of this part use logs to convey them from and to the
islands. A small sandy island, with a reef extending for two miles from
its north-west end, and one mile and a half from its south-east end, lies
off the south-west end of Enderby Island, and would serve as a good
protection from the sea in a South-West wind, for the anchorage on the
south side of Enderby Island.

The mainland is high and rocky behind the islands, but at the bottom of
the bay again assumes a low character: more to the westward, a range of
hills rises abruptly and advances for fourteen miles in a North-West
direction from the interior, and reaches the shores of the bay, when it
extends for eleven miles to the westward, and is then terminated by a
valley, or an opening of one mile and a half wide, that separates it from
the rocky hills of CAPE PRESTON. The cape juts out into the sea, and is
connected by reefs to some low sandy islands to the North-East; it is in
latitude 20 degrees 49 minutes 45 seconds, and longitude 116 degrees 5
minutes. In the centre of the bay, at eight miles North 64 degrees East
from the extremity of the cape, is a low, sandy islet, of about one-third
of a mile in diameter; and behind it, near the shores of the bay, there
appeared to be other islands of the same size and character, the
particular form and situation of which could not be distinguished.

There is a small rocky islet off Cape Preston, and some to the
South-South-West, in which direction the shore trends in and forms a bay,
the shores of which were not seen.

From Cape Preston the coast assumes a very different character from that
to the eastward, being less sinuous, very low, and either fronted by
mangroves, or by a range of sandhills, both of which conceal the
interior. The coast, at from three to seven miles, is fronted by a range
of low, sandy islets, from one quarter to two-thirds of a mile in
diameter: there are, however, two or three near Cape Preston of larger
size, particularly one bearing South 66 degrees West, fifteen miles from
the extremity of the cape, of rocky character, but very level, and
apparently sterile; it is nearly circular, and about two miles in
diameter. It is visible for about five leagues.

Thirty miles South-West by South from Cape Preston is a mangrove bight,
with several openings communicating with a large lagoon, or body of
water, at the base of a small range of hills. The bight is shoal and
thickly studded with sandy islets. Hence the coast extends to the
South-West by West, fronted by mangroves for about forty miles, and then
for about sixteen miles South-West to the entrance of Curlew River.

Between Curlew River and Cape Preston, a space of eighty-five miles,
there are not less than thirty sandy islets in sight from the coast,
separated from each other by channels, generally navigable, between one
to five miles wide. Good anchorage may be found among these islands, for
the sea cannot fail of being smooth in the strongest winds. The depth
among these islands is from four to six fathoms, and the bottom generally
of gravel or sand.

CURLEW RIVER is defended by a shoal entrance, and is merely a creek
running through a low country for three miles; its banks are overrun with
mangroves, and it affords no inducement whatever for vessels to visit it.
The country behind is low, and, at spring tides, or during the rainy
season, is inundated.

The coast continues low and sandy to CAPE LOCKER, a distance of thirteen
miles, and with the same barren character for twenty miles further,
forming the east side of Exmouth Gulf. ROSILY, and THEVENARD ISLES are
low and sandy; they were seen by us at a considerable distance.

BARROW'S ISLAND, of about forty miles in circumference, is of moderate
height and level aspect, but of very sterile and barren appearance. A
considerable reef extends towards the main from its south-east side,
where there is also a small islet: on the north-east side are three
islets; the two outermost of which are low and rocky. The west coast of
Barrow's Island was seen by the French, who thought it was part of the
main; they named its north-west end, CAPE DUPUY, and its south end, CAPE
POIVRE. At ten miles South 25 degrees West from the last cape, the French
charts have assigned a position to a reef: and four miles North 10
degrees East from Cape Dupuy is another. Neither were noticed by us,
since we did not approach this part sufficiently near to see them if they
do exist; of which, from the account of the French, there can be but
little doubt.

LOWENDAL ISLAND and TRIMOUILLE ISLAND were seen by us, but not any
vestige of HERMITE ISLAND, which the French have placed in their chart.
From M. de Freycinet's account, the two latter islands were seen at
different times; and since Trimouille Island has a reef extending for
five miles from its north-western extremity, as Hermite Island is
described to have, there seems to be good reason to suppose that there is
but one; had there been two, we should have seen it on passing this part
in 1822.*

(*Footnote. Vide volume 1.)

From the reasons mentioned in the narrative, there remains no doubt in my
mind that Barrow's Island, and Lowendal and Trimouille Islands (which the
French called the Montebello Islands) are the long lost TRYAL ROCKS. The
latitude and description answer very exactly; the longitude alone raises
the doubt, but the reckonings of former navigators cannot be depended
upon, and errors of ten or twelve degrees of longitude were not rare, of
which many proofs might be found, by comparing the situations of places
formerly determined with their position on the charts of the present
time. Many old navigators were not very particular; and never gave the
error of their account upon arriving at their destined port, either from
shame or from carelessness and indifference.

A reef of rocks is said to exist in latitude 20 degrees 17 minutes 40
seconds, and longitude 114 degrees 46 minutes 6 seconds. They were seen
by Lieutenant Ritchie, R.N., in the command of a merchant brig, as
appears by an account published in the Sydney Gazette.

EXMOUTH GULF terminates the North-west Coast of Australia; it is
thirty-four miles wide at its entrance (between the North-west Cape and
Cape Locker) and forty-five miles deep. Its eastern side is formed by a
very low coast, the particulars of which were not distinguished, for it
is lined by an intricate cluster of islands that we could not, having but
one anchor, penetrate among. In the entrance is Muiron Island, and two
others, h and i; and within the gulf they are too numerous to
distinguish: all the outer ones have been assigned correct positions to,
as have all between Exmouth Gulf and Dampier's Archipelago. The islets y
and z are the outer ones of the group; between which and the western
shore there is a space of fourteen miles in extent, quite free from
danger, with regular soundings between nine and twelve fathoms on a sandy
bottom. Under the western shore, which is the deepest, there are some
bays which will afford anchorage; but the bottom is generally very rocky.
In the neighbourhood of the Bay of Rest, the shore is more sinuous, and
in the bay there is good anchorage in three and four fathoms, mud. Here
the gulf is twelve miles across, and from three to six fathoms deep; but
the eastern side is shoal and very low. The gulf then shoalens and
narrows very much; and at fifteen miles farther terminates in an inlet,
or, as has been subsequently conjectured, a strait communicating with the
sea at the south end of the high land that forms the western side of the
gulf, and which is doubtless the identical Cloates Island that has
puzzled navigators for the last eighty years. It perfectly answers the
descriptions that have been given; and the only thing against it is the
longitude; but this, like that of the Tryal Rocks, is not to be attended

(*Footnote. Vide below.)

The south-west point of this land has been named Point Cloates until its
insularity shall be determined, when, for the sake of Geography, the name
of CLOATES ISLAND should be restored. At the bottom of the south-eastern
side of Exmouth Gulf the land is so low and the islands so numerous, that
it was in vain that we attempted to examine its shores, which was also
rendered still more difficult and dangerous to persevere in doing, from
our losses of anchors, and the strong winds which blew every night from
the South-West.

The NORTH-WEST CAPE is a low, sandy point, projecting for full two miles
to the East-North-East from the fall of the land, which was called
VLAMING HEAD. There is a reef of small extent off the cape, but separated
from it by a channel half a mile wide, and six fathoms deep; a sandy spit
extends also from the cape for about a quarter of a mile.

The extremity of the North-West Cape is in latitude 21 degrees 47 minutes
40 seconds, and longitude 114 degrees 3 minutes 40 seconds; and Vlaming
Head in latitude 21 degrees 48 minutes 40 seconds, and longitude 114
degrees 1 minute 40 seconds.





We did not obtain much experience of the winds upon this coast, having
only been upon it during the months of January and February, when they
prevailed between South-South-East and South-South-West, veering
sometimes, though rarely, to South-West. In the winter season (June,
July, and August) hard gales of wind have been experienced from the
North-West, even as high as Shark's Bay; and at this season the coast
ought not to be approached. The South-east Trade is suspended in the
neighbourhood of the coast in the summer season, and the winds are almost
constant from South-South-West.

Between the North-west Cape and POINT CLOATES, which is in 22 degrees 33
minutes 5 seconds South, a space of about fifty-two miles, the shore is
defended by a reef of rocks, extending from three to five miles from it.
The land is high and level, and of most sterile appearance: nearer the
north end there is a low, sandy plain at the foot of the hills; but to
the southward the coast appeared to be steep and precipitous. This is
evidently the land that has been taken for Cloates Island; and, in fact,
it is not at all unlikely to be an island, for, to the southward of the
latter point, the shore trends in, and was so indistinctly seen, that it
probably communicates with the bottom of Exmouth Gulf.* At latitude 23
degrees 10 minutes the coast slightly projects, and is fronted by a reef,
on which the sea was breaking heavily.

(*Footnote. Vide volume 1.)

CAPE FARQUHAR, in latitude 23 degrees 35 minutes, and longitude 113
degrees 35 minutes 35 seconds, is a low, sandy point. To the northward of
it the coast trends in and forms a bay, but not deep enough to offer
shelter from the prevailing winds.

Between Cape Farquhar and Cape Cuvier the coast is low and sandy; the
land has a level outline, and the shore is formed by a sandy beach, which
did not appear to be fronted by rocks. The land of CAPE CUVIER is high,
level, and rocky, and, rising abruptly from the sea, forms a bluff point,
in latitude 24 degrees 0 minutes 30 seconds, and longitude 113 degrees 21
minutes 48 seconds. This promontory is the northern head of Shark's Bay.
The land was not seen by us to the South-East, and is laid down, as is
indeed the whole of Shark's Bay, from M. De Freycinet's chart, which was
drawn from the survey made of it in Commodore Baudin's voyage.

The western coast of BERNIER and DORRE ISLANDS are bold to, and are
composed of a high, precipitous cliff, with a level summit. The only
irregularity upon them is a slight elevation on the south end of the
latter. Off the north end of Bernier Island is the small islet called
KOK'S. The channel between Bernier and Dorre is about a mile and a half
wide, but is so blocked up by rocks as to be impassable.

DIRK HARTOG'S ISLAND extends from Cape Inscription, in latitude 25
degrees 28 minutes 20 seconds, to 26 degrees 6 minutes; it is here
separated from Point Escarpee (Bluff Point) by a strait, which has a
shoal communication with Shark's Bay. Dirk Hartog's Island is high, and
of similar appearance to Bernier and Dorre; it is fronted by a line of
breakers. DIRK HARTOG'S ROAD, at the north end of the island, is a
commodious roadstead, sheltered from all winds to the southward of east
and west; and, since they are the prevailing and almost constant winds of
this part, may be considered a very secure anchorage. There is a reef
extending off Cape Inscription for half a mile, which will also afford
protection from the sea, even should the wind blow hard from the west.
The beach of the bay is fronted by coral rocks, but affords easy landing
in all parts, particularly at high water. This beach is covered with
turtles' nests; and at daylight thirty to fifty might be turned and
embarked without any difficulty or delay. The animals are easily taken,
since the rocks prevent their escaping into the sea; and it is only at
high water that they can return. M. De Freycinet says (page 189) that
there is a passage between the reef, off the east point of the bay, and
the shore with ten fathoms.

The following account of Shark's Bay is taken from M. De Freycinet's
account (page 189 et seq.)

In the fairway of the entrance to Shark's Bay, between Dorre and Dirk
Hartog's Islands, is DAMPIER'S REEF; it is two miles in extent from east
to west, and about one mile wide. It has but two and a half and three
fathoms water over it, and should be approached with care, on account of
the swell. Proceeding southerly from Cape Levillain, which is the east
head of Dirk Hartog's Road, at the distance of five or six miles is a
cove (barachois) formed by reefs, where boats might obtain shelter. Hence
to Quoin Point (Coin-de-Mire) the coast has no sinuosities. TETRODON BAY
is seven miles wide and very shallow; it has two or three sandy islets in
it, and can only be entered by small boats. Near Refuge Point is a safe
and convenient creek. To the southward of this there are several shoal
bays. To the eastward of Cape Ransonnet, which is peaked and of a
moderate elevation, there are several little creeks well adapted for
boats and, to the westward, a sandy plain extends to the south extremity
of the island. That part of Shark's Bay, between Dirk Hartog's Island and
Peron's Peninsula, is formed by Le Passage Epineux, Useless Harbour
(Havre Inutile) and Henry Freycinet's Harbour: to the southward of the
line of bearing between Quoin Point and Cape Lesueur, the sea is shoal
and studded with banks, but to the north it is quite open.

The Passage Epineux, which separates Dirk Hartog's Island from the main,
is about two miles wide; but the reefs and rocks, which protrude from
either shore, reduce the passage to half that width. The depth upon the
rocky bar which stretches across the entrance is six fathoms, but
immediately without it the depth is twenty-two fathoms. M. De Freycinet
says, that a ship upon a lee shore in the vicinity of Point Escarpee may
enter this opening with confidence; she will find a good shelter and
excellent anchorage in five and six fathoms fine sand. To enter it, pass
in mid-channel, if anything, borrowing upon Point Escarpee, and steer for
the Mondrain de Direction, and pass over the bar without fearing the
breakers upon it, which are caused by the sudden decrease of depth, from
twenty-two to six fathoms; after this the depth will continue without
altering more than one fathom. The best anchorage is to the South-West of
Cape Ransonnet, for within it the passage is blocked up by shoals, over
which a boat cannot without difficulty pass.

USELESS HARBOUR is so shoal as to be, according to its name, quite
unserviceable; since boats can with difficulty penetrate to the bottom,
although its length is twenty-one miles: HENRY FREYCINET HARBOUR is
twenty-two leagues long in a South-East direction; and from three to six
leagues wide. Its entrance is blocked up by a bar; and, although the
depth within is in some parts considerable, it is very doubtful whether
ships can enter it. The shores are difficult to land upon, from the
shoals extending so far off.

On the western side of this harbour there are several inlets and deep
bays, but too shoal to be of any service. The eastern shore of the
harbour is formed by PERON'S PENINSULA, which separates it from HAMELIN'S
HARBOUR. It is sixteen leagues long and five leagues wide. DAMPIER'S BAY,
at the north-west end, contains several sandy bays, where boats may
almost always land. It is here that the French had their observatory.

From the northern point of the peninsula, Pointe des Hauts-Fonds, the
reefs extend for three leagues to the North and North-North-West. They
were then supposed to extend to the North-East.

The French only examined the western shores of Hamelin Harbour. The
opposite coast was seen only at a distance, and the shoalness of the
water prevented their boats from approaching it. M. De Freycinet says:
"Ces terres, basses et steriles, ne contiennent aucune coupure;
l'uniformite y est par-tout complete," page 194.

Although Hamelin Harbour is not so deep as that of Henry Freycinet, on
the opposite side of Peron's Peninsula, it is nevertheless of larger
size. The centre is much occupied by banks, which entirely surround FAURE
ISLAND; the diameter of which is about two leagues.

Although many sandy beaches were seen at a distance upon the eastern
shore of Shark's Bay, yet the boats of the French ships could not reach
the shore on account of the reefs which front it. Here and there they
distinguished red cliffs, and some signs of a scanty and burnt up

Of the anchorages in Shark's Bay, the most convenient appears to be that
in Dampier's Bay, at the north-west end of Peron's Peninsula, as well on
account of the excellency of the holding-ground, as the facility of
procuring fuel. The Naturaliste remained a long time at this anchorage,
and never experienced any ill effect from the winds. The distance from
the shore was six miles, and the depth six fathoms, fine sandy bottom.
The sea was so clear, that the anchor was easily distinguished. The
Naturaliste found only occasion to moor with a kedge, merely to keep the
cable clear of the anchor. As the strongest winds were the South and
East, the bower anchor was laid in the latter direction.

The above seems to be all that is worth taking from M. De Freycinet's
account as regards the navigation of Shark's Bay. The coasts of the
harbours of Henry Freycinet and Hamelin are much more detailed by him,
and there is also much valuable information upon various heads,
particularly as to meteorological observations, and the productions of
the land and sea, and a curious example of the effect of a mirage; but as
these subjects are irrelevant to the matter of this paper, they have been

From POINT ESCARPEE to GANTHEAUME BAY, the coast is formed by a
precipitous range of rocky cliffs, rising abruptly from the sea, to the
height perhaps of three or four hundred feet. The coast is fringed with
an uninterrupted line of breakers. The summit of the land is so level,
and the coast so uniform, that no summits or points could be set with any
chance of recognizing them. The depth at ten miles off the shore, was
between fifty and seventy fathoms, decreasing to thirty-four in the
neighbourhood of Gantheaume Bay.

GANTHEAUME BAY probably affords shelter on its south side from South-West
winds: there was some appearance of an opening in it, but Vlaming, who
sent a boat on shore here, has not mentioned it; and if there is one, it
is of very small size, and unimportant. The shores of the bay are low and
of sterile appearance.

RED POINT, a steep cliffy projection, is the north extremity of a range
of reddish-coloured cliffs, of about two hundred feet high, that extends
to the southward for eight miles, when a sandy shore commences and
continues with little variation, except occasional rocky projections and
sometimes rocky bays, as far as Cape Burney. The coast is moderately
high, and, in the interior, some hills of an unusual height for this part
of the coast are seen. MOUNT NATURALISTE is in latitude 28 degrees 18
minutes, and between the latitudes 28 degrees 25 minutes and 28 degrees
55 minutes, is MORESBY'S FLAT-TOPPED RANGE. It is terminated at the north
end by three hills, called MENAI HILLS; and at the southern end, by the
WIZARD HILLS. MOUNT FAIRFAX is in latitude 28 degrees 45 minutes 30
seconds, and longitude 114 degrees 38 minutes 45 seconds. The coast in
front of this range is of pleasing and verdant appearance; two or three
small openings in the sandy beach, with an evident separation in the
hills behind, particularly one in latitude 28 degrees 36 minutes, bore
indications of rivulets; and the smokes of natives' fires, and the more
wooded character of the coast, showed that the country was evidently more
fertile and productive than any other part between Cape Leeuwin and the
North-west Cape. The bottom at from ten to twelve miles off, is from
twenty to twenty-five fathoms deep, and composed of a fine sand, of a
dark gray colour.

CAPE BURNEY is in latitude 28 degrees 56 minutes: four miles to the
southward is a reef, apparently detached from the shore.

HOUTMAN'S ABROLHOS. The old Dutch charts give a very considerable extent
to this reef; Van Keulen makes it cover a space of sea, forty-seven miles
long, and twenty-five broad. We only saw the islands at the south end,
with three detached reefs between them and the shore; one of which (the
southernmost) may probably be the TURTLE DOVE. The islands lie West 4
degrees North true, forty-one miles from Cape Burney, but the channel
(GEELVINK CHANNEL) between the shore and the reefs, is not more than
twenty-six miles wide. The south-easternmost reef that we saw is about
three miles long, and lies nearly ten miles South 55 degrees East from
the islands; it appeared to be covered, but the sea was breaking high
over it. In passing this part of the coast, Captain Hamelin, who
commanded the Naturaliste under Commodore Baudin's orders, must have
steered within the reefs, as the Geelvink (Vlaming's ship) did. The reef
that is laid down upon the chart, in latitude 29 degrees 10 minutes is
from Van Keulen. We did not see it. (See Horsburgh volume 1 page 98.)

From Cape Burney the coast is rather low and sandy; in 29 degrees 16
minutes is a reef; and seven miles more to the south is another; they lie
from five to seven miles from the shore.

In latitude 29 degrees 6 minutes 30 seconds, there is a small peaked
hillock; and in 29 degrees 17 minutes 50 seconds, a small sandy patch
upon the land.

Between latitudes 29 degrees 25 minutes and 29 degrees 55 minutes, we did
not see the coast, having passed it in the night. It is laid down from
Van Keulen's chart. Hence to Island Point, which is low and rocky, the
shore is lined with reefs, extending off shore for two to four miles. At
the back of this, and at about eight miles from the coast, is a rocky
range, of three leagues in length, on which are MOUNTS PERON and LESUEUR.

To the south of ISLAND POINT, are two bays fronted by reefs; the
southernmost, JURIEN BAY, has three or more small islets in it. The coast
to the south of the bay is sandy. In latitude 30 degrees 37 minutes, are
three small rocky lumps, very remarkably placed; the middle one is in
latitude 30 degrees 37 minutes 40 seconds: fourteen miles to the south of
these are two others, the north-easternmost is in latitude 30 degrees 51
minutes 50 seconds, they are very conspicuously placed upon a ridge of
bare white sand. Hence the coast winds to the South-South-East for eighty
miles as far as the entrance of Swan River. The coast is low and slightly
wooded, and lined with reefs, that in some places extend for two miles
from the shore. Off CAPE LESCHENAULT (in latitude 31 degrees 21 minutes)
is a reef, lying six miles and a half from the shore; it appeared to be
connected with the rocks that line the coast.

The following account of SWAN RIVER is taken from Captain De Freycinet's
account of Baudin's voyage (page 175 et seq).

"The mouth of Swan River is in latitude 32 degrees 4 minutes 31 seconds,
and longitude 113 degrees 26 minutes 28 seconds East of Paris, or (115
degrees 46 minutes 43 seconds East of Greenwich). The channel is
obstructed by a bar of rocks, which it is very difficult to pass over,
and, indeed, impracticable if the wind blows from the sea. On entering,
the passage is on the starboard side: it is narrow and shoal, and divided
into two channels; in each of which there is from five to six feet of
water; after passing this, there is seven and eight feet: the course must
then be towards the west, to avoid two shoals, which are upon the right
bank: after half a mile the navigation is free, and in mid-channel the
depth is not less than seven, eight, and nine feet. The river then trends
in a northerly direction for seven miles, without any sinuosity of
consequence. On the eastern bank, are two shoals; the passage is then on
the opposite side of the river, the depth of which is eight feet: beyond
these banks the course of the river trends to the eastward towards a low
point, upon which there is a solitary tree; an extensive bank fronts this
point, and the channel continues on the western shore, ten feet deep.
Here the river is a mile broad; it then increases its width, and forms
spacious bays on either side, that were not examined. To the South-East
is an opening, which may probably be an arm of the river; it was called
MOREAU INLET; it was not examined. Opposite to it is a sharp point,
fronted by a shoal, and the channel is on the eastern side of the river,
with thirteen feet water. Here the river widens and forms a basin, two
miles and a half wide: a little above this the river is blocked up by
shoals and islets (HEIRISSON ISLES) between which the depth is not more
than two or three feet, but afterwards deepens gradually from five to
fifteen feet: the banks of the river are then not more than one-third of
a mile wide, and then continue in a serpentine course, with a channel
from seven to ten feet deep, and free from shoals, as far as the French
boats examined it. The stream of the river ran very slowly, and winds
through a valley, one side of which is abrupt and precipitous, and when
it ceases to be so on one side, the heights immediately appear on the

In front of this river is a group of islands, of which two only are of
large size, namely, ROTTNEST and BUACHE. We anchored on the north side of
the former, but broke the fluke, from the rocky nature of the bottom. On
the North-East side of the island, the anchorage is better, since it is
more sheltered. Rottnest Island is five miles long: it was discovered by
Vlaming in 1696. Its shores are very rocky and difficult to land upon,
particularly those of its northern side, which is fronted by rocks. Off
its north point there are some rocky islets, and on the north-east side a
convenient landing place in a sandy bay, where boats may put ashore with
great facility. The island is covered with a pine-like tree, which is
very good for fire-wood, but no fresh water was found in any part; the
French were equally unsuccessful in their search. The north-east point of
Rottnest Island is in 31 degrees 59 minutes 30 seconds South, and 115
degrees 31 minutes 12 seconds East; and the variation 4 degrees 50
minutes West.

BUACHE ISLAND, according to Captain De Freycinet's account (page 170) is
equally difficult to land upon; it is well wooded, but destitute of fresh

To the south of CAPE PERON is a long range of sandy coast, for seventy
miles, to GEOGRAPHE BAY, which is open and exposed to the northward and
north-west; its western head is formed by Cape Naturaliste, a rocky
point, in latitude 33 degrees 27 minutes 30 seconds, and longitude 114
degrees 57 minutes 53 seconds, beyond which the coast extends to the
southward, without any bays to Cape Leeuwin. Off the cape is Naturaliste
Reef, in latitude 33 degrees 12 minutes, and longitude 114 degrees 59
minutes 8 seconds; it was seen by the French expedition. The land is here
of a moderate height, but of level aspect. There is a remarkable patch of
bare sand, in latitude 34 degrees 12 minutes, and longitude 114 degrees
57 minutes. It is the Tache blanche remarquable of De Freycinet's chart.
It lies about seven miles from the south extreme of the island.





Between the meridians of Cape Leeuwin and Bass Strait, the weather is
generally very unsettled and tempestuous; and, at certain seasons, very
much against a ship making the western passage from Port Jackson, which
is by passing through Bass Strait, and along the south coast; but it so
happens that at the time when ships cannot proceed through Torres Strait,
by reason of the Westerly Monsoon, namely, from the month of December to
that of March, easterly winds prevail upon the south coast, and are more
regular and strong in that space between the land and the parallel of
Bass Strait.* I have been told that the south-westerly gales that
sometimes occur during that season, seldom, if ever, blow home upon the
coast; and that when they do reach the land, they partake more of the
character of the sea breeze; be that as it may, a ship steering to the
westward should keep to the north of 40 degrees, in order to benefit by
the regularity of the wind, which to the south of that parallel generally
blows from some western quarter. From April to October the westerly gales
are very constant, and veer between South by West and North by East; but,
in the months of June and July, seldom veer to the southward of
South-West or northward of North-West; they are then accompanied by a
deep and heavy sea. The wind, in the summer season, generally revolves
with the sun, and, as the atmosphere becomes more dense, veers to the
South-East, with fine weather.

(*Footnote. Horsburgh volume 2 page 506.)

The marine barometer is here of considerable importance, as its rise
always precedes a south-east wind, and its fall a change from the
North-West; it seldom, however, stands lower than twenty-nine and a half
inches. The currents generally set to the north, and seldom run with any
velocity either to the east or west. A ship steering along this coast to
the eastward, bound to Port Jackson through Torres Strait, should steer
upon the parallel of 41 degrees, to avoid being thrown into the bight to
the west of Cape Northumberland, where with a South-East wind, that would
otherwise be fair for carrying her through Bass Strait, she would be
detained probably a week.

Upon making Van Diemen's Land, she is ready for either a northerly or a
southerly wind; since, with the former, she can round Van Diemen's Land,
without suffering much detention, or materially lengthening her voyage.

KING GEORGE THE THIRD'S SOUND was discovered by Captain Vancouver in the
year 1791, on his celebrated voyage to the North-west Coast of America.
It offers an excellent resort for vessels, and is convenient for all the
purposes of refitting, wooding, and watering. The natives are friendly;
the banks of Oyster Harbour afford a large abundance of oysters and other
shell-fish, and the harbours and rivers are well-stocked with fish and

There are many convenient anchorages in the sound; the best place for a
large ship, when it is necessary to refit the rigging at the same time
that she is completing her wood and water, is PRINCESS ROYAL HARBOUR; but
for a small vessel, not drawing more than eleven feet, OYSTER HARBOUR is
preferable, because she is secured to within one hundred yards of the
shore, and therefore better situated for the protection of her people at
their occupations from the natives, who are numerous, and will daily
visit them. But, for a ship only wanting fuel and water, there is a sandy
bay in the south-west corner of the sound, in which two or three streams
of excellent water run into the sea over the sand, from which a ship
might complete her hold in a day or two, by digging a well to collect it.
Wood may also be procured at this place, but not of so large a size, or
perhaps of so good a quality as at other parts. This bay is readily
found, by its being the first to the westward of a rocky point, that
projects from some remarkable bare sand hillocks, as also from its being
the second sandy beach to the westward of the low flat rocky islet at the
back of Seal Island.

The anchorage is good, being a bottom of sand and weeds, and is
sufficiently protected from easterly winds by BREAKSEA and MICHAELMAS
ISLANDS. The anchorage between SEAL ISLAND and the first sandy beach to
the westward of BALD HEAD, with the low flat rocky islet bearing west, in
six or seven fathoms sand and weeds, should be preferred during the
summer months; for the easterly winds then prevail, and sometimes blow
strong, even as late as March; the anchorage is landlocked, excepting in
the direction of East by North, the only quarter to which it is exposed,
and even in that direction the angle subtending the sea horizon is not
greater than ten degrees of the circle, which is of insignificant

There is no water nearer to this anchorage than in the sandy bay above
mentioned, but the distance is trifling for a ship that can send boats
with men enough to protect themselves while employed in filling the
casks, for notwithstanding the friendly communication we have had with
the inhabitants of this sound, they are not to be trusted, unless their
character is different from the rest of their countrymen that we have

Water is procured at Princess Royal and Oyster Harbours by digging holes
at the edge of the sand under the hills; but, at the latter place, the
stream that we used outside the bar affords plenty, of excellent quality,
without the trouble of digging.

Over the bar of Oyster Harbour there is not more than ten and a half feet
at low water, and in the neaps twelve feet at high water; but it is
likely that, at spring-tides, there may be fourteen feet, or perhaps more
if the wind is blowing into the harbour; but during the springs high
water always takes place at night, and it would not, therefore, be
prudent to attempt to pass the bar at that time.

A vessel intending to go to Oyster Harbour should anchor off the sandy
beach immediately to the eastward of the entrance, that is, between the
breakers off the point and the bar, in three fathoms sand, bringing the
summit of Green Island, in the harbour, on with the extremity of the
bushes of the west point of entrance, and the highest part of Breaksea
Island in a line with the outer point of the bay: a boat should then be
sent to sound the bar. The mark for the deepest part is when the western
summit of some flat-topped land, at the back of Oyster Harbour, is a
little open of the rocks off the east side of the entrance.

After the bar is passed, the channel is deepest when the centre of the
flat land is kept midway between the points of entrance, avoiding a spit
of rocks that projects from the rocky point at the west end of the
watering beach. The strongest winds are from the westward, and therefore
bower anchors should be placed to the south-west and north-west: warps
and the stream cable will be sufficient to secure her from easterly
winds, as the hills rise immediately over the vessel on that shore. If
the run of water outside the bar should fail, holes may be dug at the
edge of the grass, about three feet deep, which will yield a sufficient
quantity in two or three days for any vessel that can pass over it.

The flood-tide in the entrance generally ran sixteen hours, and ebbed
eight hours. High water at full and change took place at 10 hours 10
minutes at night; but on the bar the rise and fall was very irregular,
and a vessel going in should pay great attention to the depth, if her
draught is more than ten feet, for it sometimes rises suddenly two feet.
The spring-tides take place about the third or fourth day after new or
full moon. The variation here is about 7 degrees East. The situation of
Seal Island, from Captain Flinders' observations, is in latitude 35
degrees 4 minutes 55 seconds, and longitude 117 degrees 58 minutes 7

A small island was reported in the Sydney Gazette to have been seen in
latitude 36 degrees 27 minutes, and longitude 127 degrees 2 minutes East;
but as the account says, that Kangaroo Island was seen the same day,
which is not less than one hundred and fifty leagues from the above
position, it appears too vague to be correct. (See Horsburgh Supp. page

BLACK PYRAMID, off the north-west end of Van Diemen's Land, in Bass
Strait, is situated about 4 minutes too much to the southward on Captain
Flinders' chart.

BELL'S ROCK. The following account of a rock, seen by Mr. Bell, the
Commander of the ship Minerva, on her outward-bound passage to New South
Wales, appeared in a Sydney (New South Wales) Gazette, of the 16th of
December, 1824.

"On the 14th of November the Minerva very narrowly escaped striking on a
rock, in the fairway of the west entrance to Bass Strait, on the south
side of King's Island. Reid's rocks bearing North six miles, and the
Black Pyramid East-South-East: from this situation the danger was about
half a mile off (to the southward); but as the water broke only at
intervals of three or four minutes, although the swell was very heavy, it
is probable there may be sufficient depth of water to carry a ship over
it. An indifferent observation made the latitude of the ship at the time
40 degrees 26 minutes."

In M. De Freycinet's chart of Bass Strait, some rocky islets are placed
forty miles east of Sea-Elephant Bay. I did not succeed in finding them,
although the Mermaid sailed close to their position. (See volume 1.)

The PYRAMID, at the east end of Bass Strait, is placed five miles too
much to the northward: its true situation is in latitude 39 degrees 52
minutes 40 seconds, and longitude 147 degrees 11 minutes 30 seconds.

A reef of rocks were seen by Lieutenant John Lamb, R.N., off Cape Albany


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