30th May 1770
In the P.M. I went again in search of Fresh Water, but had no better success than before; wherefore I gave over all thoughts of laying the Ship a Shore, being resolved to spend as little time as possible in a place that was likely to afford us no sort of refreshment. But as I had observed from the Hills the inlet to run a good way in, I thought this a good time to penetrate into the Country to see a little of the inland parts. Accordingly I prepared for making that Excursion in the morning, but the first thing I did was to get upon a pretty high Hill, which is at the North-West entrance of the inlet, before Sunrise, in order to take a view of the Sea Coast and Islands, etc., that lay off it, and to take their bearings, having the Azimuth Compass with me for that purpose, the Needle of which differ'd from its True position something very considerable, even above 30 degrees, in some places more, and in other less, for I try'd it in several places. I found it differ in itself above 2 points in the space of about 14 feet. The loose stones which lay upon the Ground had no effect upon the Needle; I therefore concluded that it must be owing to Iron Ore upon the Hill, visible signs of which appeared not only here, but in several other places.
As soon as I had done here I proceeded up the inlet. I set out with the first of the flood, and long before high water got about 8 Leagues up it; its breadth thus far was from 2 to 4 or 5 Miles upon a South-West by South direction; but here it spread every way, and formed a Large lake, which communicated with the Sea to the North-West. I not only saw the Sea in this direction, but found the tide of flood coming strong in from the North-West. I likewise observ'd an Arm of this Lake extending to the Eastward, and it is not at all improbable but what it Communicates with the Sea in the bottom of the bay, which lies to the Westward of Cape Townshend.* (* This is exactly what it does.) On the South side of the Lake is a ridge of pretty high hills, which I was desirous of going upon; but as the day was far spent and high water, I was afraid of being bewilder'd among the Shoals in the night, which promised to be none of the best, being already rainy, dirty weather, and therefore I made the best of my way to the Ship.
In this little Excursion I saw only 2 people, and those at a distance, and are all that we have seen in this place, but we have met with several fire places, and seen smokes at a distance. This inlet, which I have named Thirsty Sound, by reason we could find no fresh Water, lies in the Latitude of 22 degrees 05 minutes South, and Longitude 210 degrees 24 West; it may be known by a Group of small Islands Laying under the shore from 2 to 5 Leagues North-West from it.* (* Barren Islands.) There is likewise another Group of Islands laying right before it between 3 and 4 Leagues out at Sea.* (* Duke Islands.) Over each of the Points that form the Entrance is a pretty high, round Hill; that on the North-West is a Peninsula, surrounded by the Sea at high water; the distance from the one to the other is about 2 Miles bold to both Shores. Here is good Anchoring in 7, 6, 5, and 4 fathoms water, and very Convenient places for laying a Ship ashore, where at Spring Tides the tides doth not rise less than 16 or 18 feet, and flows at full and Change of the Moon about 11 o'Clock. We met with no fresh water, or any other kind of refreshments whatever; we saw 2 Turtle, but caught none, nor no sort of Fish or wild fowl, except a few small land birds. Here are the same sort of Water Fowl as we saw in Botany Bay, and like them, so shy that it is hardly possible to get within shott of them.
No signs of Fertility is to be seen upon the Land; the Soil of the up lands is mostly a hard, redish Clay, and produceth several sorts of Trees, such as we have seen before, and some others, and clear of all underwoods. All the low lands are mostly overrun with Mangroves, and at Spring tides overflow'd by the Sea; and I believe in the rainy Seasons here are large land floods, as we saw in many places Gullies, which seem'd to have been made by torrents of Water coming from the Adjacent hills, besides other Visible signs of the Water having been a Considerable height above the Common Spring Tides. Dr. Solander and I was upon a rising Ground up the inlet, which we thought had at one time or another been overflow'd by the Sea, and if so great part of the Country must at that time been laid under Water. Up in the lakes, or lagoons, I suppose, are shell fish, on which the few Natives subsist. We found Oysters sticking to most of the Rocks upon the Shore, which were so small, as not to be worth the picking off.* (* Cook was very unfortunate in his landing here. The channel is at the end of a long headland between two bays, Shoalwater Bay and Broad Sound, and was a very unlikely place either to find water or get any true idea of the country.)
Joseph Banks Journal
Went again ashore in the same place as yesterday. In attempting to penetrate farther into the countrey it was necessary to pass a swamp coverd with mangrove trees; this we attempted chearfully tho the mud under them was midleg deep, yet before we had got half way over we heartily [repented of] our undertaking: so entangled were the archd branches of those trees that we were continualy stooping and often slipping off from their slimey roots on which we steppd; we resolvd however not to retreat and in about an hour accomplishd our walk of about ¼ of a mile. Beyond this we found a place where had been 4 small fires; near them were fish bones, shells etc. that had there been roasted, and grass layd together upon which 4 or 5 people had slept as I guessd about a fortnight before. Several of our people were ashore on liberty, one of these saw a small pool of standing water which he judgd to contain about a ton. Our second lieutenant saw also a little laying in the bottom of a gully near which were the tracks of a large animal of the Deer or Guanicoe kind; he who has been in Port Desire on the Coast of South America seemd to incline to think them like the latter. Some Bustards were also seen but none of them shot; Great Plenty however of the Beautifull Loriquets seen in the last but one anchoring place were seen and killd.
The 2nd Lieutenant and one more man who were in very different places Declard that they heard the voices of Indians near them, but neither saw the People. The countrey in general appeard barren and very sandy; most of the trees were gum trees but they seemd not inclind to Yeild their gum, I saw only one tree which did. It was most destitute of fresh water, probably that was the reason why so few inhabitants were seen: it seemd to be subject to a severe rainy season, so at least we judgd by the deep gullys which we saw had been plainly washd down from hills of a small hight. Whether the sea was more fruitfull than the land We had not an opportunity to try. It did not seem to promise much as we with our hooks and lines could catch nothing, nor were there any quantity of Oysters upon the shore. The tide rose very much, how high was not measurd, but I think I may venture to guess not less at spring tides than 18 or twenty feet, perhaps much more.
The Captn and Dr Solander went today to examine the bottom of the inlet which appeard to go very far inland; they found it to increase in its width the farther they went into it, and concluded from that and some other circumstances that it was a channel which went through to the sea again. They saw two men who followd the boat along shore a good way but the tide running briskly in their favour they did not chuse to stop for them; at a distance from them far up the inlet they saw a large smoak. At night they returnd and having found neither fresh water nor any other refreshment it was resolvd to leave this place tomorrow morn.
Sydney Parkinson Journal
... we left this bay, not being able to find any fresh water, or any kind of provisions, not even fish. The bay is open to the north; is very large and deep, and capable of containing a navy at anchor. There were many creeks, that seemed to end in a lagoon; but the captain could not determine whether the inlet, that led into the country, was a river. The country about the bay is but indifferently cloathed; the trees are small; and the soil on the hills is very stony, and bare of grass under the trees. That part of the shore, which I saw, seemed to be a rock, composed of broken stones, cemented together with mud.
On our first view of this coast, we conceived the most pleasing hopes, but were unhappily disappointed. We saw only two of the Indians, but the marks of many more, and the footsteps of an animal that had a cloven hoof. We saw also many of the Yam-trees, the greater part of them having been stripped of the bark; and several sorts of ants, some of which build their nests of earth against the side of a tree, while others make them of leaves, glued together and hung upon the branches.
From a hill, at the entrance into the bay, we had thirty islands in view. Through this labyrinth of islands we passed with some difficulty, on account of the number of shoals which we met with; one of which we should have been upon, had not the men in the boat given us timely notice. We were encouraged to at-tempt a passage through them, from an expectation, we had formed, of finding one to the north side of the land.
Posted by Arborfield at 06:08