Page:A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 1.djvu/119

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East Coast, & V.D.'s Land.]
xcvii
INTRODUCTION.

Preliminary
Information.

Mr C. Grimes, land surveyor of the colony, and by captain W. R. Broughton of H. M. ship Providence; but the intermediate portions of coast, both to the north and south, were little further known than from captain Cook's general chart; and none of the more distant openings, marked but not explored by that celebrated navigator; had been seen.

In Mr. George Bass, surgeon of the Reliance, I had the happiness to find a man whose ardour for discovery was not to be repressed by any obstacles, nor deterred by danger; and with this friend a determination was formed of completing the examination of the east coast of New South Wales, by all such opportunities as the duty of the ship, and procurable means, could admit.

Projects of this nature, when originating in the minds of young men, are usually termed romantic; and so far from any good being anticipated, even prudence and friendship join in discouraging, if not in opposing them. Thus it was in the present case; so that a little boat Bass and
Flinders
.
1795.
of eight feet long, called Tom Thumb, with a crew composed of ourselves and a boy, was the best equipment to be procured for the first outset. In the month following the arrival of the ships, we proceeded round in this boat, to Botany Bay; and ascending George's River, one of two which falls into the bay, explored its winding course about twenty miles beyond where governor Hunter's survey had been carried.

The sketch made of this river and presented to the governor, with the favourable report of the land on its borders, induced His Excellency to examine them himself shortly afterward; and was followed by establishing there a new branch of the colony, under the name of Banks' Town.

A voyage to Norfolk Island interrupted our further proceedings, 1796. until March 1796. Mr. Bass and myself then went again in Tom Thumb, to explore a large river, said to fall into the sea some miles to the south of Botany Bay, and of which there was no indication in captain Cook's chart.