Page:A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 1.djvu/142

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cxx
[Prior Discoveries.
INTRODUCTION.

Bass.
1798.

was explored, has not, perhaps, its equal in the annals of maritime history. The public will award to its high spirited and able conductor, alas! now no more, an honourable place in the list of those whose ardour stands most conspicuous for the promotion of useful knowledge.

 

During the time that Mr. Bass was absent on his expedition in Flinders.
1798.
the whale boat, the Francis schooner was again sent with captain Hamilton to the wreck of his ship the Sydney Cove; to bring up what remained of the cargo at Preservation Island, and the few people who were left in charge. On this occasion I was happy enough to obtain governor Hunter's permission to embark in the schooner; in order to make such observations serviceable to geography and navigation, as circumstances might afford; and Mr. Reed, the master, was directed to forward these views as far as was consistent with the main objects of his voyage.

Feb. 1, we sailed out of Port Jackson with a fair wind; and on (Atlas,
Plate VIII.
the following noon, the observed latitude was 35° 43', being 14' south of account. I prevailed on Mr. Reed to stand in for the land, which was then visible through the haze; and at sunset, we reached into Bateman Bay.[1] When the two rocky islets in the middle of the bay bore S. by W. ¼ W., a short mile, we had 8 fathoms water, and 6 fathoms a mile further in. The north head is steep with, a rock lying off it; but Bateman Bay falls back too little from the line of the coast to afford shelter against winds from the eastward. The margin of the bay is mostly a beach, behind which lie sandy, rocky hills of moderate elevation.

In the morning of the 3rd, we steered S. by W. along the shore;

and saw, in latitude about 35° 58', and eight or nine miles from the

  1. The bearings in the following account are corrected, as usual, for the variation; but I am sorry to say that the steering compasses of the schooner proved to be bad, and there was no azimuth compass on board.