4th. The month of September, 1802, and the greater part of August and October, we spent upon the east coast between the latitudes 23 and 17 . The south-east trade is the regular wind here, but we had many variations . Whilst the trade prevailed, the average standard of the mercury was 30,15, and the more southwardly it was, and the fresher it blew, the higher the quicksilver rose, though it never exceeded 30,30, When the trade wind was light, it was usual for a breeze to come off the land very early in the morning, and continue till eight or nine o'clock; but these temporary land winds did not produce any alteration in the mercury, which kept at these times about 30,10. When the trade wind veered round to ENE, or more northward, which was not seldom, the mercury ranged between 30 inches and 30,10; and when a breeze from north or N by W prevailed, which was the case for a considerable part of twenty days we remained in Broad Sound, its height was something, but not much, less. These northwardly winds I take to have been the north-east wind in the offing; which had been partly turned, and in part drawn out of its direction, by the peculiar formation of this part of the east coast. There are but few instances of any steady westwardly wind prevailing; when such happened, they were generally from the north side of west; and at these times the range of mercury was between 29,95 and 30,05, which was the lowest I at any time saw it on this portion of the east coast.
The barometer was of great service to me in the investigation of this dangerous part of the east coast, where the ship was commonly surrounded with rocks, shoals, islands, or coral reefs, Near the main land, if the sea breeze was dying