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.

In M. De Freycinet’s chart of Bass Strait, some rocky islets are placed forty miles east of Sea-Elephant Bay.  I did not succeed in finding them, although the Mermaid sailed close to their position. (See volume 1.)

The PYRAMID, at the east end of Bass Strait, is placed five miles too much to the northward:  its true situation is in latitude 39 degrees 52 minutes 40 seconds, and longitude 147 degrees 11 minutes 30 seconds.

A reef of rocks were seen by Lieutenant John Lamb, R.N., off Cape Albany Otway. (See Horsburgh volume 2 page 499.)

There appears to be a considerable difference in the positions assigned to ALBATROSS ISLAND, by the French expedition and Captain Flinders; the former made the difference between the meridian of Albatross Island, and that of the rock in Sea-Elephant Bay, 24 minutes 45 seconds; whilst by the latter it is 32 minutes 30 seconds.  But as Captain Flinders only saw the north end of KING’S ISLAND, the error seems to originate in his having laid down its eastern side from other authorities, for his difference of longitude between its north-west point and the centre of Albatross Island only differs 2 minutes 30 seconds from the French, who surveyed that island with great care.

Several sunken rocks have been discovered from time to time near the north end of GREAT ISLAND, so that ships, bound through Bass Strait to the eastward, should not pass within Craggy Island without using great caution.  The best passage is on the south side of Kent’s Group, between it and the rocky islet (WRIGHT’S ROCK) to the south-east.

In a line between the above rocky islet and Craggy Island, and about two miles from the former, is a reef with two small rocks upon it. (See Horsburgh Supp. page 32.)

There are some considerable errors in Captain Flinders’ chart of Van Diemen’s Land, with respect to the latitudes of the South-west Cape, the Mewstone, the South cape, and the land between them.  The first is laid down 8 minutes too much to the North 30 degrees West (true) and the other places in proportion.  The corrected situations are given in the second volume of this work.





ELIZABETH’S REEF (see Horsburgh’s Supp. page 52) in latitude 30 degrees 5 minutes, and longitude 159 degrees, was discovered by the ships Claudine and Marquis of Hastings, on the 16th of May, 1820.  Within two cables’ length of the reef, they found fourteen fathoms; at a quarter of a mile off the depth was twenty-five fathoms, but beyond that the bottom was not reached.  It is about three miles in circuit, with deep water in the centre:  the edge is covered, but some straggling rocky lumps show at intervals above the surface of the water.  The east side of the reef extends about North-North-East and South-South-West for one mile, but the greatest extent seemed to be West-North-West and East-South-East.

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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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