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.

The country here is thickly wooded, but very low, excepting a few ranges of hills that may rise to the height of two hundred feet.  The south side of Bathurst Island has no sinuosities.

Near CAPE FOURCROY the coast is formed by sandhills:  but, for the next fifteen miles, it is low and backed by wooded hills.





The nature of the winds upon the North-west Coast, that is, between Cape Van Diemen and the North-west Cape, differs very materially from the regularity of the monsoons in the sea that divides it from Timor and the islands to the northward; excepting in the narrower part between Cape Londonderry and the Sahul Bank, where, from the contracted nature of the sea, more regular winds may be expected.  The easterly monsoon commences about the beginning of April, and in the months of May and June blows with great strength, and will be found more regular close to the projecting parts of the coast, but they then rather assume the character of a sea-breeze, for the nights are generally calm.

After the month of June the winds to the westward of Cape Londonderry are very irregular, and generally blow from the southward or south-west; they are however more constant to the westward of Buccaneer’s Archipelago, where the seabreezes blow principally from the North-West along the land.  At intervals, during the east monsoon, the wind blows strong from South-East, but only for a short time, perhaps only for a few hours.  Ships may creep along the Coast of New Holland to the eastward during the easterly monsoon, when they could not make any progress in the mid sea, without being much delayed by calms.  Towards the North-west Cape, neither the monsoon nor the South East trade are much experienced, the wind being generally from the South-West or North-West.

During the strength of the westerly monsoon, that is, in the months of December and January, the wind is regular between West-North-West and West-South-West, and, in the neighbourhood of the North-west Cape, sometimes blows hard; but even in these tropical regions, when the weather is very bad, the change is predicted by the barometer, which otherwise is scarcely affected.

In February, near the coast of New Holland, the monsoon is less constant, and the wind often blows off the land, so that a ship could make her westing, when, if more to the northward, it would be impossible for her to gain any ground.  At the latter end of February the westerly winds die away, and are succeeded by light, baffling, easterly winds, with damp, unwholesome weather, and attended occasionally by heavy squalls of wind and rain.

If a ship is detained late in the easterly monsoon, and wishes to get to the westward, she will find the wind more regular and strong from the eastward in the neighbourhood of Timor, where the easterly monsoon lasts until the first or second week in November:  in the months of September and October, to the southward of the parallel of 12 degrees, the winds are almost constant from South-West.

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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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