Page:A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 1.djvu/55

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North Coast: Torres' Strait.]

Bampton and

the Darnley's Island of captain Bligh, bore S. W. by S. seven or eight leagues; a dry sand was seen in the W. N. W., ( probably W. S. W. ); and a reef, which appears to have been that of Anchor Key, was six or seven miles distant in the S. E. At four in the afternoon, when Darnley's Island bore W. by N. ½N. five leagues, and Murray's Island S. E. ½E. (probably S. S. E. ½E. ) the ships anchored in 22 fathoms, marly bottom; and the boats were sent towards the first island to sound, and see if it were inhabited. The latitude observed at this anchorage, was 9° 40' south, and longitude from three distances of the sun and moon 142° 58' 30" east.

July 2. The boats returned. Between the ships and the island, they had passed over five different reefs, separated by narrow channels of 11 to 14 fathoms deep. The natives of the island came down in considerable numbers; and exchanged some bows and arrows, for knives and other articles. They were stout men; and somewhat above the common size of Europeans. Except in colour, which was not of so deep a cast, they bore much resemblance to the natives of Port Jackson; and had scars raised upon their bodies in the same manner. The men were entirely naked; but the women, who kept at a distance and appeared small in size, wore an apron of leaves, reaching down to the knee. Many cocoa-nut trees were seen in the lower parts of the island.

When the boats returned, they were followed by four canoes. One of them went along-side of the Chesterfield; and an Indian ventured on board, on a sailor going into the canoe, as a hostage for him. Most of these people had their ears perforated. The hair was generally cut short; but some few had it flowing loose. It is naturally black; but from being rubbed with something, it had a reddish, or burnt appearance. These Indians, so far as they could be understood, represented their island to abound in refreshments; and it was, therefore, determined to send another boat to make further examination.

July 3. Mr. Shaw, chief mate of the Chesterfield, Mr. Carter,