Page:The life of Matthew Flinders.djvu/300

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Chapter XVI.

FLINDERS IN PORT PHILLIP

Flinders' actual discovery work on the south coast was completed when he met Baudin in Encounter Bay; for the whole coast line to the east had been found a short while before he appeared upon it, though he was not aware of this fact when completing his voyage. For about a hundred and fifty miles, from the mouth of the Murray eastward to Cape Banks, the credit of discovery properly belongs to Baudin, and Flinders duly marked his name upon the chart. Further eastward, from Cape Banks to the deep bend of the coast at the head of which lies Port Phillip, the discoverer was Captain Grant of the Lady Nelson. His voyage was projected under the following circumstances.

When Philip Gidley King, who in 1800 succeeded Hunter as Governor of New South Wales, was in England in 1799, he represented to the Admiralty the desirability of sending out to Australia a small, serviceable ship, capable of being used in shallow waters, so that she might explore bays and rivers. One of the Commissioners of the Transport Board, Captain John Schanck, had designed a type of vessel that was considered suitable for this purpose. She was to be fitted with a sliding keel, or centreboard, and was deemed to be a boat of staunch sea-going qualities, as well as being good for close-in coastal service. A sixty-ton brig, the Lady Nelson, was built to Schanck's plans, and was entrusted to the command of Lieutenant Grant. She was tried in the Downs in January, 1800, when Grant reported enthusiastically on her behaviour. She rode out a gale in five fathoms of water without ship-

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