close to the north-west side of the Coal Island; but no vessel of more than three hundred tons should attempt it.
In December, Mr. George Bass obtained leave to make an expedition
1797. to the southward; and he was furnished with a fine whale boat and six weeks provisions by the governor, and a crew of six seamen from the ships. He sailed Dec. 3., in the evening; but foul and strong winds forced him into Port Hacking and Watta-Mowlee. On the 5th, in latitude 34° 38', he was obliged to stop in a small bight of the coast, a little south of Alworie. The points of land there are basaltic; and on looking round amongst the burnt rocks scattered over a hollowed circular space behind the shore, Mr. Bass found a hole of twenty-five or thirty feet in diameter; into which the sea washed up by a subterraneous passage.
Dec. 6., he passed a long sloping projection which I have called Point Bass, lying about three leagues south of Alowrie. Beyond this point, the coast forms a sandy bay of four or five leagues in length, containing two small inlets; and the southernmost being accessible to the boat, Mr. Bass went in and stopped three days. This little place was found to deserve no better name than Shoals Haven. The entrance is mostly choaked up by sand, and the inner part with banks of sand and mud; there is, however, a small channel sufficiently deep for boats. The latitude was made to be 34° 52' south; the sloping Point Bass, to the northward, bore N. 12° E., and a steep head at the southern extremity of the bay, S. 35° E. The tide was found to rise seven or eight feet, and the time of high water to be about eight hours and a half after the moon passed over the meridian.
The great chain of high land, called the Blue Mountains, by which the colony at Port Jackson is prevented from extending itself to the west, appeared to Mr. Bass to terminate here, near the sea coast. The base of this southern extremity of the chain, he judged to
extend twenty-five or thirty miles, in a south-western direction from