Page:A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 1.djvu/92

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[Prior Discoveries.


not numerous. Amongst the aquatic birds, black swans and wild ducks held a distinguished place ; but, like the land animals, were very shy: sea and shell fish were in tolerable abundance.

None of the inhabitants were seen; but from the appearance of their deserted huts, they were judged to be the same miserable race as those of the North-west and East Coasts. No marks of canoes, nor the remains of fish, even shell fish, were found near their habitations; and this circumstance, with the shyness of the birds and quadrupeds, induced a belief that the natives depended principally upon the woods for their subsistence.

Captain Vancouver quitted King George's Sound on Oct. 11, and proceeded eastward in the examination of the coast; but unfavourable winds prevented him from doing this so completely as he wished, and some parts were passed unseen; and the impediments to his progress at length caused the examination to be quitted, in favour of prosecuting the main design of his voyage. The last land seen was Termination Island, in latitude 34° 32' and longitude 122° 8'. The coast to the north of this island appeared much broken; but, although in Nuyts' chart a considerable group of islands were laid down in about that situation, captain Vancouver rather supposed it to be a continued main land.[1]

So far as this examination extended, the general form of the coast was found to correspond with that of the old chart; nor was any material error found in Nuyts' latitude. A further, and more extended confirmation of the Dutch navigator's discovery, and of its having been well laid down, considering the period at which it was done, was obtained in the following year.


The French rear-admiral Bruny D'Entrecasteaux, having been D'Entre

sent out with the ships La Recherche and L'Espérance in search of

the unfortunate La Pérouse, made the south coast of New Holland

  1. For captain Vancouver's account of his proceedings and observations on the South Coast, see his Voyage round the World, Vol. I. page 28-57.