Page:The life of Matthew Flinders.djvu/147

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may have obscured the outline. At all events, by dusk on January 1st he found that he had filled up the hitherto unexplored space between Point Hicks "a point we could not at all distinguish from the rest of the beach," and the high hummocky land further west, which he believed to be that sighted by Captain Tobias Furneaux in 1773. It is, however, to be observed that Flinders pointed out that all Bass's reckonings after December 31st were ten miles out. "It is no matter of surprise," wrote his friend indicating an error, "if observations taken from an open boat in a high sea should differ ten miles from the truth; but I judge that Mr. Bass's quadrant must have received some injury during the night of the 31st, for a similar error appears to pervade all the future observations, even those taken under favourable circumstances." The missing of Point Hicks, therefore, apart from the thick haze, is not difficult to understand.

On Tuesday, January 2nd, Bass reached the most southerly point in the continent of Australia, the extremity of Wilson's Promontory. The bold outlines were sighted at seven o'clock in the morning. "We were surprised by the sight of high hummocky land right ahead, and at a considerable distance." Bass called it Furneaux Land in his diary, in the belief that a portion of the great granite peninsula had been seen by the captain of the Adventure in 1773. Furneaux' name is still attached to the group of islands divided by Banks' Strait from the north-east corner of Tasmania. But the name which Bass gave to the Promontory was not retained. It is not likely that Furneaux ever saw land so far west. "It cannot be the same, as Mr. Bass was afterwards convinced," wrote Flinders. Governor Hunter, "at our recommendation," named it Wilson's Promontory, "in compliment to my friend Thomas Wilson, Esq., of London." It has been stated that the