Page:A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 1.djvu/83

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Western Coasts.]


small shrubs. Some very indifferent water was the sole useful thing met with, and it was too far off for any to be taken on board.

Jan. 30. The boats were again sent on shore, and discovered two inlets, of which the southernmost, in latitude 26° 16', was three miles in width. On Feb. 2, they found two other openings, very deep, one of which ran up northward, and the other to the east, far inland. They went eleven leagues up the first of these, and found that it had another communication with the sea, to the N. N. W.[1] On the 3rd, a boat brought the above account; and also, that the chief mate of the Geelvink had found a plate of tin, with an inscription commemorating the arrival and departure of Dirk Hartog. (See the inscription under the article Hartog, preceding.) This Road of Dirk Hartog's Bay, where the plate had been set up, is in 25° 24'; and the west variation was 8° 34'.

No mention is made by Valentyn of the ships entering the road, nor of their departure from it; but it should seem that they anchored on Feb. 4. On the 5th, commodore Vlaming and the commander of the Nyptang went with three boats to the shore, which proved to be an island. They found also a river, and went up it four or five leagues, amongst rocks and shoals; when they saw much water inland, as if the country were drowned, but no men, nor any thing for food; and, wherever they dug, the ground was salt. They afterwards came to another river, which they ascended about one league, and found it to terminate in a round basin, and to be entirely salt water. No men were seen, nor any animals, except divers which were very shy; and the country was destitute of grass and trees. Returning downward on the 10th, they saw footsteps of men and children, of the common size, and observed the point of entrance into the river to be of a very red sand.

The ships appear to have left Dirk Hartog's Road on Feb. 12.

  1. These two openings, which in the original are called rivers, were nothing more than the entrance into Shark's Bay. A small island, lying a little within the entrance, probably made it be taken for two openings.