Page:A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 1.djvu/42

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xx
[Prior Discoveries.
INTRODUCTION.

Bligh and
Portlock
1792.

At four o'clock, the vessels edged away round the north end of Portlock's Reef, which, at dusk, bore South, about two leagues; and the wind was then hauled for the night.

Sept. 2. The breakers bore South, four or five miles; and captain Bligh steered westward: the Assistant leading. At noon, the latitude being 9° 26', longitude, by time keepers, 144° 23', other breakers were seen a-head, and the vessels hauled the wind to the southward; but finding another reef in that direction, with a dry bank upon it, they tacked to the N. E. at half past one; and got ground, for the first time, in 64 fathoms, coral bottom. During the following night, they stood off and on, constantly getting soundings.

No breakers were in sight in the morning of Sept. 3. At seven, a boat was sent a-head; and the vessels bore away after her to the N. W., in order to try the New-Guinea side of the Strait. At noon, their course was interrupted by a reef, which was named Bond's Reef, extending from W. N. W. to North, and distant four or five miles: observed latitude 9° 6', longitude 144° 13'. The north side of the Strait being judged impracticable, the wind was again hauled to the southward; and, at dusk, the vessels anchored in 37 fathoms, fine grey sand; five or six miles north of a reef, upon which was a dry bank, called Anchor Key. An island of considerable height, bearing S. W. by W. ten leagues, was then seen from the mast head: Captain Bligh gave it the name of Darnley's Island; and to the space between Portlock's and Bond's Reefs, by which the vessels had entered the Strait, that of Bligh s Entrance.

Sept. 4. A boat was sent to the S. S. W., and the vessels followed. Other high lands (Murray's Isles) were seen to the southward; and a reef with a sand bank on it, to the west. At noon, the latitude was 9° 32' south, and longitude 143° 59' east: Darnley's Island bore S. 74° to 82° W., four leagues; and the largest of Murray's Isles, S. 13° to 21° E.: the western reef was about three miles distant, but nothing was visible a-head in the S. by W. At four o'clock, the

vessels anchored in 21 fathoms, sandy bottom; with Darnley's