Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales

Matthew Flinders journal in the Norfolk Sloop, 1799
C 211/2

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July 8th Monday. We weighed with a moderate Westerly Breeze, and at eleven oClock, passed between the Heads, when we set all sail & steered to the Northward along the Coast. At seven in the evening took a departure from the south part of Cape Three Points, bearing WBN five miles. At two in the morning made the land to Leeward, which obliged us to keep farther out.

Tuesday 9th. Our distance from the land, at day light was about four miles. It was rather low, and fronted with long, low, white, sandy beaches. Three lumps which I supposed to be Black Head seemed to lay at a considerable distance from the Coast, but it is no doubt connected by low, intermediate land.

At half past seven we sounded but got no ground with fourteen fathoms, at half a mile distance from a small reef of black rocks, which run off from a sugar loaf like point. There are two low, and therefore dangerous rocks which lay at S20°E three or four miles, and SE about two miles from this sugar loaf point. Captain Cook passed this part of the coast in the night and therefore did not see the rocks, but they require to be particularly

looked out for, by any Vessel coming near the land. The latitude of the point is about 32°, 27’ So. Cape Hawke lays N1° or 2°E from it and the intermediate coast is mostly beach, but divided at intervals by short stony heads.

We got ground with ten fathoms, at half a mile distance from the shore of Cape Hawke. The two Hillocks mentioned by Capt. Cook stand upon the pitch of the Cape, and are covered with brush down to the low cliffs. The strata in these cliffs lay 40 or 50 degrees from the horizontal line.

At noon the observed latitude was 32°,7’,34" So; the north extreme which afterwards proved to be one of the Three Brothers, but now made

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like any island, bore N10°E; and Cape Hawke S5°W seven miles. From the Cape, the coast falls back, forming a kind of double bay. The land is low and rises but very gradually ridge over ridge inland to a moderate height. The Country looked pleasant enough from the sea, but the trees appeared small and mixed with brushwood. We kept along the low shore at four or five miles distance, with light southwesterly breeze till half past seven, when the latitude[indecipherable]was 31°,51’. The southernmost of the Three Brothers then bore N W B N and should be in about 31°,43’ or 44 south. They have been described "as remarkably large and high, but they did not appear so to me. They are sloping hills and their conspicuousness seems principally to arise from the lowness of the neighbouring land. It is necessary to remark here, that their form & situation in Capt. Cook’s chart, are erroneous; the latter differing even 20’ of latitude from the account of them in the voyage. A little south of these hillls, the coast falls back into a bight; the head of which could not be discerned, for its being nearly dark. There may probably be a small inlet here. At eight P:M: when the outermost hill bore N W 1/2° W we got ground with 35 fathoms and at midnight with 55 having continued our course along the shore; but at daylight found outselves much farther off and to the southward of our expected situation.

Wednesday 10th. The observed latitude at noon 31°,37’,48" being 33’ south of the log and nearly the whole of this difference must have arisen since eight oClock on the last night. The extreme land in sight [bore] NNW1/4W from the mast head and the easternmost of the Three Brothers bore S60°W: our distance from the nearest shore was about five or six leagues. This extraordinary current I attributed to our greater distance off the coast; for in the preceding twenty four hours when we were close in shore, the difference between the observation and the log, was 8’ in our favour.

This morning we found, that the Sloop had spring a very bad Leak

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which admitted as much as water as kept our pump constantly going. By its coming on suddenly, I judged, that it could not be occasioned by any straining of the Vessel. It was however a serious cause of alarm; and the Maize, with which, the sloop had been before loaded, was now continually choaking up the pumps. Having a fresh breeze from the southward of West, we got tolerably well in with the land by sunset; at which time, the same north extreme seen at noon, bore N19°W. and the easternmost of the Brothers S40°W. At ten oClock the hummock which had been the north extreme, bore NW three miles, in which situation we had thirty five fathoms with a sandy bottom.

Thursday 11th. Our distance from the land at daylight, was four miles. It is low near the sea and skirted by a sandy beach; but rises almost immediately to a moderate height; it is well cloathed with timber and diversified by irregular and somewhat steep hills & vallies. The Solitary Isles were soon after in sight. The principal of these Isles are five in number, extending from 30°,14’ to 29°,58’ south; and the outer & northernmost is seven or eight miles off shore. There are as many more smaller ones laying close in.

It had been my intention to land upon some of these islets, had it been possible and should any inducement present itself; but we neither saw Seal or Bird. They seemed to be covered with some short brush and two of them being lately burnt, proves that they are visited by natives. There is a general likeness amongst several of them, in that they appear almost separated into two unequal parts; but the largest of the isles is not more than one mile and a quarter in length. In the colour of the rock and in their general appearance they much resemble the small islands laying off Tasman’s Head, and might with equal propriety be termed the Miserable, as well as the Solitary Isles. There is a patch of breakers between the two southernmost Isles, but we had fifteen and seventeen fathoms through, within them, altho’ the water seemed to have a strong inclination to break

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in many places. I think it would be dangerous for a ship to pass between any of them, till they are better known.

At noon the observed latitude was 29°,57’,25" south, the northernmost islet bearing EBN or true East and a low sandy point at the northern extreme N3°E; our distance off shore was two or three miles & the soundings 10 fathoms upon a sandy bottom. The Country still retained the same woody, hilly, irregular, though not u [n]pleasing appearance; but in running along shore in the afternoon, its got manifestly worse, having more tendency to sand. The small projections that opened out, as we sailed along, often presented the delusive appearance of openings behind them; and we were the more inclined to entertain these hopes, as Capt. Cook passed along this part of the coast in the night. At half past two, a small island opened off from a low rocky point, behind which there is a small river running in to the SW, but the breakers seemed to extend mostly across the entrance. If there is any passage, it lays on the south side of the island.

At half past three, a peaked hill standing four or five miles inland, and more conspicuous than usual, bore true West; (see sketch No 1) Before 5, we stood in for what appeared to be an opening; and about dusk were in the entrance of a wide shoal bay [actually the Clarence River estuary]. Our soundings were from five to three and half fathoms on the south side of the entrance, and the breakers extending from the low north point more than half way across, shewed that it was the deepest side. In standing onward the water shoaled to ten feet; upon which we wore; and on hauling up close to the south head, deepened to four four fathoms. Soon after; we anchored in two and a half fathoms on a hard, sandy bottom; the extreme of the South Head bearing EBN & the breakers from the north side NE: between these, we were exposed to

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the sea winds.

The objects that induced me to come into this bay [Clarence River estuary], were, that we might have daylight to run along the remaining part of the coast which Capt. Cook had passed in the night; and to ascertain a place of safety to run for, should the wind come dead on the coast, on our return. The leak was also a part of the inducement; for should this place turn out to be of consequence enough to be worth expending a few days in its examination and a convenient place offer itself for laying the Sloop on shore, I intended to get it stopped in the mean time. During the night, the ebb tide ran near two knots past the Sloop.

Friday 12th. At day light in the morning I went upon the south head of the entrance and took bearings of the few remarkable objects that presented themselves. The Bay [Clarence River estuary]appeared from thence to be a large extent of shoal water, with channels somewhat deeper in different parts of it. The principal one seemed to be that in which the Sloop lay, which ran West along the south side of the bay till it turned round the west end of a middle shoal. This shoal is mostly dry at low water. We afterwards went up this channel in the boat: and round the shoals; but altho the tide ran very rapid, there were scarcley three fathoms any where; and in going toward some branches in the north part of the bay, were obliged to get out and drag the little boat over the sands into another channel, The north point of the entrance into this bay is only a projecting spit of sandy ground; for the water turns sharp round the point and runs to the northward nearly parallel with the coast line. Along this shore, there is a deeper channel but the swell from the sea seems to prevent the tide from making a clear passage out, for the channel becomes shoaler as it approaches the entrance. The tide having fallen so much as to preclude our return by the way we came, we were obliged to try this passage tho’ it was at the risk of swamping the boat; for the ebb tide ran with with increased rapidity in this shoal water; and meeting the sea swell and southerly wind, the water broke at times all across from the north point to the middle shoal and made such a jumble that the Oars could scarcely be

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used. In one minute however, the danger was past; for the velocity of the tide was such, as to carry the boat to windward against all obstacles. It was only necessary for us to keep the boat end on, to the sea, to prevent her from being filled.

Having returned to the Sloop, I took the Sextant and artificial horizon on shore to the south head to observe for the latitude. The Sun being more than half an hour distant from the meridian, gave me time to examine three Native’s huts that stood at a little distance: they were of a circular form, of about eight feet diameter. The frame was made of the stronger tendrils of vine crossing each other in all directions and bound together with strong wiry grass at the principal intersections. The covering was of bark of a soft texture, resembling the bark of what is called the Tea tree at Port Jackson; and so compactly laid in, as to keep out both wind & rain: the entrance is by a small avenue projecting from the periphery of the circle and does not go directly into the hut but turns sufficiently to prevent the rain from beating in. The height of the under part of the roof is about four & a half or five feet and those that I entered had collected a coat of soot from the fires which had been made in the middle of the huts. Those who have been in an Oven will have a tolerably exact idea of these habitations, but the sides of these are nearer to a perpendicular than those of ovens usually are. One of the three huts was a double one in this form [here follows a sketch which can be viewed in the original manuscript journal] containing two recesses with but one entrance, intended most probably for kindred families This hut would contain ten or fifteen people. Bongaree who was with me, admitted that they were much superior to any of the native houses he had before seen. He brought away a small hand basket made of some kind of leaf which would contain five or six pints of water and was nearly such as I have seen used at Coupang in the island Timor for carrying the toddy about in.

The meridional Altitude of the Sun gave the latitude of the entrance into the bay 29°,26’, 28" south. There were many

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many white Cockatoos and Parroquets about this bay, as also crows whose notes were much more short & hasty than any I ever heard. Numbers of Pelicans frequent the shoals and some Gulls and Redbills. The country itself is very sandy where we went on shore. The Palm-nut tree grows here which is the third kind of Palm mentioned by Capt. Cook as being produced in New South Wales* He says "it was found only in the northern parts" and as Bongaree who is tolerably well acquainted with the country as far as Port Stephens never saw or heard of it before, this is probably one of the most southern situations it will be found in. We found the individual nuts scattered about the fire places of the natives, and observed that the lower ends had been chewed and sucked in the same manner that artichokes are eaten; this method, on getting some that were ripe, we afterwards practised. The taste was rather pleasant at first but left an astrigency behind that scarcely tempted me to try a second. The eatable part of the nut in this way is so small as to be scarcely worth the trouble of sucking it out from the fibres. The individual nut is about the size of a Walnut: within the outer skin there is a hard shell like cocoanut, and within this, two or perhaps more, almond-like kernels. The nut, as taken from the tree, is an assemblage of these set into a core and is, from the size of a man’s two fists to that of his head; its size and the furrows or indentations upon the surface, struck me on the first view with its resemblance to the exterior form of the Bread-fruit, but perhaps a pine apple is a better object of comparison. The stem of the tree is short and none were seen of two feet or even eighteen inches in diameter. The branches do not ramify out into> twigs, but keep their size to the extreme, where the leaves are produced surrounding the fruit: one ot two smaller branches sometimes strike off from the main one and produce their leaves in the same way wihout fruit. The height of the tree altogether, may be from fifteen to twenty five or thirty feet as Suckers or Branches shoot our from all heights below the fruit bearing

*Hawkesworth Vol. 3. Page 624

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branches and growing downwards along the stem, enter the ground & radicate; becoming not only roots but supporters to the tree. I saw one that descended in this manner from considerably above where the large branches struck off from the stem. It was in low sandy situations that this tree was principally found. May not this fruit be the Mellori of the Nicobar Islands? the description given of it in the 3rd Volume of the Asiatic researches, seems to answer in every part as far as my examination went; for having no idea at the time of the value of the tree and being foreign to my pursuits, I did not pay particular attendion to it. The method of cooking this fruit used by the natives of Nicobar is given in the description and may be found in the annual register for 1793.

As this Bay seemed to deserve but a very superficial examination I did not think it worth staying any longer and therefore got underweigh at one oClock, the tide being then rising by the shore, altho’ the stream was still running out.

There was but ten feet in some parts of the entrance, and the wind dying away, we were obliged to get the sweeps out to prevent the SE swell from setting the Sloop amongst the breakers that lay off from the north side. At four oClock the south head bore SWBS. four miles when we sounded in seventeen fathoms & at sunset when it it bore SSW1/2W: five miles, in 25 fathoms. Two other heads bore S:W:b:W: and W:bN: behind which there was some appearance of an inlet; and it is not improbable, but that there may be another entrance into the shoal bay behind one or other of these heads.

I can give no particular mark that will point out the situation of Shoal Bay but its latitude and the somewhat remarkably peaked hill that lays about four leagues to the southward of it. Was any vessel ever likely to visit it, it would be necessary to remark, that either of the two heads above mentioned might be mistaken for the south head of the bay.

We had a moderate breeze all night from the SW and at ten oClock on on

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Saturday. 13 saturday morning Cape Byron bore N67°W three miles, and at this same time the Peak of Mount Warning was just topping over it. Capt.Cook observes that it bears NWbW from the Cape: the Bearings therefore, given in his voyage,are reduced from the magnetic to the true bearings.

At noon the latitude was 28°,32’,12" south, being but 4’ south of the Log. Mount Warning bore W8°0N and Cape Byron S16°W. 7 or 8 miles. Towards the evening as we brought the Mount to bear more to the southward, it put on a Cocks-comb like appearance (see sketch of it No 2) We had hauled more off the shore soon after noon, to pass without the reef laying off Point Danger, the wind being from the eastward. At ten in the Evening the meridional altitude of 0 Scorpionis, gave our situtation to the northward of the reef, and finding no bottom either at eight oClock or at ten with forty five fathoms, we edged more away towards the land, and at day light kept well in finding the land to be at a considerable distance.

Sunday. 14 At ten in the morning we steered West for a large space where no land was visible; and seeing breakers off the south point of the opening, were satisfied that this was Moreton Bay. The breakers are occasioned by a small, flat, rocky island which lays north three or four miles from Cape Lookout. We passed between these and when the Point bore S5°E two & half miles, got ground with 20 fathoms, the bottom a blackish peppery sand. At noon Point Lookout bore SE three or three and half miles and the observed latitude being 27°24’:6" it raised some doubts whether this could be Moreton Bay, for Capt. Cook’s> latitude of the Point is 27°:6’. This however proved to be Point Lookout and its latitude must be about 27°:26’ 3/4" south. After steering half an hour longer upon a West Course, for an opening in the head of the bay, the water shoaled to four fathoms; and seeing breakers running out from the low sandy south

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side of the opening towards the middle of the Bay, we wore round and steered NEbN past the shoal water and then kept away along the shore for the northern extreme. There appeared to be a very large extent of water within the opening, but I suspect there is no passage for a vessel this way. The country to the seaward is wretchedly sandy as was that which we sailed along in the afternoon. At dusk Cape Moreton bore West two or three miles, and the highest Glass House whose peak was just topping over the distant land had opened round it at W3° or 4° N. Two Haycock like hummocks distinct from any other land opened soon after a few degrees to the southward. We now hauled in round Cape Moreton to go into Glass House Bay [Moreton Bay] and when the extreme of the Cape bore south one mile and half struck soundings with fourteen fathoms upon a sandy bottom. Steering West, we carried eight fathoms till eight oClock, when having little wind, and that from the southward, we dropped the Anchor for the night, Cape Moreton bearing EbS two or three miles. In the Morning we made a trip over to the Glass Houses, the wind being from the South-westward, but getting into shoal water kept working to windward near the eastern shore till noon. The observed latitude then was 27°:00’:29" south and Cape Moreton bearing

Monday. 15 E10° to N 2 or three miles will be in the same latitude allowing the variation to be 10° east. This differs 4 1/2’ from its situation in Capt. Cook’s voyage. At two oClock we bore away to go round the Shoal which had obliged us to tack in the morning, finding there was no passage between it & the Cape Moreton Shore. Some part of this Spit, is so near the surface of the water, that the swell from the sea broke upon it. We passed over the north point of the Shoal in a quarter less three fathoms, Cape Moreton then bearing East, six miles and a low sandy point on the west shore S41°W. The water deepened immediately to eight fathoms, but was very irregular afterwards between three and a half fathoms and thirteen. At eight

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in the evening we anchored in eleven fathoms, about two miles from the low sandy shore on the west side of the Bay [Moreton Bay].

During the night I took two sets of distances of the star [in the original text ‘star’ is represented by a symbol] Fomalhaut east of the Moon’s nearest and two of the star [in the original text ‘star’ is represented by a symbol] Antares west of the Moons farthest limb. The corresponding time by the watch being corrected by altitudes of the stars [in the original text ‘star’ is represented by a symbol] Altair & Achirnar, and compared with the lunars, gave the longitude of the Anchorage 153°:18’:25" east of Greenwich, which being reduced to Cape Moreton by the Sketch will be 153°:30’:50" east for its longitude. According to Capt. Cook the longitude of the Cape is153°:32 S.

Tuesday. 16 At daylight we again weighed to turn up the bay [Moreton Bay], the wind being still from the southward. Assisted by a strong flood tide, we made good progress, but in half an hour were obliged to tack having gotten into two and a half fathoms upon the edge of a large shoal. In stretching to the Southwest our soundings were various: it first deepened to seven, then gradually shoaled to two and a quarter; deepened to five, shoaled again to two and three quarters and then again deepened to five and six fathoms. Seeing an opening in the low western land, I wished to anchor near it, in order to examine it with the boat whilst the returning tide was running, but here again the water shoaled and obliged us to tack for deeper water to anchor in. At a quarter past eight dropped the Anchor in three and three and half fathoms; the opening bearing N50°W about five miles and the extreme of the land towards Cape Moreton N38 1/2 East. From a low sandy point which is called Point Skirmish in the sketch of Glass House Bay [Moreton Bay], we proceeded up the opening which proved to be a river leading towards the Glass House Peaks. These Peaks stand upon the low flat ground considerably within the mountains; and as far as I could judge, had every appearance of being volcanic. This was in some measure confirmed by the quantity of pumice stone laying

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at high water mark upon the eastern shore of the river, when we landed to see the nature and appearance of the country; the ebb tide which came very strong down the river not permitting us to proceed far up it. Amongst the largest and most common trees, there was one which I had never seen at Port Jackson. The leafy parts afford a dark shade and bear some resemblance to a Pine: when cut, the wood smelt strongly of Turpentine, which is also exsuded from places where the Bark had been wounded. The external part of the wood is white, but the body of it is a reddish brown; the bark somewhat resembles that of the tree called the iron bark at Port Jackson. The soil was every where sandy where we saw it. In returning to the sloop, we passed by a dry shoal laying off the mouth of the river. The deep channel into the river is between this shoal & Point Skirmish and there is from three to six fathoms in it. From the situation where the Sloop lay at this time, the bay had no appearance of closing round but seemed to promise a large river at its head and a communication with Moreton Bay, if not something more interesting. At 3 in the afternoon we got under weigh with a light northerly air to proceed up it. In passing over the edge of the shoal upon which we had anchored, the Sloop touched the ground, but the rise of the tide took her over into deep water in a few minutes, and we then steered South, carrying regular soundings with us from six to four and a half fathoms till dark and then anchored about three miles from the western shore in five fathoms upon a bottom which was soft & muddy, whereas heretofore, the ground had been always sandy. The extreme of the land near Cape Moreton N33 1/2° E and the highest Glass House N44 1/2° W.

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Wednesday. 17th At daylight on Wednesday morning we again weighed and turned up with a southerly breeze, as long as the tide lasted. At half past ten oClock, anchored one mile and a half off a point that has red cliffs in it, in three and half fathoms. A little West of this Point I observed the latitude with the artifical horizon to be 27°:16’:25" south. The bight which lays round the Point, is shoal with a muddy bottom; the land is low, but not so sandy as in the neighbourhood of the river. The rocks are a strongly impregnated Iron stone, with some small pieces of granite & chrystal scattered about the shore. From Red Cliff Point we pulled over to a green head about two miles to the westward,round which the bight is contracted into a river like form, but the greatest part of it is dry at low water. The wood that we collected at high water mark for our fire, proved to be Cedar and of a fine Grain.

A light sea breeze coming from the northward in the afternoon on our return on board, we got the Sloop underweigh, steering our course SEbS; the water gradually shoaled to two fathoms, and the breeze dying away at the same time, we pulled to the north eastward with the sweeps into two and a half and then anchored for the night upon a soft muddy bottom. The extreme near Cape Moreton now bore N21°E, and the farthest connected land now visible on the same side of the bay [Moreton Bay],ENE, which is not far from the latitude of the entrance from Moreton Bay: the shore to the S:W: was four or five miles distant.

Thursday 18th. In the Morning there was a moderate breeze from the Southward and having a flood tide we got

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underweigh. After running a little to theNorthward to get into deeper water, we hauled up to pass between two islands of from three to four miles circuit, each. The northernmost one is the largest and appeared to be well covered with wood, probably the greater part of Mangrove, the Island being low almost with the water’s edge. The foliage of the Trees upon the southern one was equally dark and luxuriant with this, but the interior part of theIsland is higher. To the southward of this last also; there are two smaller Islands, nearly upon a level with the first, and covered with Wood; the southernmost one, however, is very small. In passing between the two first islands, our soundings were from seven and a half to four and a half fathoms, with a muddy bottom, and this increased to twelve fathoms; but shoaling again suddenly to three, we tacked to the westward a little before ten oClock. In this situation the entrance from Moreton Bay was open, the south side of it bearing N68°E. six or eight miles and the west side of what will now be Moreton Island bore N.2°.W. Another island, apparently larger than either of the four before mentioned, bore from the same place, S 55° to 34° E at the distance of about five miles.

Reckoning the northernmost of the four islands to be the first in number, we made our course good for the third island, after tacking; and the water deepened almost immediately to six fathoms. The flood tide having ceased to run, we dropped the Anchor at noon, in six fathoms; and by the Sun’s meridional Altitude in the latitude 27°:27’16" south. The third island, upon which, there were Natives, bore W4°S one and a half or two miles, and the centers of the two northern ones N40° and N15°W. The extreme from Moreton Bay bearing

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N68°E. from this Anchorage, confirms its latitude by the observation of the14th, taken on the sea side of it, altho’ it differs considerably from that given by Capt.Cook. The difference may perhaps be thus accounted for. That great navigator finding by the meridional observation on the day, the previous evening to which, he passed this part of the coast, that a northerly current had prevailed in the last twenty four hours, probably allowed a proportional part of it to correct the situation of Point Lookout, as given by the log; whereas, in reality the northerly current might have commenced only at the time, that he opened the Moreton Bay entrance and became exposed to the outset from it. Nay it is by no means inprobable, but that instead of a northerly, he might have had a southerly set, from the preceding Noon when thelatitude was 27°:46’, to the time when he opened this entrance in the same manner it had prevailed the day before, when the observation was 17’ south of the log.

From our situation at this Anchorage, Glass House Bay [Moreton Bay] seemed to be closed round, except at one small opening, which bore S27°E. As soon as the ebb tide slacked, we got underweigh to turn up for it. On our standing near the south part of the Shoal that seemed to surround the islands, we tacked occasionally to get as far up the bay as possible, whilst the tide was favourable for us. A little before twelve at night, we were obliged to anchor, finding that the deep water had contracted into a narrow channel. From this situation the south side of Moreton entrance bore N12°E. and the larger eastern island from N5°E to 38°W at the distance of two or

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three miles. Between this island & the shore to the eastward there are two small spots, which being covered with wood look as if they were models for islands; their appearance was pretty.

Friday. 19th In the Morning we again weighed to beat up towards an island bearing S33° to 22°W. two or three miles, past which there appeared to be an arm leading to the southward. After a good deal of trouble and getting frequently into shoal water, we were obliged to give up the idea of finding the deep channel, if there was any, and anchored about a Mile and a half NEbE from this island, in two fathoms, the bottom muddy as before. Going on shore to the island in the boat, we sounded in six fathoms twice; from whence I conclude, that there is a deep, though narrow passage to the eastward of this island. The island is two or three miles in circumference. The central part is higher than the skirts and is covered with a coat of fine vegetable mould of a reddish colour. On the SE side of the island, this higher part descends suddenly into a steep bank, where the earth is as red as blood; and being clayey, portions of it are almost hardened into rock. The trees upon it are large and luxuriant and the new Pine is amongst them. The exterior part of the island on the west side is a flat, which the tide seems to rise over. It is abundantly covered with large Mangrove trees. On the S:W: and SE sides, it is mostly low & sandy and here the Palm-nut tree is produced. I conjecture that it is these nuts principally which induce the natives to visit this island. There was abundant testimony under

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the trees, that they were not suffered to fall off and rot. The black and the white Cockatoo, the beautiful lay lock headed parroquet and the bald headed Mocking bird of Port Jackson,inhabit here, but there were no marks of resident Quadrupeds, vermin excepted.The latitude of this island, deduced from the Sun’s altitude at Noon is 27°: 34’:59" S, making the depth of this bay from Cape Moreton, to be thirty four miles; for beyond this island the bay [Moreton Bay] is contracted into a river, of a considerable width indeed, but it appeared to be so shoal, or if there was any deep channel, to be so difficult of access, that I gave up all idea of pursuing it further, especially as the winds seemed so adverse; and therefore returned on board with the intention of running into theriver near the Glass House Peaks; there to lay the Sloop ashore and get fresh water, if a convenient situation could be found.

It was with a good deal of trouble, and the risk of getting repeatedly aground that we again got into the deep channel, that runs past the south side of the large, eastern most island. At three quarters of a mile from the point of a spit, laying off from the west end of this island and when the same spit bore N30°E. in a line with the south side of Moreton entrance, our soundings were five and half and six fathoms; and steering from thence with a fair breeze, to repass between the first & second islands, carried various soundings between 4 1/2 and 8 fathoms. At dusk we dropped the Anchor on the north side of the second island, in two and a half fathoms; and next morning when it was low water; saw that the shoal, by Which this island is partly if not altogether surrounded, was dry at no great distance from us. There was no appearance of natives upon this second

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Saturday. 20th. Rainy, blowing weather prevented us from getting under weigh earlier in the morning than 10 oClock and the interval in which it ceased, was so short, that soon after eleven we anchored again in five fathoms. From thence we steered for the Pumice Stone River + in the afternoon thinking to run into it by the west side of the dry shoal that lays off its mouth; but finding after repeated attempts that the shoal water extended as it is

marked in the Sketch, and the wind being at South East, we anchored at sunset, in two fathoms; the mouth of the river bearing W about two miles.

Monday. 22nd At seven oClock in the morning, we got up to the Mouth of the river with the sloop; but being calm the ebb tide obliged us to anchor for an hour; we then pulled in for the entrance, passing to the westward of the dry shoal over six feet water. A breeze from the Northwest enabled us to turn up the river with the assistance of the flood; the soundings being from four to seven fathoms in the deepest parts, and the shoals distinguishable by the ripples upon them. There are two flats with Mangroves growing upon them, three or four miles up the river, past which there appeared to be a narrow channel of deep water: but in attempting it we touched the bottom and were obliged to run back for a little distance and cross over to the other side of the river where the deep channel runs close to the eastern shore. The deepest part of the Channel where it crosses over is near the upper side of a dry shoal, but there is only three fathoms on it, afterwards there are five and seven

Sunday. Nothing happening worth recording, is therefore omitted.

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seven fathoms. Finding a place opposite to the Mangrove flats where there was deep water close to the rocks and a beach just above it, convenient for laying the Sloop ashore upon, we dropped the Anchor off the beach. After dinner, we slipped that cable, dropped another Anchor off the steep rocks, veered in & made fast to the trees.

Tuesday. 23rd At two oClock we hauled the Sloop on shore and from six till nine in the evening were employed in filling up the seam with Oakum, which by dropping out, had occasioned the leak; and then nailing the plank to, afresh, covered the whole with tarred canvas & sheet lead. On account of the superior rise of the following tide, the Sloop was afloat by one oClock in the morning; at which time we hauled we hauled her off to the anchor and at day light

Wednesday. 24th took her alongside the steep rocks and employed the rest of the day in reshipping our ballast and water.

Thursday.25th Having weighed the Anchors, we turned two or three miles further up the river in the afternoon for the convenience of being nearer to the Glass House Peaks, which I meant to take this opportunity of visiting. In the deepest parts of the river there were from four to six fathoms water, but the Channel is much divided & narrow. We anchored in three and quarter fathoms.

Friday. 26th In the morning, I took the boat up a small branch that points towards the Peaks, but afterwards joining the main stream, forms two low Mangrove Islands, leaving the Glass Houses at some distance on the left hand. About half past nine, I left the boat accompanied by two sailors and our native. Steering NWbW through a low swampy country brought us to the side of a creek whose banks are low, muddy and

[Page 20]

covered with Mangrove. This creek carried us to the SWward, to near the head of it, where the stream passing through a rushy swamp permitted us to wade over it. From thence we steered between N50° and 60°W getting a sight of the flat topped Peak at times, which appearing to be considerably nigher than the highest Glass House, was that which I first meant to visit; but seeing one of the round sloping mounts still nearer to us, we altered our course for it, after having refreshed ourselves at Noon; and on walking about nine miles from the boat, reached the top. The Country we walked through is low, swampy & brushy, and in the latter part of the way somewhat uneven. In the swampy parts, the surface is full of winding holes, where the water lodges and renders walking both tiresome & difficult. Those places that are somewhat higher are sandy or stony, and in these the grass tree abounds; but in general the trees are the same as before mentioned, except that the Pine was not observed amongst them.

The mount is a pile of stones of all sizes, mostly loose near the surface: the decayed vegetable matter that is lodged in the cavities, produces a thick covering of long, but rather spindly grass, very fit for thatch from its length. Its ascent is very difficult and similar to that up Mount Direction, which stands upon the east bank of Derwent River in Van Dieman’s Land. The trees upon the mount are of the same kinds as below, but straighter & more tall. The view of the bay [Moreton Bay] and the neighbouring country is very extensive from the top of this mount: the uppermost part of the bay appeared at S24°E, where there were several smokes. This last bearing I apprehend to be near the head of the River, which the intricacy of the channels and the

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shortness of time combined,would not permit me to enter with the Sloop. Near the head of Pumice Stone river there is a spread of water which bore S72°E. and seemed to divide off into small Branches; there were other small branches falling in below that: the whole forming a collection of channels, which ramifying through the low country draw off all the water that collects within the ridge of back mountains. These mountains appreared to be between ten and twenty miles distant, laying in a north & south direction, and the country between to be nearly as low as that we had walked over: there was a large smoke near the foot of them. From this mount, which is the eastern and northernmost of the two that appear in the sketch of the Glass Houses, the flat topped Peak bore N8°W one mile and a half. The way was over an irregular country, the higher parts of which were sandy & stony, the lower, swampy, as before. At about two thirds of the distance, a stream of water induced us to stop for the night, the sun being then below the trees. [Saturday 27th] At seven in the morning we were under the steep cliffs of the flat topped peak. The stone is whitish, close grained and hard, but not heavy. It is not stratified but there were many cracks in it. At a little distance from the peak there were pieces of a reddish stone scattered about and some crumbs of granite. It somewhat surprized me, that we met with no volcanic appearances. The Pumice Stone in the river and the situation of these stupendous Peaks upon low flat ground, induced me to form anxious expectations upon that head. But it must be observed that altho’ I could not distinguish any marks of scoria, lava, basaltes or other igneous remains, they may still exist

[Page 22]

more especially about the High Glass House, which was not visited; for unless very evident, they would escape my observation from inability to discover them. As the steepness of the cliffs, utterly forbad all idea of ascending to the top of the flat topped peak, we bent our course downwards to the river, steering SSE to go clear of the head of the creek and of the swamps in its neighbourhood. The marks of Men and of animals were but very few and scarcely to be seen in the upper parts of the walk: birds, were almost equally scare, but we got a new kind of Pheasant of the size of an english Magpie: the Emu was not seen altho’ their voice hadbeen so often heard as to induce us to think they must be numerous. The moreinland part of the country is something better & higher than in the neighbourhood of the salt water: but none that we met with, was fit to grow a grain of wheat.

Sunday. 28th As soon as the ebb made in the morning, we got under weigh to turn down the River; the wind being SSE. The intricacy of the Channels being a great obstacle to our progress, we were not able to get out of the River in one Tide but brought up about one mile short of the entrance, anchoring in three and half fathoms near the eastern shore. Three Swans that the Boat caught whilst coming down made the Number up to eighteen which were procured in this River.

On the day we laid the Sloop on shore, the Rise of the tide in Pumice Stone River, was but three feet & nine Inches. The tides were then neaped and the remark of Captain Cook that "they had only one high tide in twenty four hours, which happened in the night" seems to apply

On Monday & Tuesday, there was no occurrence, worthy of being recorded

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here; for altho’ the Sloop was roused up as high as the strength of our crew and heeling her on the bilge could effect; yet she righted a full hour and a half before the night tide had done flowing and presently one man hauled her off. The superior rise of the night tide is well known, and advantage take of it, at Port Jackson; it also rises higher at Western Port, round the southern Promontary of New South Wales. The time of high Water in the River, precedes the Moon’s passage over the Meridian by two hours and a half: I do not think the highest rise of the tide is more than seven, or less than five feet.

Wednesday. 31st. Having a moderate breeze at SbW with fine weather, in the morning, we got underweigh with the weather tide and beat out of the river. In the narrow Channel, between the dry Shoal that lays in the mouth of the river, and the low sandy shore of the Main, we carried six fathoms water at the distance of between one or two Cables lengths from the latter; but there were two lines of ripling water laying off from the shore, where we had but two & a half & two fathoms upon the least agitated parts; neither could I discover any more favourable passage by which Pumice Stone River may be entered. Nevertheless, I apprehend, there must be one channel at least, with a depth of water more analagous to the entrance of the river.

The observed latitude at Noon 27°:4’ south and the outer part of Point Skirmish bore S30°W about three miles; the soundings ten fathoms. Steering NNE with a good southerly breeze, enabled me to set the principal peaks of the Glass Houses as they shut on; which serving as cross bearings, to those taken

[Page 24]

from the tops of the eastern sloping mount, will ascertain their relative positions with moderate correctness. We were running four knots and a half per hour, when at 50’ past noon, the song "and a half three" awakened my attention; and the depth of water only varied between that & six fathoms till 1h:35’, at which time there appeared to be a well defined line stretching towards Cape Moreton, which bore S68°E. This line terminated the shoal water of Glass House Bay [Moreton Bay]. No ground could now be found with the hand line at the present rate of sailing, but on throwing the Sloop up in the wind, we struck a sandy bottom with twenty five fathoms, and Cape Moreton then bore S56°E; the last sight of this Cape was at 5’ past 5 when it bore S30°E, between eight and nine leagues; and as it was just disappearing from the Decks, where the elevation of the Eye was seven and a half or eight feet, a judgement may be formed of its [SIC]heighth[SIC]; and thence, a more correct estimate of the distance of any ship, that shall have this Cape appearing in her Horizon. The highest Glass House bearing S43°W at the same time, corrects the distance of Cape Moreton, given by the Log; for it lays W3° N thirty two miles from the Cape. On opening the Glass House in this point of view, it appears like a small peak upon the more distant ridge of Mountains, but, should the weather be clear, its whole form will be distinctly visible. The sloping mounts are at least equally remarkable from hence, having no back land, in the shade of which, their forms might be lost.

This back ridge of mountains lays about ten leagues from the

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west side of the Bay at its entrance; but in stretching to the south, the mountains curve a little eastward, approaching nearer to the water at the head of the bay. The intermediate land is mostly a low flat, more especially in the northern parts, where it is intersected by channels, which convey the water, collected within this circular ridge, into the bay, principally by means of Pumice Stone River. Near the head of the bay, it is probable that a considerable part of the land, will be found fit for agricultural purposes. It will appear in the course of this narrative and in the sketch, that Glass House Bay [Moreton Bay] is full of shoals. Nor can I attempt to point out any passage that will lead a ship into it, without danger: the east side of the bay is yet unfathomed, probably, it, may afford one. The latitude of Cape Moreton, has before been given at 27°:00’:29" south and its longitude at 153°:30’:50" east. The variation resulting from a single Amplitude was 9°:56’ east. I have called the land upon which Cape Moreton is situated, Moreton Island; supposing it to be that which its immortal discoverer would have applied to it, had he known of its insulation. The bearings have cut it off to a strip of Island, whose greatest extent East & West, is not more than 4 or 5 miles; but according to the observations for the latitude, its meridional extent is twenty two miles. The ridge of land which runs along the middle of the Island, is nearly of the same height with the Cape, and altho’ it appears to be composed of great Piles of sand, heaped

[Page 250025]

west side of the Bay at its entrance; but in stretching to the south, the mountains curve a little eastward, approaching nearer to the water at the head of the bay. The intermediate land is mostly a low flat, more especially in the northern parts, where it is intersected by channels, which convey the water, collected within this circular ridge, into the bay, principally by means of Pumice Stone River. Near the head of the bay, it is probable that a considerable part of the land, will be found fit for agricultural purposes. It will appear in the course of this narrative and in the sketch, that Glass House Bay [Moreton Bay] is full of shoals. Nor can I attempt to point out any passage that will lead a ship into it, without danger: the east side of the bay is yet unfathomed, probably, it, may afford one. The latitude of Cape Moreton, has before been given at 27°:00’:29" south and its longitude at 153°:30’:50" east. The variation resulting from a single Amplitude was 9°:56’ east. I have called the land upon which Cape Moreton is situated, Moreton Island; supposing it to be that which its immortal discoverer would have applied to it, had he known of its insulation. The bearings have cut it off to a strip of Island, whose greatest extent East & West, is not more than 4 or 5 miles; but according to the observations for the latitude, its meridional extent is twenty two miles. The ridge of land which runs along the middle of the Island, is nearly of the same height with the Cape, and altho’ it appears to be composed of great Piles of sand, heaped

[Page 26]

together upon a base, mostly of stone, it is yet interspersed with small trees calculated to mislead a distant observer, who would probably think, that some parts of it, were not amongst the most barren spots in the Universe.

In passing out of the Bay, we saw a large turtle laying asleep upon the water; whence it becomes not improbable, that the capture of these animals, may form a part of the labours of the inhabitants; and of the Intention of their large nets.

The southerly wind, with which we were making such progress towards Herveys Bay, our next place of destination, veered round to the east during the night which obliged us to keep close up to it.

Thursday. August 1st 1799 At day break, on Thursday morning, the land was only distant from three to five leagues and the weather had a very squally appearance; but the wind was variable, and at noon, settled to the south-westward - At this time, the observed latitude was 25°:44’ south, by which we knew, that the space abreast of the Sloop, where no land was visible, was the wide bay of Captain Cook. In the evening, the wind came from the eastward as on the preceding day and towards the next morning shifted to the SW. Our distance from the land being considerable, we hauled up at daylight for Sandy Cape. Capt. Cook’s description of the coast seems to apply excellently well, as far as our distance would permit of observation; but it was too great for us to notice the half buried trees or other marks of the Sand’s having shifted their place. The observed latitude at noon

[Page 27]

was 24°:45’:38" south and the low extreme of Sandy Cape bore N62°W between five and seven miles; whence its latitude is 24°:42’; differing but 3’ from that of its discoverer who had it bearing S3/4W twenty miles, when the observation was taken, by which he fixed it. His latitude also seems to be referred to the high patches of sand, which are near two miles south of the low extreme. The Head, which is said to resemble Indian Head and lays a few miles nearer to Sandy Cape, bore, at this time S13° E.

Our distance from the land, during the last 24 hours, had been more considerable than on the day preceding, and to this I attribute the difference of the current; this day it had set us 6’ to the southwards, whereas on the former, it was 17’ in the contrary direction. This circumstance may perhaps be explained but it requires to be admitted that the general current sets to the southward parallel to the line of the coast, or nearly so. This Datum is not required to the north of Sandy Cape; and there will not be much difficulty in granting it, if what Capt. Cook says upon the subject be consulted *. It must necessarily follow, that the immense quantity of water thrown into Glass House Bay [Moreton Bay], during, and after, rainy weather, will occasion the outset to be greater that the indraught, both from the Moreton and the larger entrance: the surplus outset will from the the position of the bay, take the line of the coast, and either constitute a northerly current to a certain distance off the land - reduce the general southerly one to nothing, in that space - or, weaken its force according to the different degrees of

*Hawkesworth Vol.3. Page 647

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strength, which the rains may have given to it; upon which also its distance along the coast will depend. Its extent from the coast we may suppose will not much exceed the distance of Cape Moreton from the west side of the bay, or about five leagues off the land.

At the same time that the bearing of [‘bearing’ is repeated here and partly erased] Cape was taken, we saw the breakers extending from it; and keeping at the distance of two or three miles from them, the soundings were twelve fathoms during the run of as many miles from Noon; but being then unable to reach the Ground without heaving the Sloop up in the wind, we discontinued sounding; it being a material object to get round the end of Break-Sea-Spit before dark.

Friday 2nd. Having run nineteen miles we hauled up West but finding only six fathoms, kept more away, steering various courses between that, and NNW, and, in sounding between three and a half and six fathoms, the water breaking but a little way within us. After running two miles more the water deepened to seven and ten fathoms and on hauling up SW into Hervey’s Bay, there was no Ground with seventeen fathoms at the next cast of the lead. The Sandy Cape bears S20°E from the end of the spit.

A strong rippling in the deep water announced the running of a weather tide, with which we made a good stretch up into the bay on the larboard tack, and as the wind pursued the same routine as on the preceding night, backing round to the westward of south towards morning we

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Saturday. 3rd laid SEBS on the other side at 5 oClock; but as the day advanced the wind died away: and a little before noon, we anchored in seventeen fathoms, suspecting a lee tide, and which was then found to run one knot per hour from the South. In this situation the extreme of Sandy Cape, bore N54 1/2 E seven or eight miles, and the observed latitude being 24°:45’:21" corroborates the observation of Friday, within a very few seconds. The farthest land in sight did not extend beyond South. No part of Break- Sea Spit being visible from the Mast Head, I conjecture that it must be laid down too broad in Capt Cooks Chart.

Like Moreton Island, the Country is sandy, but more covered with brushy trees; - this east side of Herveys Bay lays in the same direction as Glass House Bay,[Moreton Bay] and the observations on Wide Bay are nearly the same as those on Moreton Bay, in Capt. Cook’s voyage: from these similarities I was induced to hope, that we should find a passage out by Wide Bay; which, by facilitating our return, would leave time for a more perfect examination of this very extensive opening.

A light breeze rising from the NW we got the Anchor up at half past two and made all sail, steering SbE. From sunset till dark we steered S.S.W. on seeing land rise in that quarter; and the wind being moderate &

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and the water tolerably smooth, we anchored in eleven fathoms, 15’ south of the former Anchorage, according to the log. This, I preferred to keeping to keeping to the wind all night, for the advantage of preserving the connexion in the bearings of objects on the land, by which, the distances given by the log might be corrected. The east shore of the bay, was by no means parallel to our course during this run; for at about ten miles south of Sandy Cape, the coast line falls so far back to the east, as to peninsulate the Cape: I conjecture that the land there is not two miles in breadth. It then trends about S.S.W. past some very white Cliffs, for a considerable distance.

Sunday. 4th At sunrise we were underweigh, beating upwards against a fresh breeze at S.W.b S. Two Hummocks bearing S.54W. were the farthest land visible; neither was the continuation from the eastern shore, at all perfect. The bearing of a very white arched Cliff, shewed that we had advanced but very little by noon; but the latitude given by the Suns meridional Altitude was 25°:8’:15", whence it should appear, that instead of fifteen miles, we had run near twenty on the preceding afternoon. Thus, had no observation been taken for the latitude on this day, an error of 5’ at least, would have existed in the sketch; for the tide was running nearly a Knot from the South, at the time that we weighed from the first anchorage. This difference is particularly noticed, because, from the happy concurrence

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that appeared to subsist between the various bearings of fixed objects taken at different times, the smoothness of the water and the attention paid to the log; I should have placed almost as much reliance on the distance, as if it had been measured with a chain on shore; and it may be also observed, that our Azimuth compass was a very good one: but in opposition to all this, it is scarcely possible that an [word omitted - probably ‘error’] of even one mile can exist in the observed latitude; for mine, was not the only observation taken which was besides in a great measure confimed by the meridional altitude of a future day.

The wind coming nearer to West in the afternoon, enabled us to make a stretch to the south until sunset; but in so doing we passed a line of breakers of some extent to the West of us & some patches to the eastward; indeed there were breakers in every part except that, by which we came into the channel. The soundings have now decreased to four fathoms and decreasing rapidly, we tacked to the northward into the bay.

The inducement that led me so far amongst the breakers was the hope of finding a secure anchorage under their shelter, or, of finding a channel through them, by which we might look, if not get, into one of the two small openings that appeared at the head of the bay. This hope had been prolonged, by finding from five to seven fathoms for some time, altho’ the water was breaking on each side of us. It is true, that the water was discoloured and there were indistinct appearances of breakers, in the direct course towards

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a head for which we steered; but I always doubt indistinct appearances of that kind, when in confined situations. This Head, I now suspected to be the west end of an island, which extended from South to S.24°E. and distant from us about five or six miles; the head had bore S. 14°W. on the preceding noon. The two hummocks, which lay S.54° W. from the second Anchorage, born S.79°W at the time we tacked; the difference of situation being more than eight miles in a S.S.W. direction, shews that they were not at a less distance than ten leagues: I called them Double Mount. The soundings being carefully marked marked in the Sketch, but little notice has been hitherto taken of them, and it will be equally unnecessary to detail them during this nights run into the open bay; but their great irregularity kept us in a continued state of alarm till nine oClock; because I did not chuse to run more to leeward for the deep water, than was absolutely necessary.

Monday. 5th. The wind permitting us to continue on the larboard tack with advantage, during the greatest part of the night; we made the land to the westward at daylight and at eight oClock a sloping hummock bore W.16°.N: the Double Mount at that time bore S.42° W. The land was also in sight to the eastward, but too indistinct for any of the former fixed points to be ascertained or distinguished. Continuing on the same tack till noon, the latitude by observation was 24°:53’:11" south, when the Double Mount bore S.29°.W. and the sloping hummock W.10°N.; but the western shore was

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now visible as far as N.62.W. our distance from the nearest shore being between two & three leagues. The wind now came so far round to the West, that we could lay along the west side of the bay on the other tack; the Sloop was accordingly put about, with the hope of finding a passage into the head of the bay, between the western shore and the breakers; but the wind dying away soon after sunset, we came to an Anchor for the night in five fathoms water upon a sandy bottom, at little more than three miles distance from the beach. From hence the sloping hummock bore N.48°W and a low, sandy, projection, behind which, there was some appearance of an opening S.13°E. four or five miles. Double Mount bore S.47°.W: This Mount may be seen 15 or more leagues, which is not the case, with any other land round this large bay: it is about 6 leagues inland.

Tuesday. 6th. A Breeze sprung up from N.W. in the evening and continued the greater part of the night; but at daylight on Tuesday morning was at W.S.W. We then weighed and stretched towards the low sandy projection but were soon obliged to alter the course to S.E., seeing shoals and breakers laying some distance from the shore which seemed to present a barrier to the supposed entrance. The lowness of this land and the [SIC]hazey[SIC] weather; prevented me from ascertaining whether any stream falls into the Bay here; but the sketch will more concisely explain what we

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saw of it, as well as soundings whilst steering along the Shore to the eastward.

At twenty minutes past ten we hauled up S.E.1/2S. for an opening which I presently knew to be the western entrance round the supposed island, which the breakers & shoal water had prevented us from approaching on Sunday Evening: these breakers had been in sight from the Mast head for some time.

There is a small sandy islet, laying in the centre of this opening, past which we carried from seven to five fathoms, passing to the right of it; but we saw that it was surrounded with shoal water. This islet bore N.N.W. one mile and a half, at half an hour before noon, and our soundings then decreased to three fathoms and very soonto two, which obliged us to tack; but more than three fathoms could not anywhere be found. After trying in every direction for two hours more and having been repeatedly in six feet water, I was obliged to conclude that there was no channel on the west side of the large island; altho’ the tide appeared to have considerable strength and there was a large spread of water above us. On repassing the sandy islet, we saw a great flight of Curlews, many Gulls and some Pelicans, which was an additional inducement to land upon it; we therefore dropped the small Anchor in three fathoms, when the Islet bore

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bore, S.58°.E. about half a mile.

On landing, I found that the base of this small Island was a hard stone, over which was a covering of sand mixed with coral and Shells. There was a small cluster of Palms upon it and some other small trees. Two or three larger trees were laying on the shore, thrown down, either by the wind or the flood, assisted by the weight of the trees, themselves; which the depth of soil was not sufficent to support. They were tough, hard and close grained. It was now about half ebb and the shoal which nearly surrounds the island, but extends at the greatest distance from the NW side, was dry. There was some thousand Curlews upon the sands as well as Gulls, but too shy to allow us to aproach within Musquet Shot. Upon one of the trees was stuck the cap of a small Whale’s scull, and in one of the sockets of the eyes, was a bird’s nest, apparently of last season.

The eastern shore of Hervey’s Bay curving towards the west and the western towards the east, they approach within about five miles of each other; 33’ or 34’ of latitude south of Sandy Cape; but the shores then, run nearly parallell, inclining somewhat from each other, till they curve round and appear to meet, a few leagues farther to the southward and thus form a kind of upper

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Bay, which in comparison with the large Bay, is as the cod to a seine. Nearly in the center of the entrance into this upper bay, lays the large island already mentioned leaving a passage on each side of it, at two or three miles in width, the island not laying across the entrance but diagonally. Curlew Islet is placed in the center of the western passage, which, tho’ it appears to be the smallest of the two passages, is yet two miles in width but the deep channel is not more than half or three quarters, and is the same which we had so unwittingly hit on, coming in. There did not seem to be any deep water on the east side of the islet, and the only place where there was any appearance of a continuation of the Channel, lays in the direction of S.39°.E. from the center of it; but this is not half a cable’s length in width and has but three fathoms of water. The bank on the east side of this small channel, will, I believe be dry at low water; as most probably, will a considerable part of this upper bay, on the west side of it. The shore on the east side of the upper bay, is high and bounded by white, steep cliffs; whence, I was induced to hope, that a deep channel might be found there, being unwilling to believe that there was no good passage even to the head of a sheet of water of six or seven miles square; and into which most

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probably, one or two more streams of water emptied themselves. The latitude of Curlew Islet is 25°:17’ deduced from the observation at Noon, when it bore N10°E one mile and a quarter. Its center lays S36°W. from the western extreme of the larger Island.

With the intention of attempting the eastern passage into this upper bay, I returned on board from the islet and, we got under weigh. In steering to go round the larger island the water gradually shoaled to eight feet, altho’ not nearer to it than a mile, which obliged us to tack; and, finally I gave up all idea of getting into the upper bay, finding the shoal water to be so extensive, as to make it probable, that it joined to the before mentioned outer breakers; and the sun being near the horizon; to get clear of the shoal water before dark, became a principal object, and, together induced me to shape a course for the sloping hummock on the west side of the bay.

The soundings deepened gradually to six fathoms, but at nine oClock shoaled again to three and even two fathoms, from whence I suspected that the flood tide might have set us to the southward towards the shore;

Wednesday. 7th but this did not appear to have been the case for at day light, our situation was what I supposed it would be; the sloping hummock bearing W.5°.N and

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our distance off shore about two miles, the wind having remained at S.W. the whole night.

Keeping along the shore, at nine o’clock, the water shoaled to nine feet and obliged us to haul off to the NE. We were now to the northward of where Captain Cook has laid down the coast line, and the land being visible at W10°N. from the deck and as far as NW from the Mast head, I thought it unnecessary to pursue the research, under the supposition of there being a double bay, any longer, and therefore we continued our course for the extreme of Break-Sea-Spit; the sloping hummock having born S.9°E. at the time of altering the course.

The idea of there being a double bay, arose from this; that altho’ the land abreast of us, was to the northward of that marked by Captain Cook, yet it was not so far west; and therefore it was probable that there might be a small bay or inlet round this west shore; the west side of which only, was what he had seen. For if the breadth of the opening in his chart, be compared with that of the bay on my Sketch, there will be found a difference of about five leagues. Captain Cook saw the land about eight leagues to the S.E.E, from the latitude 24°:36’ south and remarks that the land is very low; now if it is possible that he can have missed seeing the sloping hummock in 24°:50

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which however has been seen, five leagues off, from the Sloop’s Deck, it might have been the back land which had been taken for the coast, towards the verge of the eight leagues. What the true breadth of the bay, is, must be left to a future discussion, and most probably a future examination; but it ought to be observed, that the course and distance given by the log to Break-Sea-Spit needed no correction whatever.

The Coast round Hervey’s Bay, is, in general, low near the shore, and on the west side, the low land extends to some distance inwards. On that side the land has a different appearance from that of Sandy Cape, there being few marks of sand and the shore mostly rocky. Advancing towards the Head, the beaches commence, and continue, with little interruption, into the upper bay. The larger Island shewed no marks of sand, but is well covered with wood & verdure; its height is equal to the higher parts of the main, and being four or five miles in length, seems to be a fine island On the east shore, the sand is more or less apparent every where; increasing in quantity towards the Cape. The white Cliffs, that have been mentioned, very probably

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contain chalk; the upper stratum of two or three feet in thickness being of a superior whitness, in those which were best seen.

With respect to fertility, the general aspect, is the only document. About the head of the bay, three trees are of a fair growth, grass seems sufficiently abundant, and there are few appearances of sand; but I believe some parts of it are stony.

I can only observe of the Inhabitants, that their smokes were numerous about the bay and that they sometimes frequent Curlew Islet.

Of the animal, vegetable or fossil productions that might have presented themselves to our very limited observations, nothing can be related, the shortness of our time not admitting any examination.

From the appearance of the tide, when we landed upon the islet, it had been high water between twelve and one oClock, which is between three and four hours, before the moon came upon the meridian.

The mean of nine amplitudes which have been taken in this bay, gave the variation 9°

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9°:44’ east, and of two sets of Azimuths 9°:15’ east, from both, the mean variation of the Azimuth compass was 9°:30’ east.

Continuing our course of NE from the west shore of Hervey’s Bay towards Break-Sea-Spit, the observed latitude at noon was 24°:38’:39" and the sloping hummock bore S:29°W about five leagues. In the afternoon the Sandy Cape was in sight, and at sunset, bore S.EbE from the Mast Head. Wishing to lose as little time as possible in running an unnecessary distance, round the Spit, we steered E.N.E at nine oClock, on finding the water very deep, and the latitude given by the Star Vega to be 24°:22’ agreeing with the log. At half past ten, Altair gave 24°:21’; we soon after struck the bottom with thirteen fathoms and at the next cast, found none with twenty five; whence, I concluded that we had passed the tail of the Spit, and, according to the latitude given by the Stars at a mile and a half distant.

Thursday. 8th. After steering E.S.E for an hour, we hauled to the wind, which now blew strong at S.S.W. At day light, the land was not in sight. At noon the observed [‘latitude’ has been omitted]was 24°:37’ agreeing closely with that

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given by the log.

The winds having moderated, we tacked to the westward at two oClock, and at Sunset saw the land about Indian Head; judging it to be so from the Moons meridional Altitude, giving 24°:42 1/2’ south.

Friday. 9th. The wind continuing from the southward in light breezes; on Friday at noon, we observed in 24°:56’:11". 8’ south of what the log gave: our distance from the land having been from eight to twelve leagues.

Saturday. 10th. At noon, the latitude was 25°:6’:13" only 4’ south of the log; but a fresh breeze springing up from the westward we observed in 27°:2’:56" on the following

Sunday. 11th. noon, being 10’,

Monday. 12th On Monday it was 16’ south of the log, being 27°:28’:4"; but the wind coming again to the west in the afternoon of 28°:45’:16" by Tuesday, which was 34’ south of the log.

The remainder up to Port Jackson is [indecipherable] etc weather[indecipherable]

[Transcribed by Terry Walker for the State Library of New South Wales]