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10 corrections, most recently by sandra.grinter - Show corrections


I have honor to be THOS. LIPSON, Harbour Master. George Hall. Esq. Private Secretary.

The following letter from Captain Lipson appears in Thursday's Gazette —     Custom House, 29th May, 1840. Sir — Having been directed to sound and examine Thorny Passage, I have the honor to lay before His Excellency the soundings and observa- tions I have been able to make, and such directions as I think may be found useful to strangers bound to Port Lincoln or Port Adelaide. In Flinders' Chart there is a rock marked between William's and Smith's Island, said to be breaking at times. I had a most favorable opportunity, and took every pains to discover it, but saw nothing of the kind. The master of a French whaler lying in Memory Cove, who was fishing there the last season, said he had been through in the direction, and did not believe there was any rock between the above mentioned islands. North by west, one mile and a half from the north end of Thistle Island, is a large flat rock   that may be seen two or three miles from a ship's deck; and north three miles (where there is a   rock marked in the Chart) is a reef with six feet     water on it at half-tide, and does not shew above   water. It is therefore necessary to be very cau-   tious, and not take the rock that is seen above water for the one on the Chart; as passing that   at what would be considered a safe distance would lead a ship on the reef. I passed through the ripple marked by Flinders, between Little and Hopkin's Islands, where it is supposed he lost his boat's crew. Small vessels must avoid going through it. In bad weather the sea must be tremendous; it is occasioned by the   tide and the sudden change of soundings (from eighteen to twelve, ten, and nine fathoms,) but   quite clear otherwise.   About three miles from the entrance of Thorny Passage, is Memory Cove, where six or seven ships     of the largest size may lie sheltered, and have           seven fathoms, within a few yards of the head of   the cove.   There is also an extensive fine bay, between Taylor's Island and the shore, where any number       of ships may anchor—indeed, there is sheltered anchorage anywhere, if required, from Taylor's Island to Cape Dorington, at a fair distance from the shore. Ships coming from the westward should run in the latitude 35° 35' until they make Kangaroo Island. If bound for Port Lincoln, and going through Thorny Passage, shape their course for         William's Island, giving Neptune's Island a berth, which may be seen four of five leagues; having   William's Island on the starboard hand, proceed on to East Point, and enter the passage between     it and Smith's Island; make the fair way up, by       keeping the shore aboard, which is steep close to, leaving all the isalnds on the starboard hand,     except Taylor's Island, which will make a [?]   course by leaving it on the larboard hand. When to the northward of Taylor's Island, proceed along           share for Cape Dorington. [?] Cape is a small island, with a very good channel (though narrow)   between it and the cape, with five fathoms. In going through it borrow towards the island. In proceeding to Boston Bay, the south end of   Boston Island may be rounded pretty close; but           in going through the North Passage, give the   north point a berth of half a mile, as the water shoals off it in a north-east direction. All round Boston Bay the soundings are good and clear. Ships leaving Cape Dorington, and bound to the eastward, will find a south-east course carry       them well between the shoals, until they see the wedge, which they had leave on the larboard hand and give it a good berth, as the peaked rocks run some distance off.   In running up Investigator's Strait, make Point Marsden and the high land about Cape Jarvis,     and keep it aboard, which will ensure a berth from   Troubridge Shoal; as it is impossible to say,   having Backstairs Passage open, what may be the influence of the tide. Proceed up the gulf in ten and eleven fathoms. Holdfast Bay is due west of Mount Lofty; near the beach is a flag staff, rigged     as the mast of a ship; this staff bearing east, or opposite to it, in five fathoms, or two miles and a   half from the beach, is the best anchorage for large ships. Ships bound for the Port must run twelve miles higher up, taking car not to come within five fathoms as the water shoals some distance off, above Holdfast Bay. The Pilot Station is between   the Bay and the bar, where there is a staff with a flag on it. When opposite this, will be seen a large beacon buoy, with a ball on it, pointing the fair way to the passage over the bar. If it should be dark, or any other circumstance prevent the Pilot getting on board, they may anchor, but not in less than five fathoms, which   will be about two miles and a half from the beach.   When at anchor in any part of the Gulf, it is highly necessary to give a great length of chain in good time; and if the gale comes on, give all the chain possible, and keep from letting go the second anchor, which conflues the ship in a ground swell, and makes her strain. Ships not drawing more   than fourteen feet may then proceed to the Pilot Station.