AT DAYBREAK ON the 18th [8 April] we stood in for the coast in order to continue our work. But it was ten o'clock before we could begin, as we found ourselves further off shore than our overnight depth had seemed to indicate. We steered North-East to within a short league of the land. This brought us into another broad, deep bay with as little of interest as those we had visited up to that time. To get out of it, we had to steer successively from North-East to North-West by West. The entire stretch of coast that we have examined since yesterday consists solely of sand- hills and inspires nothing but gloom and disappointment. Quite apart from the unpleasant view that it offers, the sea breaks with extraordinary force all along the shore, and two or three swells preceding the breakers indicate that there is a bar there which must reach at least half a mile out to sea.
The look-out men at the mast-heads and the curious who wanted to climb up there reported that the hinterland was nothing but arid sand for as far as the eye could see, with no vegetation.
The coast that we explored on this day had, however, an advantage over that of yesterday: the water was much deeper and the bottom regular. Although only a bare league off shore, we never had less than 16 fathoms when doubling the points of the small coves along it and 19 to 20 on either side of them.
At midday the latitude observed was 36° 1' 10" and the chronometer put us in 137° 9' 40" of longitude.
In the afternoon we continued along a stretch of coast consisting entirely of sand-hills. But towards three o'clock we began to see some high terrain which looked as if it must be pleasant. Shortly after, we sighted a ship which we thought at first could only be the Naturaliste, for we were far from thinking that there would be any other Europeans in this region and at this time of the year. Nevertheless, we were greatly mistaken, for as we drew near her, we realised from her masts and size that she was not our consort. Finally, at five o'clock, when we were both able to see each other clearly, this ship inade a signal which we did not understand and so did not answer. She then ran up the English flag and shortened sail. We, for our part, hoisted the national flag, and I braced sharp up to draw alongside her. As they spoke us first, they asked what the ship was. I replied that she was French. Then they asked if Captain Baudin was her commander. I was very surprised, not only at the question, but at hearing myself named as well. When I said yes, the English ship brought to. Seeing her make ready to send a boat across, I likewise brought to to wait for it. The English captain, Mr. Flinders (the very one who discovered the strait which should bear his name, but which has most inappropriately been called Banks Strait), came aboard, expressed great satisfaction at this agreeable meeting, but was extremely reserved on all other matters. As soon as I learnt his name, I paid him my compliments and told him of the pleasure that I had in making his acquaintance, etc. I informed him of all that we had done up till then in the way of geographical work. As it was already late, Mr. Flinders said that if I were willing to stand off and on till dawn, he would return the following day and give me various pieces of information concerning the coast that he had examined from Cape Leeuwin as far as here. I was very gratified by his proposal and we agreed to remain together during the night. The weather was very fine.
ON THE MORNING of the 19th [9 April], seeing that Mr. Flinders was making ready to come aboard again, as he had said he would the day before, I hove to once more to await him. He arrived at half past six, accompanied by the same person as on the earlier occasion. As he was much less reserved on this second visit than before, he told me that his ship was the Investigator and that he had left Europe about eight months after I had. He also told me that he had begun his exploration of the coast of New Holland at Cape Leetiwin. He had visited the Isles of St. Peter and St. Francis, as well as all the coast up to the point of our meeting. In addition, he informed me of the lay-out of a port that he had discovered on an island. This latter was only 15 or 20 leagues from where we were, and he had named it Kangaroo Island because of the great numbers of that animal that he found there. According to his report, the island is long, high and extensive, and there is a good passage between it and the mainland. He stayed six weeks there and so had time to examine it well.
Before we separated, Mr. Flinders gave me several charts published by Arrowsmith since our departure. As I told him of the accident that had befallen my dinghy and asked him to give it all the help he could if he should chance to meet it, he told me of a similar misfortune that had happened to him, for he had lost eight men and a boat on his Kangaroo Island. His companion ship had also been separated from him during the equinoctial gale, part of which I had weathered in Bass Strait and the remainder outside. Upon leaving, Mr. Flinders said that he was going to make for the strait and try to find some land which was said to exist between the Hunter Group and the place that they have named Western Port. We parted at eight o'clock, each wishing the other a safe voyage.
There was little wind for the rest of the day. Sometimes we were even becalmed and at the mercy of the current, which carried us towards the coast, then only a league off. After sighting our points of the previous day, we sailed along the high land that we had seen a little before sunset. The coast in this part, if not extremely pleasant, was at least preferable to the region of sand-hills that we had just left.
At midday- the latitude observed was 35° 36' but this was very uncertain. At three o'clock we sighted the island and islets spoken of by Mr. Flinders. I proceeded so as to run in for the channel separating them from the mainland, but since the slight wind blowing did not allow me to do this before dark, I went about at five o'clock to stand out to sea.
Coasting the mainland during the day, we sighted three islets or rocks lying such a short way out, that to see them, it was necessary to be as close in as we were. If becalmed, one could anchor there in 24 or 21 fathoms, for the bottom is sandy and good - a rather rare thing between here and the Promontory. At sunset we could still see Mr. Flinders' ship running on the South-westerly leg.
Until midnight the winds were South to South-South-East and rather fresh, but then they moderated, and shortly after, we went on the landward leg.