Page:A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 1.djvu/75

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Western Coasts.]
liii
INTRODUCTION.

Pelsert.
1629.

A small, sandy bay was seen, into which Pelsert desired to enter; but finding too much surf, and the weather becoming bad, he was obliged to haul further off.

July 10. He kept in the same parallel, upon a wind; the weather being bad, and his boat very leaky. Next day, the wind was at W. S. W., and more moderate. He then steered north; for the sea was too high to approach the shore in safety. On the 12th, Pelsert observed the latitude to be 27°, and steered along the coast with a fair wind at S. E.; but the shore was too steep to admit of landing; neither could he find any bay or island to break off the sea. At a distance, the land seemed fertile and covered with plants. The latitude, on the 13th, was 35° 40', which shewed a current setting to the northward. Here Pelsert found himself a-breast of an opening, where the coast trends to the north-east (apparently into Shark's Bay). The course this day was nearly north; the shore consisted of reddish rock, of an equal height; and there being no island in front, the waves, which broke high upon it, prevented landing.

June 14. The wind was at east; and at noon, the latitude was observed to be 24°. The tides (or rather the current) took the boat further to the north than was desired; for Pelsert then carried but little sail, in the hope to find a landing place without going further. Perceiving some smokes at a distance, he rowed towards them; but the shore proved to be steep, with many rocks, and the sea broke high against it. At length, six of his people leaped overboard, and with much labour and risk got through the surf, Whilst the boat remained at anchor, in 25 fathoms. The sailors employed the rest of the day in seeking for water; and on looking about on every side, they saw four natives creeping towards them on their hands and feet. One of "our people" having appeared on an eminence, near them, the natives rose up and took to flight; so that those who were in the boat could see them distinctly. These men were wild, black, and altogether naked; not covering even those parts which almost all savages conceal.