Page:A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 1.djvu/131

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
East Coast, & V.D.'s Land.]
cix
INTRODUCTION.

Bass.
1797.

by means of several branching arms. The soil, as may be supposed, was generally bad, the sloping sides of some of the hills being alone capable of any utility. In a round of twelve or fourteen miles Mr. Bass could not find a drop of fresh water, or see a native. There were, however, many huts, and he traced the paths from them down to holes dug in the lowest grounds; but these were then all dried up, and the country in general seemed to be suffering from drought.

Dec. 17. The wind having veered to N. N. W., the boat was launched, and proceeded to the southward. Mount Dromedary was passed at eleven; and an island of about two miles in circuit was seen lying off it, a few miles to the eastward: the latitude at noon was 36° 23'. At four, the fair breeze died away, and a strong wind, which burst forth from the south, obliged Mr. Bass to run for a gap in the land, which had just before been noticed. Here, on a little beach at the mouth of an inlet, across which the sea was breaking, the boat was hauled up for the night. Next morning, the inlet being free of breakers, he entered the prettiest little model of a harbour he had ever seen. Unfortunately it is but a model; for although the shelter within be complete for small craft, yet the depth over the bar is too small, even for boats, except at high water, when there is eight or nine feet. This little place was named Barmouth Creek, and lies, according to Mr. Bass' computation, in 36° 47' south. The country round, so far as was examined, is rocky and barren near the sea; and towards the head of the creek, it is low and penetrated by the salt swamps.

Dec. 19. At day light Mr. Bass continued his course to the southward, (Atlas,
PI VII )
with a fair breeze. At seven he discovered Two-fold Bay; but unwilling to lose a fair wind, reserved the examination of it for his return. At five in the evening the wind came at S. S. W.; and he anchored under the lee of a point, but could not land. A sea breeze from E. N. E. next day, enabled him to continue onward; and

at eleven, he bore away west, round Cape Howe, whose latitude was