Narrative of a Survey of the Intertropical and Western Coasts of Australia eBook

Philip Parker King
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 567 pages of information about Narrative of a Survey of the Intertropical and Western Coasts of Australia.
are channels through it, but the most direct channel is round its south side, across the bar, on which there is (at low water) five fathoms.  To sail into APSLEY STRAIT by this channel, if coming from the westward, steer in on the parallel of 11 degrees 15 minutes, until the northern part of Bathurst Island is seen:  when the western trend of the island bears South, you will be abreast of the west extremity of the shoal off Cape Van Diemen.  Steering on, you will see Piper’s Head, a cliffy point, forming the north entrance to the strait, which must be kept upon the bearing of East by North, until the low, sandy, south point of the strait’s entrance* is in a line with the summit of LUXMOORE HEAD, a remarkable flat-topped hill on the eastern side of the strait, bearing South 59 degrees East.  Then steer East by South, keeping the lead going, and hauling to the north if the soundings are less than seven fathoms, until the strait is opened bearing South-East by South, when you may haul in for Luxmoore Head, and anchor at will.

(Footnote.  Point Brace of Captain Bremer.)

The narrowest part of the strait is where the low, sandy extremity, Point Brace, bears South 40 degrees East; the channel then is from seventeen to eighteen fathoms deep, and shoals suddenly on its south, but gradually on its north side:  it is about a mile and a half wide.

APSLEY STRAIT is forty miles long, and from one to three broad; the widest part being at the north end:  the southern end, for five or six miles from the outlet, is very rocky; the south entrance is in latitude 11 degrees 45 minutes; the flood sets to the southward, and the ebb, from Van Diemen’s Gulf out of Clarence Strait, runs through the strait to the north, which must cause many shoals off the south entrance; the depth is generally from ten to thirteen fathoms, but is very irregular towards the south end; at low water many parts are dry, which leave the channels very intricate.  We passed over it at high water without knowing our danger, for the stream of the tide carried us through the deepest part of the channel.

BATHURST ISLAND is from thirty to thirty-three miles in extent, having a circumference of a hundred and twenty miles.  GORDON BAY, on its western side, affords a good shelter in the easterly monsoon; it is ten miles wide, and six deep, and terminated by PORT HURD, the entrance to which is fronted by a bar, having twelve or fourteen feet on it at low water.  Near the south-western head of the bay two projecting cliffy points (Twin Cliffs) terminate a sandy bay, from which wood and, probably, water may be obtained.

PORT HURD, at the bottom of Gordon Bay, in latitude 11 degrees 39 minutes 30 seconds, is a mere salt-water inlet, running up in a South-East direction for eight miles; it then separates into two creeks that wind under each side of a wooded hill; the entrance is three-quarters of a mile wide, and formed by two low points.  At the back of the port are some wooded hills; one of them, Mount Hurd, kept in the opening between the two points of entrance, is the mark for the deepest part of the bar.  When within the entrance the port opens, and forms a basin two miles and a quarter broad, after which it narrows and runs up at from half to a quarter of a mile wide, with a channel four and five fathoms deep.

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Narrative of a Survey of the Intertropical and Western Coasts of Australia from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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