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Voyages in the Southern Hemisphere, Vol. IVoyaging Accounts
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From Bonthain to Batavia, and Cape of Good Hope


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CHAP. XII. Passage from Bonthain Bay, in the Island of Celebes, to Batavia. Transactions there, and the Voyage round of Good Hope to England.

When we left Bonthain Bay, we kept along the shore, at the distance of two or three miles, till evening, and then anchored for the night, in the passage between the two islands of Celebes and Tonikaky, in seven fathom and a half, with a bottom of soft mud. The next morning, we got again under sail, and took our departure from Tonikaky, which, according to my account, lies in latitude 5 3I S, longitude I17° 17 E.; the variation here was 1 ° W. We went to the southward of Tonikaky, and stood to the westward. About three o'clock in the afternoon, we were abreast of the eastermost of the islands which in the Dutch charts are called Tonyns Islands. This island bore from us about N. by W. at the distance of four miles, and the two westermost were in sight. These three islands make a kind of right angle triangle with each other: the distance between the eastermost and westermost is about eleven miles, and their relative bearings are very nearly east and west. The distance between the two westermost is nearly the same, and they bear to each other S. by E. and N. by W. About six o'clock,, having just sounded, and got no ground, we suddenly found ourselves upon a shoal, with not three fathom, and the water being smooth and clear, we could see great crags or coral rocks under our bottom: we immediately threw all the sails aback, and happily got off without damage: we had just passed over the eastermost edge of it, which is as steep as a wall, for we had not gone back two cables' length before we were out of soundings again. At this time, we had the two westermost of the Tonyn islands in one, bearing N. by W. at the distance of somewhat more than four miles from the nearest. This is a very dangerous shoal, and is not laid down in any chart that I have seen: it seemed to extend itself to the southward and westward, all round the two westermost of these three islands, for near six miles, but about the eastermost island there seemed to be no danger; there was also a clear passage between this island and the other two. The latitude of the eastermost and westermost of these islands is 5 31 S. The eastermost is distant thirty-four miles due west from Tonikaky, and the westermost lies ten miles farther.


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© Derived from Volume I of the London 1773 Edition: National Library of Australia call no. FERG 7243, pages 649 - 650, 2004
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