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.
it is a sharp point, fronted by a shoal, and the channel is on the eastern side of the river, with thirteen feet water.  Here the river widens and forms a basin, two miles and a half wide:  a little above this the river is blocked up by shoals and islets (HEIRISSON ISLES) between which the depth is not more than two or three feet, but afterwards deepens gradually from five to fifteen feet:  the banks of the river are then not more than one-third of a mile wide, and then continue in a serpentine course, with a channel from seven to ten feet deep, and free from shoals, as far as the French boats examined it.  The stream of the river ran very slowly, and winds through a valley, one side of which is abrupt and precipitous, and when it ceases to be so on one side, the heights immediately appear on the other.”

In front of this river is a group of islands, of which two only are of large size, namely, ROTTNEST and BUACHE.  We anchored on the north side of the former, but broke the fluke, from the rocky nature of the bottom.  On the North-East side of the island, the anchorage is better, since it is more sheltered.  Rottnest Island is five miles long:  it was discovered by Vlaming in 1696.  Its shores are very rocky and difficult to land upon, particularly those of its northern side, which is fronted by rocks.  Off its north point there are some rocky islets, and on the north-east side a convenient landing place in a sandy bay, where boats may put ashore with great facility.  The island is covered with a pine-like tree, which is very good for fire-wood, but no fresh water was found in any part; the French were equally unsuccessful in their search.  The north-east point of Rottnest Island is in 31 degrees 59 minutes 30 seconds South, and 115 degrees 31 minutes 12 seconds East; and the variation 4 degrees 50 minutes West.

BUACHE ISLAND, according to Captain De Freycinet’s account (page 170) is equally difficult to land upon; it is well wooded, but destitute of fresh water.

To the south of CAPE PERON is a long range of sandy coast, for seventy miles, to GEOGRAPHE BAY, which is open and exposed to the northward and north-west; its western head is formed by Cape Naturaliste, a rocky point, in latitude 33 degrees 27 minutes 30 seconds, and longitude 114 degrees 57 minutes 53 seconds, beyond which the coast extends to the southward, without any bays to Cape Leeuwin.  Off the cape is Naturaliste Reef, in latitude 33 degrees 12 minutes, and longitude 114 degrees 59 minutes 8 seconds; it was seen by the French expedition.  The land is here of a moderate height, but of level aspect.  There is a remarkable patch of bare sand, in latitude 34 degrees 12 minutes, and longitude 114 degrees 57 minutes.  It is the Tache blanche remarquable of De Freycinet’s chart.  It lies about seven miles from the south extreme of the island.




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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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