Page:A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 1.djvu/65

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North Coast.]
xliii
INTRODUCTION.

Bampton and
Alt
1793.

extend a great distance to the east and west; particularly in the latter direction, where there are many dry sand banks. The island is mostly over-run with mangroves; and at the top of the flood, the wood cutters were obliged to work in the water; and were, at all times, exceedingly annoyed with musketoes. The island is said, in the journal, to be in 9° 34' south and 140 55' east; which is 3' to the south and 1° 24' west of its situation in the chart of captain Bligh.

No other refreshment than small quantities of fish, crabs, and shell-fish, being procurable here, the ships crews were further r educed in their short allowance. With respect to fresh water, their situation was still worse: None could be obtained upon Turn-again Island; and had not captain Bampton ingeniously contrived a still, their state would have been truly deplorable. He caused a cover, with a hole in the centre, to be fitted by the carpenter upon a large cooking pot; and over the hole he luted an inverted tea kettle, with the spout cut off. To the stump of the spout, was fitted a part of the tube of a speaking trumpet; and this was lengthened by a gun barrel, which passed through a cask of salt water, serving as a cooler. From this machine, good fresh water, to the amount of twenty-five tb forty gallons per day, was procured; and obtained a preference to that contained in the few casks remaining in the Hormuzeer.

By Aug. 20., when the weather had become more moderate, the boats had sounded amongst the reefs in all directions; but there appeared to be no practicable passage out of this labyrinth, except to the north-west. In that direction the ships proceeded three hours, in from 6 to 3 fathoms. Next afternoon, they steered westward, with the flood tide; and again anchored in 3 fathoms, sand and gravel. The coast of New Guinea then extended from N. by E. ¼E. to N. W. ¾N.; and the north-west end of a long island, to which the name of Talbot was given, bore N. by E. ½E. nine or ten miles.

Aug. 22. At day-light they followed the long boat to the westward, in soundings from 2½ to 4 fathoms. At seven o'clock, the

Hormuzeer grounded in 2 fathoms; upon a bank whence Talbot's