Saturday, 31st March, 1770

Saturday, 31st. In the P.M., after rowing a League and a half or 2 Leagues up the Bay, I Landed upon a point of Land on the West side, where, from an Eminency, I could see this Western Arm of the Bay run in South-West by West, about 5 Leagues farther, yet did not see the Head of it. There appeared to be several other inlets, or at least small bays, between this and the North-West head of Queen Charlotte’s sound, in every one of which I make no doubt but what there is Anchorage and Shelter for Shipping, as they are partly cover’d from the Sea wind by these Islands that lay without them. The land about this bay, at least what I could see of it, is of a very hilly, uneven Surface, and appears to be mostly cover’d with wood, Shrubs, Firns, etc., which renders Travelling both difficult and Fatiguing. I saw no inhabitants, neither have we seen any since we have been in this bay, but met with several of their Huts, all of which appear’d to have been at least 12 Months deserted.

Upon my return to the Ship, in the Evening, I found the Water, etc., all on board, and the Ship ready for Sea; and being now resolv’d to quit this Country altogether, and to bend my thought towards returning home by such a rout as might Conduce most to the Advantage of the Service I am upon, I consulted with the Officers upon the most Eligible way of putting this in Execution. To return by the way of Cape Horn was what I most wished, because by this rout we should have been able to prove the Existance or Non-Existance of a Southern Continent, which yet remains Doubtfull; but in order to Ascertain this we must have kept in a higher Latitude in the very Depth of Winter, but the Condition of the Ship, in every respect, was not thought sufficient for such an undertaking. For the same reason the thoughts of proceeding directly to the Cape of Good Hope was laid aside, especially as no discovery of any Moment could be hoped for in that rout. It was therefore resolved to return by way of the East Indies by the following rout: upon Leaving this Coast to steer to the Westward until we fall in with the East Coast of New Holland, and then to follow the direction of that Coast to the Northward, or what other direction it might take us, until we arrive at its Northern extremity; and if this should be found impracticable, then to Endeavour to fall in with the Land or Islands discovered by Quiros.

With this view, at daylight we got under Sail and put to Sea, having the Advantage of a fresh Gale at South-East and Clear weather. At Noon the Island, which lies off the North-West point of the Bay, bore East 9 degrees South, distant 10 Miles; our Latitude, by Observation, was 40 degrees 35 minutes South. This bay I have named Admiralty Bay; the North-West point Cape Stephens, and the East Point Jackson, after the 2 Secretarys. It may always be known by the Island above mentioned, which is pretty high, and lies North-East, 2 Miles from Cape Stephens; Latitude 40 degrees 37 minutes South; Longitude 185 degrees 6 minutes West. Between this Island and Cape Farewell, which is West by North and East by South, distant 14 or 15 Leagues from each other, the Shore forms a large deep Bay, the bottom of which we could hardly see in sailing in a Strait line from the one Cape to the other; but it is not at all improbable but what it is all lowland next the Sea, as we have met with less water here than on any other part of the Coast at the same distance from Land; however, a Bay there is, and is known on the Chart by the Name of Blind Bay, but I have reason to believe it to be Tasman’s Murderers’ Bay.

Before I quit this land altogether I shall give a short general discription of the Country, its inhabitants, their manners, Customs, etc., in which it is necessary to observe that many things are founded only on Conjecture, for we were too short a time in any one place to learn much of their interior policy, and therefore could only draw conclusions from what we saw at different times.


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