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A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 2 by Matthew Flinders

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Notes referred to in the book (*) are shown in square brackets ([])
at the end of the paragraph in which the note is indicated.

Italics are indicated by underscore characters (_) at the
start and finish of the italicised words.

References to the charts have been retained though, of course,
the charts are not present in the text only version of the ebook.

The original punctuation and spelling and the use of italics and capital
letters to highlight words and phrases have, for the most part, been
retained. I think they help maintain the "feel" of the book, which was
published nearly 200 years ago. Flinders notes in the preface that "I
heard it declared that a man who published a quarto volume without an
index ought to be set in the pillory, and being unwilling to incur the
full rigour of this sentence, a running title has been affixed to all the
pages; on one side is expressed the country or coast, and on the opposite
the particular part where the ship is at anchor or which is the immediate
subject of examination; this, it is hoped, will answer the main purpose
of an index, without swelling the volumes." This treatment is, of course,
not possible, where there are no defined pages. However, Flinders' page
headings are included at appropriate places where they seem relevant.
These, together with the Notes which, in the book, appear in the margin,
are represented as line headings with a blank line before and after them.

1801, 1802 AND 1803,

[Facsimile Edition, 1966]


TABLE OF CONTENTS. (For both volumes)






Preliminary Remarks:
Discoveries of the Duyfhen; of
Tasman; and of
three Dutch vessels.
Of Cook;
Bligh and Portlock; and
Bampton and Alt.
Conclusive Remarks.



Preliminary Observations.
Discoveries of Hartog:
of the Ship Leeuwin:
the Vianen:
of Pelsert:
Conclusive Remarks.



Discovery of Nuyts.
Examination of Vancouver:
of D'Entrecasteaux.
Conclusive Remarks.




Preliminary Observations.
Discoveries of Tasman;
of Cook;
Marion and Furneaux.
Observations of Cook;
Bligh; and Cox.
Discovery of D'Entrecasteaux.


Preliminary Information.
Boat expeditions of Bass and Flinders.
Discoveries of Bass to the southward of Port Jackson;
of Flinders;
and of Flinders and Bass.
Examinations to the northward by Flinders.
Conclusive Remarks.




Appointment to the Investigator.
Outfit of the ship.
Instruments, books, and charts supplied, with articles for presents and
Liberal conduct of the Hon. East-India Company.
Passage round to Spithead.
The Roar sand.
Instructions for the execution of the voyage.
French passport, and orders in consequence.
Officers and company of the Investigator, and men of science who
Account of the time keepers.


Departure from Spithead.
Variation of the compass.
The Dezertas.
Arrival at Madeira.
Remarks on Funchal.
Political state of the island.
Latitude and longitude.
Departure from Madeira.
The island St. Antonio.
Foul winds; and remarks upon them.
The ship leaky.
Search made for Isle Sable.
Saxemberg sought for.
Variation of the compass.
State of the ship's company, on arriving at the Cape of Good Hope.
Refitment at Simon's Bay.
Observatory set Up.
The astronomer quits the expedition.
Rates Of the time keepers.
Some remarks on Simon's Bay.


Departure from False Bay.
Remarks on the passage to Terra Australis.
Gravity of sea-water tried.
Cape Leeuwin, and the coast from thence to King George's Sound.
Arrival in the Sound.
Examination of the harbours.
Excursion inland.
Country, soil, and productions.
Native inhabitants: Language and anatomical measurement.
Astronomical and nautical observations.


Departure from King George's Sound.
Coast from thence to the Archipelago of the Recherche.
Discovery of Lucky Bay and Thistle's Cove.
The surrounding country, and islands of the Archipelago.
Astronomical and nautical observations.
Goose-Island Bay.
A salt lake.
Nautical observations.
Coast from the Archipelago to the end of Nuyts' Land.
Arrival in a bay of the unknown coast.
Remarks on the preceding examination.


Fowler's Bay.
Departure from thence.
Arrival at the Isles of St. Francis.
Correspondence between the winds and the marine barometer.
Examination of the other parts of Nuyts' Archipelago, and of the main
The Isles of St Peter.
Return to St. Francis.
General remarks on Nuyts' Archipelago.
Identification of the islands in the Dutch chart.


Prosecution of the discovery of the unknown coast.
Anxious Bay.
Anchorage at Waldegrave's and at Flinders' Islands.
The Investigator's Group.
Coffin's Bay.
Whidbey's Isles.
Differences in the magnetic needle.
Cape Wiles.
Anchorage at Thistle's Island.
Thorny Passage.
Fatal accident.
Anchorage in Memory Cove.
Cape Catastrophe, and the surrounding country.
Anchorage in Port Lincoln, and refitment of the ship.
Remarks on the country and inhabitants.
Astronomical and nautical observations.


Departure from Port Lincoln.
Sir Joseph Banks' Group.
Examination of the coast, northward.
The ship found to be in a gulph.
Anchorage near the head of the gulph.
Boat expedition.
Excursion to Mount Brown.
Nautical observations.
Departure from the head, and examination of the east side of the gulph.
Extensive shoal.
Point Pearce.
Hardwicke Bay.
Verification of the time keepers.
General remarks on the gulph.
Cape Spencer and the Althorpe Isles.
New land discovered: Anchorage there.
General remarks on Kangaroo Island.
Nautical observations.


Departure from Kangaroo Island.
Examination of the main coast, from Cape Spencer eastward.
The Investigator's Strait.
A new gulph discovered. Anchorage at, and examination of the head.
Remarks on the surrounding land.
Return down the gulph.
Troubridge Shoal.
Yorke's Peninsula.
Return to Kangaroo Island.
Boat expedition to Pelican Lagoon.
Astronomical observations.
Kangaroo Island quitted.
Back-stairs Passage.
The coast from Cape Jervis, eastward.
Meeting, and communication with Le Geographe.
Remarks upon the French discoveries on the South Coast.


Examination of the coast resumed.
Encounter Bay.
The capes Bernouilli and Jaffa.
Baudin's Rocks.
Differences in the bearings on tacking.
Cape Buffon, the eastern limit of the French discovery.
The capes Northumberland and Bridgewater of captain Grant.
Danger from a south-west gale.
King's Island, in Bass' Strait: Anchorage there.
Some account of the island.
Nautical observations.
New Year's Isles.
Cape Otway, and the north-west entrance to Bass' Strait.
Anchorage in, and examination of Port Phillip.
The country and inhabitants.
Nautical observations.


Departure from Port Phillip.
Cape Schanck.
Wilson's Promontory, and its isles.
Kent's Groups, and Furneaux's Isles.
Hills behind the Long Beach.
Arrival at Port Jackson.
Health of the ship's company.
Refitment and supply of the ship.
Price of provisions.
Volunteers entered.
Arrangement for the succeeding part of the voyage.
French ships.
Astronomical and nautical observations.


Of the winds and currents on the south coast of Terra Australis,
and in Bass' Strait.
Usual progress of the gales.
Proper seasons for sailing eastward,
and for going westward:
best places of shelter in each case,
with some instructions for the Strait.


Account of the observations by which the _Longitudes_ of places on the
north coast of Terra Australis have been settled.





Departure from Port Jackson, with the Lady Nelson.
Examination of various parts of the East Coast, from thence to Sandy
Break-sea Spit.
Anchorage in Hervey's Bay, where the Lady Nelson joins after a
Some account of the inhabitants.
Variations of the compass.
Run to Bustard Bay.
Port Curtis discovered, and examined.
Some account of the surrounding country.
Arrival in Keppel Bay, and examination of its branches,
one of which leads into Port Curtis.
Some account of the natives, and of the country round Keppel Bay.
Astronomical and nautical observations.


The Keppel Isles, and coast to Cape Manifold.
A new port discovered and examined.
Harvey's Isles.
A new passage into Shoal-water Bay.
View from Mount Westall.
A boat lost.
The upper parts of Shoal-water Bay examined.
Some account of the country and inhabitants.
General remarks on the bay.
Astronomical and nautical observations.


Departure from Shoal-water Bay, and anchorage in Thirsty Sound.
Magnetical observations.
Boat excursion to the nearest Northumberland Islands.
Remarks on Thirsty Sound.
Observations at West Hill, Broad Sound.
Anchorage near Upper Head.
Expedition to the head of Broad Sound:
another round Long Island.
Remarks on Broad Sound, and the surrounding country.
Advantages for a colony.
Astronomical observations, and remarks on the high tides.


The Percy Isles: anchorage at No. 2.
Boat excursions.
Remarks on the Percy Isles; with nautical observations.
Coral reefs: courses amongst them during eleven days search
for a passage through, to sea.
Description of a reef.
Anchorage at an eastern Cumberland Isle.
The Lady Nelson sent back to Port Jackson.
Continuation of coral reefs;
and courses amongst them during three other days.
Cape Gloucester.
An opening discovered, and the reefs quitted.
General remarks on the Great Barrier;
with some instruction relative to the opening.


Passage from the Barrier Reefs to Torres' Strait.
Reefs named Eastern Fields.
Pandora's Entrance to the Strait.
Anchorage at Murray's Islands.
Communication with the inhabitants.
Half-way Island.
Notions on the formation of coral islands in general.
Prince of Wales's Islands, with remarks on them.
Wallis' Isles.
Entrance into the Gulph of Carpentaria.
Review of the passage through Torres' Strait.


Examination of the coast on the east side of the Gulph of Carpentaria.
Landing at Coen River.
Head of the Gulph.
Anchorage at Sweers' Island.
Interview with Indians at Horse-shoe Island.
Investigator's Road.
The ship found to be in a state of decay.
General remarks on the islands at the Head of the Gulph,
and their inhabitants.
Astronomical and nautical observations.


Departure from Sweers' Island.
South side of C. Van Diemen examined.
Anchorage at Bountiful Island: turtle and sharks there.
Land of C. Van Diemen proved to be an island.
Examination of the main coast to Cape Vanderlin.
That cape found to be one of a group of islands.
Examination of the islands; their soil, etc.
Monument of the natives.
Traces of former visitors to these parts.
Astronomical and nautical observations.


Departure from Sir Edward Pellew's Group.
Coast from thence westward.
Cape Maria found to be an island.
Limmen's Bight. Coast northward to Cape Barrow: landing on it.
Circumnavigation of Groote Eylandt.
Specimens of native art at Chasm Island.
Anchorage in North-west Bay, Groote Eylandt;
with remarks and nautical observations.
Blue-mud Bay. Skirmish with the natives.
Cape Shield.
Mount Grindall.
Coast to Caledon Bay.
Occurrences in that bay, with remarks on the country and inhabitants.
Astronomical and nautical observations.


Departure from Caledon Bay.
Cape Arnhem.
Melville Bay.
Cape Wilberforce, and Bromby's Isles.
The English Company's Islands: meeting there with vessels from Macassar.
Arnhem Bay.
The Wessel's Islands.
Further examination of the North Coast postponed.
Arrival at Coepang Bay, in Timor.
Remarks and astronomical observations.


Departure from Timor.
Search made for the Trial Rocks.
Anchorage in Goose-Island Bay.
Interment of the boatswain, and sickly state of the ship's company.
Escape from the bay, and passage through Bass' Strait.
Arrival at Port Jackson.
Losses in men.
Survey and condemnation of the ship.
Plans for continuing the survey;
but preparation finally made for returning to England.
State of the colony at Port Jackson.


Of the winds, currents, and navigation along the east coast of Terra
Australis, both without and within the tropic; also on the north coast.

Directions for sailing from Port Jackson, through Torres' Strait, towards
India or the Cape of Good Hope.

Advantages of this passage over that round New Guinea.




Departure from Port Jackson in the Porpoise,
accompanied by the Bridgewater and Cato.
The Cato's Bank.
Shipwreck of the Porpoise and Cato in the night.
The crews get on a sand bank; where they are left by the Bridgewater.
Provisions saved.
Regulations on the bank.
Measures adopted for getting back to Port Jackson.
Description of Wreck-Reef Bank.
Remarks on the loss of M. de La Perouse.


Departure from Wreck-Reef Bank in a boat.
Boisterous weather.
The Coast of New South Wales reached, and followed.
Natives at Point Look-out.
Landing near Smoky Cape; and again near Port Hunter.
Arrival at Port Jackson on the thirteenth day.
Return to Wreck Reef with a ship and two schooners.
Arrangements at the Bank.
Account of the reef, with nautical and other remarks.


Passage in the Cumberland to Torres' Strait.
Eastern Fields and Pandora's Entrance.
New channels amongst the reefs.
Anchorage at Half-way Island, and under the York Isles.
Prince of Wales's Islands further examined.
Booby Isle.
Passage across the Gulph of Carpentaria.
Anchorage at Wessel's Islands.
Passage to Coepang Bay, in Timor; and to Mauritius,
where the leakiness of the Cumberland makes it necessary to stop.
Anchorage at the Baye du Cap, and departure for Port Louis.


Arrival at Port Louis (or North-West) in Mauritius.
Interview with the French governor.
Seizure of the Cumberland, with the charts and journals of the
Investigator's voyage; and imprisonment of the commander and people.
Letters to the governor, with his answer.
Restitution of some books and charts.
Friendly act of the English interpreter.
Propositions made to the governor.
Humane conduct of captain Bergeret.
Reflections on a voyage of discovery.
Removal to the Maison Despeaux or Garden Prison.


Prisoners in the Maison Despeaux or Garden Prison.
Application to admiral Linois.
Spy-glasses and swords taken.
Some papers restored.
Opinions upon the detention of the Cumberland.
Letter of captain Baudin.
An English squadron arrives off Mauritius: its consequences.
Arrival of a French officer with despatches, and observations thereon.
Passages in the Moniteur, with remarks.
Mr. Aken liberated.
Arrival of cartels from India.
Application made by the marquis Wellesley.
Different treatment of English and French prisoners.
Prizes brought to Mauritius in sixteen months.
Departure of all prisoners of war.
Permission to quit the Garden Prison.
Astronomical observations.


Parole given.
Journey into the interior of Mauritius.
The governor's country seat.
Residence at the Refuge, in that Part of Williems Plains called Vacouas.
Its situation and climate, with the mountains, rivers, cascades, and
views near it.
The Mare aux Vacouas and Grand Bassin.
State of cultivation and produce of Vacouas;
its black ebony, game, and wild fruits; and freedom from noxious insects.


Occupations at Vacouas.
Hospitality of the inhabitants.
Letters from England.
Refusal to be sent to France repeated.
Account of two hurricanes, of a subterraneous stream and circular pit.
Habitation of La Perouse.
Letters to the French marine minister, National Institute, etc.
Letters from Sir Edward Pellew.
Caverns in the Plains of St. Pierre.
Visit to Port Louis.
Narrative transmitted to England.
Letter to captain Bergeret on his departure for France.


Effects of repeated disappointment on the mind.
Arrival of a cartel, and of letters from India.
Letter of the French marine minister.
Restitution of papers.
Applications for liberty evasively answered.
Attempted seizure of private letters.
Memorial to the minister.
Encroachments made at Paris on the Investigator's discoveries.
Expected attack on Mauritius produces an abridgment of Liberty.
Strict blockade.
Arrival of another cartel from India.
State of the public finances in Mauritius.
French cartel sails for the Cape of Good Hope.


A prospect of liberty, which is officially confirmed.
Occurrences during eleven weeks residence in the town of Port Louis
and on board the Harriet cartel.
Parole and certificates.
Departure from Port Louis, and embarkation in the Otter.
Eulogium on the inhabitants of Mauritius.
Review of the conduct of general De Caen.
Passage to the Cape of Good Hope, and after seven weeks stay,
from thence to England.


No. I.

Account of the observations by which the _Longitudes_ of places on the
east and north coasts of Terra Australis have been settled.

No. II.

On the errors of the compass arising from attractions within the ship,
and others from the magnetism of land; with precautions for obviating
their effects in marine surveying.

No. III.

General Remarks, geographical and systematical, on the Botany of Terra
Australis. By ROBERT BROWN, F. R. S. _Acad. Reg. Scient. Berolin.



View from the south side of King George's Sound.

Entrance of Port Lincoln, taken from behind Memory Cove.

View on the north side of Kangaroo Island.

View of Port Jackson, taken from the South Head.


View of Port Bowen, from behind the Watering Gully.
View of Murray's Islands, with the natives offering to barter.
View in Sir Edward Pellew's Group--Gulph of Carpentaria.
View of Malay Road, from Pobassoo's Island.
View of Wreck-Reef Bank, taken at low water.



I. General Chart of TERRA AUSTRALIS and the neighbouring lands,
from latitude 7 deg. to 441/2 deg. south, and longitude 102 deg. to 165 deg. east.

II. Particular chart of the South Coast, from Cape Leeuwin to
the Archipelago of the Recherche.

III. Ditto from the Archipelago of the Recherche to past the head
of the great Australian Bight.

IV. Ditto from the head of the great Australian Bight to past
Encounter Bay.

V. Ditto from near Encounter Bay to Cape Otway at the west entrance
of Bass' Strait.

VI. Ditto from Cape Otway, past Cape Howe, to Barmouth Creek.

VII. Particular chart of Van Diemen's Land.

VIII. Particular chart of the East Coast, from Barmouth Creek
to past Cape Hawke.

IX. Ditto from near Cape Hawke to past Glass-house Bay.

X. Ditto from Glass-house Bay to Broad Sound.

XI. Ditto from Broad Sound to Cape Grafton.

XII. Ditto from Cape Grafton to the Isle of Direction.

XIII. Particular chart of the East Coast from the I. of Direction
to Cape York, and of the North Coast from thence to Pera Head;
including Torres Strait and parts of New Guinea.

XIV. A particular chart of the North Coast, from Torres' Strait
to Point Dale and the Wessel's Islands, including the whole
of the Gulph of Carpentaria.

XV. The north-west side of the Gulph of Carpentaria, on a large scale.

XVI. Particular chart of Timor and some neighbouring islands.

XVII. Fourteen views of headlands, etc. on the south coast
of Terra Australis.

XVIII. Thirteen views on the east and north coasts,
and one of Samow Strait.


Ten plates of selected plants from different parts of Terra Australis.




Departure from Port Jackson, with the Lady Nelson.
Examination of various parts of the East Coast, from thence to Sandy
Break-sea Spit.
Anchorage in Hervey's Bay, where the Lady Nelson joins after a
Some account of the inhabitants.
Variations of the compass.
Run to Bustard Bay.
Port Curtis discovered, and examined.
Some account of the surrounding country.
Arrival in Keppel Bay, and examination of its branches,
one of which leads into Port Curtis.
Some account of the natives, and of the country round Keppel Bay.
Astronomical and nautical observations.



Lieutenant John Murray, commander of the brig Lady Nelson, having
received orders to put himself under my command, I gave him a small code
of signals, and directed him, in case of separation, to repair to
Hervey's Bay; which he was to enter by a passage said to have been found
by the south-sea whalers, between Sandy Cape and Break-sea Spit. In the
morning of July 22, we sailed out of Port Jackson together; and the
breeze being fair and fresh, ran rapidly to the northward, keeping at a
little distance from the coast. (Atlas, Plate VIII.)

At eleven o'clock, the south head of Broken Bay bore W. by N. three
leagues; and Mr. Westall then made a sketch of the entrance, with that of
the Hawkesbury River, which falls into it (Atlas, Plate XVIII, View 2).
The colonists have called this place Broken Bay, but it is not what was
so named by captain Cook; for he says it lies in latitude 33 deg. 42'
(Hawkesworth III. 103), whereas the southernmost point of entrance is not
further than 33 deg. 34' south. There is, in captain Cook's latitude, a very
small opening, and the hills behind it answer to his description of "some
broken land that seemed to form a bay," when seen at four leagues, the
distance he was off; but in reality, there is nothing more than a shallow
lagoon in that place. In consequence of this difference in position, Cape
Three-points has been sought three or four leagues to the north of Broken
Bay; whereas it is the north head of the entrance into the bay itself
which was so named, and it corresponds both in situation and appearance.

At noon, the south-eastern bluff of Cape Three-points bore S. 64 deg. W.,
seven or eight miles, and was found to lie in 33 deg. 321/2' south and 151 deg.
231/2' east. In steering northward along the coast, at from six to two
miles distance, we passed two rocky islets lying under the high shore;
and at sunset, Coal Island, in the entrance of Port Hunter, bore N. 9 deg.
W., five or six miles. This port was discovered in 1797 by the late
captain John Shortland, and lies in 32 deg. 56' south, longitude 151 deg. 43'

We passed Port Stephens a little before midnight; and the breeze being
fresh at W. by S., the Lady Nelson was left astern, and we lay to for an
hour next morning [FRIDAY 23 JULY 1802], to wait her coming up. The land
was then scarcely visible, but a north course brought us in with the
Three Brothers (Atlas Plate IX.); and at four in the afternoon, they bore
from S. 56 deg. to 65 deg. W., the nearest land being a low, but steep point,
distant four or five miles in the first direction. The Three Brothers lie
from one to five miles behind the shore, at the eastern extremity of a
range of high land, coming out of the interior country. The northernmost
hill is the broadest, most elevated, and nearest to the water side; and
being visible fifty miles from a ship's deck, is an excellent landmark
for vessels passing along the coast: its latitude is 31 deg. 43' south, and
longitude 152 deg. 45' east.

To the northward of the Three Brothers there is four leagues of low. and
mostly sandy shore; and after passing it, we came up with a projection,
whose top is composed of small, irregular-shaped hummocks, the
northernmost of them being a rocky lump of a sugar-loaf form; further on,
the land falls back into a shallow bight, with rocks in it standing above
water. When abreast of the projection, which was called _Tacking Point_,
the night was closing in, and we stood off shore, intending to make the
same part next morning; for some of this coast had been passed in the
dark by captain Cook, and might therefore contain openings.


At daybreak of the 24th, Tacking Point was distant three miles, and the
breeze fresh at S. W. by W. with fine weather. Our little consort being
out of sight, we stood an hour to the southward; and not seeing her in
that direction, bore away along the coast until noon, when our situation
was as under:

Latitude observed 30 deg. 581/4'
Longitude by time-keepers 153 61/2
Northern Brother, dist. 48 miles, bore S. 23 W.
Smoky Cape, distant 3 or 4 miles, N. 41 deg. to 30 W.
Northern extreme of the land, N. 5 W.

The coast from Tacking Point to Smoky Cape is generally low and sandy;
but its uniformity is broken at intervals by rocky points, which first
appear like islands. Behind them the land is low, but quickly rises to
hills of a moderate height; and these being well covered with wood, the
country had a pleasant appearance. Smoky Cape was found to answer the
description given of it by captain Cook; its centre lies in 30 deg. 55'
south, and 153 deg. 4' east. The three hummocks upon it stand on so many
projecting parts; and at half a mile from the southernmost lie two rocks,
and a third two miles further south, which were not before noticed. On
the north side of Smoky Cape, the coast falls back four or five miles to
the westward, forming a bight in the low land, where there may probably
be a shallow inlet; it afterwards resumed a northern direction, and
consisted as before of sandy beaches and stony points.

Our consort was not yet in sight; but we kept on until five in the
evening, when the nearest land was two miles off, and the northern
hummock on Smoky Cape bore S. 4 deg. W. nine leagues. I had before seen the
coast further northward, as far as 29 deg. 20'; and having therefore no
inducement to lose a night's run for its examination, we steered onward,
passing without side of the Solitary Isles. At three in the morning
[SUNDAY 25 JULY 1802], hove to until day-light; and at eight o'clock made
the south head of a bay discovered in the Norfolk (Introd. Vol I, "In
latitude 29 deg. 43', we discovered a small opening like a river, with an
islet lying in the entrance; and at sunset, entered a larger, to which I
gave the name of SHOAL BAY, an appellation which it but too well
merited."), and named _Shoal Bay_. One of the marks for finding this
small place is a peaked hummock on the low land, thirteen miles distant;
and it was now set over the south head of the bay at S. 20 deg. W. In
steering northward close along the coast, we passed two small reefs, and
the water shoaled to 10 fathoms; they lie two miles off the land, and
there did not seem to be any safe passage within them. Our latitude at
noon was 29 deg. 4', and longitude by time keepers 153 deg. 31'; the shore was
three miles off but until we came up with Cape Byron at five in the
evening, there was no projection worthy of being particularly noticed.
From Shoal Bay to Cape Byron is fifty miles, where the coast, with the
exception of two or three rocky heads, is mostly low and sandy; and the
soundings, at from two to four miles off, vary between 10 and 32 fathoms,
on a sandy bottom. A few miles back the land rises to hills of moderate
elevation, which were poorly covered with wood in the southern part, but
towards the cape had a more fertile appearance.

Cape Byron is a small steep head, projecting about two miles from the low
land, and in coming along the coast makes like an island; its latitude is
28 deg. 38', and longitude 153 deg. 37', or 7' east of the situation assigned to
it by captain Cook. There are three rocks on its north side; and in the
direction of N. 57 deg. W., eight or nine leagues from it, is the peaked top
of a mass of mountains, named by its discoverer _Mount Warning_; whose
elevation is about 3300 feet, and exceeds that of Mount Dromedary, or any
other land I have seen upon this East Coast. To Mr. Westall's sketch of
this remarkable peak (Atlas, Plate XVIII. View 3.) it may be added, that
the surrounding hills were well covered with wood, whose foliage
announced a soil more fertile than usual so near the sea side.

The sun was near setting at the time Cape Byron bore west, three or four
miles; and the coast from thence to Point Look-out having been seen by
captain Cook, we steered off in order to avoid falling in with the reefs
of Point Danger in the night. At eleven, hauled more in for the land; and
at eight next day [MONDAY 26 JULY 1802], Mount Warning was set at S. 25 deg.
W., twenty leagues. On coming in with Point Look-out, I took observations
for the latitude and longitude, which fixed it in 27 deg. 27' south, and 153 deg.
31' east. The latitude is the same as it had been made in the Norfolk,
(Introd. Vol. I), but is 19' south, and 3' west of the situation given in
captain Cook's chart. The bearings of the land at noon were,

Point Look-out, distant 3 leagues, S. 9 deg. W.
Moreton entrance to Glass-house Bay, S. 55 W.
Cape Moreton, distant six leagues, N. 18 W.

A strange vessel seen to the southward, had induced me to carry little
sail all the morning; it was now perceived not to be the Lady Nelson, but
probably one of the two whalers known to be fishing off the coast; we
therefore made sail for Cape Moreton, and came up with it at four
o'clock. I was much surprised to see a small, but dangerous reef lying
between four and five miles off this cape to the north-east, which had
not been noticed in the Norfolk; in entering Glass-house Bay I had then
hauled close round Cape Moreton at dusk in the evening, and in coming out
had passed too far westward to observe it. The longitude of Cape Moreton
was now fixed by the time keepers at 153 deg. 261/2' east, differing only 11/2'
from the lunar observations before taken in the Norfolk; when its
latitude had been settled at 27 deg. 01/2' south.

(Atlas, Plate X.)


After passing the dangerous reef, we steered northward until three in the
morning; and then hove to until daylight, for the purpose of examining
the land about Double-island Point and Wide Bay, which did not appear to
have been well distinguished by captain Cook. At seven o'clock the point
bore N. 2 deg. W., six leagues, and the shore abreast, a beach with sandy
hills behind it, was distant six miles. Between the S. 63. W. and a low
bluff head bearing S. 32 deg. W., was a bight in the coast where the sand
hills seemed to terminate; for the back land further south was high and
rocky with small peaks on the top, similar to the ridge behind the Glass
Houses, of which it is probably a continuation.

At half past nine we hauled close round Double-island Point, within a
rock lying between one and two miles to the N. N. E., having 7 fathoms
for the least water. The point answered captain Cook's description: it is
a steep head, at the extremity of a neck of land which runs out two miles
from the main, and lies in 25 deg. 56' south, and 153 deg. 13' east. On the north
side of the point the coast falls back to the westward, and presents a
steep shore of white sand; but in curving round Wide Bay the sandy land
becomes very low, and a small opening was seen in it, leading to a piece
of water like a lagoon; but the shoals which lie off the entrance render
it difficult of access, if indeed there be a passage for any thing larger
than boats. Had the Lady Nelson been with me, I should have attempted to
get her into the lagoon, having previously entertained a conjecture that
the head of Hervey's Bay might communicate with Wide Bay; but the
apprehension that lieutenant Murray would arrive at the first rendezvous,
and proceed to the next before we could join him, deterred me from
attempting it with the Investigator or with boats.

Upon the north side of the opening there was a number of Indians, fifty
as reported, looking at the ship, and near Double-island Point ten others
had been seen, implying a more numerous population than is usual to the
southward. I inferred from hence, that the piece of water at the head of
Wide Bay was extensive and shallow; for in such places the natives draw
much subsistence from the fish which there abound, and are more easily
caught than in deep water. So far as could be seen from the mast head at
three or four miles off, the water extended about five miles westward, to
the feet of some hills covered with small wood. Its extent north and
south could not be distinguished, and it seemed probable that one, and
perhaps two streams fall into it; for there were many large medusas
floating at the entrance, such as are usually found near the mouths of
rivers in this country.

We passed the shoals of Wide Bay in from 12 to 5 fathoms water; and
steered northward at the distance of six, and from that to two miles off
the shore, until dark. Captain Cook describes this part of the coast as
moderately high and very barren; there being great patches of moveable
sand many acres in extent, through which appeared in some places the
green tops of trees half buried, and in others the naked trunks of such
as the sand had destroyed. We sailed some miles nearer to it than the
Endeavour had done, and saw extensive, bare patches in many parts; but
nothing to indicate the sands being moveable; and in general, there were
shrubs, bushes, and some trees scattered over the hills in front of the
sea. Nothing however can well be imagined more barren than this
peninsula; but the smokes which arose from many parts, corroborated the
remark made upon the population about Wide Bay; and bespoke that fresh
water was not scarce in this sandy country.

Our course at night was directed by the fires on the shore, and the wind
being moderate from the south-westward, it was continued until ten
o'clock; after which we stood off and on till daylight [WEDNESDAY 28 JULY
1802], and then had Indian Head bearing S. 54 deg. W. one mile and a half.
This head was so named by captain Cook, from the great number of Indians
assembled there in 1770. Mr. Westall's sketch of it (Atlas, Plate XVIII,
View 4.), taken as we steered close along the shore for Sandy Cape, will
show that the same sterility prevailed here as in the southern part of
the peninsula; and it continued to the northern extremity.

At eleven o'clock we reached Sandy Cape, and the master was sent ahead to
sound in a small passage through Break-sea Spit. The ship followed under
easy sail, until we got into 3 fathoms; and the master not making the
signal for any deeper water, I tacked and called the boat on board. The
channel appeared to go quite through the Spit, into Hervey's Bay; but as
there were, in many parts, not more than 2 fathoms, it can be passed only
by small vessels. At noon,

Sandy Cape, distant a miles, bore S. 64 deg. to 80 deg. W.
Indian Head, distant 7 leagues, S. 12 E.

Our observations fixed Sandy Cape in 24 deg. 42' south, and 153 deg.' 16' east,
being 3' north, and 7' east of the position assigned to it by captain


At one o'clock we steered northward, close to the edge of Break-sea Spit,
searching for a passage through it into Hervey's Bay. There were many
small winding channels amongst the breakers, and a larger being perceived
at three, the boat was sent to make an examination; in the mean time, the
wind having shifted to north-west and become very light, we dropped the
stream anchor two miles from the Spit, in 11 fathoms, fine grey sand. The
channel where the boat was sounding, and out of which a tide came of more
than one mile an hour, bore W. by N.1/2 N., and Sandy Cape S. 24 deg. to 41 deg.
W., about three leagues.

Soon after sunset the master returned, and reported the channel to be
nearly a mile and a half wide, and that it went quite through to the bay;
but it did not generally contain more than fourteen feet water, and was
therefore impassable for the Investigator. The bottom of this, and of the
former small channel, as also the shoaler banks of the Spit, were of
coral, mixed with coral sand.


At three in the morning, on a breeze springing up at S. W. by S., we
stretched south-eastward; and a vessel having been observed over night
off Indian Head, this tack was prolonged till seven o'clock; when seeing
nothing of her, we stood back for the Spit, and coasted close along its
east side as before, in from 10 to 5 fathoms water. At forty minutes
after noon we passed over the tail of the Spit, in latitude 24 deg. 24'; the
water then deepening suddenly from 6 and 7, to 22 fathoms, and the white
patches on Sandy Cape bearing S. 8 deg. E. In standing N. W. by W. we crossed
a bank in 11 fathoms, and on tacking, passed another part of it with only
5; the water upon it was not discoloured, nor had it been observed either
by captain Cook, or by me in the Norfolk: it lies about 6 miles W. N. W.
from the end of Break-sea Spit.

The first rendezvous appointed for lieutenant Murray, was the anchorage
near Sandy Cape; but the wind being unfavourable, we did not reach it
till four on the following afternoon [FRIDAY 30 JULY 1802]; at which time
the anchor was dropped in 7 fathoms, sandy bottom, with the outer
extremity of the cape bearing S. 79 deg. E., and the nearest part distant two
miles. A vessel was seen on the outside of the Spit, which proved to be
the Lady Nelson; and the master being sent with a boat to assist her
through the passage, she anchored near us at sunset, and lieutenant
Murray came on board. The account he gave of his separation, and the
delay in arriving at the rendezvous, convinced me both of the Lady Nelson
being an indifferent vessel, and of the truth of an observation before
made upon the currents: that they run much stronger to the southward at
the distance of six, and from that to twenty leagues off the coast, than
they do close in with the shore. Mr. Murray not being much accustomed to
make free with the land, had kept it barely within sight, and had been
much retarded.

In order to give the botanists an opportunity of examining the
productions of Sandy Cape, I determined to remain here a day; and some
natives being seen upon the beach, a boat was sent to commence an
acquaintance with them; they however retired, and suffered Mr. Brown to
botanise without disturbance. Next morning [SATURDAY 31 July 1802] the
brig anchored within a quarter of a mile of the shore, to cover our
landing parties; and the armed boats being moored at grapnels, out of the
reach of the natives, we separated into three divisions. The naturalist's
party, consisting of six persons, walked along the shore towards the
upper part of the bay; Mr. Murray and his people went to cut wood for
fuel; and the party with me, also of six persons, including my native
friend _Bongaree_, went towards the extremity of Sandy Cape. Several
Indians with branches of trees in their hands, were there collected; and
whilst they retreated themselves, were waving to us to go back. Bongaree
stripped off his clothes and laid aside his spear, as inducements for
them to wait for him; but finding they did not understand his language,
the poor fellow, in the simplicity of his heart, addressed them in broken
English, hoping to succeed better. At length they suffered him to come
up, and by degrees our whole party joined; and after receiving some
presents, twenty of them returned with us to the boats, and were feasted
upon the blubber of two porpoises, which had been brought on shore
purposely for them. At two o'clock the naturalists returned, bringing
some of the scoop nets used by the natives in catching fish; and we then
quitted our new friends, after presenting them with hatchets and other
testimonials of our satisfaction.

These people go entirely naked, and otherwise much resemble the
inhabitants of Port Jackson in personal appearance; but they were more
fleshy, perhaps from being able to obtain a better supply of food with
the scoop nets, which are not known on the southern parts of the coast. I
noticed in most of them a hard tumour on the outer knuckle of the wrist,
which, if we understood them aright, was caused by the stretcher of the
scoop coming in contact with this part in the act of throwing the net.
Our native did not understand a word of their language, nor did they seem
to know the use of his _womerah_ or throwing stick; for one of them being
invited to imitate Bongaree, who lanced a spear with it very dexterously
and to a great distance, he, in the most awkward manner, threw both
womerah and spear together. Nothing like a canoe was seen amongst these
people; but they must have some means of passing over the water to short
distances, since I found, in 1799, that Curlew Islet, near the head of
this bay, had been visited.

A species of _pandanus_ before found at Glass-house and Shoal Bays, grows
in abundance upon Sandy Cape; and notwithstanding the extreme sterility
of the soil, the sand hills were mostly covered with bushes, and the
vallies contained trees of the _casuarina_ and _eucalyptus_. There was
fresh water in a pool near the shore, and as a ship may lie within half a
mile, both wood and water might be procured here without great
difficulty; but I doubt if the water would not altogether fail in the dry

A tolerably regular tide set past the ship, N. N. E. and S. S. W., nearly
one mile an hour; and it appeared by the shore to be high water _about
eight hours after_ the moon's passage, and the common rise to be between
six and seven feet.

No mention has been made of the variation of the compass since leaving
Port Jackson, A gradual diminution seems to take place from Twofold Bay,
near the southern extremity of this coast, to Sandy Cape; as will appear
from the following observations.

Lat. 37 deg. 4' Azim., one compass, on shore, 9 deg. 29' E.
33 52 do , do , do , 8 51
31 36 do , do , head north, 9 8
30 32 do , three comp., do , 8 42
26 10 do , one comp., head N. by W. 8 deg. 40', corr. 8 7
25 0 Ampl., do , head N. W. by N. 9 39 , corr. 8 9
24 43 do , do , head S. E. 1/2 S. 6 33 , corr 8 14

The coast lies nearly north, and except Sandy Cape, appears to be mostly
of free stone, which I have not found to produce any effect upon the
needle; and what is remarkable, on comparing my observations with those
of captain Cook, it appeared that little or no change had taken place in
the variation, during thirty-two years; for wherever our observations
were taken with the ships heads in the same direction, there the same
variation was obtained to a few minutes.

Within Break-sea Spit, an amplitude gave the variation when corrected, 7 deg.
25' east; and one taken at the anchorage near Sandy Cape, but
uncorrected, the direction of the ship's head being unknown, 7 deg. 57' east.
There is little doubt that on bringing the land to the eastward of the
ship, the variation was diminished at least half a degree: the stone of
Sandy Cape is granitic.


In the morning of August 1, the wind was from the southward, and we
steered across Hervey's Bay, towards a sloping hummock on the west side,
where my examination in the Norfolk had terminated. The soundings
increased from 7, gradually to 18 fathoms, and afterwards decreased till
half past four in the afternoon; when the sloping hummock bore S. 2 deg. E.
eight miles, and we had no more than 31/2 fathoms near some dry banks and
breakers, which extend out three miles from two shallow inlets in the
coast. At dusk the anchor was let go in 61/2 fathoms, mud and sand; the
shallow inlets to the south being distant 6 miles, and the sloping
hummock bearing S. 17 deg. E. In captain Cook's chart, the width of Hervey's
Bay is fifty-nine miles, which had appeared to me too great when here in
the Norfolk; and I now made the distance, from the north-west extremity
of Sandy Cape to a low point running out from the hummock, to be forty
three miles by the _time keepers_. Such errors as this are almost
unavoidable without the aid of these instruments, when sailing either
along a coast which lies nearly on the same parallel, or where no land is
in sight to correct the longitude by bearings. From Port Jackson to Sandy
Cape, captain Cook's positions had been found to differ from mine, not
more than from 10' east to 7' west; which must be considered a great
degree of accuracy, considering the expeditious manner in which he sailed
along the coast, and that there were no time keepers on board the
Endeavour; but from Sandy Cape northward, where the direction of the
coast has a good deal of westing in it, greater differences began to show


There was a little tide running past the ship in the first part of the
night from N. N. W., which appeared to be the flood setting into Hervey's
Bay. At daybreak [MONDAY 2 AUGUST 1802] we pursued our course along the
shore, at the distance of four or five miles, in soundings between 5 and
9 fathoms. The coast was low, but not sandy; and behind it was a range of
hills extending north-westward, and like the flat country, was not ill
clothed with wood. There was no remarkable projection till we came to the
south head of Bustard Bay; and the night being then at hand, we ran in
and anchored on a sandy bottom, in 41/2 fathoms, nearly in the same spot
where the Endeavour had lain thirty-two years before.

The rocky south head of Bustard Bay, from the survey between the
preceding and following noons, should lie in 24 deg. 9' south, and the time
keepers placed it in 151 deg. 52' east; or 5' south and 10' east of captain
Cook's situation; nor did the form of the Bay correspond to his chart.*
The variation observed a few miles from the anchorage, was 8 deg. 20' east,
with the ship's head N. W. by N., or 6 deg. 52' reduced to the meridian;
nearly as had been found in the morning, when it was 6 deg. 56' corrected.
This is a full degree less than it was on the east side of Sandy Cape,
and captain Cook's observations show a still greater diminution.

[* The latitude 24 deg. 4' was observed on board the Endeavour, at anchor
here; by whom is uncertain, but it was not by captain Cook or Mr. Green.
In the _Astronomical Observations_ of the voyage, p. 134, Mr. Wales, in
deducing the position of Bustard Bay, takes no notice of this
observation, and omits the latitude.]


At daylight we proceeded along the coast; but the wind being very light,
were no more than abreast of the north head of Bustard Bay at noon; and
the ship being drifted by the tide toward some rocks lying off the head,
a boat went to sound amongst them for a passage; in the mean time an air
sprung up at north; and having got the ship's head to the eastward, we
stretched off from the rocks. This north head lies in latitude 24 deg. 0', as
laid down by captain Cook, and bears from the south head N. 44 deg. W.,
twelve miles; it is moderately high, and behind it is a mass of hummocky,
barren hills, which extend far to the westward. A reef lies out as far as
two miles from the north head; but within the outer rock above water our
boat had 14 fathoms, and there was room for a ship to pass.

Not being able to weather the reef before dark, we worked to windward
during the night; bearing down frequently to the Lady Nelson, to prevent
separation. At daylight [WEDNESDAY 4 AUGUST 1802], the wind had shifted
gradually round, from north to the south-westward; and at noon the north
head of Bustard, Bay was brought to bear S. 16 deg. E., four leagues, our
latitude being then 23 deg. 48', and longitude 151 deg. 40'. A low island was
seen from the mast head, bearing north at the supposed distance of six
leagues, of which captain Cook does not make any mention;* and the
furthest visible part of the main land was a conspicuous hill, named
_Mount Larcom_, in compliment to captain Larcom of the navy. It bore W.
1/2 deg. N., ten or eleven leagues; but the coast line between it and the north
head of Bustard Bay, seemed to be much broken.

[* A cluster of low islands, about fifteen leagues from the coast, was
seen in the following year by Mr. Bunker, commander of the Albion, south
whaler. He described the cluster to be of considerable extent, and as
lying in latitude 233/4 deg., and longitude about 1521/2 deg.; or nearly a degree to
the eastward of the low isle above mentioned. It is probably to these
islands, whose existence captain Cook suspected, that the great flights
of boobies he saw in Hervey's Bay retire at night.]

In the afternoon, a breeze from the north-westward enabled us to stretch
in for the land; and we anchored soon after sunset in 10 fathoms, brown
sand, five or six miles from a projection which received the name of
_Gatcombe Head_; and to the southward of it there was a rather deep bight
in the coast. The bearings of the land, taken a few minutes before
anchoring, were as under.

North head of Bustard Bay, dist. 5 leagues, S. 56 deg. E.
Gatcombe Head, S. 86 W.
Mount Larcom, N. 80 W.
Northern extreme of the coast, N. 46 W.

The chain of hills which rises near Bustard Bay, was seen to stretch
westward a few miles behind the shore, till it was lost at the back of
Mount Larcom. These hills were not destitute of wood, but they had a
barren appearance; and the coast was more rocky than sandy. At this
anchorage, the flood tide came from the north-by-east, and the ebb set
east, half a mile per hour.



At daylight of the 5th, we closed in with the shore, steering
north-westward; and at nine o'clock a small opening was discovered, and
water seen over the low front land. The Lady Nelson was ordered to look
for anchorage; and at eleven we came to, in 4 fathoms brown sand, one
mile from the east point of the opening; and the following bearings were
then taken:

Southern extreme of the coast, over the east point, S. 36 deg. E.
Rocky islet in the middle of the opening, dist. 11/2 mile, S. 28 W.
Mount Larcom, S. 75 W.
Hummock at the northern extreme (C. Capricorn), N. 18 W.

The opening was not so much as a mile in width, but from the extent of
water within, it was conjectured to have a communication with the bight
on the south side of Gatcombe Head; and this being an object worthy of
examination, the sails were furled and the boats hoisted out. The
naturalist and his companions landed at the west side of the entrance,
where some Indians had assembled to look at the ship; but they retired on
the approach of our gentlemen, and afterwards taking the advantage of a
hillock, began to throw stones at the party; nor would they desist until
two or three muskets were fired over their heads, when they disappeared.
There were seven bark canoes lying on the shore, and near them hung upon
a tree some parts of a turtle; and scoop nets, such as those of Hervey's
Bay, were also seen.

I proceeded up the opening in a boat, and lieutenant Murray got under way
to follow with the brig; but the tide ran up so rapidly, over a bottom
which was rocky and very irregular in depth, that he anchored almost
immediately, and came to the middle islet where I was taking angles. We
then went over to the west shore, and ascended a hill called in the
chart, _Hill View_; from whence it was evident, that this water did
certainly communicate with the bight round Gatcombe Head, and by an
opening much more considerable than that in which the vessels were
anchored; the port was also seen to extend far to the westward, and I was
induced to form a regular plan for its examination. The northern entrance
being too full of rocks and shoals for the Lady Nelson to pass, although
drawing no more than six feet when the keels were hoisted up, Mr. Murray
was desired to go round to the southern opening; and about sunset he got
under way.


Early in the morning I went off in the whale boat, with two days
provisions, and made nearly a straight course up the port, for a low
point on the south shore called _South-trees Point_. The water was very
shallow, with many rocks and dry banks, until the southern entrance was
fairly open, when the depth varied between 7 and 3 fathoms; but there was
from 6 to 8 close to the low point. This forms the inner part of the
southern entrance, and Gatcombe Head, the outer part, lies from it S. 64 deg.
E. about four miles; from the head southward, however, the width of the
channel is much less, being contracted by banks which extend out from the
opposite shore.

Seeing nothing of the brig, I proceeded in the examination, steering
westward for a small island four or five miles up the port. This is the
southernmost of six islets, lying behind the point of Hill View, and from
one of two hillocks upon it, another set of bearings was taken. The depth
of water thus far, had varied from 8 fathoms, to six feet upon a middle
shoal; after which it deepened to 3, 4, and 7 fathoms, and there was 10
close to the southern islet. The Lady Nelson made her appearance off
Gatcombe Head about noon; but not waiting for her, I went to a point on
the northern shore, near two miles higher up, where the water was so deep
that a ship might make fast to the rocks and trees: the soundings were
very irregular from the southern islet, but the least depth was 5

The port was here contracted to one mile in width; but it opened out
higher up, and taking a more northern direction, assumed the form of a
river. In steering across to the western shore, I carried from 8 to 4,
and afterwards from 6 to 2 fathoms; when turning northward for two islets
covered with mangroves, the depth increased again to 7 fathoms. We tried
to land upon a third islet, it being then sunset; but a surrounding bank
of soft mud making the islet inaccessible, we rowed on upwards, and
landed with difficulty on the west shore before it became quite dark. The
breadth of the stream here was about a mile; and the greatest depth 6
fathoms at low water.


In the morning, a small opening was observed in the opposite, eastern
shore; but reserving this for examination in returning, I proceeded
upwards with a fair wind, five miles further, when the greatest depth any
where to be found was 3 fathoms. The stream then divided into two arms;
the largest, about one mile in breadth, continuing its direction to the
N. W. by N., and apparently ending a little further up; the other running
westward, but the greater part of both occupied by shallow water and mud
banks. Upon the point of separation, which is insulated at high water,
there were some low, reddish cliffs, the second observed on the west
shore; and from thence I set Mount Larcom at S. 15 deg. 15' W., distant seven
or eight miles.

This station was nine miles above the steep point, where the port is
first contracted, and the steep point is ten from Gatcombe Head; and
conceiving it could answer no essentially useful purpose to pursue the
examination where a ship could not go, I returned to the small opening in
the eastern shore, opposite to where we had passed the night. There was 4
fathoms in the entrance of this little branch; but it presently became
shallow, and I landed to ascend a hill which had but little wood at the
top. The sea was visible from thence; and the ship at the northern
entrance of the port was set at N. 891/2 deg. E, and Mount Larcom S. 591/2 deg. W.
The small, mangrove islets below this branch, were passed on the east
side in our way down, there being a narrow channel with from 3 to 5
fathoms in it, close past two trees standing alone in the water; and at
sunset we got on board the brig, lying at anchor off South-trees Point.

Lieutenant Murray had found some difficulty in getting into the southern
entrance, from a shoal which lay to the S. E. by E., one mile and a half
from Gatcombe Head. He passed on the north side of the shoal, and brought
deep water as far as South-trees Point; but in steering onward, in
mid-channel, had met with other banks, and was obliged to anchor. I
desired Mr. Murray to ascertain as he went out, whether there were any
channel on the south side of the shoal near Gatcombe Head; and quitting
the brig next morning [SUNDAY 8 AUGUST 1802], I landed on the larger
island to the south of the point of Hill View, to take angles; and soon
after nine o'clock, reached the ship.

During my absence, the botanical gentlemen had been on shore every day,
lieutenant Flinders had made astronomical observations, and boats had
been employed, though unsuccessfully, in fishing. No Indians had been
seen on the east side of the port, and I therefore gave a part of the
ship's company leave this afternoon, to land there and divert themselves.
At eight in the evening a gun was heard in the offing; and by the
guidance of our light, the Lady Nelson returned to her anchorage four
hours afterward. Mr. Murray had struck upon a reef, having kept too near
the shore in the apprehension of missing the anchorage in the dark; but
his vessel did not appear to have sustained any other damage than the
main sliding keel being carried away.

As much time having been employed in the examination of this port as the
various objects I had in view could permit, we prepared to quit it on the
following morning. This part of the East Coast had been passed in the
night by captain Cook; so that both the openings escaped his notice, and
the discovery of the port fell to our lot. In honour of admiral Sir Roger
Curtis, who had commanded at the Cape of Good Hope and been so attentive
to our wants, I gave to it the name of PORT CURTIS; and the island which
protects it from the sea, and in fact forms the port, was called _Facing
Island_. It is a slip of rather low land, eight miles in length, and from
two to half a mile in breadth, having Gatcombe Head for its southern

The northern entrance to Port Curtis is accessible only to boats; but
ships of any size may enter the port by the southern opening. Mr. Murray
did not find any passage on the south side of the shoal near Gatcombe
Head, but could not say that none existed; he thought the deep channel to
be not more than a mile wide; but at half a mile from the head there was
from 6 to 10 fathoms, and the channel from thence leads fair up the port
to beyond South-trees Point; I suspected, however, from the account given
by Mr. Murray, that there might be a second shoal, lying not so much as a
mile from the head, and one is marked in the plan accordingly, that ships
may be induced to greater caution. There is good anchorage just within
Gatcombe Head; and at a small beach there, behind a rock, is a rill of
fresh water, and wood is easily to be procured.

I cannot venture to give any other sailing directions for going up this
port, than to run cautiously, with a boat ahead and the plan upon the
binnacle. Both the bottom and shoals are usually a mixture of sand, with
mud or clay; but in the northern entrance, and off some of the upper
points and islands where the tides run strong, the ground is in general

The country round Port Curtis is overspread with grass, and produces the
_eucalyptus_ and other trees common to this coast; yet the soil is either
sandy or covered with loose stones, and generally incapable of
cultivation. Much of the shores and the low islands are overspread with
mangroves, of three different species; but that which sends down roots,
or rather supporters from the branches, and interweaves so closely as to
be almost impenetrable, was the most common. This species, the
_Rhizophora Mangle_ of Linnaeus, is also the most abundant in the East
and West Indies; but is not found at Port Jackson, nor upon the south
coast of this country.

Granite, streaked red and black, and cracked in all directions, appeared
to be the common stone in the upper parts of the port; but a stratified
argillaceous stone was not unfrequent; and upon the larger island, lying
off the point of Hill View, there was a softish, white earth, which I
took to be calcareous until it was tried with acids, and did not produce
any effervescence.

Traces of inhabitants were found upon all the shores where we landed, but
the natives kept out of sight after the little skirmish on the first day
of our arrival; they subsist partly on turtle, and possess bark canoes
and scoop nets. We saw three turtle lying on the water, but were not so
fortunate as to procure any. Fish seemed to be plentiful, and some were
speared by Bongaree, who was a constant attendant in my boat; and yet our
efforts with the seine were altogether unsuccessful. The shores abound
with oysters, amongst which, in the upper parts of the port, was the kind
producing pearls; but being small and discoloured, they are of no value.
The attempts made near the ship with the dredge, to procure larger
oysters from the deep water, were without success.

I saw no quadrupeds in the woods, and almost no birds; but there were
some pelicans, gulls, and curlews about the shores and flats. Fresh water
was found in small pools on both sides of the northern entrance, and at
the point of Hill View I met with some in holes; but that which best
merits the attention of a ship, is the rill found by Mr. Murray at the
back of the small beach within Gatcombe Head.

The _latitude_ of our anchorage at the northern entrance, from four
meridian altitudes of the sun, is 23 deg. 44' 16" south.

Six sets of distances of the sun west of the moon, taken by lieutenant
Flinders, would make the _longitude_ 151 deg. 21' 22" east; the two time
keepers gave 151 deg. 20' 10"; and fifty sets of distances, reduced from
Broad Sound by the survey, which I consider to be the best authority,
place the anchorage in 151 deg. 20' 15" east.

These being reduced by the survey to the southern entrance, place
Gatcombe Head in latitude 23 deg. 521/2 deg. S. longitude 151 deg. 24' E.

No _variations_ were observed at the anchorage; but two amplitudes off
Gatcombe Head gave 11 deg. 11', and azimuths with three compasses, 10 deg. 50'
east, the ship's head being W. S. W. and W. N. W. These being reduced to
the meridian, will give the true variation to be 8 deg. 40' east.

This is an increase of near 2 deg. from Bustard Bay; and seems attributable
to the attraction of the granitic land which lay to the westward, and
drew the south end of the needle that way.

The rise of _tide_ at the place where I slept near the head of the port,
was no more than four feet; but upon the rocky islet in the northern
entrance, there were marks of its having risen the double of that
quantity. The time of high water was not well ascertained, but it will be
between eight and nine hours after the moon's passage over and under the


On getting under way at daylight of the 9th, to prosecute the examination
of the coast, the anchor came up with an arm broken off, in consequence
of a flaw extending two-thirds through the iron. The negligence with
which this anchor had been made, might in some cases have caused the loss
of the ship.


In following the low and rather sandy shore, northward to Cape Capricorn,
we passed within a rocky islet and another composed of rock and sand,
four miles south-east of the cape, the soundings being there from 8 to 9
fathoms; and at ten o'clock hauled round for Cape Keppel, which lies from
Cape Capricorn N. 80 deg. W., ten miles. The shore is low, with some small
inlets in it, and sand banks with shoal water run off more than two
miles; at six miles out there is a hummocky island and four rocks, one of
which was at first taken for a ship. We passed within these, as captain
Cook had before done; and at half past two in the afternoon anchored in
Keppel Bay, in 6 fathoms soft bottom, three-quarters of a mile from a
head on the east side of the entrance.

My object in stopping at this bay was to explore two openings marked in
it by captain Cook, which it was possible might be the entrances of
rivers leading into the interior. So soon as the ship was secured, a boat
was sent to haul the seine, and I landed with a party of the gentlemen to
inspect the bay from an eminence called _Sea Hill_. There were four
places where the water penetrated into the land, but none of these
openings were large; that on the west side, in which were two islands,
was the most considerable, and the hills near it were sufficiently
elevated to afford an extensive view; whereas in most other parts, the
shores were low and covered with mangroves. These considerations induced
me to begin the proposed examination by the western arm; and early next
morning [TUESDAY 10 AUGUST 1802] I embarked in the Lady Nelson, intending
to employ her and my whale boat in exploring the bay and inlets, whilst
the botanists made their excursions in the neighbourhood of the ship.

The depth in steering for the western arm was from 6 to 9 fathoms, for
about one mile, when it diminished quickly to 2, upon a shoal which
seemed to run up the bay; the water afterwards deepened to 5 and 7
fathoms, but meeting with a second shoal, the brig was obliged to anchor.
I then went on in my boat for the nearest of the two islands, passing
over the banks and crossing the narrow, deep channels marked in the plan.
The two islands are mostly very low, and the shores so muddy and covered
with mangroves, that a landing on the northern and highest of them could
be effected only at the west end; but a hillock there enabled me to take
an useful set of bearings, including Mount Larcom, which is visible from
all parts of this bay, as it is from Port Curtis.

In the afternoon I proceeded up the western arm, having from 3 to 8
fathoms close along the northern shore; and about four miles up, where
the width was diminished to one mile, found a landing place, a rare
convenience here, and ascended a hill from whence there was a good view.
At five or six leagues to the south, and extending thence north-westward,
was a continuation of the same chain of hills which rises near Bustard
Bay and passes behind Mount Larcom; but at the back of Keppel Bay it
forms a more connected ridge, and is rocky, steep, and barren. Within
this ridge the land is low, and intersected by various streams, some
falling into the western arm at ten or twelve miles above the entrance,
and others into the south-west and south arms of the bay. The borders of
the western arm, and of its upper branches so far as could be perceived,
were over-run with mangroves; whence it seemed probable the water was
salt, and that no landing was practicable, higher than this station; the
sun also was near setting when my bearings from _West-arm Hill_ were
completed; and I therefore gave up the intention of proceeding further,
and returned to the northern island in the entrance, to pass the night.

It was high water here at seven in the evening, and the tide fell nine
and a half feet; but the morning's tide rose to six and a half only
[WEDNESDAY 11 AUGUST 1802]. In rowing out between the two islands, I had
from 8 to 3 fathoms; but shoal water in crossing from thence to the
entrance of the south-west arm, where again there was 5 to 8 fathoms. A
strong wind from the south-eastward did not permit me to go up this arm,
and the extensive flats made it impossible to land upon the south side of
the bay; and finding that nothing more could be done at this time, I
returned to the ship.

The numerous shoals in Keppel Bay rendering the services of the Lady
Nelson in a great measure useless to the examination, I directed
lieutenant Murray to run out to the hummocky island lying to the
north-east from Cape Keppel, and endeavour to take us some turtle; for
there were no signs of inhabitants upon it, and turtle seemed to be
plentiful in this neighbourhood. He was also to ascend the hills, and
take bearings of any island or other object visible in the offing; and
after making such remarks as circumstances might allow, to return not
later than the third evening.


Next afternoon, I went, accompanied by the naturalist, to examine the
eastern arm of the bay, which is divided into two branches. Pursuing the
easternmost and largest, with soundings from 6 to 3 fathoms, we came to
several mangrove islands, about four miles up, where the stream changed
its direction from S. S. E. to E. S. E., and the deepest water was 2
fathoms. A little further on we landed for the night, cutting a path
through the mangroves to a higher part of the northern shore; but the
swarms of musketoes and sand flies made sleeping impossible to all except
one of the boat's crew, who was so enviably constituted, that these
insects either did not attack him, or could not penetrate his skin. It
was high water here at nine o'clock; and the tide afterwards fell between
ten and twelve feet.


In the morning, I set Broad Mount in Keppel Bay at N. 61 deg. 20' W. and
Mount Larcom S. 8 deg. 20' E; and we then steered onward in six to eight feet
water, amongst various little islands of mud and mangroves; the whole
width of the stream being still more than half a mile, nearly the same as
at the entrance. Three miles above the sleeping place the water began to
increase in breadth, and was 2 fathoms deep; and advancing further, it
took a direction more southward, and to our very agreeable surprise,
brought us to the head of Port Curtis; forming thus a channel of
communication from Keppel Bay, and cutting off Cape Capricorn with a
piece of land twenty-five miles in length, from the continent.

I landed on the eastern shore, nearly opposite to the reddish cliffs
which had been my uppermost station from Port Curtis, and set

Broad Mount in Keppel Bay at N. 60 deg. 45' W.
Mount Larcom, S. 16 15 W.

Having found one communication, we rowed up the western branch near the
reddish cliffs, hoping to get back to Keppel Bay by a second new passage;
but after going two miles, with a diminishing depth from 4 fathoms to
three feet, we were stopped by mangroves, and obliged to return to the
main stream.

The tide was half ebbed when we came to the shallowest part of the
communicating channel; and it was with much difficulty that the boat
could be got over. A space here of about two miles in length, appears to
be dry, or very nearly so, at low water; but it is possible that some
small channel may exist amongst the mangroves, of sufficient depth for a
boat to pass at all times of tide.

We reached the entrance of the eastern arm from Keppel Bay, with the last
of the ebb; and took the flood to go up the southern branch. The depth of
water was generally 3 fathoms, on the eastern side, and the width nearly
half a mile. This continued three miles up, when a division took place;
in the smallest, which ran southward, we got one mile, and up the other,
leading south-westward, two miles; when both were found to terminate in
shallows amongst the mangroves. It was then dusk; and there being no
possibility of landing, the boat was made fast to a mangrove bush till
high water, and with the returning ebb, we got on board the ship at
eleven o'clock.

The Lady Nelson had returned from the hummocky island, without taking any
turtle. No good anchorage was found, nor was there either wood or water
upon the island, worth the attention of a ship. Mr. Murray ascended the
highest of the hummocks with a compass, but did not see any lands in the
offing further out than the Keppel Isles.


I left the ship again in the morning, and went up the southern arm to a
little hill on its western shore; hoping to gain from thence a better
knowledge of the various streams which intersect the low land on the
south side of the bay. This arm is one mile in width, and the depth in it
from 3 to 6 fathoms; the shores are flat, as in other parts, and covered
with mangroves; but at high water a landing was effected under the _South
Hill_, without much trouble. The sides of this little eminence are steep,
and were so thickly covered with trees and shrubs, bound together and
intertwisted with strong vines, that our attempts to reach the top were
fruitless. It would perhaps have been easier to climb up the trees, and
scramble from one to another upon the vines, than to have penetrated
through the intricate net work in the darkness underneath.

Disappointed in my principal object, and unable to do any thing in the
boat, which could not then approach the shore within two hundred yards, I
sought to walk upwards, and ascertain the communication between the south
and south-west arms; but after much fatigue amongst the mangroves and
muddy swamps, very little more information could be gained. The small
fish which leaps on land upon two strong breast fins, and was first seen
by captain Cook on the shores of Thirsty Sound, was very common in the
swamps round the South Hill. There were also numbers of a small kind of
red crab, having one of its claws uncommonly large, being, indeed, nearly
as big as the body; and this it keeps erected and open, so long as there
is any expectation of disturbance. It was curious to see a file of these
pugnacious little animals raise their claws at our approach, and open
their pincers ready for an attack; and afterwards, finding there was no
molestation, shoulder their arms and march on.

At nine in the evening, the tide brought the boat under the hill, and
allowed us to return to the ship. All the examination of Keppel Bay which
our time could allow, was now done; but a day being required for laying
down the plan of the different arms, I offered a boat on Sunday [15
AUGUST 1802] morning to the botanists, to visit the South Hill, which
afforded a variety of plants; but they found little that had not before
fallen under their observation. A part of the ship's company was allowed
to go on shore abreast of the ship, for no Indians had hitherto been seen
there; but towards the evening, about twenty were observed in company
with a party of the sailors. They had been met with near Cape Keppel, and
at first menaced our people with their spears; but finding them inclined
to be friendly, laid aside their arms, and accompanied the sailors to the
ship in a good-natured manner. A master's mate and a seaman were,
however, missing, and nothing was heard of them all night.


At daylight, two guns were fired and an officer was sent up the small
inlet under Sea Hill; whilst I took a boat round to Cape Keppel, in the
double view of searching for the absentees and obtaining a set of
bearings from the top of the cape. This station afforded me a better view
of the Keppel Isles than any former one; and to the northward of them
were two high peaks on the main land, nearly as far distant as Cape

Amongst the number of bearings taken, those most essential to the
connection of the survey were as under.

Cape Capricorn, outer hummock, S. 79 deg. 30' E.
Mount Larcom, S. 6 10 E.
The ship at anchor, S. 59 50 W.
Highest peak near Cape Manifold, N. 25 10 W.
Keppel Isles, outermost, called first lump, N. 0 45 E.
Hummocky Island, N. 54 deg. 35' to 61 40 E.

On my return to the ship, the master's mate and seaman were on board. The
officer had very incautiously strayed away from his party, after natives
had been seen; and at sunset, when he should have been at the beach, he
and the man he had taken with him were entangled in a muddy swamp amongst
mangroves, several miles distant; in which uncomfortable situation, and
persecuted by clouds of musketoes, they passed the night. Next morning
they got out of the swamp; but fell in with about twenty-five Indians,
who surrounded and took them to a fire place. A couple of ducks were
broiled; and after the wanderers had satisfied their hunger, and
undergone a personal examination, they were conducted back to the ship in
safety. Some of the gentlemen went to meet the natives with presents, and
an interview took place, highly satisfactory to both parties; the Indians
then returned to the woods, and our people were brought on board.


The anchor was weighed at daylight of the 17th, but the wind and tide
being unfavourable, it took the whole day to get into the offing; at dusk
we came to, in 9 fathoms, mud and sand, having the centre of the hummocky
island bearing S. 72 deg. E. two leagues. A sketch of the island and of Cape
Keppel was taken by Mr. Westall (Atlas, Plate XVIII. View 5.) whilst
beating out of the bay.

Keppel Bay was discovered and named by captain Cook, who sailed past it
in 1770. A ship going in will be much deceived by the colour of the
water; for the shores of the bay being soft and muddy, the water running
out by the deep channels with the latter part of the ebb, is thick;
whilst the more shallow parts, over which the tide does not then set, are
covered with sea water, which is clear. Not only are the shores for the
most part muddy, but a large portion of the bay itself is occupied by
shoals of mud and sand. The deep water is in the channels made by the
tides, setting in and out of the different arms; and the best information
I can give of them, will be found by referring to the plan. The broadest
of these channels is about two miles wide, on the east side of the bay;
and our anchorage there near Sea Hill, just within the entrance, seems to
be the best for a ship purposing to make but a short stay. Wood is easily
procured; and fresh water was found in small ponds and swamps, at a
little distance behind the beach. This is also the best, if not the sole
place in the bay for hauling the seine; and a fresh meal of good fish was
there several times procured for all the ship's company.

The country round Keppel Bay mostly consists either of stony hills, or of
very low land covered with salt swamps and mangroves. Almost all the
borders of the bay, and of the several arms into which it branches, are
of this latter description; so that there are few places where it was not
necessary to wade some distance in soft mud, and afterwards to cut
through a barrier of mangroves, before reaching the solid land.

Mention has been made of the ridge of hills by which the low land on the
south side of the bay is bounded. The upper parts of it are steep and
rocky, and may be a thousand, or perhaps fifteen hundred feet high, but
the lower sloping sides are covered with wood; Mount Larcom and the hills
within the ridge, are clothed with trees nearly to the top; yet the
aspect of the whole is sterile. The high land near the western arm,
though stony and shallow in soil, is covered with grass, and trees of
moderate growth; but the best part of the country was that near Cape
Keppel; hill and valley are there well proportioned, the grass is of a
better kind and more abundant, the trees are thinly scattered, and there
is very little underwood. The lowest parts are not mangrove swamps, as
elsewhere, but pleasant looking vallies, at the bottom of which are ponds
of fresh water frequented by flocks of ducks. Cattle would find here a
tolerable abundance of nutritive food, though the soil may perhaps be no
where sufficiently deep and good to afford a productive return to the

After the mangrove, the most common trees round Keppel Bay are different
kinds of _eucalyptus_, fit for the ordinary purposes of building. A
species of _Cycas_, described by captain Cook (Hawkesworth, III. 220,
221) as a third kind of palm found by him on this coast, and bearing
poisonous nuts, was not scarce in the neighbourhood of West-arm Hill. We
found three kinds of stone here: a greyish slate, quartz and various
granitic combinations, and a soft, whitish stone, saponaceous to the
touch; the two first were often found intermixed, and the last generally,
if not always lying above them. The quartz was of various colours, and
sometimes pure; but never in a state of crystallisation.

Wherever we landed there had been Indians; but it was near the ship only,
that any of them made their appearance. They were described by the
gentlemen who saw them, as stout, muscular men, who seemed to understand
bartering better than most, or perhaps any people we had hitherto seen in
this country. Upon the outer bone of the wrist they had the same hard
tumour as the people of Hervey's Bay, and the cause of it was attempted,
ineffectually, to be explained to one of the gentlemen; but as cast nets
were seen in the neighbourhood, there seems little doubt that the manner
of throwing them produces the tumours. These people were not devoid of
curiosity; but several things which might have been supposed most likely
to excite it, passed without notice. Of their dispositions we had every
reason to speak highly, from their conduct to our sailors; but
particularly to the master's mate and seaman who had lost themselves, and
were absolutely in their power. On the morning we quitted the bay, a
large party was again seen, coming down to the usual place; which seemed
to imply that our conduct and presents had conciliated their good will,
and that they would be glad to have communication with another vessel.

It is scarcely necessary to say, that these people are almost black, and
go entirely naked, since none of any other colour, or regularly wearing
clothes, have been seen in any part of Terra Australis. About their fire
places were usually scattered the shells of large crabs, the bones of
turtle, and the remains of a parsnip-like root, apparently of fern; and
once the bones of a porpoise were found; besides these, they doubtless
procure fish, and wild ducks were seen in their possession. There are
kangaroos in the woods, and several bustards were seen near Cape Keppel.
The mud banks are frequented by curlews, gulls, and some lesser birds.
Oysters of a small, crumply kind, are tolerably plentiful; they do not
adhere to the rocks, but stick to each other in large masses on the
banks; here are also pearl oysters, but not so abundantly as in Port

The _latitude_ of our anchorage, from the mean of three meridian
altitudes to the north, was 23 deg. 29' 34" south.

_Longitude_ from twenty-four sets of distances of the sun and moon, the
particulars of which are given in Table I. of Appendix No. I. to this
volume, 151 deg. 0' 28"; but from fifty other sets, reduced by the survey
from Broad Sound, the better longitude of the anchorage is 150 deg. 58' 20"

According to the time keepers the longitude would be 150 deg. 57' 43"; and in
an interval of six days, they were found to err no more than 5" of
longitude on the Port-Jackson rates.

From three compasses on the binnacle, lieutenant Flinders observed the
_variation_ 6 deg. 48', when the ship's head was north, and 5 deg. 47' when it
was south-south-east. This last being reduced to the meridian, the mean
of both will be 6 deg. 47' east, nearly the same as in Bustard Bay; but 2 deg.
less than was observed off Gatcombe Head. At the different stations round
Keppel Bay whence bearings were taken, the variation differed from 5 deg. 10'
to 6 deg. 30' east.

Whilst beating off the entrance, I had 7 deg. 52' east variation, from
azimuths with the surveying compass when the head was N. W., and from an
amplitude, with the head N. by W., 6 deg. 54'; the mean reduced to the
meridian. will be for the outside of the bay 6 deg. 16' east.

Captain Cook had 7 deg. 24' near the same situation, from amplitudes and
azimuths observed in 1770, with the Endeavour's head W. N. W.

The rise of _tide_ in the entrance of Keppel Bay seems to vary at the
neaps and springs, from nine to fourteen feet, and high water to take
place _nine hours and a half_ after the moon's passage over and under the
meridian; but the morning's tide fell two or three feet short of that at
night. The set past the ship was greatest at the last quarter of the
flood and first of the ebb, when it ran two-and-half knots, and turned
very suddenly. In the offing, the flood came from the eastward, at the
rate of one mile per hour.


The Keppel Isles, and coast to Cape Manifold.
A new port discovered and examined.
Harvey's Isles.
A new passage into Shoal-water Bay.
View from Mount Westall.
A boat lost.
The upper parts of Shoal-water Bay examined.
Some account of the country and inhabitants.
General remarks on the bay.
Astronomical and nautical observations.



The rocks and islands lying off Keppel Bay to the northward, are numerous
and scattered without order; two of them are of greater magnitude than
the rest, and captain Cook had attempted to pass between these and the
main land, from which they are distant about five miles; but shoal water
obliged him to desist. When we got under way in the morning of the 18th
[WEDNESDAY 18 AUGUST 1802], our course was directed for the outside of
these two islands, and we passed within a mile of them in 9, and from
that to 13 fathoms water. They are five miles asunder, and the
southernmost and largest is near twelve in circumference; its rocky hills
are partly covered with grass and wood, and the gullies down the sides,
as also the natives seen upon the island, implied that fresh water was to
be had there.


At the back of the islands the main coast is low and sandy, with the
exception of two or three rocky heads; but at a few miles inland there is
a chain of hills, moderately elevated and not ill clothed with wood.
These hills are a continuation of the same which I had ascended on the
west side of Keppel Bay, and extend as far as the two peaks behind Cape

After passing the Keppel Isles we steered for a small opening in the
coast, seven or eight miles to the north-west, and the Lady Nelson was
directed to lead in; but on her making the signal for 3 fathoms, and the
inlet appearing to be a sandy cove fit only for boats, we kept on
northward, between one and two miles from the shore. At five o'clock, the
south-east breeze died away, and a descent of the mercury announcing
either little wind for the night or a breeze off the land, a kedge anchor
was dropped in 8 fathoms, sandy bottom. The bearings then taken were,

Keppel Isles, the first lump, S. 45 deg. E.
C. Manifold, east end of the island near it, N. 9 E.
Peaked islet in the offing, N. 281/2 E.
Flat islet, distant four or five leagues, N. 43 E.

The two last are called the Brothers., in captain Cook's chart; though
described in the voyage as being, one "low and flat, and the other high
and round." A perforation in the higher islet admits the light entirely
through it, and is distinguishable when it bears nearly south-east.


At seven next morning, having then a light air from the land with foggy
weather, we steered northward along the coast; and at noon were in
latitude 22 deg. 473/4', and two rocks near the shore bore S. 54 deg. W. two or
three miles. From that time until evening, we worked to windward against
a breeze from the north-east, which afterwards veered to N. N. W.; and at
nine o'clock, a small anchor was dropped in 14 fathoms, two miles from
the shore. The Lady Nelson had fallen to leeward; and made no answer to
our signals during the night.


At daylight, supposing the brig had passed us by means of a shift of wind
to W. N. W., we proceeded along the coast to the island lying off Cape
Manifold. This island, with some of the northern hills, had been sketched
by Mr. Westall (Atlas, Plate XVIII. View 6.) on the preceding evening; it
is slightly covered with vegetation, and lies in latitude 22 deg. 42', and
longitude 150 deg. 50'. The cape is formed of several rocky heads and
intermediate beaches; and the hills behind, from which the cape was
named, rise one over the other to the two peaks set from Cape Keppel, and
appeared to be rocky and barren. The easternmost, and somewhat the
highest peak, is about four miles from the shore, and lies S. 49 deg. W. from
the east end of the island whose situation is above given.

The wind was from the northward at noon, and we were then making a
stretch for the land, which was distant four or five miles.

Latitude, observed to the north, 34 deg. 361/2'
C. Manifold, east end of the island, S. 1 W.
C. Manifold, the highest peak, S. 301/2 W.
Small isle (Entrance I.) at the northern extreme, N. 29 W.
Peaked islet in the offing, distant 7 miles, S. 61 E.

From Cape Manifold the coast falls back to a sandy beach, six miles long,
and near it are some scattered rocks. The land is there very low; but at
the north end of the beach is a hilly projection, from which we tacked at
one o'clock, in 12 fathoms; being then within a mile of two rocks, and
two miles from the main land. The brig was seen to the south-eastward,
and we made a long stretch off, to give her an opportunity of joining,
and at two in the morning [SATURDAY 21 AUGUST 1802] lay by for her; but
the wind veering to south-west at five, we stretched in for the land, and
approached some rocky islets, part of the Harvey's Isles of captain Cook,
of which, and of the main coast as far as Island Head, Mr. Westall made a
sketch (Atlas, Plate XVIII. View 7). At half past nine, when we tacked
from Harvey's Isles, I was surprised to see trees upon them resembling
the pines of Norfolk Island; none such having been before noticed upon
this coast, nor to my knowledge, upon any coast of Terra Australis. Pines
were also distinguished upon a more southern islet, four miles off, the
same which had been the northern extreme at the preceding noon; and
behind it was a deep bight in the land where there seemed to be shelter.
The breeze had then shifted to south, and the Lady Nelson being to
windward, the signal was made for her to look for anchorage; but the brig
being very leewardly, we passed her and stood into the bight by an
opening between the islets of one mile wide and from 10 to 7 fathoms in
depth. On the soundings decreasing to 5, we tacked and came to an anchor
near the pine island in the entrance, in 7 fathoms coarse sand, exposed
between N. 75 deg. and S. 23 deg. E, and the wind was then at south-east; but
having a fair passage by which we could run out to the northward., in
case of necessity, I did not apprehend any danger to the vessels.


Instead of a bight in the coast, we found this to be a port of some
extent; which had not only escaped the observation of captain Cook, but
from the shift of wind, was very near being missed by us also. I named it
PORT BOWEN, in compliment to captain James Bowen of the navy; and to the
hilly projection on the south side of the entrance (see the sketch), I
gave the appellation of Cape Clinton, after colonel Clinton of the 85th,
who commanded the land, as captain Bowen did the sea forces at Madeira,
when we stopped at that island

A boat was despatched with the scientific gentlemen to the north side,
where the hills rise abruptly and have a romantic appearance; another
went to the same place to haul the seine at a small beach in front of a
gully between the hills, where there was a prospect of obtaining fresh
water; and a third boat was sent to _Entrance Island_ with the carpenters
to cut pine logs for various purposes, but principally to make a main
sliding keel for the Lady Nelson. Our little consort sailed indifferently
at the best; but since the main keel had been carried away at Facing
Island, it was as unsafe to trust her on a lee shore, even in moderate
weather. On landing at Entrance Island, to take angles and inspect the
form of the port, I saw an arm extending behind Cape Clinton to the
southward, which had the appearance of a river; a still broader arm ran
westward, until it was lost behind the land; and between Entrance Island
and Cape Clinton was a space three miles wide, where nothing appeared to
obstruct the free passage of a ship into both arms. Finding the port to
be worthy of examination, and learning that the seine had been successful
and that good water was to be procured, I left orders with lieutenant
Fowler to employ the people in getting off pine logs and watering the
ship; and early next morning [SUNDAY 22 AUGUST 1802], set off in my whale
boat upon an excursion round the port.

From the ship to the inner part of Cape Clinton the soundings were from 5
to 8 fathoms, on a sandy bottom; but close to the innermost point there

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