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Voyages in the Southern Hemisphere, Vol. IVoyaging Accounts
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From Egmont Island to Nova Britannia


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From Egmont Island to Nova Britannia (continued)

From the time of our leaving Egmont Island, we had observed a current setting strongly to the southward, and in the neighbourhood of these islands we found its force greatly increased: this determined me, when I sailed from Gowers Island, to steer N.W. fearing we might otherwise fall in with the main land too far to the southward for if we had got into any gulph or deep bay, our crew was so sickly, and our ship so bad, that it would have been, impossible for us to have got out again.

About eight o'clock in the morning of the 22d, as we were continuing our course with a fine fresh gale, Patrick Dwyer, one of the marines, who was doing something over the ships quarter, by some accident missed his hold and fell into the sea; we instantly threw overboard the canoe which we had seized at Gowers island, brought the ship to, and hoisted out the cutter with all possible expedition, but the poor fellow, though remarkably strong and healthy, sunk at once, and we saw him no more. We took the canoe on board again, but she had received so much, damage by striking against one of the guns, as the people were hoisting her overboard, that we were obliged to cut her up.

In the night of Monday the 24th, we fell in with nine islands; they stretch nearly N.W. by W. and S.E. by E. about fifteen leagues, and lie in latitude 4° 36' S., longitude 154° 17' E. according to the ships account. I imagine these to be the islands which are called Ohang Java, and were discovered by Tasman; for the situation answers very nearly to their place in the French chart, which in the year 1756 was corrected for the King S ships. The other islands, Carterets, Gowers, and Simpsons, I believe had never been seen by an European navigator before. There is certainly much land in this part of the ocean not yet known.

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© Derived from Volume I of the London 1773 Edition: National Library of Australia call no. FERG 7243, page 586, 2004
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