[South Coast, Port Lincoln.]



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The soil of the land round Memory Cove, and of Cape Catastrophe in general, is barren ; though the vallies and eastern sides of the hills are covered with brush wood. and in the least barren parts there are small trees of the genus eucalyptus. The basis stone is granite, mostly covered with calcareous rock, sometimes lying in loose pieces; but the highest tops of the hills are huge blocks of granite. Four kanguroos, not larger than those of Thistle's Island, were seen amongst the brushwood ; and traces of natives were found so recent, that although none of the inhabitants were seen, they must have been there not longer than a day before. Water does consequently, exist somewhere in the neighbourhood, but all our researches could not discover it.

Before quitting Memory Cove a boat was sent to haul a seine upon the beach, which was done with such success, that every man had two meals of fish and some to spare for salting. In the morning, we sailed for the new discovered inlet, and at two oclock passed round the projection which had been set at N. 18° W. from Thistle's Island. It formed the south side of the entrance to the new opening, and is named CAPE DONINGTON. Our soundings in passing it were from 7 to 9 fathoms, and in steering south-westward we left an island four miles long, named Boston Island, on the starbord hand, and passed two islets on the other side, called Bicker Isles, which lie off Suffleet Point. On the depth of water diminishing to 5 fathoms we tacked, and presently came to an anchor on the west side of this point, in 4 1/2 fathoms soft grey sand. We were then three miles within the entrance and the nearest shore was a beach half a mile distant, lying under the hill which had been seen from Thistle's Island. This is a ridge of moderately high land about two miles long, but when seen to the north or south it assumes a conical form. I named it Stamford Hill; and there being a good deal of wood scattered over it, a hope was given of procuring water by digging at




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the foot. A boat was sent to make the experiment this evening, at the back of the beach; but the water which flowed into the pit was quite salt; and notwithstanding the many natives huts about, no fresh water could be found.

Boston Island at the entrance of the port being also woody and of some elevation, the boat was sent next morning to search there for water; and in the mean time 1 landed with the botanists, and ascended Stamford Hill to ascertain the nature of this inlet and take, angles. The port was seen to terminate seven or eight miles to the west-south-west; but there was a piece of water beyond it, apparently a lake or mere, from which we might hope to obtain a supply, if no more convenient watering place should be found. Betwixt Cape Donington at the entrance, and Surfleet Point, was a large cove with a sandy beach at the head, capable of sheltering a fleet of ships, if the depth should be sufficient, as it appeared to be, to receive them: this was named Spaldng Cove. Wood was not wanting there, but no stream of water could be distinguished. On the north side of the port, higher up, was a projecting piece of land, with an island lying off it nearly one mile in length. This island, which was named Grantham Island, contracts the width of that part to one mile and three quarters ; whereas above and below it the width is from two to three miles.

The eastern entrance to the port, between Boston Island and Cape Donington, is one mile and a half wide; the western entrance, betwixt the island and what was called Kirton.Point, is larger, and appeared to be as deep as the first, in which we had from 7 to 9 fathoms. From Kirton Point, northward, the shore curves back to the west, and makes a semicircular sweep round the island, forming an outer bay which was named Boston Bay. It is terminated by Point Boston. a low point one mile and a half from the north end of the island; but whether the water between them be deep, was not ascertained. From Point Boston the shore takes another sweep to the west and northward; and comes out again three or four

VOL. 1. Y y

Thurs. 25.

Friday 26.



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Friday 26

leagues to the north-east, at a low, but somewhat cliffy projection, to which I gave the name of Point Bolingbroke. The large bight within, received the appellation of Louth Bay; and two low islands in it, of which the largest is more than a mile in length, were called Louth Isles. At Point Bolingbroke the land appeared to trend north or westward; and could no further be perceived from Stamford Hill.

Three small isles had been seen from Thistle's Island and their bearings set; and the discovery of them was now augmented by several others, forming a cluster to the eastward of Point Bolingbroke. This was called SIR JOSEPH BANKS' GROUP, in compliment to the Right Honourable president of the Royal Society, to whose exertion and favour the voyage was so much indebted.

Of the numerous bearings taken with a theodolite from the top of Stamford Hill, those which follow were the most important to the connexion of the survey.

Extreme of the land toward C. Catastrophe          , - S. 17°56' E.
Thistle's I., highest part and N. E. extr.,     - S. 40° and 42 50 E.
Sir J. Banks' Group, Stickney I., centre,                 - N. 70 30 E.
________________Sibsey Island, centre,               - N. 57 10 E.
________________Kirkby Island, centre,                - N. 45 20 E.
Cape Donington, north-west extremity,                  - N. 37 50 E.
Point Bolingbroke, south end,                               - N. 29 12 E.
Boston Island. highest hill near the centre,              - N. 5 10 W.
___________the extremes,               - N. 15° 54' E. to 13 46 W.
A lake behind the head of the port,         - N. end, - S. 74 40 W.

The port which formed the most interesting part of these discoveries I named PORT LINCOLN, in honour of my native province; and having gained a general knowledge of it and finished the bearings, we descended the hill and got on board at ten o'clock. The boat had returned from Boston Island., unsuccessful in her search for water, and we therefore proceeded upward, steering different courses to find the greatest depth. Soon after one o'clock we




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anchored in 4 fathoms, soft bottom, one mile from the beach at the furthest head of the port, and something less from the southern shore.

Fresh water being at this time the most pressing of our wants, I set off the same afternoon, with a party, to examine the lake or mere discovered from Stamford Hill. The way to it was over low land covered with loose pieces of calcareous rock; the soil was moist in some places, and, though generally barren, was overspread with grass and shrubs, interspersed with a few clumps of small trees. After walking two miles we reached the lake, but to our mortification. the water was brackish, and not drinkable : the distance, besides. from Port Lincoln was too great to roll casks over a stony road. This piece of water was named Sleaford Here. It is one mile.broad, and appeared to be three or four in length. The shore was a whitish, hardened clay, covered at this time with a thin crust,, in which salt was a component part. The sun being too near the horizon to admit of going round the mere, our way was bent towards the ship; and finding a moist place within a hundred yards of the head of the port, I caused a hole to be dug there. A stratum of whitish clay was found at three feet below the surface, and on penetrating is, water drained in, which was perfectly sweet, though discoloured; and we had the satisfaction to return on board with the certainty of being able to procure water, although it would probably require some time to fill all our empty casks.

Friday 26.


Early in the morning a party of men was sent with spades to dig pits; and the time keepers and astronomical instruments., with two tents, followed under the charge of Mr. Flinders. I went to attend the digging, leaving orders with Mr. Fowler to moor the ship and send on shore empty casks. The water flowed in pretty freely, nd though of a whitish colour, and at first somewhat thick, it was well tasted. Before the evening, the observations for the rates of the time keepers were commenced; and the gunner was installed in the command of a watering party, and furnished with axes to cut

Saturday 27



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wood at such times as the pits might require to be left for replen February, ishing.

The necessary duties being all set forward under the superintendance of proper officers, 1 employed the following days in surveying and sounding. The direction of the port was too remote from the meridian to obtain a base line from differences of latitude, which, when observed in an artificial horizon., and at stations wide apart, I consider to be the best; nor was there any convenient beach or open place where a base line could be measured. It was therefore attempted in the following manner: Having left orders on board the ship to fire three guns at given times, I went to the south-east end of Boston Island, with a pendulum made to swing half seconds. It was a musket ball slung with twine, and measured 9,8 inches, from the fixed end of the twine to the centre of the ball. From the instant that the flash of the first gun was perceived, to the time of hearing the report. I counted eighty-five vibrations of the pendulum, and the same with two succeeding guns; whence the length of the base was deduced to be 8,ol geographic miles.* A principal station in the survey of Port Lincoln was a hill on the north side, called Northside Hill, which afforded a view extending to Sleaford Mere and Bay, and as far as Cape Wiles on one side, and to the hills at the

* This length was founded on the supposition, that sound travels at the rate of 1142 feet in a second of time., and that 6060 feet make a geograpbic mile. A base of 15' 2411 of latitude was afterwards obtained from observations in an artificial horizon, and of 25' 17` of longitude from the time keepers witb, new rates, both correct, as 1 believe, to a few seconds. From this long base and theodolite bearings, the first base appeared to be somewhat too short; for they gave it 8,22 instead of 8,01 miles. The length of the pendulum in the first measurement was such as to swing half seconds in England and I had not thought it, in this case, worth attention, that by the laws of gravity and the oblate spheroid, the pendulum would not swing so quick in the latitude of 350. 1 must leave it to better mathematicians to determine ftoin the data and the true length of a geographic mile in this latitude, whether the base ought to have been 8,22 as given by the observations and bearings: it was proved to be sufficiently near for all the purposes of a common nautical survey.




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beak of Coffin's Bay on the other. A great part of the bearings taken from hence, crossed those from Stamford Hill very advantageously.

Amongst the various excursions made by the scientific gentlemen, one was directed to Sleaford Mere, of which they made the circuit. The two southern branches were found to terminate within a hundred yards of the head of Sleaford Bay, with which the mere had been suspected to have a communication from its water being not quite fresh; but they are separated by a stony bank too high for the surf ever to pass over it. At the head of the bay a boat's sail and yard were seen floating, and no doubt had belonged to our unfortunate cutter: after being set out to sea by the tide, it had been driven up there by the late south-east winds.



The refitment of the ship being nearly completed on the 3rd of March, lieutenant Fowler was sent round to Memory Cove in a boat, to make a final search along the shores and round the islands in Thorny Passage, for the bodies of our late shipmates, which the sea might have thrown up. On the 4th, the last turn of water was received, and completed our stock up to sixty tons; and the removal of our establishment from the shore waited only for the observation of a solar eclipse, announced in the nautical ephemeris for this day. The morning was cloudy, with rain; but towards noon the weather cleared up, and I had the satisfaction to observe the eclipse with a refracting telescope of forty-six inches focus, and a power of about two hundred. The beginning took place at 1h 12' 37" 8 of apparent thne, and the end at 3h 36' 11", 8. So soon as the observation was concluded, the tents and astronomical instruments were carried on board, the launch was hoisted in. and every thing prepared for going down the port on the following morning.

Many straggling bark huts, similar to those on other parts of the coast. were seen upon the shores of Port Lincoln, and the paths near our tents had been long and deeply trodden; but neither in my excursions nor in those of the botanists had any of

Wednes 3

Thurs 4



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Thursday 4

the natives been discovered. This morning, however, three or four were heard calling to a boat,. as was supposed. which had just landed; but they presently walked away, or perhaps retired into the wood to observe our movements. No attempt was made to follow them, for I had always found the natives of this country to avoid those who seemed anxious for communication; whereas, when left entirely alone, they would usually come down after having watched us for a few days. Nor does this conduct seem to be unnatural; for what, in such case, would be the conduct of any people, ourselves for instance, were we living in a state of nature, frequently at war with our neighbours, and ignorant of the existence of any other nation? On the arrival of strangers, so different in complexion and appearance to ourselves, having power to transport themselves over, and even living upon an element which to us was impassable; the first sensation would probably be terror, and the first movement flight. We should watch these extraordinary people from our retreats in the woods and rocks,, and if we found ourselves sought and pursued by them, should conclude their designs to be inimical; but if, on the contrary, we saw them quietly employed in occupations, which had no reference to us., curiosity would get the better of fear; and after observing them more closely, we should ourselves seek a communication. Such. seemed to have been the conduct of these Australians; and 1 am persuaded that their appearance on the morning when the tents were struck, was a prelude to their coming down and that had we remained a few days longer, a friendly communication would have ensued. The way was. however, prepared for the next ship which may enter this port, as it was to us in King George's Sound by captain Vancouver and the ship Elligood; to whose previous visits and peaceable conduct we were most probably indebted for our early intercourse with the inhabitants of that place. So far as could be perceived with a glass, the natives of this port were the same in personal appearance as those of King George's Sound and Port Jackson. In the hope of conciliating their good will to suc




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ceeding visitors, some hatchets and various other articles were left in their paths, or fastened to stumps of the trees which had been cut much. down near our watering pits.

In expressing an opinion that these people have no means of passing the water, it must be understood to be a deduction from our having met with no canoe, or the remains of any about the port; nor with any tree in the woods from wh