Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/32

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State of the Swan River Colony 1st Jan., 1830.

to eight miles in circumference, and frequented by vast flocks of black swans, wild ducks, and various kinds of aquatic birds. The streams issuing from the two ridges, east and west of their route, were equally numerous: and three of them, named the Denmark, the Hay, and the Sleeman, were of considerable magnitude, being in several parts not less than a hundred yards in width, and deep enough in parts to float a vessel of two or three hundred tons. All the streams had a southerly direction, and the three above named fell into an extensive inlet, which communicated with the sea by a channel composed of loose calcareous sandstone, about seven hundred yards in width, but which, as was afterwards found, is contracted occasionally to thirty or forty yards; even then it has a sufficient depth of water to admit of boats. On a subsequent visit to Mount Lindsey, by Captain Barker, the resident, accompanied by the intelligent native belonging to the establishment at the post of Frederickton, another large inlet was seen about thirty miles more westerly, lying between Cape Chatham and Point Nuyts; and the opinion of the natives they met with was, on comparing it with the former inlet, that vessels of very considerable size might pass into it through the entrance. Captain Barker, as well as Dr. Wilson, bears testimony to the general accuracy of the descriptions given by these aborigines; he observes, however, as they cannot swim, and possess no kind of floating vessel, they have no means of speaking correctly as to the depth of waters that are not fordable.

As no survey has been made of that part of the Southern coast lying between Cape Leuwin and King George's Sound, except that of ascertaining the positions, in sailing along it, of a few inlets, rocks, and projecting headlands, it is not improbable that, on a closer inquiry, many inlets of a similar kind will be found on this line of coast, towards which the internal waters pursue their courses to the ocean. Indeed, there is every appearance of the mouth of a river existing in the large opening which is left in the charts, a little to the eastward of Cape Leuwin, at the bottom of an open bay named 'Dangerous. Bight;' and when it is considered, that the late expedition of Captain Sturt has been the means of bringing to light the existence of a river, whose course cannot be less than fifteen hundred miles, and may be much more; that it forms an estuary or lake of sixty miles in length, and from thirty to forty in width, through which its waters are discharged into the sea in Encounter Bay; that Flinders surveyed the western point of this bay, which he called Cape Jervis; that Baudin, who sailed round it, has laid down an uninterrupted line of coast; and that both were unconscious of any such river or estuary,—it is not assuming too much to conclude, that many rivers and inlets still remain to be discovered on this, and, indeed,