Page:A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 1.djvu/134

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
[Prior Discoveries.


From the latitude of the high land, Mr. Bass considered it to be that seen by captain Furneaux (or supposed to have been seen), in 39°; and consequently, that he had traced the unknown space between Point Hicks and Furneaux's Land. His course was now steered to pass round this land ; but on coming abreast of the rocky islets, a hummock appeared above the horizon in the S. E. by S., and presently, a larger one at S. ½W.; and being unable to fetch the first, he steered for the latter, which proved to be an island; and at six in the evening, he anchored under its lee. Vast numbers of gulls and other birds were roosting upon it, and on the rocks were many seals; but the surf would not admit of landing. This island was judged to be thirty miles, S. by W., from the situation at noon.

Jan. 2. The wind was strong at E. N. E.; and Mr. Bass being apprehensive that the boat could not fetch the high main land, determined to steer southward for the islands, in the hope of procuring some rice from the wreck of the ship Sydney Cove, to eke out his provisions. The wind, however, became unfavourable to him, veering to E. S. E.; so that with the sea which drove the boat to leeward, the course to noon was scarcely so good as S. S. W. The latitude observed was then 39° 51'; and no land being in sight, the prospect of reaching Furneaux's Islands became very faint. At four o'clock, an accident caused it to be totally given up: water was observed to rush in fast through the boat's side, and made it absolutely necessary to go upon the other tack. The latitude to which Mr. Bass supposed himself arrived, was something to the south of 40°; and the weather was clear enough for land of moderate height to have been seen five leagues further, had there been any within that distance.

The boat was then kept north-eastward, towards Furneaux's Land. At nine in the evening, the wind blew hard at S. E. by E., accompanied by a hollow, irregular sea, which put our enterprising discoverer and his boat's crew into the greatest danger; but the

good qualities of his little bark, with careful steerage, carried him