On writing a memoir of the craft summary of the cask

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On writing a memoir of the craft summary of the cask

A few moments were sufficient to enable us all to recollect ourselves: The custom had always been for the other boat to lie off until I made the signal for them to run in, and it accordingly was now waiting outside the breakers. Her crew had not seen our misfortunes owing to the height of the on writing a memoir of the craft summary of the cask, which, when we were under it, shut us out from their view, and now perceiving that we were on shore and the boat hauled up, they concluded all was right; and notwithstanding I made every possible sign to them not to beach, running as far as I could venture into the sea and shouting out to them, my voice was drowned by the roar of the surge, and I saw them bounding on to, what I thought, certain destruction.

We of course were all turned to render assistance. They fortunately kept rather to the south of the spot on which we had beached, and where it was much less rocky, so that the danger they incurred in reaching the shore was slight in comparison to ours; yet some of the planks of this boat were split throughout their entire length.

Whilst all hands were employed in endeavouring to repair damages I ascended a hill to reconnoitre our present position and found we were in a country of a pleasing and romantic appearance, and although the land was not good the nature of the soil made me aware that we were most probably in the vicinity of a large tract of better quality; indeed this was the only part of South-west Australia in which I had met with the ancient red sandstone of the north-west coast; immediately behind the sandhills on which I stood was a thick Casuarina scrub which sloped down into a deep valley, and beyond this rose lofty and fantastic hills.

After I had for some time looked round on this scene I returned to the party and received the report of the carpenters, who, having examined the boats, stated their inability to render either of them fit for sea.

To this I had already made up my mind; and even if the boats had been uninjured I doubt whether we could ever have got them off again through the tremendous surf which was breaking on this part of the shore; whilst to have moved them to any distance would, in our present weak and enfeebled state, have been utterly impossible.

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No resource was now left to us but to endeavour to reach Perth by walking; yet when I looked at the sickly faces of some of the party and saw their wasted forms I much doubted if they retained strength to execute such a task; but they themselves were in high spirits and talked of the undertaking as a mere trifle.

I gave orders for the necessary preparations to be made and then started with two or three hands to search for water. On reaching the valley I have before mentioned we found a small stream, and following this to the northward for about a mile came out upon one of the most romantic and picturesque-looking estuaries I had yet seen: We did not indeed find much good land about this estuary, but there were rich flats upon each side of it, whilst the nature of the rocks and the lofty and peculiar character of the distant hills gave promise of the most fertile region I had yet seen in extra-tropical Australia.

We followed the shores of the estuary to the northward and eastward until we saw a point where it appeared to separate into two branches.

The natives decamped as soon as they observed us coming, and Kaiber, who watched them with the most intense interest, indulged in various speculations as to the number they would bring back when they returned.

on writing a memoir of the craft summary of the cask

We joined the party and traced the shores of the estuary to its mouth, which turned out to be the opening we saw in the morning: Owing to this reef there are no breakers on the bar, but its mouth is very narrow and so shoal that I doubt if a boat could be got in at any other time than high water: The men not having quite completed their preparations for starting, I moved off at dawn to resume the survey of Gantheaume Bay and its vicinity.

The estuary appeared this morning even more lovely than yesterday, and as the heavy morning mists arose, unfolding its beauties to our view, all those feelings came thrilling through my mind which explorers alone can know; flowering shrubs and trees, drooping foliage, a wide and placid expanse of water met the view; trickling springs and fertile flats were passed over by us; there was much barren land visible in the distance, though many a sign and token might lead the practical explorer to hope that he was about to enter upon a tract of an extent and fertility yet unknown in south-west Australia.

A total change had taken place in the geological formation of the land: Each step I took rendered my spirits more buoyant and elastic, and each hill, the position of which I fixed, gave me, from its appearance, renewed hopes.

Under such agreeable circumstances the morning wore rapidly away, and, having rendered my survey as complete as I could, we returned to the boats. We were now all ready to commence our toilsome journey; the provisions had been shared out; twenty pounds of flour and one pound of salt provisions per man, being all that was left.

What I have here designated by the name of flour was quite unworthy of being so called. It was of a dark yellowish brown colour, and had such a sour fermented taste that nothing but absolute necessity could induce anyone to eat it.

The party however were in high spirits; they talked of a walk of three hundred miles in a direct line through the country without taking hills, valleys, and necessary deviations into account as a trifle, and in imagination were already feasting at home and taking their ease after the toils they had undergone.

I gave them all warning of the many difficulties they had yet to encounter, and did this not with the intention of damping their ardour but in the hope of inducing them to abandon some portion of the loads they intended to carry.

I entrusted a small pocket chronometer to Mr. Coles and Auger also undertook to carry a large sextant, turn about; all my own papers, such charts as I thought necessary, and some smaller instruments I bore myself; but Kaiber, in order to relieve me, took charge of my gun and some other articles.

Smith carried his sketchbook and box of colours. I ought here to state that, in all the difficulties which beset those individuals to whom I entrusted anything, they never, except on one occasion, and by my orders, abandoned it: Our loads having been hoisted on our shoulders away we moved.

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I had before chosen my line of route, and the plan I had resolved to adopt was to walk on slowly but continuously for an hour, and then to halt for ten minutes; during which interval of time the men could rest and relieve themselves from the weight of their burdens whilst I could enter what notes and bearings I had taken during the preceding hour.

We were embarrassed for the first portion of our journey this afternoon by a thick scrub, through which we could only make our way with great difficulty, but on coming to a watercourse running into the southern part of Gantheaume Bay from the south-east I turned up its bed, and we were then able to move along with tolerable facility.

This watercourse ran at the bottom of a red sandstone ravine resembling the old red sandstone of England; and the remainder of the evening was spent in clambering about the rocks and endeavouring to avoid such natural obstacles as impeded our route.

Our progress was slow, and just before nightfall I turned up a branch ravine trending to the southward, when we soon found ourselves at the foot of a lofty cascade down which a little water was slowly dropping; and on climbing to its summit it appeared to be so well adapted for a halting-place for the night that I determined to remain here.

The men made themselves comfortable near the waterholes, and Mr. Smith and myself crept into a little cave which occasionally served as a resting-place for the natives, the remains of whose fires were scattered about.

A wild woodland and rocky scenery was around us; and when the moon rose and shed her pale light over all I sat with Mr. Smith on the edge of the waterfall, gazing alternately into the dim woody abyss below, and at the red fires and picturesque groups of men, than which fancy could scarcely image a wilder scene.

Before the day had fully dawned we were under weigh. Our course for the first mile or two was embarrassed by ravines and scrub similar to that we had yesterday met with; our progress was therefore very slow, but we at length emerged on elevated sandy downs, thickly clothed with banksia trees, and across these we came upon a well-beaten native path running to the south by east, which was exactly our line of route.

We had not followed this path for more than four miles when we found a most romantically-situated native well, surrounded by shrubs and graceful wattle trees, and of a depth and size such as we had never before observed. Here then we seated ourselves, and upon such scanty fare as we had made a sparing breakfast.L.A.

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on writing a memoir of the craft summary of the cask

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