ON THE MORNING of the 22nd [12 April] we again saw the land that we had sighted during the night. It looked very low and just as we had thought it did, except that it was much more extensive. It seemed to us that it must be an island, the middle of which lay North 45° West of us.*

We likewise sighted part of Kangaroo Island stretching from South 33° 30' West to South 67° 30' East. As we could also see the high areas of the mainland lying 5 or 6 leagues off, I decided to head towards our last points of bearing rather than stop at this island. Moreover, I was sure that I would see it again when working round the mainland, which here forms a very large indentation.

There was a fairly fresh breeze during the morning, but it came from the North. This was not very favourable to the course that we had to follow after standing in close enough to examine the land properly.

As calm fell at eleven o'clock and the currents were carrying us rapidly into a broad bay on our beam, we were obliged to wear ship in order to stand off a little as soon as the breeze should reach us.

At midday the latitude observed was 35° 27' 0" and the chronometer put us in 135° 33' 6".

Throughout the afternoon we had a slight catspaw from North to North-North-West by means of which we bore a short way out to sea, but it was very weak and did not last long. However, we were almost 1 1/2 leagues off shore. The depth then was 20 fathoms and the bottom suitable for anchorage.

The small section of coast that we explored on this day is high and very hilly. We did not see any obvious dangers along it. Most of the mountains were treeless; others had some that had shed their leaves, and the majority had nothing but and ground with dry, straw-coloured grass.

At sunset the winds or, rather, the catspaw moved South-West. We proceeded North-North-East towards the land lying in that direction at a reckoned distance of 8 leagues in order to come up to it overnight and so lose no time on the following day. As the land in this part bears considerably to the North, we hoped to find a few ports in the gulf † that it appears to indicate, for it is quite astonishing that we should not yet have found any along the entire length of coast that we have visited.

During the night the weather was fair until two o'clock, but then it began to rain and we had some sharp gusts which compelled us to take a second reef in the topsails. We made various tacks overnight in order to keep the coast in view. judging from the formation of the shore, it appears to have no dangers.

* A marginal note in Baudin's hand reads, 'It is the southern part of the peninsula between the two gulfs'. The peninsula is Yorke Peninsula.

† Gulf St. Vincent.

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

Link to - South Australian Government