Page:A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 1.djvu/52

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xxx
[Prior Discoveries.
INTRODUCTION.

Bligh and
Portlock
1792.

In the Voyage to the South Seas in H. M. ship Bounty, page 320, captain Bligh says, "I cannot with certainty reconcile the situation of some parts of the coast (near Cape York) that I have seen, to his (captain Cook's) survey; and from the situation of the high islands on the west side of the Strait, which had been seen from the Bounty's launch, and were now subjected to the correction of the Providence's time-keepers; he was confirmed in the opinion, that some material differences existed in the positions of the lands near Cape York.

 

The last passage known to have been made through Torres' Bampton and
Alt
1793.
Strait, previously to the sailing of the Investigator, was by Messieurs William Bampton and Matthew B. Alt, commanders of the ships Hormuzeer and Chesterfield. Their discoveries were made public, in two charts, by Mr. Dalrymple, in 1798 and 1799; and from them, and captain Bampton's manuscript journal, the south coast of New Guinea, and most of the reefs and islands near it, are laid down in Plate XIII.; after having been adjusted to the observations of captain Bligh, and to those subsequently made by me in the Investigator and Cumberland. The journal was obtained through the kindness of Mr. Arrowsmith; and, though no courses and distances be given, and the differences from the charts be sometimes considerable, it is yet so interesting in many points, that I have judged the following abridgement would be acceptable, as well to the general, as to the nautical, reader.

The Hormuzeer and Chesterfield sailed together from Norfolk Island; with the intention of passing through Torres' Strait, by a route which the commanders did not know to have been before attempted. June 20, 1793, in the evening, being in latitude 10° 24' south, and longitude 144° 14' east (by captain Bampton's chart), a dry reef was seen extending from W. S. to N. W. by W., distant four or five miles, and breakers from the mast head at N. by E. ½E.:

An island (Murray's), which appeared to be large and woody, was