Page:A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 1.djvu/141

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

Bass.
1798.

quarters that he was forced successively into Jervis Bay, Shoals Haven, and Port Hacking; and it was not until the 24th at night, that our adventurous discoverer terminated his dangerous and fatiguing voyage, by entering within the heads of Port Jackson.

It should be remembered, that Mr. Bass sailed with only six weeks provisions; but with the assistance of occasional supplies of petrels, fish, seal's flesh, and a few geese and black swans, and by abstinence, he had been enabled to prolong his voyage beyond eleven weeks. His ardour and perseverance were crowned, in despite of the foul winds which so much opposed him, with a degree of success not to have been anticipated from such feeble means. In three hundred miles of coast, from Port Jackson to the Ram Head, he added a number of particulars which had escaped captain Cook; and will always escape any navigator in a first discovery, unless he have the time and means of joining a close examination by boats, to what may be seen from the ship.

Our previous knowledge of the coast scarcely extended beyond the Ram Head; and there began the harvest in which Mr. Bass was ambitious to place the first reaping hook. The new coast was traced three hundred miles; and instead of trending southward to join itself to Van Diemen's Land, as captain Furneaux had supposed, he found it, beyond a certain point, to take a direction nearly opposite, and to assume the appearance of being exposed to the bufferings of an open sea. Mr. Bass, himself, entertained no doubt of the existence of a wide strait, separating Van Diemen's Land from New South Wales; and he yielded with the greatest reluctance to the necessity of returning, before it was so fully ascertained as to admit of no doubt in the minds of others. But he had the satisfaction of placing at the end of his new coast, an extensive and useful harbour, surrounded with a country superior to any other known in the southern parts of New South Wales.

A voyage expressly undertaken for discovery in an open boat, and

in which six hundred miles of coast, mostly in a boisterous climate,