Page:A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 1.djvu/140

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

Bass.
1798.

eastwardly, he again steered E. b. N.; the wind blowing a fresh gale at W. S. W., with a following sea. At daylight, Feb. 10, the beach was distant two miles, and trending parallel to the boat's course.

The western gale died away in the morning, and was succeeded by one from the eastward. The boat was in no condition to struggle against a foul wind; and Mr. Bass, being unwilling to return to Corner Inlet, ventured through a heavy surf and took refuge upon the beach; having first observed the latitude to be 37° 47' south.

The country at the back of the beach consisted of dried-up swamps and barren sand hills. Some natives came down with very little hesitation, and conducted themselves amicably: they appeared never to have seen or heard of white people before.

Feb. 11, the foul wind had ceased to blow, and the clouds threatened another gale from the south-west. So soon as there was sufficient daylight, the boat was launched, and at four the same afternoon anchored under the Ram Head. Mr. Bass was kept there till the 14th in the evening; when a strong breeze sprung up suddenly at south-west, and he sailed immediately, passing Cape Howe at ten o'clock. By noon of the 15th, he had reached Two-fold Bay, where the latitude was observed to be 36° 53' south;[1] and having ascertained that Snug Cove, on its north-west side, afforded Atlas.
Plate VIII.
shelter for shipping, he steered northward, and passed Mount Dromedary soon after midnight. At noon, Feb. 16, Mr. Bass landed upon a small island lying under the shore to the south-east of the Pigeon House, to examine a pole which he had before observed, and supposed might have been set up as a signal by shipwrecked people; but it proved to be nothing more than the dead stump of a tree, much taller and more straight than the others. He sailed

next morning; but the wind hung so much in the north and east

  1. The true latitude of the mouth of Two-fold Bay is 37° 5', shewing an error of 12* to the north, nearly similar to what has been specified in the observations near Wilson's Promontory.