Page:A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 1.djvu/118

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
xcvi
[Prior Discoveries.
INTRODUCTION.

Preliminary
Information.

colonists, the country round Port Jackson, its productions, and native inhabitants, are delineated with accuracy, and often with minuteness. The subject to be here treated is the progress of maritime geographical discovery, which resulted from the new establishment; and as the different expeditions made for this purpose are in many cases imperfectly, and in some altogether unknown, it has been judged that a circumstantial account of them would be useful to seamen, and not without interest to the general reader. These expeditions are, moreover, intimately connected with the Investigator's voyage, of which they were, in fact, the leading cause.

The first advantage to maritime geography which arose from the Atlas,
Plate VIII.
new settlement, was a survey of Botany and Broken Bays and Port Jackson, with most of the rivers falling into them. Botany Bay had, indeed, been examined by captain Cook; but of the other two harbours, the entrances alone had been seen. This survey, including the intermediate parts of the coast, was made by captain John Hunter, and was published soon after its transmission to England by govenor Philip.

In the beginning of 1795, captain (now vice-admiral) Hunter sailed a second time for New South Wales, to succeed captain Philip in the government of the new colony. He took with him His Majesty's armed vessels Reliance and Supply; and the author of this account, who was then a midshipman and had not long before returned from a voyage to the South Seas, was led by his passion for exploring new countries, to embrace the opportunity of going out upon a station which, of all others, presented the most ample field for his favourite pursuit.

On arriving at Port Jackson, in September of the same year, it appeared that the investigation of the coast had not been greatly extended beyond the three harbours; and even in these, some of the rivers were not altogether explored. Jervis Bay, indicated but not named by captain Cook, had been entered by lieutenant Richard

Bowen; and to the north, Port Stephens had lately been examined by