Page:A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 1.djvu/124

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cii
[Prior Discoveries.
INTRODUCTION.

Bass and
Flinders
.
1795.

in smooth water under its lee. A white appearance, further back, kept us a short time in suspense; but a nearer approach shewed it to be the beach of a well-sheltered cove, in which we anchored for the rest of the night. So sudden a change, from extreme danger to comparatively perfect safety, excited reflections which kept us some time awake: we thought Providential Cove a well-adapted name for this place; but by the natives, as we afterwards learned, it is called Watta-Mowlee.

On landing next morning, March 30, water was found at the back of the beach. The country round the cove is, in general, sandy and barren. No natives were seen, but their traces were recent. The extremity of the reef, which afforded us such signal shelter, bore S. E. by E. from the centre of the beach, the north head of the cove E. N. E.; and except at the intermediate five points of the compass, Watta-Mowlee affords shelter for large boats, with anchorage on a fine sandy bottom.

Between three and four miles to the northward of this cove, we found the river, or rather port, which was the original place of our destination; and it having been a pilot named Hacking, from whom the first information of it had been received, it was named after him : by the natives it is called Deeban.

April 1st, was employed in the examination of the port. It is something more than one mile wide in the entrance; but soon contracts to half that space, and becomes shallow. Neither have the three arms, into which if afterwards branches out, any deep channel into them; although, within the second branch, there are from 3 to 8 fathoms. Finding there was no part accessible to a ship, beyond two miles from the entrance, nor any prospect of increasing our small stock of provisions, Port Hacking was quitted early in the morning of April 2.

The shores of the port are mostly rocky, particularly on the north side; but there is no want of grass or wood; and without doubt there are many culturable spots on the sides of the streams which

descend, apparently from the inland mountains, into the uppermost