September 16.—Remained in camp to–day to rest the horses and prepare for dividing the party, as from the great abundance of rain that had fallen, I no longer apprehended a scarcity of water on the route to Streaky Bay, and therefore decided upon sending my overseer across with the party, whilst I myself took a dray down direct to Port Lincoln, on the west side of Spencer’s Gulf, to obtain additional supplies, with the intention of joining them again at Streaky Bay.
Having spent some time in taking bearings from the summit of Baxter’s range, I examined all the channels and gorges coming from it, and in most of these I found water. I am of opinion however that in a very dry season, the water which I now found will be quite dried up, and especially in the largest of the watercourses, or the one upon which we were encamped. [Note 9: In October 1842, this was quite dry, but water was still found in holes in the rocks in the southernmost gorge, above the waterfall, at the base of which water was also procured by digging in the gravel.]
A little further south, there is a rocky ravine winding through a gorge and terminating in a waterfall, with a large pool of beautiful water at the base, and with many large and deep holes of water in the rocks above. In this ravine I imagine water might be procured at any period of the year, and I am confirmed in this opinion by the circumstance of three well beaten native roads, coming from different points of the compass, and all converging at this place. This is an important position for parties crossing to the westward, or going overland to Port Lincoln. Baxter’s range is the nearest point at which permanent water can be procured on the west side of the head of Spencer’s Gulf, as the Depot creek near Mount Arden is on the eastern. Having completed my examination of the range, and taken all my observations, I spent the remainder of the day in constructing a chart of my former route from Streaky Bay in 1839, and in writing out instructions for the overseer during my absence, as a guide for him in crossing to the westward.