We continued standing westward, with the wind at S.S.W. till eight, when we made all the sail we could, and bore away along the shore N.E. for the eastermost land in sight, being at this time in latitude 37 deg. 58’ S., and longitude 210 deg. 39’ W. The southermost point of land in sight, which bore from us W. 1/4 S., I judged to lie in latitude 38 deg., longitude 211 deg. 7’, and gave it the name of Point Hicks, because Mr Hicks, the first lieutenant, was the first who discovered it. To the southward of this Point no land was to be seen, though it was very clear in that quarter, and by our longitude, compared with that of Tasman, not as it is laid down in the printed charts, but in the extracts from Tasman’s journal, published by Rembrantse, the body of Van Diemen’s land ought to have borne due south; and indeed, from the sudden falling of the sea after the wind abated, I had reason to think it did; yet as I did not see it, and as I found this coast trend N.E. and S.W. or rather more to the eastward, I cannot determine whether it joins to Van Diemen’s land or not.
[Footnote 69: This part of geography has been a good deal improved since Cook’s time, as will be illustrated in progress. Van Diemen’s land, which was formerly reckoned a part of New Holland, and is marked as such in the accompanying chart, is separated from it by Bass’s Strait, which is about 30 leagues in breadth,’ and contains several groups of islands. Of these more hereafter.—E.]
At noon, we were in latitude 370 deg. 5’, longitude 210 deg. 29’ W. The extremes of the land extended from N.W. to E.N.E. and a remarkable point bore N. 20 E. at the distance of about four leagues. This point rises in a round hillock, very much resembling the Ram-Head at the entrance of Plymouth Sound, and therefore I called it by the same name. The variation by an azimuth, taken this morning, was 3 deg. 7’ E.; and what we had now seen of the land, appeared low and level: The sea-shore was a white sand, but the country within was green and woody. About one o’clock, we saw three water spouts at once; two were between us and the shore, and the third at some distance, upon our larboard quarter: This phenomenon is so well known, that it is not necessary to give a particular description of it here.
At six o’clock in the evening, we shortened sail, and brought-to for the night, having fifty-six fathom water, and a fine sandy bottom. The northermost land in sight then bore N. by E. 1/2 E., and a small island lying close to a point on the main bore W. distant two leagues. This point, which I called Cape Howe, may be known by the trending of the coast, which is north on the one side, and south-west on the other; it may also be known by some round hills upon the main, just within it.