Page:A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 1.djvu/137

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East Coast, & V.D.'s Land.]
cxv
INTRODUCTION.

Bass.
1798.

south-west; and he sought shelter behind a cape since named Cape Liptrap. Next morning, he ran over to the islands on the west side of Furneaux's Land; but was obliged to return to his former place of shelter, where a succession of gales kept him until the 26th. A quantity of petrels had been taken on the islands, and this week of detention was mostly employed in salting them for the homeward bound voyage.

At length, Mr. Bass was able to execute the project he had formed for the seven convicts. It was impossible to take them all into the boat; therefore to five, whom he set upon the main land, he gave a musket, half his ammunition, some hooks and lines, a light cooking kettle, and directions how to proceed in their course toward Port Jackson. The remaining two, one of whom was old and the other diseased, he took into the boat with the consent of the crew, who readily agreed to divide the daily bannock into nine with them. He then bore away, with a fresh wind at west, round Furneaux's Land.[1]

From Jan. 26 to Feb. 1, Mr. Bass was detained by eastern gales from proceeding on his return. The boat lay in Sealers Cove, whilst he occupied the time in examining Wilson's Promontory. The height of this vast cape, though not such as would be considered extraordinary by seamen, is yet strikingly so from being contrasted with the low, sandy land behind it; and the firmness and durability of its structure make it worthy of being, what there was reason to believe it, the boundary point of a large strait, and a corner stone to the new continent. It is a lofty mass of hard granite, of about twenty miles long, by from six to fourteen in breadth. The soil upon it is shallow and barren; though the brush wood, dwarf gum trees, and some smaller vegetation, which mostly cover the rocks, give it a deceitful appearance to the eye of a distant observer.

  1. I have continued to make use of the term Furneaux's Land conformably to Mr. Bass' journal; but the position of this land is so different from that supposed to have been seen by captain Furneaux, that it cannot be the same, as Mr. Bass was afterwards convinced. At our recommendation governor Hunter called it Wilson's Promontory, in compliment to my friend Thomas Wilson, Esq. of London.