Discoveries in Australia/Volume 2

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Discoveries in Australia, Volume 2
by John Lort Stokes
Messrs Fitzmaurice and Keys dancing for their lives (Discoveries in Australia).jpg

DISCOVERIES IN AUSTRALIA;

WITH AN ACCOUNT OF THE
COASTS AND RIVERS
EXPLORED AND SURVEYED DURING THE
VOYAGE OF H.M.S. BEAGLE,
IN THE YEARS 1837-38-39-40-41-42-43.
BY
COMMAND OF THE LORDS COMMISSIONERS OF THE ADMIRALTY.
ALSO
A NARRATIVE OF CAPTAIN OWEN STANLEY'S VISITS
TO THE
ISLANDS IN THE ARAFURA SEA.
BY

J. LORT STOKES,

COMMANDER, R.N.
VOLUME 2.

LONDON
T. AND W. BOONE, 29, NEW BOND STREET.
1846.

CONTENTS OF VOLUME 2.

Page
Leave Port Essington—Clarence Strait—Hope Inlet—Shoal Bay—Ian for Observations—Explore a new Opening—Talc Head—Port Darwin—Continue Exploration—Mosquitoes and Sandflies—Nature of the Country—Its parched appearance—Large ant's nest—Return to Shoal Bay—Visit from the Natives—Remarks—Their teeth perfect—Rite of Circumcision—Observations on the Migrations of the Natives—Theory of an Inland Sea—Central Desert—Salt water drunk by Natives—Modes of procuring water—Survey the harbour—Natives on a raft—Anecdote—Bynoe Harbour—Well—Brilliant Meteors—Natives on Point Emery—Their surprise at the well—Importance of water—Anecdote—Languages of Australia—Specimens—Remarks—Leave Port Darwin—Tides—Squall—Visit Port Patterson—Leave—Examine opening to the south-west—Table Hill—McAdam Range—Adventure with an Alligator—Exploring party—Discovery of the Victoria—Ascend the river—Appearance of the Country—Fitzmaurice River—Indian Hill—The Beagle taken up the river 1
Exploration of the Victoria—First appearance of Sea Range—Curiosity Peak—Appearance of Country from—Whirlwind Plains—Encounter with an Alligator—His capture and description—Cross Whirlwind Plains—White and black ducks—Kangaroos—Enter hilly country—Meet the boats—Thunderstorm—Carry boats over shoals—New birds—Reach Hopeless—Progress of boats arrested—Reconnoitre the river—Prospect from View Hill—Preparation for pedestrian excursion—Leave Reach Hopeless to explore the upper part of the river—Native village—Squall—Mussel Bend—Meet Natives—Successful fishing—Party distressed—Thirsty Flat—Tortoise Reach—Singular appearance of the ranges—Effect of the great heat—One man knocked up—Approach of natives—Preparation for defence—Appearance of the natives—Move further up the river—Emu Plains—Select position for night quarters—Upward course of the Victoria—Commence return—Kangaroo shot—Wickham Heights—New Tortoise—Lucky Valley—Race was with a native—Meet his tribe—They make off—Hard day's work—Quarters for the night—Return to Reach Hopeless 49

CHAPTER III.
VICTORIA RIVER.

Proceed down the river from Reach Hopeless—Meet watering party—One of the men deserts—Kangaroo shooting—The writer left to complete survey of river—Silk cotton-tree—Fertility of Whirlwind Plains—Attempt of one of the crew to jump overboard—Reach the Ship—Suffer from sore eyes—Lieutenant Emery finds water—Geological specimens—Bird's Playhouse—Tides—Strange weather—Range of Barometer—Accounted for by proximity of Port Essington—Hurricane—Effects of the latter—Dreary country behind Water Valley—Fruitless attempt to weigh ship's anchors—Obliged to slip from both of them—Proceed down the river—Complete survey of Main Channel—Visit south Entrance Point of river—Discover a number of dead turtles—Cross over to Point Pearce—Mr. Bynoe shoots a new finch—The Author speared—Pursued by natives—Escape—Flight of natives—Armed party pursue them—Night of suffering—General description of the Victoria—Gouty-stem tree and fruit 90

CHAPTER IV.
VICTORIA RIVER TO SWAN RIVER.

Leave Point Pearce—Error in position of Cape Rulhieres—Obtain soundings on supposed Sahul Shoal—Discover a shoal patch on it—Ascertain extent of bank of soundings off the Australian shore—Strange winds in Monsoon—See Scott's Reef—Discover error in its position—Make Depuch Island—Prevalence of westerly winds near it—Sperm whales—Tedious passage—Death and burial of the ship's cook—Anecdotes of his life—Good landfall—Arrival at Swan River—Find Colony improved—Hospitality of Colonists—Lieutenant Roe's account of his rescuing Captain Grey's party—Burial of Mr. Smith—Hurricane at Shark's Bay—Observations on dry appearance of Upper Swan—Unsuccessful cruise of Champion—Visit Rottnest—Fix on a hill for the site of a Lighthouse—Aboriginal convicts—Protectors of natives—American whalers—Miago—Trees of Western Australia—On the safety of Gage Roads 118
Sail from Swan River—Search for the supposed Turtle-dove Shoal—Approach to Houtman's Abrolhos—Find an anchorage—View of the Lagoon—Guano—Remnants of the wreck of the Batavia—Pelsart Group—Visit the Main—Geelvink Channel—Enter Champion Bay—Appearance of the Country—Striking resemblance of various portions of the coast of Australia—Leave Champion Bay—Coast to the northward—Resume our examination of the Abrolhos—Easter Group—Good Friday Harbour—Lizards on Rat Island—Coral formation—Snapper Bank—Zeewyk Passage—Discoveries on Gun Island—The Mangrove Islets—Singular Sunset—Heavy gale—Wallaby Islands—Flag Hill—Slaughter Point—Observations of Mr. Bynoe on the Marsupiata—General character of the reefs—Tidal observations—Visit North Island—Leave Houtman's Abrolhos—General observations—Proceed to Depuch Island—Drawings on the rocks—Native youth—New bird and kangaroo—Effects of Mirage—Examine coast to the Turtle Isles—Geographe Shoals—Number of turtles—Bedout Island—Scott's Reef—Approach to Timor—Pulo Douw—Scene on entering Coepang Bay—Surprise of Swan River native—Visit to the Resident—His stories—Fort Concordia—Second visit to the Resident—The Timorees—Arrive at Pritie—Description of the country—Muster of the shooting party—Success of the excursion—The Javanese Commandant—Character of the Timorees—Dutch settlement in New Guinea—Leave Coepang—Island of Rottee—Tykal Inlet—Inhabitants of Polo Douw 134
Sail from Rottee—Search for shoal—Dampier's Archipelago—Examination of coast—Strange weather—Natives—Passage between Delambre and Huiy Islands—Proceed to Montebello Isles—Description of them—Barrow's Island—Tryal Rocks—New kangaroo—Abundance of turtle—New wallaby—Sail for Swan River—Find Ritchie's Reef—Islands between Barrow's and North-West Cape—Table of soundings—Swan River Native—Anchor under Rottnest—Vocabulary—Erect beacons—Bad weather—Habits of a native dog—Geological observations—Sail from Swan River—Error in position of Cape Naturaliste—King George's Sound—Appearance of Bald Head—Princess Royal Harbour—Origin of settlement—Town of Albany—Salubrity of climate—Excursion into interior—Course a kangaroo—Pitfalls—Herds of kangaroos—Rich country—The Hay River—Return to Albany—Departure for South Australia—Discover an Island—Death of a seaman—Position of Neptune Isles—Kangaroo, Althorp and Quoin Islands—Holdfast Road—Adelaide—Description of country—Governor Gawler's policy—Visit the Port—Mr. Eyre's expedition—Hardships of Overlanders—Cannibalism—Meet Captain Sturt—Native schools—System of education—Sail for Sydney—Squalls—Error in coast—Bass Strait—Arrive at Sydney 203
Land Sales—Unsettled boundaries—New Zealand—Hunter River—Midnight alarm—Ludicrous scene—Changes in Officers of ship—Leave Sydney—Port Stephens—Corrobory—Gale at Cape Upstart—Magnetical Island—Halifax Bay—Astonish a Native—Description of country—Correct chart—Restoration Island—Picturesque arrival—Interview with the Natives from Torres Strait—Their weapons—Shoal near Endeavour River—Discover good passage through Endeavour Strait—Booby Island—New birds—The Painted Quail 244

CHAPTER VIII.
GULF OF CARPENTARIA.

Leave Booby Island—Eastern shore of Gulf—Van Diemen's Inlet—Exploration of—Party of Natives—Level country—Tides—Visit Bountiful Islands—Description of them—Sail for Sweers Island—Investigator Road—Natives—Locusts—Record of the Investigator's visit—Dig a well—Boats explore island and coast to the westward—Sweers and Bentinck Islands—Tides—Take ship over to the main—Another boat expedition leaves—Ship proceeds to the head of the Gulf—Discovery and exploration of Disaster Inlet—Narrow escape—Description of Interior—Wild Fowl—Explore coast to the eastward—Inlets—Discover the Flinders—The Cuckoo—Ascent of the river—Night scene—Burial tree—Remarks—Return to the ship—Exploration of south-western part of Gulf—Large inlets discovered. 260

CHAPTER IX.
GULF OF CARPENTARIA.

Boat expedition—Explore an opening—Discovery of the Albert—Natives—Picturesque Scenery—Hope Reach—Birds and Fishes—Upper Branch—Beauty of the Landscape—Land excursion—The Plains of Promise—Halt the party and proceed alone—Description of the country—Return down the Albert—Mouth of River—Arrive at Van Diemen's Inlet—Find Mr. Fitzmaurice severely wounded—General result of the survey of the Gulf—Winds and Temperature—Booby Island—Endeavour Strait—Reach Port Essington. 302

CHAPTER X.
INDIAN ARCHIPELAGO

Leave Port Essington—Dobbo Island—Visit from the Schoolmaster—Church—Trade of the Arrou Islands—Their productions—Visit from Natives—The Banda Group—Penal Settlement—Adventures of a Javanese—Captain de Stuers—Native dance and sports—Nutmeg Plantations—Mode of preserving the fruit—Amboyna—Visit a natural grotto—Sail from Amboyna—Island of Kissa—Village of Wauriti—Missionary establishment—Serwatty Group—Return to Port Essington 332

CHAPTER XI.
PORT ESSINGTON AND THE N. W. COAST

Appearance of Settlement—Effects of climate—Native mother—Trade in teeth—Macassar Proas—Lieutenant Vallack visits the Alligator Rivers—Interview with Natives—Prospects of Port Essington—Lieutenant Stewart's Route—Climate—Remarks of Mr. Bynoe—Harbour of refuge—Sail from Port Essington—Sahul Shoal—Arrive at Coepang—Timorees—Sail for North-west Coast—Strong winds—Cape Bossut—Exploration of North-west Coast—View of Interior—Birds—Solitary Island—Visit the Shore—Amphinome Shoals—Bedout Island—Breaker Inlet—Exmouth Gulf—Arrive at Swan River 353
Reported Harbour—Set out for Australind—The Grass-tree—Correspondence with Mr. Clifton, etc—Sail from Gage Road—Examination of coast—Reach Champion Bay—Visit Mount Fairfax and Wizard Peak—Arid nature of country—Want of water—Native Grave—The Greenough river—Natives—Leave Champion Bay—Koombanah Bay—Naturaliste Reef—Reach South Australia—Port Adelaide—Proposed Railroad—Visit Mount Barker—Encounter Bay—Native fishing—Return to Adelaide—Sail from South Australia—Portland BaySquatters—Tour in the interior—Fertile country—View from the Sugarloaf—Visit Cape Bridgewater—Sail for Hobart—Liberality of Sir John Franklin—Atmospheric changes—Arrive at Sydney 378
Exploration of Interior—Twofold Bay—Survey of Bass Strait—Dangerous situation of the Beagle—Kent and Hogan Groups—Gipps Land—Wilson's Promontory—The Tamar—Eastern entrance of Strait—Steam communication between India and Australia—New Guinea—Straitsmen—North coast of Tasmania—Aborigines—Port Phillip—Directions for ships passing King Island—Complete survey of Bass Strait—Farewell to Sydney—Moreton Bay—The Comet—State of Tasmania, or Van Diemen's Land—Lighthouses in Bass Strait 414

CHAPTER XIV.
AUSTRALIA TO ENGLAND.

Sail from Tasmania—The South-west Cape—Monument to Flinders—Rottnest Island—Lighthouse—Penal Establishment—Longitude of Fremantle—Final departure from Western Australia—Rodrigue Island—Effects of a hurricane at Mauritius—The crew and passengers of a foundered vessel saved—Bourbon—Madagascar—Simon's Bay—Deep sea soundings—Arrival in England—Take leave of the Beagle—The Surveying service 514
Winds and Weather on the Western and Northern Coasts of Australia. By Commander J. C. Wickham, R.N. 520

LIST OF CHARTS.

VOL. II.
Victoria River.
Gulf of Carpentaria.
Albert River.
Part of Western Australia.
Port Adelaide and Holdfast Bay.

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

VOL. II.
Messrs. Fitzmaurice and Keys dancing for their lives frontispiece.
First appearance of Sea Range page 51
Head and feet of Alligator 56
Killing an Alligator, Victoria River facing p. 57
Wickham Heights 84
Captain Stokes Speared at Point Pearce facing p. 108
Gouty Stem Tree 116
Fruit of Gouty Stem Tree 117
Views of Moresby's Range, Sea Range, and Cape Bedford 142
Ancient Dutch Gun 149
Native Drawings facing p. 170
Coepang from the Anchorage facing p. 187
Passage between Bald Head and Vancouver Reef facing p. 225
Entrance of Van Diemen's Inlet facing p. 263
Interesting Tree 270
Burial Reach facing p. 295
Hope Reach facing p. 312
First View of the Plains of Promise facing p. 316
Last View of the Plains of Promise facing p. 317
Approach to Portland Bay 405
Dangerous Situation of Beagle 421
Devil's Tower 425
Killing a Kangaroo 487
Hummock Island 496