Page:A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 1.djvu/130

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cviii
[Prior Discoveries.
INTRODUCTION.

Bass.
1797.

side of the entrance, but the passage between does not admit any thing larger than boats. There is a small beach at the back of the island, off which ships might anchor in 8 fathoms sandy bottom, and be sheltered as far round as south-east; but with the wind nearer to east they would be exposed.

The east shore of Jervis Bay runs, for twelve or fifteen miles, so near to north from the entrance, that it is not, at the head, more than four hundred yards across to the shore of the long outer bay. The piece of land, which is thus made a narrow peninsula, is rather high, with a face of steep cliffs toward the sea. The rocks on the inner side bear strong marks of volcanic fire; and being disposed in parallel layers, their inclination to the west is very evident: quantities of pumice stone were scattered along the shores.

The country round the bay is mostly barren. On the eastern side it is rocky, with heath and brush-wood; the west is low, swampy, and sandy, with some partial exceptions; but on the south side there are grassy spaces amongst the brush-wood which might afford pasturage for cattle.

Jervis Bay was quitted Dec. 13., and at noon the Pigeon House bore W. by N. In the evening Mr; Bass stopped in a cove, which Point Upright shelters from northern winds; and he employed the next day in looking round the country. The vallies and slopes of the hills were found to be generally fertile; but there being nothing of particular interest in this place, it was quitted on the 15th. Some small islands lying close under the shore (in Bateman Bay), bore west at noon; and the night was passed at anchor under a point, in latitude 36° 00', where, the wind being foul on the 16th, Mr. Bass laid the boat on shore, and proceeded to examine the surrounding country.

At eight or nine miles from the coast is a ridge of hummocky hills, extending to the southward; but the space between these hills and the sea is low, and in great part occupied by salt swamps. The sea was found to have an entrance at the back of the point, and to

form a considerable lagoon, which communicated with the swamps