Monday 10 October 1836

[, on board the wrote. | Read source notes.]

10 October-Moderate breezes and cloudy. At half past six heaving up, the sheet cable was so foul of the larboard anchor as to cause much delay, and we were not fairly under way before ten, when we proceeded down the coast in search of the river the native woman had mentioned. At half past one p.m. hove to abreast of the river, and sent Mr Pullen in the gig to examine the entrance. At ten past two he returned, and reported his seeing a large river for some distance, but the bar of sand having such a surf over it that he was nearly upset. Again disappointed in my hopes of finding Jones’s harbour, I now felt fully convinced that no such thing could exist on this coast, at least as described by him. Captain Jones’s account says:

There are several other streams of fine water all along the eastern side of the Gulf St. Vincent. Sturt River is always open to the sea, but the others are closed by a bar of sand during the summer, through which the water filters. The inlet (mis-called by Sturt Sixteen-mile Creek) is a stream of fresh water, and is much deeper and wider than the rest. About fifteen or twenty miles north of this river, he discovered a fine harbour, sheltered by an island at its entrance; the southern passage through which he entered is about one mile wide, with three and a half to four fathoms water; he anchored here in three and a half fathoms, and remained a day and a night. He did not land on the main, but was on shore on the island, which is about three miles in circumference; it is sandy, but there is an abundance of fresh water on it, as well as some streams running into the harbour from the main land.

At three p.m. the wind setting in from the S.W. and the weather looking bad, we bore up, and at six came to an anchor about two miles to the southward of our last anchorage. An extraordinary appearance took place in the sky in the N.E., about half past five p.m., a column of beautiful crimson was seen right up and down with well defined edges, in length about three degrees, and twenty or thirty minutes wide, the lower extremity about five degrees from the horizon; it had a beautiful and extraordinary effect, and lasted for about ten minutes, when it suddenly disappeared.

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