Page:A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 1.djvu/49

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North Coast: Torres' Strait.]
xxvii
INTRODUCTION.

west; and a third bore N. 18° W. five miles. The latitude of the anchorage Bligh and
Portlock
1792.
was 9° 41' south, and longitude 142° 84' east.

A fresh gale from south-east did not allow the Providence and Assistant to proceed onward for three days. In the mean time, the passage between the reefs to the N. W., was sounded by the boats; and found to contain about 5 fathoms, regularly, upon hard ground. They were also sent to examine the passage round the southern reefs; and this being deeper, with a superior bottom, it was chosen as the preferable route.

Sept. 16. The vessels passed to windward of the southern reef; and steered south-westward, as it trended, in from 7 to 5 fathoms water, until half past noon; when they anchored in latitude 10° 3', and longitude, by time-keeper, 142° 14'. The sole direction in which the eye could range without being obstructed, was that whence the vessels had come; every where else the view was arrested by rocks, banks, and islands. The most extensive of these, was Banks' Island, extending from S. 14° E. to 62° W., two or three leagues; with a high hill upon it named Mount Augustus, which bore S. 4° E.:[1] Another large island, named Mulgrave's, extended from behind the last to a cluster of rocks, whose extreme bore W. 5° N. The nearest land, bearing S. 24° E., one mile and a half, was the northwesternmost of three small isles; and to this, the second lieutenant was sent, for the purpose of taking possession of all the islands seen in the Strait, for His Britannic Majesty George III., with the ceremonies used on such occasions: the name bestowed upon the whole, was Clarence's Archipelago.

North Possession Island was found to be little else than a mass of rocks surrounded by a reef; but it was covered with a variety of
  1. This mountain, in latitude 10° 12' south, longitude 142° 13' east, was seen by captain Bligh from the Bounty's launch, and marked in his chart, (Voyage, &c. p. 220.) It appears to be the same island indistinctly laid down by captain Cook, in latitude 10° 10', longitude 141° 14'; and is, also, one of those, to which the term Hoge Landt is applied in Thevenot's chart of 1663.