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An Historical Journal of the Transactions at Port

34' east the northernmost land bore north by west


We

had very heavy gales of wind from east until the 28th, with violent squalls, attended with rain: the air in general thick and hazy, and a high hollow sea running. At one o'clock on the 28th, we perceived a great alteration in the sea, which was become so smooth, that at four o'clock it was, comparatively speaking, smooth water: at half past five, the man who was stationed at the mast-head, saw breakers in the south-east, which were found to be a shoal, bearing from south-east by east to east-south-east, about seven miles distant: it appeared to trend south-south-east and north-north-west; and the north end seemed to break off suddenly in a small bluff.

The man at the mast-head had seen this shoal a considerable time before he spoke of it, and, when asked why he did not mention it sooner, he said that he took it for the reflection of the setting-sun; forgetting that the sun, if it had been visible, set to the westward: this circumstance occasioned Lieutenant Ball to name it "-Booby shoal:-" its latitude is 21 deg. 24' south, and the longitude, by the time-keeper, 159 deg. 24' east of Greenwich. Immediately after passing this shoal, we found the same high hollow sea running as we had in the morning.

At noon on the 3d of May, our latitude was 12 deg. 13' south, and the longitude, by the time-keeper, 161 deg. 33' east. We were now drawing near the situation in which Lieutenant Shortland had discovered land, and

being surrounded by birds, and a number of trees floating about the vessel, we were induced to suppose ourselves not far distant from it. In the evening of the 4th we sounded, but got no ground with 150 fathoms of line. The next morning high land was seen, bearing from north-north-west to west-north-west, seven or eight leagues distant; it seemed to trend about north-north-east, and south-south-west. At noon, the latitude was 11 deg. 7' south, and the longitude 162 deg. 34' east: the northernmost land bore north by west, five leagues distant: it appeared like a small island covered with trees; and in the center of it there is a conspicuous mount, formed by some very high trees: the land to the west-ward, which extends from this island as far as north-west a quarter north, is low, and in clumps like islands. The weather now was very hot and sultry, with dark heavy clouds all round the horizon: we had also a great deal of thunder and lightning, attended with heavy rain.

In the afternoon of the 6th, we perceived the northernmost land to be two small islands, which appeared to trend north-north-east and south-south-west; the main land lying a little to the westward of them. The easternmost of these two islands Lieutenant Ball named Sirius's-Island; it is situated in 10 deg. 52' south latitude, and 162 deg. 30' east longitude: the other was named Massey's-Island. We observed by the land, that a very strong current, or tide, set us fast to the northward. It is unfortunate that the changeable state of the wind and weather did not permit us to range this coast, by hauling in with the land, as something might have probably been discovered, without occasioning any loss of time. In the evening we had very heavy squalls, attended with rain, thunder, and lightning.

At eight o'clock the next morning, we saw land, which had the appearance of a large high island, lying along the shore: Lieutenant Ball named it Smith's-Island; it is situated in 9 deg. 44' south latitude, and 161 deg. 54' east longitude. On the 8th, at day-light, the land bore from west by south to south by west, seven or eight leagues distant: Smith's Island then bearing south-south-east ten leagues.


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