ON THE MORNING of the 6th [26 April] we found ourselves in more or less the very place at which we had terminated the reconaissance of the coast on the 5th. But we recognised that all the peaks of land sighted at sunset the day before were nothing but a small archipelago of islets and rocks of various sizes. As they seemed to have navigable channels through them, especially with the winds then blowing, I decided to pass between them and the mainland. We were lucky enough to have chosen by chance the best passage, for threading the one that I had picked in preference to the others, we saw several reefs that seemed to indicate that they are not suitable.

As I am providing a detailed view of these rocks and islets, it will be easy to recognise the channel that must be taken rather than any other. Every one of these islets and rocks is completely bare of vegetation (or, at least, only some dry scrub was visible on them), but the surrounding sea is deep and we never had less than 24 fathoms in the channel that we entered.

As may be seen from the views that have been done of it, the mainland looks hardly any more agreeable than the islands. The coast, as everywhere else, rises steeply from the sea, and a reef prevents one from approaching the shore. In several places this consists simply of a mass of heaped-up rocks and bare sand-dunes reaching inland as far as the eye can see, sometimes tall, sometimes low, but generally of a good height. One can likewise see several high mountains in the interior, but the chain is not very long.

At midday, as a result of our position, we found that we had the sun over the land, both to North and South, and this prevented us from observing it passing the meridian. We were then almost becalmed; but a South to South-westerly breeze sprang up, so we left this archipelago, where it would not have been convenient to spend the night with contrary winds.

In the afternoon we doubled a point on the mainland after which the coast runs suddenly North North-East for about 3 leagues and then forms a very deep bay.* This we examined as closely as the winds would permit, for we had them from East to East-South-East. As the bay lies between a range of mountains, 1 expected to find good shelter there for overnight, but the winds did not allow us to reach its furthest part. It has, however, nothing particular to offer. The shores are merely barren sand, and the mountains forming each end of it are nothing but enormous piles of rocks. What seemed to us the most remarkable thing in this area was the direction of an isolated mountain. It ran from East to West, whereas all the others lay from South-East to North-West.

At sunset we went on the seaward leg, having seen nothing in the West that could worry us during the night. As we had land on all sides, I stood out a little from the mainland coast and spent the night hove-to on different tacks.

* West Point and Sleaford Bay on Eyre Peninsula.

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