Page:A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 1.djvu/120

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xcviii
[Prior Discoveries.
INTRODUCTION.

Bass and
Flinders
.
1796.

and we sailed out of Port Jackson early in the morning of March 25, and stood a little off to sea to be ready for the sea breeze. On coming in with the land in the evening, instead of being near Cape Solander, we found ourselves under the cliffs near Hat Hill, six or seven leagues to the southward, whither the boat had been drifted by a strong current. Not being able to land, and the sea breeze coming in early next morning from the northward, we steered for two small islets, six or seven miles further on, in order to get shelter; but being in want of water, and seeing a place on the way where, though the boat could not land, a cask might be obtained by swimming, the attempt was made, and Mr. Bass went on shore. Whilst getting off the cask, a surf arose further out than usual, carried the boat before it to the beach, and left us there with our arms, ammunition, clothes, and provisions thoroughly drenched, and partly spoiled. The boat was emptied and launched again immediately; but it was late in the afternoon before every thing was rafted off, and we proceeded to the islets. It was not possible to land there; and we went on to two larger isles lying near a projecting point of the main, which has four hillocks upon it presenting the form of a double saddle, and proved to be captain Cook's Red Point. The isles were inaccessible as the others; and it being dark, we were constrained to pass a second night in Tom Thumb, and dropped our stone anchor in 7 fathoms, under the lee of the point.

The sea breeze, on the 27th, still opposed our return; and learning from two Indians that no water could be procured at Red Point, we accepted their offer of piloting us to a river which, they said, lay a few miles further southward, and where not only fresh water was abundant, but also fish and wild ducks. These men were natives of Botany Bay, whence it was that we understood a little of their language, whilst that of some others was altogether unintelligible. Their river proved to be nothing more than a small stream, which descended from a lagoon under Hat Hill, and forced a passage for

itself through the beach; so that we entered it with difficulty even