The tides are of trifling consequence; the flood comes from the eastward, but rarely rises more than ten feet, or runs so much as a mile and a half per hour. High water takes place at full and change at Liverpool River, and Goulburn Island at six o’clock, at the entrance of the Alligator Rivers in Van Diemen’s Gulf, at 8 hours 15 minutes, and at the south end of Apsley Strait at 3 hours 25 minutes.* The flood-tide comes from the eastward, excepting when its course is altered by local circumstances; the rise is not more than eleven feet at the springs.
(Footnote. In St. Asaph’s Bay, Lieutenant Roe found high-water take place at full and change at 5 hours 45 minutes; and in King’s Cove at 5 hours 15 minutes; at the latter place it rose fourteen feet.)
The variation of the compass in this interval is scarcely affected by the ship’s local attraction. Off Cape Wessel it is between 3 and 4 degrees East; at Liverpool River about 1 3/4 degrees East, at Goulburn Islands 2 degrees East, and off Cape Van Diemen, not more than 1 1/2 degrees East.
The dip of the south end of the needle at Goulburn Island was 27 degrees 32 1/2 minutes.
When the survey of the Gulf of Carpentaria was completed by Captain Flinders, his vessel proved to be so unfit for continuing the examination of the north coast, that it was found necessary to return to Port Jackson; and as he left it at the strait that separates Point Dale from Wessel’s Islands, which is called in my chart BROWN’S STRAIT, he saw no part of the coast to the westward of that point, nor did he even see Cape Wessel, the extremity of the range of Wessel’s Islands, which terminate in latitude 10 degrees 59 1/4 minutes, and longitude 135 degrees 46 minutes 30 seconds. The group consists of four islands, besides some of smaller size to the southward of the northernmost, and also a few on the eastern side of Brown’s Strait; one of which is Cunningham’s Island, of Captain Flinders. CUMBERLAND STRAIT is in latitude 11 degrees 25 minutes, longitude 135 degrees 31 minutes.
POINT DALE, unless it is upon an island, appears to be the east extremity of the north coast; its latitude is 11 degrees 36 minutes, longitude 135 degrees 9 minutes: there are several rocky islands of small size, lying off, encompassed by a reef, which extends for eight miles North-North-East 1/2 East from the point. In Brown’s Strait the tide sets at the rate of three and a half and four miles per hour; the flood runs to the southward through the strait. To the westward of Point Dale the coast extends for about sixty miles to the south-west to Castlereagh Bay; in which space there are several openings in the beach, that are probably small rivers: one, ten miles to the South-West, may be a strait insulating Point Dale, and communicating with Arnhem Bay.