1 pm: Fair Weather and Hazy. In 1st. Reefs and hauled the Wind, as I had no prospect to get safe into Anchorage if I bore away for Samow Entrance.
3 pm: At 3 it came on a very fresh Gale. In 3rd Reefs & down Top Gallant Yards
At 3 Timor bore when I tacked N57°W to N58°E off Shore 4 or 5 Miles. A High Hill on Rottie S57°W 6 or 7 Leagues a Valley NbE½E. Moderate Breezes. Tacked. High Hill of Rottie WbS and the Valley on Timor NbE½E about 4 Leagues off.
10 pm: Tacked The Valley NNE 2 Leagues off shore. Out 3rd Reefs, Up Top Gallant Yards.
12 mid: Tacked
2 am: Tacked
4 am: Hoisted the Cutter and Whale Boat out and sent them to the Assistant to lead.
6 am: Bore away. The Extremes of Timor N60°W to N56°E the valley NE½E 2 Leagues off shore. Rottie Isles S56°W to S88°W as far as the Haze would permit us to see.
10 am: At 10 hour..20′ NE part of Rottie or North part & South or SW part of
Timor N3°W & S3°E. Soon after hauled up through the Passage between Timor and Samow.
Soundings 22 to 10 fathoms bad bottom on Timor's side. Distance across 3 or 4 Miles. In other parts
of our Trace we could get no bottom from 26 to 36 fathoms of line. Boats get 17 & 20 close to
the Shore, bad bottom.
Very Strong Winds. Under 3 Reefs. Extremes of the South entrance SWbS to South. North entrance N50°E to N31°E 3 Miles distant. No Ground 34 fathoms line.
I had but just hauled on a Wind when it began to blow fresh, and by 3 O'Clock it increased to a smart Gale. As the Sun went down it moderated and we had a fine Night. Our tacking was governed by our distance from the Shore which we could see tolerably well. The Valley was a trifling break in the Hills, behind which was a high Mountainous Ridge. It was the only part we could keep ourselves acquainted with to know how we kept our Station.
At day light I sent the Boats to lead a head of the Assistant, and bore away along a low shore towards the SW point of Timor which lies N3°W from the NE part of Rottie about 3 leagues distant. Samow Strait now shows itself distinctly, and is a fair entrance, the passage through North and NNE. It cannot be mistaken as the Islands of Rottie lie to the Southward of it. Except the high Mountain on the Southern part of Rottie, it is land of a Moderate height and Woody, its North shore appeared to trend nearly East and West. The Western part a low Sandy Point. Samow is also land of a Moderate height and Woody, between it and the low point of Timor, the South entrance of the Strait is about 3 or 4 Miles apart, and nearly WbS & EbN of each other, but the South point of Samow lies out as far as S67W.
I kept nearest Timor side with the Boats within us. Off the SW point they got moderate depth of Water, but the bottom Rockey. 1½ Mile from the Point we had 22 fathoms, bearing North.
The Shores formed some Sandy Bays, but they were all shut up with Rocks and bad bottom. On Samow side is a lofty Island called Pulo Kambing, it lies in the entrance of a Sound that is also shut up by Coral Rocks and Shoal Water. From the North point of this Sound to Timor shore is about 3 Miles across. On Timor side is some indifferent Anchorage to the Southward of a low point from whence the Shore inclines to the NE. In Mid Channel we had to Ground from (a) 20 to 30 fathoms and the Wind was to strong for me and my health too bad to ascertain at greater depths.
(a) I am well informed there is no ground at 80 & 90 fathoms.
The Heat was now very oppressive, so that I kept the deck with a distracted Head Ach, that almost deprived me of the power of doing my duty.