Page:A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 1.djvu/38

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[Prior Discoveries.

After the mutineers of the Bounty had forced their commander, Bligh
lieutenant (now rear-admiral) William Bligh, to embark in the launch, near the island Tofoa; he steered for Coepang, a Dutch settlement, at the south-west end of Timor. In the way, he made the east coast of New South Wales, in about 12½° of south latitude; and, sailing northward, passed round Cape York and the Prince of Wales' Islands.

It was not to be supposed, that captain Bligh, under the circumstances of extreme distress, of fatigue, and difficulty of every kind, could do much for navigation and geography; yet, he took views and made such observations and notes, as enabled him to construct a chart of his track, and of the lands and reefs seen from the launch. And as captain Bligh passed to the north of the Prince of Wales' Islands, whereas captain Cook had passed to the south, his interesting narrative, with the accompanying chart, made an useful addition to what little was yet known of Torres' Strait.[1]


Captain (now admiral) Edward Edwards of His Majesty's Edwards
frigate Pandora, on his return from the island Taheity,[2] made the reefs of Torres' Strait, on Aug. 25; in about the latitude 10° south, and two degrees of longitude to the east of Cape York. Steering from thence westward, he fell in with three islands, rather high, which he named Murray's: lying in latitude 9° 57' south, and longitude 143° 42' east;[3] and some canoes, with two masts, were seen running within side of the reef which lay between the islands

and the ship. This reef was of considerable extent; and, during

  1. Bligh's "Voyage to the South Seas in H. M. Ship Bounty," page 218—221.
  2. Commonly written Otaheite; but the O is either an article or a preposition, and forms no part of the name: Bougainville writes it Taïti.
  3. In Plates I. and XIII. Murray's Islands are laid down according to their situations afterwards ascertained in the Investigator; and the reefs, seen by the Pandora, are placed in their relative positions to those islands.