Page:A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 1.djvu/145

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


some miles distance inland, there was a range of hills with wood upon them, though scarcely sufficient to hide their sandy surface.

At five in the morning of the 7th, the rocky point bore N. E. ½ N. six or seven miles, and the furthest visible part of the beach W. ½ S. The southern wind had died away in the night and a breeze springing up at N. E. by E., we steered before it along the same low, sandy shore as seen in the evening. The hills which arose at three or four leagues behind the beach, appeared to retire further back as we advanced westward; they would, however, be visible to a ship in fine weather, long before the front land could be seen.

The observed latitude at noon was 38° 17' south, and by two sets of distances of the sun east of the moon, reduced up from the morning, the longitude was 147° 37' east.[1] The beach was six or seven miles distant, but after obtaining the noon's observation, we closed more in; and at two or three miles off, found a sandy bottom with 11 fathoms of line. Our course along the shore from two to four o'clock, was S. W. ¾ S., with a current in our favour. The beach then trended more to the west; but the breeze having veered to E. by N. and become strong, with much sea, it was considered too dangerous to follow it any longer. At five, the western and most considerable of two shallow-looking openings bore north-west, seven or eight miles; and at sunset, some high and remarkable land was perceived bearing S. W. by W., which proved to be the same discovered by Mr. Bass, and now bearing the name of Wilson's Promontory. It appeared, from a partial view given by a break in the clouds, as if cut in two, and the parts had been removed to some distance from each other: the gap was probably Sealers Cove.

The state of the weather, and the land to leeward, made it necessary

to haul up south-eastward, close upon a wind. At day-break

  1. It was 147° 10'; but as I afterwards found that observations of the sun to the east gave 27' less, by this small five inch sextant, and those to the west 27' greater than the mean of both, that correction is here applied; but not any which might be required from errors in the solar or lunar tables.