The currents are stronger according to the regularity and strength of the wind, and generally set at the rate of one or one knot and a half. The tides in this part of the coast are noticed in the description of the places where they were observed. High water at full and change takes place at:
The anchorage off Vansittart Bay at 9 hours 15 minutes.
In Montagu Sound at 12 hours 00 minutes.
In Careening Bay at 12 hours 00 minutes.
In Prince Regent’s River at 12 hours 20 minutes.
The rise of the tide, to the westward of Cape Van Diemen, and particularly to the westward of Cape Bougainville, appeared gradually to increase: the greatest that we experienced was in the vicinity of Buccaneer’s Archipelago; and at the anchorage in Camden Bay the tide rose thirty-seven feet; occasioned probably by the intersected nature of the coast.
The variation in this interval is almost too trifling to be noticed for the purposes of common navigation. Between Capes Londonderry and Van Diemen it varies between 1/4 and 1 degree East. Between the former and Careening Bay it was between 1 and 1 1/2 degrees East; at Careening Bay the mean of the observations gave 3/4 of a degree West; but to the westward of that, as far as Cape Villaret, the results of the observations varied between 1 degree East and 1 degree West. Near the North-west Cape, and to the eastward of it as far as Depuch Island, it is about two degrees Westerly.
On the south-side of Clarence Strait the land is low, like the coast to the eastward. PATERSON BAY appeared to be the mouth of a river, but it was not examined. The opening to the eastward of the projecting point that forms the eastern side of Paterson Bay, seemed to be a good port; and to have an inlet at its bottom trending to the South-East.
CAPE GROSE, in latitude 12 degrees 32 minutes 40 seconds, and longitude 131 degrees 26 minutes, is the western head of Paterson Bay: it is fronted by reefs that extend for a considerable distance into the sea; their extremity is nearly nine miles north from the cape.
Hence the coast extends low and sandy to POINT BLAZE, to the northward of which there is a bay: to the south the shore is wooded, and trends for eighteen miles to the north entrance of Anson Bay, which is formed by PERON ISLANDS; these are low and sandy; at the extremity of the northern island, there is a sandy peak in latitude 13 degrees 6 minutes 30 seconds, and longitude 131 degrees 1 minute 20 seconds: the south end is overrun with mangroves, and it appeared very doubtful whether a channel existed between it and the smaller island, which is entirely surrounded by mangroves. This entrance to the bay is very intricate, and useless, since that to the south of the islands is so much better. Anson’s Bay affords good anchorage, and probably has a small rivulet at the bottom.
CAPE FORD, in latitude 13 degrees 24 minutes 35 seconds, longitude 130 degrees 52 minutes 20 seconds, has a reef projecting for three miles from it: hence the coast trends round to the southward for thirty miles to a bay, which also has a small opening at the bottom; five miles inland there is a range of hills, on which two, of flat-topped summits, are conspicuous; and, at a distance, assume the appearance of islands. They are the Barthelemy Hills.