ON THE MORNING of the 13th [3 January] we continued the geographic work on the southern portion of Kangaroo Island that we had begun the day before. After sighting our last bearings exactly, we coasted the land so as to double a projecting point which hid what lay to the West. When we had rounded it, we sighted a rock ‡, lying about 1 1/2 leagues off shore, over which the sea broke in an extraordinary fashion. Not knowing if there were a passage between this islet and the coast, I hauled the wind so as to pass South of it; but being unable to double it, was obliged to tack out to sea.

The channel between it and the coast seems good and roomy, judging by appearances. As the Casuarina passed through it, she will be able to [tell] us what the depth of the water is - if, however, she took soundings, which is doubtful.

After doubling this rock to the South, we stood in again for the coast and went on with our work. During the morning the weather was fine and a fresh breeze occasionally blew. In order to take advantage of it, we bent and immediately filled our topgallants.

At midday the latitude observed was 36'° 5' 53" and the chronometer put us in 135° 14' 50' of longitude. From the observed latitude on this day and from the latitude that we already knew the northern part of this island to be in. it was easy for us to judge that it was not very broad from North to South and that it was, so to speak, merely a tongue of land, extremely narrow in relation to its length.

In the afternoon we found the sea very swelling and disturbed from several directions. This slowed us down, but we nevertheless made reasonable westing, being hopeful of rounding the western part of this island before dark.

At about three o'clock the look-out men at the mast-heads reported two fairly large islets § ahead of us and a big reef to windward, over which the sea broke with as much force as it did over the one that we had doubled in the morning. We soon sighted this reef and the islets from on deck and were astonished to find such a danger as the former so far out and so isolated. This led me to think that it could well be joined by a line of underwater rocks to the islets sighted, for they seemed to lie in the same direction. I judged fit to pass South of it, so we steered as close to as possible. Approaching this danger, we realised that it was a heap of rocks at water-level, possibly 1.1/2 miles long from East to West. In doubling it, we went extremely close to it. The channel between it and the islets appears good, but I do not advise entering it, for even supposing that the water is deep, one would
be in an extremely awkward position if a calm fell.

The two islets just mentioned lie exactly off the western part of this island which, from that point** on, runs North-West, as may be seen from the chart.

‡ Pelours Islet. § The Casuarina Islands. ** Cape du Coadic.

Copyright and this website | Disclaimer | Privacy | Feedback | Accessibility | FOI

Link to - South Australian Government