A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 13 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 687 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 13.

SECTION XXVIII.

The Run from New Zealand to Botany Bay, on the East Coast of New Holland, now called New South Wales; various Incidents that happened there; with some Account of the Country and its Inhabitants.

Having sailed from Cape Farewell, which lies in latitude 40 deg. 33’ S., longitude 186 deg.  W., on Saturday the 31st of March, 1770, we steered westward, with a fresh gale at N.N.E., and at noon on the 2d of April, our latitude, by observation, was 40 deg., our longitude from Cape Farewell 2 deg. 31’ W.

In the morning of the 9th, being in latitude 38 deg. 29’ S. we saw a tropic bird which in so high a latitude is very uncommon.

In the morning of the 10th, being in latitude 38 deg. 51’ S., longitude 202 deg. 43’ W., we found the variation, by the amplitude, to be 11 deg. 25’ E. and by the azimuth 11 deg. 20’.

In the morning of the 11th, the variation was 13 deg. 48’, which is two degrees and a half more than the day before, though I expected to have found it less.

In the course of the 13th, being in latitude 39 deg. 23’ S., longitude 204 deg. 2’ W., I found the variation to be 12 deg. 27’ E., and in the morning of the 14th, it was 11 deg. 30’; this day we also saw some flying fish.  On the 15th, we saw an egg bird and a gannet, and as these are birds that never go far from the land, we continued to sound all night, but had no ground with 130 fathom.  At noon on the 16th, we were in latitude 39 deg. 45’ S., longitude 208 deg.  W. At about two o’clock the wind came about to the W.S.W. upon which we tacked and stood to the N.W.; soon after, a small land-bird perched upon the rigging, but we had no ground with 120 fathom.  At eight we wore and stood to the southward till twelve at night, and then wore and stood to the N.W. till four in the morning, when we again stood to the southward, having a fresh gale at W.S.W. with squalls and dark weather till nine, when the weather became clear, and there being little wind, we had an opportunity to take several observations of the sun and moon, the mean result of which gave 207 deg. 56’ W. longitude:  Our latitude at noon was 39 deg. 36’ S. We had now a hard gale from the southward, and a great sea from the same quarter, which obliged us to run under our fore-sail and mizen all night, during which we sounded every two hours, but had no ground with 120 fathom.

In the morning of the 18th, we saw two Port Egmont hens, and a pintado bird, which are certain signs of approaching land, and indeed by our reckoning we could not be far from it, for our longitude was now one degree to the westward of the east side of Van Diemen’s land, according to the longitude laid down by Tasman, whom we could not suppose to have erred much in so short a run as from this land to New Zealand, and by our latitude we could not be above fifty or fifty-five leagues from the place whence he took his departure.  All this day we had frequent squalls and a great swell.  At one in the morning we brought-to and sounded, but had no ground with 130 fathom; at six we saw land extending from N.E. to W. at the distance of five or six leagues, having eighty fathom, water with a fine sandy bottom.

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