HMS Bathurst is anchored off Dirk Hartog Island

26th January 1822

From 20th January to 26th January 1822 HMS Bathurst was anchored off Dirk Hartog’s island.

Robert Heward wrote: On the 21st, they anchored off Dirk Hartog’s Island, of whose sterility Mr Cunningham says:  Perhaps no part [p275] of the coast we have visited can possibly exceed this island, considering its extent, for its barren parched appearance; for, upon the shores near us downs of sand of very considerable surface appeared rising to a ridge perhaps 200 feet high, in most parts extremely bare of vegetation, and those portions which were covered seemed to be burnt up with the heat of the sun. ((Source: Robert Heward’s Biographical Sketch of Allan Cunningham))

Dirk Hartog Island is an island off the Gascoyne coast of Western Australia, within the Shark Bay World Heritage Area. It is about 80 kilometres long and between 3 and 15 kilometres wide and is Western Australia’s largest and most western island. It covers an area of 620 square kilometres and is approximately 850 km north of Perth. It was named after Dirk Hartog, a Dutch sea captain, who first encountered the Western Australian coastline close to the 26th parallel south latitude, which runs through the island. ((Find out more about Dirk Hartog Island at Wikipedia))