This strait likewise presents another advantage. From the prevalence of the NE and easterly winds off the South Cape, many suppose that a passage may be made from thence to the westward, either to the Cape of Good Hope, or to India; but the fear of the great unknown bight between the South Cape and the SW Cape of Lewen’s land, lying in about 35 degrees south and 113 degrees east, has hitherto prevented the trial being made. Now the strait removes a part of this danger, by presenting a certain place of retreat, should a gale oppose itself to the ship in the first part of the essay; and should the wind come at SW she need not fear making a good stretch to the WNW, which course, if made good, is within a few degrees of going clear of all. There is besides King George the Third’s Sound, discovered by Captain Vancouver, situate in the latitude of 35 degrees 03 minutes south, and longitude 118 degrees 12 minutes east; and it is to be hoped, that a few years will disclose many others upon the coast, as well as the confirmation or futility of the conjecture*, that a still larger than Bass Strait dismembers New Holland.
[* To verify or confute this conjecture, Lieutenant, now Captain Flinders (from whose journal these observations on the advantages of the strait are taken), has lately sailed in his Majesty’s ship Investigator. He is accompanied by several professional men of great abilities, selected by that liberal and distinguished patron of merit Sir Joseph Banks, from whose exertions, joined with those of the commander, navigation and natural history have much information and gratification to expect. The Investigator is to be attended by the Lady Nelson, a small vessel of fifty tons burden, built under the inspection and according to the plan of that truly respectable and valuable man, and scientific officer, Commissioner Schank, whose abilities are too well known to require any eulogium from this pen.]
The vessel that has the credit of having first circumnavigated Van Diemen’s land was built at Norfolk Island, of the fir of that country, which was found to answer extremely well. Being only five-and-twenty tons in burden, her comforts and accommodation must have been very inconsiderable, but great when compared with those which could have been found in a whale boat. Yet in a whale boat did Mr. Bass, as has been already shown, run down the eastern coast of New South Wales from Port Jackson to the entrance of the strait. Captain Flinders has not the gratification of associating this gentleman with him in his present expedition, he having sailed on another voyage and a different pursuit.
Information from Norfolk Island
A burglary committed
The criminal court assembled
A man tried for killing a native
Two men executed
The public gaol burnt
Stills ordered to be seized