Page:A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 1.djvu/64

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xlii
[Prior Discoveries.
INTRODUCTION.

Bampton and
Alt
1793.

58° W. At three p. m. the reefs were so numerous, that the ships were obliged to anchor, until the boats could sound for a passage: the depth here was 4½ fathoms, on a bottom of rotten stones and coral.

July 31. They weighed, and hauled the wind eastward, to pass round Turn-again Island; bearing away occasionally to avoid small reefs: the soundings 5½ to 4 fathoms. After passing round, they anchored in 5 fathoms; until the boats should sound between the reefs which appeared on every side: Turn-again Island then bore S. 56° to 83° W. about two leagues, Mount Cornwallis N. 56° E., the Brothers S. 50° E.; the latitude observed was 9° 32', and longitude from four sights of the sun and moon, 140° 58' east. Next afternoon, in proceeding to the north-westward, the Chesterfield struck upon a bank in eight feet water; but the coral giving way to the ship, she went over without injury. In the evening, they both anchored in 4½ fathoms, gravel and shells; Mount Cornwallis bearing E. ¼S., and a long tract of land from N. W. by N. to N. E., at the distance of five or six leagues. Turn-again Island bore S. S. E. ¾E. to S. ½W., four miles; and thither the ships ran on Aug. 3., and anchored in 3¼ fathoms, fine sand, within a quarter of a mile of the shore; the extremes bearing S. 58° E. to 60° W. The purpose for which they came to this island, was to procure wood, water, and refreshments; during the time necessary for the boats to explore a passage through the innumerable reefs and banks, which occupy this part of the Strait.

Messieurs Bampton and Alt remained here seventeen days; being afraid to move with the strong south-east winds which blew during the greater part of the time. Turn-again Island is flat, low, and swampy; and about three miles in length, by half that space in breadth. (Mr. Bampton's chart makes it the double of these dimensions; and, generally, the islands in it exceed the description of the journal in about the same proportion: the journal seems to be the

preferable authority.) The reefs which surround Turn-again Island,