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Narrative of expeditions along the coast of New South Wales, for the further discovery of its harbours from the year 1795 to 1799. Collected by Matt w Flinders 2 lieutenant H.M.S. Reliance (FLI09a)

[Note: the first six pages are missing the top corner]


    His Majestys ship Reliance arrived at Port Jackson [missing]
1795, which was the eighth year of the colonys establishment. {During}
this period, the knowledge of the sea coast and harbours, which
had been gained in addition to captain Cooks examination, was
as follows: – Port Jackson, and almost the whole of its numerous
branches had been surveyed or examined, as far as navigation
was poƒsible, by His Excellency the present governor, then second
captain of His Majestys ship Syrius [sic]. Broken Bay had been
explored in the same way, and the river Hawkesbury also,
until it divides ^ itself into the Nepean or Tenches River, and the Grose:
the entrances into which were also known for a few miles. Port
Stephens had been visited by Mr Nichol, master of the ship Sala-
mander, and by M r Grimes, the deputy surveyor to the colony;
and captain Broughton of His Majestys ship Providence, fal-
-ling to leeward of Port Jackson in his paƒsage from Rio de Janei-
-ro, found it convenient to put into Port Stephens. He made a
marine survey of the lower part of the harbour, and laid down
its situation with more accuracy than any of its former visit-
-ors had been enabled to do; but the intermediate coast be-
-tween Broken Bay and Port Stephens remained still unknown,
further than from captain Cooks chart.
      To the southward of Port Jackson, the coast of Botany Bay,
and the bay itself, had been explored and surveyed by governor
Hunter; Cooks River had been also examined, as far as boats


[missing]       Georges River, with its branches, to a considera-
[missing] southward of Point Solander, the coast was
[missing]unknown, except from captain Cooks chart and de-
-scription. Thus the particular knowledge of the coast was con-
-fined to ten or twelve miles on the south side of Port Jackson,
and to fifteen or twenty on the north side, in September 1795.
      In conversing with those people, whom the pursuit of game
had brought to a more intimate knowledge of the inland parts
of the country, we learned, that there was a river navigable
for large boats, which was known to them by the name of the
third river; this river, they aƒserted, must fall into Botany
Bay; and from governor Hunters chart it appeared, that it conse-
-quently must be a continuation of Georges River. This point,
M r Baƒs – surgeon of the Reliance and myself, determined to as-
-certain, by exploring the river up to its navigable source.
To this, some difficulties opposed themselves: – there was no boat
within our reach but those belonging to the ship, all of which
were wanted; and we were given to understand, that the coast
was almost too dangerous for rowing boats.
      The furor [sic] of discovery, upon whatever scale it is, is perhaps as
strong, and can overlook obstacles, as well as most other kinds of
mania. We turned our eyes towards a little boat of about eight
^ feet keel and five feet beam, which had been brought out, by M r Baƒs
and others, in the Reliance, and from its size had obtained
the name of Tom Thumb. In this boat we embarked on October
26 th , which was the morning after our resolution had been formed;


ourselves and a boy constituting both officers [missing]
were fortunate enough to get into Botany Bay [missing]
on the ninth day, after completely fulfilling the ob{ject of our ex-}
-cursion, by having traced the river some miles beyond [missing]
even Tom Thumb could go.
      The proximity of the river to the established settlements,
and the goodneƒs of the soil in its neighbourhood, were sufficient
inducements to the formation of a settlement upon its banks
about two years afterwards, under the name of Banks Town.
      On the arrival of the ship from Norfolk Island in March
following, M r Baƒs and myself planned an expedition to ano-
-ther river, which Henry Hacking the pilot had met with to the
southward of Botany Bay, in his kanguroo-hunting excursi-
-ons: the entrance of this river was thought to be very little
beyond Point Solander. As Tom Thumb had performed so well
before, the same boats crew had little hesitation in embarking in
another boat of nearly the same size, which had been since built
at Port Jackson; and who ^ also behaved exceedingly ^ well on some trying occas-
      Some unlooked for circumstances occurred in this little voy-
-age of discovery, which render it somewhat interesting. Although the
addition of knowledge gained in the ^ expedition does not seem to deserve a particular
narrative, yet as one is subjoined.
      We left the ship in the evening, with the days provisions, and two
musquets with ammunition: and slept upon a rock in Sharks Bay
two miles from the entrance of the port. At three in the morning
of the


[missing]                     out from between the heads, with
[missing]                 breeze at west-south-west, and set the sail
[missing]           two points off the line of the coast, expecting
[missing]       breeze to set in in the morning. The wind almost died
away at day break, and the high heads abreast, which we took
for those midway between Port Jackson and Botany Bay, seemed
to denote that we had made but little progreƒs. At ten, it became
calm with very sultry weather, and the water we had in the
boat, having been by mistake put into a wine barica, was
exceedingly bad: fortunately we had five water melons in the
        We continued rowing to the southward in expectation of the
sea breeze, till one o'clock; and then steered in for the shore with
a light air at south-south-east, with which we steered west south west
two-and-half or three knots per hour, for a sloping point of
land like Cape Banks. An eminence on the high land a-
-breast, which presented itself under the semblance of Hat
Hill, soon excited our attention; but as Hat Hill was at least
fifteen leagues to the southward of Port Jackson, the almost
impoƒsibility of our having run that distance, made us dis-
-trust the appearance till a nearer approach to the shore con-
-firmed it, by bringing likewise to our recollection the land which
was immediately to the northward of it, and had been seen
in the ship on her return from Norfolk Island.
We had altered our course more in for the land on first dis-
-covering the hill, and when certified of its identity, hauled up

1796                             (5)
March           as far to the northward as we [missing]
Friday 25       the wind had freshened so as to [missing]
the surges break white, and any one of them would [missing]
-ly swamped our nine feet bark, had her broadside {been ex-}
-posed to it.
At sunset, the wind died away. Our distance from the shore
being then about four miles, we pulled in for a bending in the
coast, and came to an anchor (with a large stone) about eight o'
-clock; having, by supposition, run at least fifteen miles since
first steering in for the land. The great similitude which the south
head of this bending in the coast, had to the roof of a barn, as
well as we could distinguish by moon light, induced us to call
it Barn Cove; but it falls back so little from the general trend-
-ing of the coast, that it scarcely deserves the name of a cove.
It has a beach, but being open to the eastward, whence the wind
had blown in the afternoon, there was too much surf upon it
to attempt a landing; therefore, after making a miserable sup-
-per and drinking a melon, we prepared to paƒs the night as
well as three people may be supposed to do in so small a space
in the bottom of Tom Thumb.
Saturday       At day break, the weather was fine, and without
    26             wind; but landing in Barn Cove was still imprac-
ticable. To the northward, the land was high for many miles,
and afforded but little prospect of landing to procure fresh
water, which was now become absolutely neceƒsary; but to the

[missing]                 was low near the coast, at a small dis-
[missing]           from us. The superior prospect of alleviating our
[missing]       reƒs for fresh water, aided perhaps by a desire to
[missing] of novelty this low land might present, determined
us to proceed a little farther from home; and the sea breeze
setting in from the north-north-east, confirmed the resoluti-
      The coast, for two-and-half miles from Barn Cove, was high
and stony, but regular. Parts which had mouldered or fallen
down towards the sea, formed regular slopes, and were now co-
-vered with vegetable earth, shrubs, and trees; and in some pla-
-ces were beautifully green. The low land then commences, and
appeared to be mostly a sandy soil, thinly covered with small
trees. The shore is alternately beaches and low stony heads.
Off these latter, reefs usually run into the sea, to the length
of a cable, upon which the sea broke with some violence.
      At ten, we paƒsed a reef which projected farther than
usual, and to leeward of which was leƒs surf. Hopes of
procuring water persuaded us to attempt landing in this
place. We let go the anchor, and veered the boat in to the
edge of the surf, when M r Baƒs threw the barica overboard,
and leaping out after it, swam on shore. On hauling the
boat out again, our anchor, or stone, not being sufficiently
heavy, came home; and before we could get it up to pull
farther out, a huge sea rose farther out than usual, took the
boat on its back, and landed her on the beach, nearly full of

March           water. There was no time to be lost. We ran her up beyond
Saturday       the reach of the sea by the aƒsistance of the next surf, –
26took out the provisions that would be first spoiled by the water;
and in short, got everything out of the boat, and baled her dry. Af-
-ter viewing each other with some anxiety, we agreed it abso-
-lutely neceƒsary to launch the boat again, immediately if
poƒsible; lest any number of natives should come down upon
us in this unprepared state. There were smokes within three
miles, which rendered this a matter of immediate considera-
-tion; and more especially, as the natives to the southward of
Botany Bay were generally believed to be cannibals. Ha-
ving, therefore, placed the boat stern on for the Water, and
put the most spoilable provisions on board, by watching a
favourable opportunity, we launched her; and the boy and
myself getting upon our oars, were safe without the verge of
the surfs before any of the larger ones came; not having
shipped above eight or ten buckets of water.
      To get those things into the boat which had been left on shore,
became now our employment; in doing which, the musquets were
near being lost from the breaking of the lead line, the end of
which M r Baƒs had swam through the surf with to the boat:
but by lashing the heaviest articles to the oars and mast, every
thing else came on board safe; and about half past three, we
got under sail with a moderate breeze at north-north-east, as

March         Our condition was now as follows; – three days bread, en-
Saturday     -tirely spoiled; – five days flour, not in the least wet; –
      26     tea and coffee, spoiled: – sugar, half wet; – a few cakes of portable
soup, not much worse; – one piece and a half of salt beef and three of
pork, – six pounds of rice and a little sago, good; – the guns, rusty and
full of sand and salt water: the rods incapable of being drawn; – a
barica of water, brackish; – our clothes completely soaked; – a watch
and two pocket compaƒses, wet; – one horn of powder, dry; and two,
wet; – and a small bundle of wet sticks.
      In this miserable plight, we stood towards some eminences of
land, which proved to be islands; and at sunset, paƒsed one of
them, a small, rocky, barren, spot, lying about one mile from
the coast; but the surf which broke all round, making it impoƒ-
-sible to land, we continued to stand on. The other islet was
nearly east from this, about one mile and a half distant, ha-
-ving the same appearance and magnitude. The coast conti-
-nued to be low and sandy, with rocky heads at intervals;
but ended in a projecting point, upon which is four eminences,
forming a kind of double saddle. This point bounded our view
to the southward, though not above two miles distant. At a
small distance off this Saddle Point, lies another island much
larger than the other two, and as such gave us greater hopes of
shelter; for night began now to make its appearance, with its
usual concomitant cold; which, in our wet condition, was a
very unwelcome visiter [sic].
      In our attempts to land upon this larger

March       island, in order to dry ourselves and get some provisi-
Saturday     -ons cooked, we were not more succeƒsful than at the
    26     small island, for the surf broke upon every part of it as far as
could be discerned; we therefore pulled round Saddle Point, which,
by falling back some distance, afforded shelter from the northern-
-ly breeze. The sound of breakers from every quarter, forbidding
all prospects of landing for the night, we let go our anchor in
six or seven fathoms, – fine sand; about one-third of a mile
from the shore.
      After making as good a meal as our uncomfortable situation
would admit of, we attempted to sleep, but this was impoƒsible
from several causes; more especially for M r Baƒs, for in rafting
off the things in the afternoon, he had been exposed near five hours,
naked, to the sun in the heat of the day, and was now almost
one continued blister.
Sunday       It was with no small degree of pleasure, we saw
27     the dawning which precedes the appearance of that
luminary, whose warmth we were so much in need of; and
not much leƒs on hearing a voice call to us in the Port Jackson
dialect, offering us fresh water and fish. The forms of these
Our guns were still useleƒs, but as there were only two natives, who had
no other arms than fish gigs, we rowed towards them, and received
a small quantity of water and two fish. In return, we gave them
a few loose potatoes, which had been saved from the sea by stick-
-ing between the bottom boards of the boat, and two pocket handker-

March       -chiefs. Our friends informed us, that they were not na-
Sunday     -tives of this place, but of Broken and Botany Bays; and
    27     from their having been at Port Jackson it was, that we under-
-stood some words of their language; but other natives soon came
up, and increased the number beyond what was safe to risk our-
-selves amongst; we therefore put off without landing, under
pretence of returning to the northward, but with the intention
to land in a shallow cove off the pitch of Saddle Point. The sea
had broken acroƒs this small cove whilst the sea breeze blew, but
was now smooth.
      We here got some provisions ^ cooked – most of our clothes dried, – and
everything put into some little order; but it was not long before
the two natives came upon the point to look after us, and espying
us thus busied close under them, came down.
        As this cove would not be tenable when the sea breeze
should set in, we inquired concerning the places of shelter in
the neighbourhood; and learned, that at a small distance to the
southward, was a fresh-water river. The imprudence of return-
-ing towards Port Jackson without having the barica filled with
fresh water, together with the appearance of a northerly sea breeze,
induced us to accept of the offer which the natives made of con-
-ducting us to the river.
      The sea breeze freshened up from the northward, and we
steered before it, according to the direction of our pilots; who a-
-mused us by the way with stories of some white men and two

1796         women being amongst them; who had indian corn and
March       potatoes growing. The women, they said, they would bring
Sunday     to us, as well as plenty of black ones; and that we should
    27     get quantities of fish and ducks in the river.
      About noon, we came off the entrance of the river. It appeared
to be a small stream which had made a paƒsage through the
beach; but we could not tell how it would be poƒsible, even for
our small boat, to enter it, as the surf was breaking nearly
acroƒs; however, by following their directions, in going sometimes
close to the surf, sometimes to one side, and sometimes to the other,
we got in with difficulty; and rowed about a mile up in little
more water than the boat drew, against a very strong tide.
      Our conductors had gone on shore immediately after we en-
-tered the river, and were now walking, with eight or ten strange
natives, on the sand abreast of us.
      The boat having touched the ground once or twice, and find-
ing the rivulet still continui ng shoal, we began to relinquish the hope
of getting up it; and to consider, that there might not be water
enough for the ^ boat to go out again till the flood tide should make,
which would leave us in the power of the natives; and even as it
was, we were in their power; for the water was scarcely higher than
the knees, and our guns were still full of sand and rusty: for-
-tunately, the natives were unacquainted with this latter cir-
      Being thus situated, it became neceƒsary for us to get away
from this place as soon as poƒsible; and having agreed upon a plan


1796         of action, we went on shore to get more water, – dry our
March       powder, – get the guns in order, – and mend one of the oars,
Sunday     which had been broken when the boat was thrown upon the beach.
    27 On asking the two natives for water, they told us we must go
up to the lake for it, pointing to a large piece of water from which
the rivulet seemed to take its rise; but on being told that we
could not now go, and again desired them to get us water,
they found some within a few yards. This circumstance made
us suspect, that they had a wish, if not an intention, of detaining
us; and on reflection, their previous conversation in the boat
evidently tended to the same purpose.
      Their number having increased to near twenty, and others
still coming, we began to repair our deficiencies with as much
expedition as poƒsible. – But an employment more than we
expected, now arose upon our hands. – The two friendly na-
-tives had gotten their hair cut, and beards clipped off, by us,
when in the little cove at Saddle Point; and were now shewing
themselves to the others, and persuading them to follow their
example. Whilst M r Baƒs, aƒsisted by some of the natives,
was mending the oar, and the powder was drying in the sun,
I began, with a pair of sciƒsors, to execute my new office upon
the eldest of four or five chins presented up to me; and as
great nicety was not required, got on with them to the num-
-ber of eleven or twelve; which were the greatest part of our
bearded company: many of the young men having not yet
found the inconvenience of that part of natures dreƒs. Some of

1796         the more timid, were alarmed at a double-jawed instru-
March       -ment coming so near to their noses, and could scarce-
Sunday     -ly be persuaded by their shaven friends to allow the operati-
    27     -on to be finished; but when their chins were held up a second
time, their fear of the instrument, – the wild stare of their
eyes, – the smile which they forced; – formed a compound upon
the rough, savage countenance, not unworthy the pencil of a
Hogarth. I was almost tempted to try the effect of a snip on
the nose; but our situation was too critical to admit of such
      Having completed every thing, as far as circumstan-
-ces would admit of, we got our things into the boat, and prepared
to go out again. But to get away peaceably, we were obliged to
use deceit; for they kept continually pointing to the lagoon, and
desiring, or indeed almost insisting, that we should go up into
it; and the two Port-Jackson natives seemed more violent than
any others. We appeared to coincide with them, but deferred
it till tomorrow; and pointed to a green bank near the en-
-trance of the river, where we would sleep; then putting on a
resolute face, we shoved off the boat. Most of them followed us,
the river being very shallow, and four jumped in. The rest took
hold of the boat and dragged her along down the stream, shouting
and singing. We shouted and sung too, though our situation
was far from being pleasant.
      On coming to the green bank, they brought us to the shore, and
those in the boat leaped out: one of them with a hat on, but which
he returned on being asked. Some of them still kept hold, to

1796         prevent us from going further; but as we had no real in-
March       -tention of sleeping any where within their reach, with a
Sunday     menacing countenance, we resolutely pushed away from them: one
    27     observing to the rest that we were angry, let go his hold; and the o-
-thers immediately followed his example.
      Whilst we got down to the entrance, as fast as poƒsible, they
stood looking at each other, as if doubtful whether to detain
us by force; and there is much reason to think, that they suf-
-fered us to get away, only because they had not agreed upon
any plan of action: aƒsisted perhaps, by the extreme fear they
seemed to be under of our harmleƒs firearms; though had
they attempted any thing, and our musquets been in order, we
could have made little resistance to their numbers, when
surrounded, as we constantly were, by them.
      The sea breeze blew so strong, and the surf ran so high, that
we could not poƒsibly get out of the rivulet; and therefore came
to an anchor just within the surf which broke upon the bar,
and not fifteen yards from the shore on either side. The wa-
-ter was tolerably deep in this place, and the stream from the la-
-goon ran very rapid, so that the natives would not venture
in, to come to the ^ boat ; but three or four of them kept hovering upon
the point to the southward of us, amongst whom was Dilba, one
of the Port-Jackson men. This fellow +was constantly importuning
us to return and go up to the lagoon. He was as constantly answered,
+ Dilba was the principal person concerned in spearing the chief mate and carpen-
-ter of the ship Sydney Cove, about twelve months afterwards; for which he
was sought after to be shot by M r Baƒs and others

1796         that "when the sun went down, if the wind and surf"
March       "did not abate, we would."
Sunday       As the sun disappeared
    27     behind the hills, a party of five or six ^ natives were coming towards us
from the other side. At that juncture, we had gotten the guns
in order; and having a little powder in one of them, I fired it off;
on which the party stopped short, and soon walked away; those
on the point too were all retired but Dilba, and he soon followed.
      We slept by turns till ten o'clock, and the moon being then
risen, – the weather clam, – and the water smooth, – we pulled out to-
-wards Saddle Point; not a little pleased to have escaped so
well. Perhaps we were considerably indebted, for the fear they
entertained of us, to an old red waistcoat which M r Baƒs wore,
and from which they took us to be soldiers, whom the natives
are particularly afraid of; and though we did not much ad-
-mire our new name "Soja", yet thought it best not to unde-
-ceive them.
Monday         Having paƒsed the point, we anchored about one in the
    28       morning, under the innermost of the northern islets; in
about five fathoms, stony bottom. We called these Martins Isles
after our young companion in the boat. The two northern ones
seem to be the rocks under water marked in captain Cooks chart;
and I suspect that the outer part of the islandΩ which lies off Sad-
-dle Point, is what the great navigator calls Red Point. Its
latitude is the same, and its distance from the point too
small for him to have distinguished form, when
many miles off the coast. It will, however, remain a doubt, as there

1796         are three isles in his chart not far to the south of Red
March       Point.+
Monday             A fine morning presented itself to us, with a
    28     light air off the land. We got under weigh, and stood to the north-
-ward pulling and sailing; but the light air freshening to a breeze,
and soon after blowing strong, we had a long and very laborious
row to get in with the shore, which about noon we effected; and soon
after, a light breeze set in from the sea.
      Rowing close along the shore, at one in the afternoon, we came
abreast of a small beach fronted by a reef of rocks. There was
a narrow, paƒsage through these rocks, and the sea breeze having
as yet made no impreƒsion on the water, it was without surf,
and permitted us to get to the beach, and haul the boat up.
      Till evening, we were employed in getting fresh water, which there
was a good deal of trouble to find, and in cooking provisions for
our present and future subsistence.
      This night for the first time, we slept on shore; and perhaps
the softest bed of down was never more enjoyed, than was the fine
sand of the beach by us, at this time. The liberty of lying in
any posture, and stretching out our limbs, was an indulgence,
which our little bark, with all her good qualities, could not afford:
but I ought to have had a back covered with one continued blister,
to describe the sensation of my companion.
Tuesday 29       In the morning, we prepared to depart; having made
a com-
Ω We have since learnt from Rogers, a fisherman, that this island is divided
into two parts, by a narrow channel, but of tolerable depth.
+ Captain Cooks chart of the coast was not known to us till many months
after this excursion.

1796         a comfortable breakfast, and talked over our happineƒs in
March       finding so friendly a little place, which had enabled
Tuesday     us to lay in a stock of rest against a day of labour, as
    29     well as cook provisions for some time to come. At 7, we pulled
to the northwardsΩ the weather being calm; and paƒsed Bran Cove;
but the sea breeze again set in from the northward, and at noon, fresh-
-ened so much, that we could not make head against it. Being then
then near a high projecting head with a small reef running off
it, we pulled in and anchored.
      The intermediate coast is high, with some small beaches here and
there, but they afforded no shelter. About seven miles from Barn
Cove there are two beaches which falling back a little within the
coast line, served as a point of seperation to our distances, under
the name of Double Cove.
      From the ebbing of the water when we left the small beach
near the coals, we expected to have the tide in our favour; but
from all the observations we could make at this time, it is im-
poƒsible to say which way the tide sets.
      In the afternoon, the boy swam on shore, and found a small
stream of water running into the sea at this place, but we were
not now in want of that neceƒsary article.
      Towards evening, the sea breeze died away, and an air arose
from the southward. We weighed immediately, and proceeded
to the northward along a high iron-bound cliffy coast.
      Just before dark, the sky was over cast, – heavy black clouds full of
Ω The small place of shelter which we now left, is close to the head amongst the cliffy heads in which a
stratum of coal was afterwards discovered. We had paƒsed under the cliffs of
this head in our search for water, and must have seen lumps of the coal
which had fallen down; but the weather and surf had so altered its appear-
-ance, that it remained unnoticed. and our pursuit was so different.

1796                             (18)
March         electric fluid were flying about in all directions; and the
Tuesday       light breeze, with which we had weighed, was extremely
    29     variable in quantity, and never came five minutes together from the
same quarter. These appearances generally precede gusts of
wind off the land, which it was of the utmost importance to us to
guard against. We immediately pulled close in, and anchored
in a small bending of the cliff, within a dozen yards of the rocks.
      At ten o'clock, a fresh gale sprung up from the south, and soon
made it impoƒsible for the boat to ride where we were. Having
weighed, we put her before the wind, along the coast, but without
knowing where we to run for safety; for from the distance we
had paƒsed when going to the southward, we were entire strangers
to this part. The wind kept increasing, and swept along the high
steep cliffs with great violence. In a few minutes the waves became
seas, and began to break; and to add to our comfort the night
was extremely dark, the moon having not yet risen. We could
see the shade of the dark, grim-looking cliffs, over our heads; and
the thundering noise of the surf at their feet told us a tale, that
forbid all idea of approaching them.
      We were thus running in the dark, with the sail flying away be-
-fore the mast like a flag, M r Baƒs keeping the end of the sheet
in his hand, and hauling aft a few inches occasionally, to keep
the boat ahead of those seas, which appeared eagerly following
after, to overwhelm us with destruction. I was steering with an
oar, and it required the utmost exertion and care to keep her
directly before the sea.
      Breakers appeared right ahead. The land was low at the

1796           back of these, but nothing more could be distinguished. It
March         was neceƒsary, however, to determine upon something, and that
Tuesday     immediately; for the seas were becoming so high, that in ten mi-
    29     -nutes more they must certainly break over us. No conjecture
could be formed of what was at the back of the reef, or whether
it might not run along the shore; but as no situation could
be worse than the present, we determined to make a push at all
      On coming to what appeared to be the extremity of the break-
-ers, – watching a favourable moment, we brought the boat head to the
sea, – had the mast and sail down in a trice, and got upon our oars.
We cautiously pulled towards the reef during the intervals of the
surges, and finding it did not run along the coast, got in under
the lee of it; and in three minutes, were in smooth water, and out
of danger. A white appearance farther back still kept us in sus-
-pense, but a nearer approach shewed it to be the beach of a cove,
particularly well sheltered from winds in that quarter whence
the present gale blew.
      A comparison of our present safety, with the imminent dan-
-ger we had just been in, produced reflections and conversation
which were not silenced by sleep without difficulty. We thought
Providential Cove a well-adapted name for this place, but by
the natives it is called Watta Mowlee.
Wednesday       At day break, we landed for water, which ran at the
    30           back of the beach.
        The country near the water side, is in general sandy and bar-
-ren. We saw recent marks of natives of natives every where,
but none

1796               but none of the inhabitants themselves.
March             The extremity of the reef, which afforded us such
Wednesday     signal shelter, bore E.S.E. by compaƒs: – the north head of the
    30         cove N.E.b.E. The cove affords anchorage for large boats, upon
a fine sand; the depth regularly decreasing as you approach
the shore. It is sheltered from all winds but those ^ directly from the sea
      At nine, we stood to the northward, with a light southerly
breeze, and Point Solander was soon after in sight, making like
islands. The shore was still bounded by cliffs, which decrease in
height towards Hackings River, or rather Port, the original place
of our destination, where the land is very low.
      Before noon, we entered Port Hacking, and landed in a small
cove on the north side, where we observed a number of cabbage
trees growing.
      After making a comfortable meal and getting every thing
dry and in order, we amused ourselves, in the evening, with fish-
-ing; but the sharks were so numerous that no other fish dare
make its appearance. These sea monsters appeared to have a great
inclination for us; and were sufficiently daring to come to the
surface of the water, eyeing us at the same time with voraci-
-ous keenneƒs. The size of our veƒsel did not place us at a
great distance from them.
      Night drawing on, we retired to our cove, where we had
prepared a place and pulled graƒs to sleep on. Two natives
had paid us a visit in the afternoon, and behaved very
civilly. We understood them tolerably well, and were not un-
-der the least apprehension, considering ourselves as almost

1796           home; and had it not been for the numberleƒs mosqui-
March         -tos that inhabit here, should have paƒsed a comfortable night.
Thursday     On the following day our time was employed in exa-
    31       -mining Port Hacking, and in fishing occasionally; but find-
-ing the port very shoal, and but few places in it fit for ship-
-ping, we did not think it worth while expending much time
about. We slept some distance up the port, but did not see
ducks or any thing to shoot any where.
Friday           In the morning, we examined and sounded in going
April     down; and about seven o'clock paƒsed between the points
    1       of the entrance, steering for Point Solander, which was dis-
-tant about seven miles: the wind southerly in a light breeze.
      We found but three-and-half- fathoms in the entrance, and
there is a rock lying off the south point, upon which the
surf breaks when running high. The substance of what we
saw will best appear by the eye sketch.
      At 10 o'clock, we paƒsed Botany Bay, – entered Port Jackson
in the afternoon, and soon after sunset arrived on board the
ship in Sydney Cove.

Our computed distances of places are as follow


From the entrance of Port Jackson
to Point Solander…..11 miles
Thence to entrance of Port Hacking 7½

to Watta Mowlee     3
to Double Cove       5¾
to Barn Cove           7
to where the Boat
was thrown ashore 4
to Saddle Point

A lat.

    True bearing of the coast line is about S.S.W 44

= 40.6

Latitude of Port Jackson
of Saddle P t
From Saddle P t to Canoe
River is about S.W 4'
Latitude of Canoe River



      Now the latitude of Hat Hill made in the ship was 34°: 28',
and it bears from Saddle Point west-north-west about some
five miles, which shews the above calculation to be near the

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Flinders, Matthew

Port Jackson


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