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Journal Entries written onboard the: Rapid

Saturday 7 May 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

1 May to 8 May, 1836

On Sunday the 1st. of May, 1836, we left the City Canal, Blackwall and were towed down the river in the Nelson Steamer to the The Nore is a sandbank in the mouth of the Thames River outside London. It was a hazard to shipping so a lightship (a ship carrying a light similar to a lighthouse) was anchored there from 1793. The light warned ships away from the sandbank and provided a marker that showed ships where they were. Nore where a contrary wind compelled us to anchor at 7. p.m.  At 8 p.m. the breeze freshened and increased to a gale which detained us till Tuesday when we again weighed and made fast in the A steamer is a steam ship or steam boat. Small paddle steamers were used to tow ships in confined waters such as the Thames estuary. Steamer . We finally cast off from her at the North Foreland on the 4th. at 1 p.m. and made sail with a moderate and fair breeze down Channel, taking our departure from the Lizard on the following Sunday.

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Tuesday 10 May 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

On the 9th. and 10th. we passed many fragments of wrecks, some covered with barnacles and others of recent date. From this time nothing worth noting occurred till Sunday 15th

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Sunday 15 May 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

From this time nothing worth noting occurred till Sunday 15th. when at 5 a.m. we made the Island of Madeira which we passed about six leagues to the Westward with beautiful weather, but the distance was too great to observe any other feature of the Island than its extreme height, the summit appearing far above [...]

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Wednesday 25 May 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

On Wednesday 25th. we saw St. Antonio – one of the Cape de Verds – and on the following day, the Island of Brava.

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Friday 3 June 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

June 3rd. Lat.4.35.

We To speak a ship is to communicate with it by voice or signals. spoke the ship ‘Zenobia’ from Calcutta and it being Without wind. calm the Captain and several of the Officers dined on board of us. Mr. Bluett, the Surgeon of the Zenobia, came to see me as I was very ill labouring under severe Palpitations, the result of excessive vomiting. I did not conquer the seasickness till seven weeks after leaving England and by this time I was reduced to a perfect skeleton.  Bluett promised to call on my dear Friends in London and give them some account of me as I was too ill to write….

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Wednesday 8 June 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

On Wednesday 8th. June we crossed the Equator and the usual absurd ceremony was performed on all the uninitiated except myself – my state of health and giving the Ship’s Company a A form of British currency, the gold sovereign has been minted to exacting specifications since 1817. Each sovereign contains exactly 7.3224 grams of gold (22 carats). It was worth nominally one pound.sovereign exempted me –

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Saturday 18 June 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

We rounded Cape of Good Hope on the 12th. of July. On approaching the Latitude of the Cape we were attended by hundreds of albatrosses and Cape pigeons. I succeeded in taking several of the Latter with a hook and line but the former were far too wary. These birds were our constant companions till [...]

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Wednesday 17 August 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

This [Amsterdam Island] was the last land we saw till Wednesday 17th. August when we made Kangaroo Island. It was very indistinct and the weather being thick and squally we again lost sight of it till the following day when at 8 a.m. we saw the whole of the South Side of the island. The [...]

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Wednesday 17 August 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

The Rapid left the river Thames on 4 May, and arrived in Antechamber Bay, Kangaroo Island, on 19 August. The Cygnet left England on 24 March, 1836, with Messrs Kingston, Finniss, Symonds, Neale, Cannan, and Hardy, all of the Surveying Department. She touched at Rio, and did not reach Nepean Bay until 11 September. I [...]

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Thursday 18 August 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Made the land to the eastward of Encounter Bay; sandy shore, exactly as described by Flinders. At midnight, sounded in 35 fathoms.

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Friday 19 August 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

After a pleasant passage of three months
and 19 days from the time we left the city
canal anchored in Antechamber Bay, Kang-
-aroo island.

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Friday 19 August 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

a.m. Fine weather, tacking to windward all the first part, the land being in sight from daylight; p.m. at four, light winds; Cape Willoughby S. By W. halfW., distant about three miles. At six, bore up for Antechamber Bay; at seven, wind dying away; half past seven, calm, and the vessel drifting near the rocky [...]

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Saturday 20 August 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

…  I started after breakfast to explore it with my gun on my shoulder… The soil being very poor and sandy at the mouth of the river but gradually improved as I proceeded up so that we may expect better land in the interior. I have had tolerable sport with my gun shooting sufficient seafowl for the Mess Dinner tomorrow. Returned on board at 5 p.m. and having very satisfactorily appeased my appetite I shall now turn in.

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Saturday 20 August 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Next day weighed proceeded further westward anchored off Pt Morrison. __

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Sunday 21 August 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

21 August -Early part, hoisting out the surveying boat; at half past eight, observed a boat coming from the westward; at ten, a whale-boat came along side, with Mr S. Stephens and Captain Martin of the John Pirie; at three p.m., sent the gig on shore with Mr Pullen and Mr Woodforde; some spots of [...]

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Sunday 21 August 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Next day Sunday Mr S. Stevens of S.A. Company and Captn Martin of John Pirie came on board from Nepean Bay. From them we learnt that three vessels had arrived all belonging to the S.A. Company

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Monday 22 August 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

22 August-At half past six, got under way with a light breeze from the westward; at two p.m., came to an anchor about two miles from the point chosen by Mr Stephens for the South Australian Company’s Stores. I went on shore at a little sandy bay, where Mr Beare and a few others had their tents pitched. The ground here was much covered by small trees, the soil moist, and many shrubs growing with great luxuriance, perhaps from the late rains; no fresh water was to be found here, and the settlers had to depend for their supply, I believe, on Mr Stephens, who had to send across the bay four miles for it.

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Monday 22 August 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Nepean Bay. Here we found Mr S. Stevens Manager of
S.A. Company had taken up his quarters The people who had arrived
in the three vessels York, Pelham & Pirie were chiefly
officers & labourers of the said company all busy on shore getting
tents & huts erected and what had for centuries a
wilderness was now teeming with animation and life. The spot
chosen on was about one of the best, but bad is the best no water
to be had except at the well about 5 miles distant in
a Westerly direction near Pt Marsden, the soil very light
and sandy & country at the back of where the location
had been fixed on was densely covered with a species of
tree termed tea tree the decoction of which leaves make
a beverage not at all bad & a good substitute for tea
On the Island were several Sealers runaway Sailors
from the coasting vessels of the other colonies. They told us
there were several good spots on the Island where they
were established living on the produce of their gardens
and a native animal of the size of a rabbat called
waloby, in fact a miniture Kangaroo. These waloby
were caught by their wives (native women, who had
been brought from the Main land
some of them I believe by force, however they seemed to be
contented with their lonely life and from what
I could learn comfortably off as far as house and
provision went all from their own labour. __The Bay is
a fine and extensive anchorage well sheltered from the
severest Gales which generally commence at N.W. hauling
round to the S.S.W. by the Westward. They may be generally
expected at the change of moon. __ we remained here about a fortnight for
the purpose of making a few examinations of the bay and rig the
Hatch boat brought out on purpose for the Survey and placed under
my charge.

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Tuesday 23 August 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

23 August-Very bad weather, nothing done.

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Wednesday 24 August 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

24 August-Went on shore with Mr Woodforde, and walked to Mr Stephens’s settlement; almost the whole distance thickly covered with small trees and scrub,the soil was moist, and looked in some parts tolerably good.

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Thursday 25 August 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

25 August-Rain almost the whole day; employed on board.

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Friday 26 August 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

26 August-The same weather.

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Friday 26 August 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Friday, 26th. August.

I again went on shore this morning with Jacob – a young surveyor – for the purpose of shooting at salt lagoon about eight miles along the shore and a more unpleasant and fatiguing walk I never remember. The heat was excessive and our pocket pistols were soon exhausted. We made a diligent but ineffectual search for fresh water, but I was determined to proceed to the lagoon which we reached about midday. Here we were very much disappointed finding instead a fine sheet of water covered with wild fowl, a miserable salt swamp – merely an inlet of the Bay – with nothing on it but screeching curlews and these so wary that we had no chance of killing any. The Island even at this Season swarms with mosquitoes and today they have bitten me so unmercifully, giving me rather an unpleasant idea of the pleasures of the summer season. On our return we penetrated a little way into the bush and here found the trees very similar to those at the Eastern side of the Bay. The Clematis grows in great abundance which together with a species of Mimosa, having very much the smell of May, imparts a delicious fragrance to the air. This, however, does not compensate for the want of water which is here very distressing. The wells that have been dug near the tents producing after much labour nothing but salt water. I hope to God we shall find better cheer when we visit the main – this is dreary enough and I begin to sigh for Old England with all her faults and all the dear Friends I have left there.

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Saturday 27 August 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

27 August-Light rain most part of the day; went on shore and took some angles.

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Saturday 27 August 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Saturday 27th August.

Some of the settlers came on board this morning bringing with them for sale two of a small species of opossum called by them “Wallobees”. These animals are anything but tempting to the sight having much the appearance of an enormous rat. They, like the opossum and kangaroo, are provided with a pouch for the reception of their young on the appearance of danger, and it is a curious fact that most of the quadrupeds of this country have the same appendage. Disgusting as these animals were to our eyes they were excessively grateful to the palate after having lived so long on ships’ fare. I breakfasted on board the “Duke of York” off hot rolls and ham so that I have come off sumptuously in the provider line today and stand well in the way of doing so tomorrow as Hill and myself with the boat’s crew have just caught two superb fish in the seine. There must have been a great mortality among the kangaroos on this island since Flinder’s time or he must have mistaken the walloby for them as we have not seen one and the Sealers say there are none

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Sunday 28 August 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

The Bay has presented today a singular scene of bustle and merriment on the occasion of a wedding on board the ‘John Pirie’. The ceremony was performed by the Captain after which the happy pair proceeded to the tents where the marriage dinner was prepared. Our crew was invited to the feast which wound up with one or two amicable fights, amongst which the Bride and Bridegroom were conspicuous. The afternoon being very fine I went on shore for a walk but was very soon driven on board again by my implacable enemies – the mosquitoes. They use me very ill and cause me so much irritation on my skin that I am obliged to scratch for half an hour at a time and the consequence is that the bites soon degenerate into ulcers. I have been diligent in my search for Butterflies for dear Melliora but have, as yet, been very unsuccessful. There are, however, some very good shells on the beach and I hope soon to make a collection for her.

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Sunday 28 August 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

28 August-Sunday.

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Monday 29 August 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Went on shore this morning to see a patient at the tents and after refusing a pressing invitation from Mr. Bird’s Eye, one of the Settlers, to dine on walloby and new potatoes, returned on board to clean my gun and make preparations for an early start to the river tomorrow. I picked up two [...]

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Monday 29 August 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

29 August-Fresh breezes and squally; went in the A class of net fishing boats used on the Thames estuary. The Rapid’s boat was built specially for the Colonization Commissioners by W.T. Gulliver of Wapping hatch-boat to examine the northern side of the bay, distant about four miles from Kingscote. There is a well of fresh water here, dug in the sand, close to high water mark, which supplies the settlers at Kingscote. The country here is low, and the soil appeared much better than that we had seen before; and altogether, it struck me that a settlement might be formed here at some future period, to great advantage.

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Tuesday 30 August 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Started at daybreak with Field and Jacob to shoot along the banks of the river and to see something of the interior of the Island. After the first two miles we were gratified by finding a flat of very superior soil to any we had seen extending many miles on each side of the stream. [...]

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Tuesday 30 August 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

30 August-Employed in ascertaining the extent of the shoal, which runs from the northern side of the bay to the southward.

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Wednesday 31 August 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Went on board the ‘Duke of York” at 7 a.m. this morning and was much pleased to find my patient better. Returned to my own vessel after breakfast and have been mending old clothes best part of the morning. The Sealers again visited us this morning bringing with them two native men and a woman belonging to the Main. These men are brothers and one of them is the father of the woman who lives with the Sealers on this Island. They were much better looking than we had expected and probably are a good specimen of their tribe – their stature is about 5’6” and their limbs very small – their complexion dark copper-coloured – their features are coarse but exceedingly good-humoured, occasionally giving way to immoderate fits of laughter especially when we gave them brandy and tobacco of which they seemed very fond. They have large flat noses and exceedingly long beards – their hair is not woolly. They are a very ignorant and indolent set of men depending entirely on their women for the means of subsistence which are very uncertain and which probably accounts for their emaciated appearance.

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Wednesday 31 August 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

31 August-Went to examine a fresh water river, about three miles to the southward and eastward; being low water, we could not approach for a long time sufficiently near to find the mouth of it, and a whole day was nearly lost. I at last, as the tide served, was enabled to enter it in [...]

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Thursday 1 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Repeated my visit to the river and have had excellent sport, but was hurried on board by the appearance of a ship in offing which we took to be the long expected “Cygnet”, but found, on her showing her number, that it was the “Pelham” that had put to sea two days before – we [...]

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Thursday 1 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

1 September-Fresh breezes and squally; went on shore to take some angles, but owing to the weather could effect nothing.

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Friday 2 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Went on board the “Duke of York” and as Frill [Field?] was very ill remained on board all the rest of the day.

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Friday 2 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

2 September-Too hazy for any observations.

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Saturday 3 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

I have not left the vessel today as it has been blowing a gale and the weather has been in other respects as disagreeable as it was yesterday. Field, I am happy to say, is better. My occupations have been reading, mending old clothes and cleaning my gun.

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Saturday 3 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

3 September-Bad weather all day, and nothing done.

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Sunday 4 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

This morning I heard that the “Duke of York” was to sail tomorrow for Van Diemen’s Land, consequently I have remained on board writing a letter (No. 1) to my mother.

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Sunday 4 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

4 September-Sunday.

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Monday 5 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Before breakfast I again visited my patients on board the “Duke of York” and at the tents on shore I have had the satisfaction of dismissing from the list two which I am endeavouring to get sent to the hospital at Hobart Town. One of these is suffering from a severe attack of rheumatism and [...]

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Monday 5 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

5 September-The Duke of York being on the point of sailing, employed all day writing my reports to the Commissioners.

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Tuesday 6 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

… We have hired one of the Sealers and his two native women to go to the Mainland the Main with us, and as they have capital dogs they will answer a double purpose, that of providing fresh food, and by means of the women conciliating the natives should they prove hostile. The Sealers living on Kangaroo Island are Englishmen – some of them having deserted their ships to settle here – and others being runaway convicts from Sydney. We were given to understand that they were little better than pirates, but were agreeably surprised to find them a civil set of men and they will be of much use in forming a colony here. For their honesty I cannot answer as we do not put temptation in their way. Some of these men have whale boats in which they frequently cross over to Cape Jervis from which place they have at different times stolen the women who now live with them. These women are very clever at snaring game and fish for their Keepers whilst the men remain at their little farms on the Island. One of these by the name of Walland has a farm about seven miles up the river which does him great credit as he has several acres of flourishing wheat and most of the English vegetables. He has been fourteen years on the Island and is called the “Governor” – he has two native wives.

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Tuesday 6 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

6 September-Making arrangements for our departure from Nepean Bay, went on shore to engage one of the sealers.

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Wednesday 7 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

We left Nepean Bay at 9 a.m. this morning to proceed to Gulf St. Vincent, but at 3 p.m. it fell so calm that we were obliged to drop anchor about halfway across the passage – There was a fine breeze all the morning but as it was not fair, which together with the tide [...]

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Wednesday 7 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

7 September-At half past eight, light airs and fine, got under way for Gulf St Vincent; at half past three, becalmed, with no prospect of a breeze; came to an anchor outside the shoal.

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Thursday 8 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Weighed at daybreak and after a very pleasant sail came to at 1 p.m. just under the western side of Cape Jervis in a Bay affording good shelter except for North-West winds. The land from the ship had a very promising appearance and when we landed, which a party of us did after dinner we [...]

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Thursday 8 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

8 September-Very light airs; at six got under way, and stood for the N.W. bluff; at thirty minutes p.m. came to an anchor in ten fathoms, a beautiful little valley in view. At two, I went on shore, and was enchanted with the appearance of the whole. A fine stream of fresh water ran through the middle of the valley into the sea, and the soil was rich beyond expectation; my hopes were now raised to a pitch I cannot describe. I walked up one of the hills, and was delighted to find that as far as I could see, all around, there was an appearance of fertility, and a total absence of those wastes and barren spots, which the accounts I received in England had led me to expect.

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Thursday 8 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Before leaving [Kangaroo Island] the Colonel engaged a man by the name of Cooper
& his family, a sealer & had been about 7 years on the Island he was to
act as Pilot his wives (two native women) and Kangaroo dogs
were to supply us with fresh meat. When all ready started for Gulf
St Vincent the distance across from Nepean Bay to Cape Jervis
the East pt of the Gulf being about 25 miles we reached it that
evening. Many & various were the opinions given on the near
approach to the land, it was indeed beautiful presenting
more the appearance of a park than land that had
been for centuries trodden by uncultivated savages. How
anxious were we to get on shore, no sooner was the anchor down
& sails furled than off we started appearances had
not indeed deceived us we were delighted & many castles
built and conjectures on prosperity likely to arise
out of such a scene as was presented to us, Nothing
but luxuriant foliage & oh! a thick sward of many
and various flowers what was to expected from the
act of man when such was the state of the place while
in a Nature’s garden. Cooper was sent off with
his women to bring in the tribe of the place while we were
busily employed getting tents & provisions on shore for the
Colonel & surveying party it being the intention to remain
here a few days. A garden was made & stocked with seeds
we had brought with us The Bay and valley examined to
satisfaction & named after the brig being the first vessel
ever having anchored there

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Friday 9 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

We weighed at daybreak and ran in a mile nearer the beach and after breakfast Hill and I with the jolly-boat’s crew took the seine and our guns on shore, but with both were equally unsuccessful. We however had more time for examining the country and the more we saw of it the more we [...]

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Friday 9 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

9 September-Being so much pleased with my excursion yesterday, I determined on running the brig more in shore, and remaining here some days; we therefore got under way, and ran into seven fathoms water; at nine, sent four tents on shore, but it took us nearly till dark before we could land all that was [...]

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Saturday 10 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Remained on board all day as the weather was not tempting and I felt fatigued with yesterday’s ramble. The women returned this morning with a fine kangaroo part of which Hill and myself dined off. All the rest of the Officers dined on shore at the tents. They have been busy digging up a piece [...]

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Saturday 10 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

10 September-Fresh breezes and fine weather, very cold air. Employed all day examining the valley.

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Sunday 11 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

11 September-Sunday.

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Sunday 11 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

8 p.m. Sunday, 11th September. Our Sealer and his women were dispatched this morning to Encounter Bay to endeavour to engage some of the natives to take care of the garden during our cruize. I have again remained at home all day. The weather is again fair, the wind having moderated.

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Monday 12 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

12 September-Heavy rain with strong gusts of wind; could do nothing in the survey.

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Monday 12 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

9 p.m. Monday, 12th September. This morning Field and I started with the jolly-boat after breakfast to try our luck with the hook and line and in the course of two hours we caught sufficient fish for all hands. Among them were the Bream, Cavaheros Rock-Cod and a very curious looking fish called by our [...]

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Tuesday 13 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

13 September-Fresh breezes and squally, with hard rain; being anxious to get on with my work, Mr Pullen and I sallied forth, but the weather was so thick and boisterous we could do very little.

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Tuesday 13 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

10 p.m. Tuesday, 13th September I have spent this day much in the same way as yesterday i.e., in the forenoon preparing fishing gear and the afternoon in making use of it and have been equally successful. “The Parrot-Fish” has been eaten by some of the crew and has proved wholesome.

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Wednesday 14 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

14 September-Light breezes and very cold.Employed in taking angles.

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Wednesday 14 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Wednesday 14th September.

This morning, the weather being beautiful, Field and I started after breakfast with our guns and penetrated nearly three miles into the interior which considering the height of the hills we found a very long and fatiguing walk. We met with no sport but the views from the top of the hills were beautiful. The soil in the valleys is excellent but that on the hills is shallow and mixed with rock and stones of many kinds, viz: lime-stone, coarse slate and an inferior kind of marble. We found some fine Cypress and Cedar trees, likewise daisies similar to those found in English meadows. Flinders mentions a peculiar feature of the country which we found very striking in today’s excursion. I allude to the combustion which a great part of the trees have undergone and which I can only attribute to the passage of the Electric fluid and not, as some have said, to the burning of the bush by the natives. My reasons for coming to this conclusion are first, that the same phenomenon exists in Kangaroo Is. Where there are no natives: and secondly, that the trees thus found are for the most part isolated, there being no traces of combustion around them – indeed I have in many instances found a large tree reduced almost to charcoal surrounded by and close to a cluster of others in a state of vigorous health. There are many speculations on this subject which will be, I doubt not, soon set at rest. If lightning had been the cause we shall most probably see its most recent effects in the summer and our intercourse with the natives will satisfy us as to its being their handywork or not. We dined at the tents and then came off.

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Thursday 15 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

15 September-Fine weather, employed in surveying. My servant, Cooper, who had volunteered to go to Encounter Bay, returned with a tribe of natives, who soon became intimate with our men. Having now spent as much time as I could well spare in this little paradise, I made preparations for returning on board; and at two p.m., sent the surveying instruments on board, and at four embarked myself, leaving Messrs Pullen, Claughton and Jacob, and the men on shore, to embark the following day with the tents, &c. The natives were engaged to remain and take care of our garden.

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Thursday 15 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

At last Cooper returned with
about a dozen of the tribe some of them fine looking
fellows & made themselves very useful there was given
them biscuit & Soldiers old clothes of which they were very
proud & in the evening by way of expressing their joy
at the white mans arrival they danced a corrobory. __
Ye ladies could you see a corrobory you’d blush
but now in the colony it is gone out of fashion
So I shall imagine I’m speaking to the Colonial
Cadet & give a brief but imperfect sketch of
the above dance. The men some supplied with a
couple of sticks are ranged near a few small embers
which is sparingly fed by one of the women who are
seated on the ground with their legs tucked under them [something?]
All’a Tuck resting on their Knees a skin (of some sort
chiefly Kangaroo)which they beat with their hands. It commences
with a low monotonous chant beating the stick’s the
dancers at the same time moving in slow
& [keeping?] very regular time at last it becomes loud and furious
but with every regularity maintained The contortions
of the body are numerous and all being in Natures only
dress, with the dull blaze emitted from the few embers
the noise to a New comer it exites almost a degree of terror & might
imagine a few of the inhabitens of Pandemonium
had broken loose. In some case they work themselves
up to such a state of exitement that the countenance
is truly terrific, but yet how soon they calm down the
next moment you’d not imagine the being before
you was the same.

[ Read the full journal for: Thursday 15 September 1836 ]


Thursday 15 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

9 p.m. Thursday, 15th Sept.

After we had turned in last night Captain Martin came on board on his way to Kangaroo Island from his trip up the Gulf. He gave us a very favourable account of the country and the few natives he met with were peaceable – but as we are going the same road in a day or two we shall be able to judge for ourselves. After breakfast Martin, Hill and myself went on shore to the tents and had not long been there before our Sealer returned from Encounter Bay bringing with him eight of the natives who promised to take care of our garden. These men are much the same in appearance and belong to the same tribe as the two we saw on the Island. There were no women with them except those belonging to the Sealers. It appears that the small-pox commits great ravages against them as three of them were deeply pitted and one has lost an eye from the same disease. Two of them had congenital malformations – the most singular – of the arm, there being in the place of that useful member a shrivelled stump not more than ten inches in length with three small appendages the rudiments of fingers at the end of it. They are all more or less tattooed in a very rude way, the principal incisions being on the back and two very large ones of a similar shape over each blade-bone. Their faces are free from these mutilations which are made with pieces of flint. This tribe is a very small one – a great number being carried off yearly by disease and a still greater number being put to death shortly after their birth. They hold a …[pages torn from journal]

[ Read the full journal for: Thursday 15 September 1836 ]


Friday 16 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

16 September-We did not get all on board before two p.m., and from the variable winds and dark cloudy weather coming on, I did not think it right to get under way.

[ Read the full journal for: Friday 16 September 1836 ]


Saturday 17 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

17 September-Calm and fine; at nine, Messrs Pullen, Claughton, Jacob and Woodforde (surgeon) landed to walk to Yankalilla. I went in my gig to examine an inlet about two miles to the northward, where I appointed a meeting with these gentlemen, desiring Mr Field to get under way and proceed to Yankalilla as soon as he could. On landing at this little inlet, which I shall call Finniss Valley, I found a little cove fit to moor a vessel of 70 or 90 tons, in any weather, but there is only room for one; and there is a beautiful stream of fresh water running into the sea, where a boat may approach to within fifty yards of a good spot for filling water casks. On joining my shipmates on the rising ground above, we beheld a valley three times as extensive as the last, and equally rich in soil; there is abundance of wood all the way, yet not so thick but that agriculture might be pursued without the trouble of clearing. From this we walked to Yankalilla, over undulating ground of good quality, and wooded in the same manner as before mentioned; passing several little runs of water which are dry in summer, sometimes edging our way down to the sea-at others, bending inland, mounting and descending as the ground presented itself: but having just landed, we were all quite satisfied when the walk was over. At two p.m., I went on board and sent the tents on shore.

[ Read the full journal for: Saturday 17 September 1836 ]


Saturday 17 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

From Rapid Bay we proceeded to a spot about nine
miles to the Northwd (up the Gulf) where we remained 4 days the
native name was Yankalila which the Colonel retained.
We were equally pleased with this spot as Rapid Bay. The
country presenting a park like appearance in rather disorder
from want of attention many spots completely ready for any agri-
-cultural purpose. We remained here but a short time the Colonel
being anxious to complete his examination. The first anchorage
after Yankalila we were greatly deceived in the appearance of
the country on a close examination which gave rise to the name
it now retains (Deception Bay)…

[ Read the full journal for: Saturday 17 September 1836 ]


Sunday 18 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

18 September-Sunday, calm and cloudy, employed all the early part in sending necessary things on shore; at half past ten, went myself; being Sunday, we worked only as absolutely necessary; rain all night.

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 18 September 1836 ]


Monday 19 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

19 September-Employed surveying on the plain.

[ Read the full journal for: Monday 19 September 1836 ]


Tuesday 20 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

20 September-Out surveying, and walked up the valley; running in a south-easterly direction, between very high hills. I was enchanted with this spot, it put me in mind of some of the orchards in Devonshire, and I found it plentifully supplied with fresh water. From this valley we ascended the hills, crossed over to the seacoast, and returned to our tents; the whole distance fine soil.

[ Read the full journal for: Tuesday 20 September 1836 ]


Wednesday 21 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

21 September-Very warm; out surveying. The flies this day for the first time appeared in swarms and were dreadfully annoying.

[ Read the full journal for: Wednesday 21 September 1836 ]


Thursday 22 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

22 September-Rainy and foggy weather; having seen as much as I wished of this beautiful plain, at eleven a.m. I returned to the brig; the rest of the day employed in getting things on board.

[ Read the full journal for: Thursday 22 September 1836 ]


Friday 23 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

23 September…Felt some disappointment at the appearance of the land, as it looked so luxuriant from the ship; we could find no fresh water; a lake of some extent on the high ground above the beach proved, on reaching it, to be salt. Although the ground we went over was not so good as the rest we had seen, yet the country a few miles inland appeared the same as that we had left…

[ Read the full journal for: Friday 23 September 1836 ]


Saturday 24 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

24 September-At eight a.m. light breezes with rain; at half past eight got under way, found our anchor broke nearly asunder in the shank, and we had neared the shore very much before the ship got way on her; at ten o’clock fresh breezes and hazy; at noon the weather clearer; at half past four [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Saturday 24 September 1836 ]


Saturday 24 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

…The A light, narrow ship’s boat that could be rowed or sailed. gig has returned without having found a passage to the mouth of the river – the day being too far gone to admit of a further search this evening…

[ Read the full journal for: Saturday 24 September 1836 ]


Sunday 25 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Sunday, 25th September.

Both boats went away this morning to find the mouth of the river but they have as yet been baffled in their search – a deep channel was seen this afternoon from the mast-head taking a circuitous course nearly parallel with the shore and Field who took the jolly-boat to sound in it believes it to be that of the river, he does not, however, think that there is depth enough for the A sailing vessel with two square-rigged masts. Brig as in some parts of it he only found five feet at low-water, what the rise and fall is we have not ascertained. Colonel Light intends to make an early start tomorrow and I hope he will be more successful as it is far from pleasant lying at so great a distance from the land without being able to get a run. Bradley, our Boatswain, has been discharged from duty today for insolence to the First officer directly coming under the command of the captain. Ships’ Mates were responsible for supervising watches, crew, navigation and safety equipment, and sometimes even served as the ship’s doctor. First-Mate . This is the first rumpus we had had since we left England.

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 25 September 1836 ]


Sunday 25 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

25 September … I left the ship to examine what appeared to us a considerable inlet; the water shoaled very gradually, and about half a mile from our supposed inlet it became very shallow, and soon after the boat grounded. Seeing this could not be Jones’s harbour, which I was intensely anxious about, I resolved on returning to the A sailing vessel with two square-rigged masts. brig and running higher up the Gulf, but on getting on board, Mr Hill, A merchant ship’s officer next in rank below the first mate; also known as a ‘second officer’. second mate , told me he had seen from the masthead a river to the southward of considerable breadth…

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 25 September 1836 ]


Monday 26 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

9 p.m. Monday, 25th September. Colonel Light has at length found the mouth of the river which is a considerable one, but he of opinion that there is a larger one higher up the Gulf described by Captain Jones and as it would detain us two or three weeks to survey this one properly he [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Monday 26 September 1836 ]


Monday 26 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

26 September… After going some distance and finding it did not accord with Captain Jones’s description of the harbour he discovered, I determined on running higher up the Gulf…

[ Read the full journal for: Monday 26 September 1836 ]


Tuesday 27 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

…Colonel Light is of opinion that we have passed all the rivers on this side of the Gulf and that the one he went to yesterday is the one described by Captain Jones – the distance we kept from the shore while running along it renders this highly probable. Colonel Light intends to retrace his steps and while the A sailing vessel with two square-rigged masts. Brig keeps at a safe distance the surveying boat is to run close in so that nothing in the shape of a river can thus escape us…At daybreak this morning I went with the boat to haul up the net which we had left in the water all night – we found it full of fish but our disappointment to see nothing but dog-fish and sting-ray. Of the latter, bad and coarse as it was, we ate heartily at breakfast. It is not unlike Skait and I have ordered some of it to be hung for a day or two to give it a fair trial. The former were a very disgusting looking fish resembling the dog-fish of the English shores in all except the head which was bony and in shape like a gurnet. Anything in the shape of fresh provisions is so acceptable that, uninviting as these fish are, we intend having some fried for breakfast tomorrow. We have had no kangaroo for some time not having had an opportunity of landing our women and dogs.

[ Read the full journal for: Tuesday 27 September 1836 ]


Tuesday 27 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

27 September…we came to anchor in three fathoms, about four miles from the shore, latitude 34°31′ south. From this position we could distinctly see the head of the Gulf as laid down by Flinders, and the opposite shore-nothing could look much worse, mangroves and very low swampy looking ground seemed to surround this bight. I now despaired of ever finding the beautiful harbour described by Captain Jones, but the jolly-boat with Mr Field was sent in shore to see if anything like an inlet could be found…

[ Read the full journal for: Tuesday 27 September 1836 ]


Tuesday 27 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

__      Jany 7th 1842 on looking over some papers to day I picked up an old memorandum book with the occurences at the time we were in search of the harbour and the morning when the incidents I have above related took place I really thought all had been lost in the unfortunate fire of [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Tuesday 27 September 1836 ]


Wednesday 28 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

9 p.m. Lat 34.46 Wednes. 28th We weighed at 9 a.m. and returned to our last anchorage where we came to at 1 p.m. The Surveying Boat kept close inshore but has discovered nothing new. There is a great doubt after all as to there being a river here as what was taken for the [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Wednesday 28 September 1836 ]


Wednesday 28 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

28 September…; I was now full of hope that Jones’s harbour was at last found, and at one p.m. came to an anchor in our former berth, to await the arrival of Messrs Pullen and Claughton… At one p.m. Mr Pullen returned, reporting his entrance into the northern channel, &c.; no fresh water was seen, and the channel, though broad and deep at first, was reduced to A fathom is a measure of depth in the imperial system. One fathom is equal to six feet or 1.83 metres. one fathom water a short distance from the mouth. He further stated that there were two separate channels, thus forming two islands. This was so different to the account given by Jones that I felt a great disappointment…

[ Read the full journal for: Wednesday 28 September 1836 ]


Wednesday 28 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Wednesday 28th Sept At ½ past 6 Claughton
4 men & myself with 3 days provisions left the A sailing vessel with two square-rigged masts. Brig
and stood in for the shore…
About 2 o clock by following the shore close
found ourselves in a deep bight formed by the main…
After pulling about a
mile I found the flood which was now making
in a contrary direction to the one I wished to go
I was fully convinced of there being another outlet, we
pulled on, but the men were beginning to flag when
on rounding a point to our great joy at a considerable
distance a boat was seen under sail. This circumstance gave
me great pleasure as my conjecture on first
entering this channel was fully proved…
Now was prepared for supper could not go on shore to make a fire
so lit one in an iron pot, spread our awning (not unlike the tilt of a
waggon) and prepared to make ourselves snug. After getting some
tea (the greatest luxury a man can have after fatigue which I have
often proved) we now began to prick for the softest plank which necessary
being accomplished we lay down to sleep and awoke next mor-
-ning as much refreshed as if we had slept in the softest of beds.

[ Read the full journal for: Wednesday 28 September 1836 ]


Thursday 29 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Thursday, 29th September…Pullen has returned with the surveying boat but is not certain as to the non-existence of a river, having seen a deep wide creek which he did not examine. Captain Light intends going himself tomorrow…

[ Read the full journal for: Thursday 29 September 1836 ]


Thursday 29 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

29th Sept 1836 Directly I awoke wrote this imagine to your- -selves me sitting in the stern sheets of a boat, Claughton laying alongside me half asleep three men at our feet (but not in the streightest of positions in as comfortable a house as you could wish one man outside preparing breakfast which when [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Thursday 29 September 1836 ]


Thursday 29 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

29 September-Light airs and fine; employed all the forenoon in constructing my chart of the coast. At one p.m. Mr Pullen returned, reporting his entrance into the northern channel, &c.; no fresh water was seen, and the channel, though broad and deep at first, was reduced to one fathom water a short distance from the [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Thursday 29 September 1836 ]


Friday 30 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Friday, 30th September. I have not left the ship today. Colonel Light and Pullen left early this morning. It has been blowing a fresh breeze from the North-West all day which has been very warm with a fine clear sky. The thermometer has risen to 700 in the cabin.

[ Read the full journal for: Friday 30 September 1836 ]


Friday 30 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

30 September…At the end of this reach, a large inlet appeared, still keeping a southerly direction; but as I was anxious to examine to the eastward, we ran about one mile in that direction, when another creek appeared in a line with Mount Lofty; into this I bent my course, with the strong hope of finding it prove the mouth of some fresh water stream from the mountains… I landed for the purpose of tracing on shore the source or direction of this creek, but the swamp and mangroves checked me entirely, therefore I returned to the A class of net fishing boats used on the Thames estuary. The Rapid’s boat was built specially for the Colonization Commissioners by W.T. Gulliver of Wapping hatch-boat , which being now afloat, we got under way; and having now fully persuaded myself that no part of this harbour could be that described by Captain Jones, I resolved on returning to the A sailing vessel with two square-rigged masts. brig , to run down the coast again, and see if by any chance we could have missed so desirable a shelter; but my mind was so impressed with the capabilities of this place, that it was my determination, should we be fortunate enough to discover the other, to return again to this as soon as I had made the first necessary survey…

[ Read the full journal for: Friday 30 September 1836 ]


Friday 30 September 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

30th This morning the Colonel with 4 men & myself left the A sailing vessel with two square-rigged masts. Brig
with the A class of net fishing boats used on the Thames estuary. The Rapid’s boat was built specially for the Colonization Commissioners by W.T. Gulliver of Wapping Hatch Boat & proceed to the sands. The depth of water we got
in the sea reach was quite enough for any purpose, at the extreme
of the second (a long & splendid reach) we bore away through
the channel I came though yesterday (now styled North
channel & eventually likely to become the chief anchorage) and
followed a large creek diverging from it towards the Hills
We carried good water for a considerable distance, at last
were effectually stopped by the shoals there being no good
landing or appearance of Fresh water determined on returning
& renew the examination after visiting Port Lincoln. __

[ Read the full journal for: Friday 30 September 1836 ]


Saturday 1 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Colonel returned early this morning without having discovered any river, but there are many creeks running inland from the Channel in some of which the water is brackish…

[ Read the full journal for: Saturday 1 October 1836 ]


Saturday 1 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

1 October…Running down the coast, I was enchanted with the extent of the plain to the northward of the Mount Lofty range; and as we had very little wind, our progress was slow, and consequently more time for observation; all the glasses in the ship were in requisition. At length seeing something like the mouth of a small river, and a country with trees so dispersed as to allow the sight of most luxuriant green underneath, I immediately stood in for it, and at fifteen minutes past four p.m. came to an anchor in three and a half A fathom is a measure of depth in the imperial system. One fathom is equal to six feet or 1.83 metres. fathoms in mud and weeds, about one and a half miles from the mouth of the river…

[ Read the full journal for: Saturday 1 October 1836 ]


Saturday 1 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

we immediately weighed & stood down the Gulf about 4 we anchored off the mouth of stream with Mt Lofty bearing about E. by S. On landing found the stream small and salt water at least as far as we traced it being a distance of not above a mile from the shortness of time [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Saturday 1 October 1836 ]


Sunday 2 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Sunday, 2nd October. About 9 p.m. last night the wind again shifted to the S.W. and increased to a strong gale which has blown ever since. As the wind was right on shore we let go another anchor and veered away so much cable that this morning we ran foul of the surveying boat that [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 2 October 1836 ]


Sunday 2 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

2 October-Strong gales and a heavy sea; down top-gallant yards, and struck topgallant masts, blowing hard all day. At eight p.m. more moderate; midnight, moderate.

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 2 October 1836 ]


Sunday 2 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

2nd Octr On waking this morning blowing hard a terrible hubbub on deck & heavy thumping under our quarter It was the Hatch Boat which had been anchored astern of the Brig and on veering got close to her damaged enough to give the Carpenter a week’s work. Field and Hill from the Mast head [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 2 October 1836 ]


Monday 3 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Monday, 3rd October. Some of our Officers having imagined they saw the mouth of a larger river about two miles to the southward of us, we weighed anchor after breakfast and the Brig proceeded in the direction indicated while another party which I joined, walked along the shore a distance of six miles without finding [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Monday 3 October 1836 ]


Monday 3 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

3 October… at nine went on shore to examine the plains. And as two of my officers had said that they saw from the main-top something like a large river, only two miles from us to the southward, I resolved to walk there, and desired Mr Field to get under way and anchor the A sailing vessel with two square-rigged masts. brig at the mouth – as should this prove to be the long-sought-for harbour of Jones, I could run the brig in and carry on the survey there. And at this place from the same point, our party consisted of Messrs Pullen, Claughton, Woodforde, a gardener named Laws, with a spade, and the gig’s crew; the latter were desired to pull along shore, and stop at the mouth of the river. Messrs Claughton, Woodforde and Laws kept some way inland to examine the soil as they went along, while Pullen and myself kept along the beach. Thus prepared not to miss the river, we proceeded, but about two miles off, we found nothing but a rather wide indenture of the coast, and were also surprised at the brig’s not anchoring, we therefore walked on about five miles further, and finding nothing like a river, returned to where we landed. Mr Field seeing distinctly our movements on shore, came back to the former anchorage – and at four p.m. we all returned on board. I was much gratified at the report Laws gave me of the soil, he being a good judge. It was, he said, excellent, and the further inland he was certain it would be still more so.

[ Read the full journal for: Monday 3 October 1836 ]


Monday 3 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Monday 3rd Octr Moderate the Colonel with a party of us landed to walk to the River seen yesterday while the Brig proceeded keeping at a same time look out on us & to send a boat when a signal was made. After a long & heavy walk in deep sand with no appearance of [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Monday 3 October 1836 ]


Tuesday 4 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

9 p.m. Tuesday, 4th October.
Remained on board all day. Colonel Light has been four miles up the river with which he is much pleased – the water is very good and it abounds with teal and other wild fowl. On the plain to the right of it he discovered several fresh water lagoons some of which are nearly a mile in length. The mouth of the stream is Lat. 34.59.

[ Read the full journal for: Tuesday 4 October 1836 ]


Tuesday 4 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

4 October-Fresh breezes and fine; went on shore at nine a.m. to examine the plain. I cannot express my delight at seeing no bounds to a flat of fine rich-looking country with an abundance of fresh-water lagoons, which, if dry in summer, convinced me that one need not dig a deep well to give sufficient [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Tuesday 4 October 1836 ]


Tuesday 4 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Tuesday 4th…The party returned about 3 o
clock reporting well of the country We now for the first time saw
the Native fires so they cannot be far off, it is reported by the
women accompanying us they are rather a fierce set about
here.

[ Read the full journal for: Tuesday 4 October 1836 ]


Wednesday 5 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

9 p.m. Wednesday, 5th October.
I have not been on shore today having been busy casting lead for his gun casting balls, cleaning my gun and mending my underwear inexpressibles. Claughton and Jacob who took their guns up the river this morning have returned with two brace and a half of Teal – the second fresh meal we have fallen in with this week. This worth recording as fresh meals come so few and far between and I am sorry to say some of the men are beginning to suffer for the want of them.

[ Read the full journal for: Wednesday 5 October 1836 ]


Wednesday 5 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

5 October-Light breezes and fine. Having much to do in observing several bearings from the ship, for the purpose of constructing my hasty chart of this side of the gulf, I remained at anchor, and sent Messrs Claughton and Jacob to trace the river up if they could, until they found fresh water in it. At one a.m. these gentlemen returned, and said the river about four miles from the mouth was fresh, it was then a very narrow stream bending to the N.E., and appeared to have its source in the plains-a circumstance that led me to suppose that more of these lagoons existed in that direction; and as every appearance indicated that these lagoons would be dry in summer, I felt convinced that the torrents from the mountains must be the fountain from whence they were now filled. My previous observations at sea,which I remarked often to Mr Field before I saw this country, were that all the vapours from the prevalent south-westerly winds would rest on the mountains here, and that we should, if we could locate this side the gulf, be never in dread of those droughts so often experienced on the eastern coast of Australia. And I was now fully persuaded by the evidence here shown, as well as the repeated collection of clouds, and rain falling on the hills even at this season of the year.

[ Read the full journal for: Wednesday 5 October 1836 ]


Thursday 6 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

9 p.m. Thursday, 6th October. We got our anchor up shortly after 6 a.m. this morning and made a start for Yankelilah [Yankalilla] where we intended to take in water. The weather was fine for the first hour or so, but after an hour’s calm a fresh breeze from the N.W. sprung up which shifted [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Thursday 6 October 1836 ]


Thursday 6 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

6 October…At six, got under way to run down the coast, as the native woman on board said there was still a large river more to the southward, which we had passed in coming up…

[ Read the full journal for: Thursday 6 October 1836 ]


Thursday 6 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Thursday 6th Weighed & stood down the Gulf about
[blank] miles below the last anchorage from the Mast head was
observed a stream apparently issuing from the hills and
discharging a little below us into the sea. I was immediately
despatched & found it to be small at the mouth but inc-
-reasing in size inland & apparently deep water which
I could not ascertain there being a heavy surf on could
not get the boat in it is now called the Onkaparinga
With every appearance of a Gale apparently not good
anchorage so as soon as I reached the A sailing vessel with two square-rigged masts. Brig the Colonel
bore up for the last anchorage & there rode out a heavy
gale not the first one which we had rode out here
From the good holding ground it was named Holdfast
Bay which it now retains.

[ Read the full journal for: Thursday 6 October 1836 ]


Friday 7 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

…We landed our women the day before yesterday to hunt and this evening they made their appearance on the beach when four volunteers started in the A light, narrow ship’s boat that could be rowed or sailed. gig to bring them off but from the height of the rollers were unable to reach the shore. We fear the poor women may be suffering from hunger as they were scantily provided with provisions and we were to have picked them up at Yankalilah [Yankalilla], but provided they have been successful in hunting which I hope to God they have they will not be so badly off always having the means of kindling a fire.

[ Read the full journal for: Friday 7 October 1836 ]


Friday 7 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

7 October-Strong breezes and cloudy. At eleven, the gale increasing, veered away fifteen fathoms more on each cable, and she held on well during the rest of the gale, which was most violent about noon. Toward evening, the gale moderated, but it was very squally throughout the night.

[ Read the full journal for: Friday 7 October 1836 ]


Saturday 8 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

7 p.m. Saturday, 8th October.
The wind having moderated a boat was sent off for the women – they had caught no game as they and the dogs were too hungry to hunt – a few roots were the only food they had had. After breakfast Claughton, Jacob, Pullen and myself landed with our guns and went up the banks of the river in search of wild fowl with which it was actually swarming but they were so wild and wary that we were very unsuccessful only having killed between  us a duck and brace of teal. There are several lagoons, or what we should call marshes in England, in the neighbourhood of the river, in these wild fowl resort to breed and this is apparently breeding-season as we picked up a cygnet and young duck neither of them fledged. On our return we shot a brace of quails and a beautiful rail resembling our landrail in all but plumage which was much finer…

[ Read the full journal for: Saturday 8 October 1836 ]


Saturday 8 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

8 October-Very unsettled weather throughout the day; employed setting up topmast rigging and other jobs.

[ Read the full journal for: Saturday 8 October 1836 ]


Sunday 9 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Sunday, 9th October.

Claughton and I again went on shore after dinner with our guns and killed sufficient fowl with yesterday’s sport for two meals. The great scarcity of fresh provisions from which most of us have suffered more or less could alone justify our thus breaking the For most Christians the Sabbath is Sunday, the day they celebrate their religion. For other Christians and for Jewish people the Sabbath is Saturday. Sabbath and I feel confident that neither of us would have done it for mere pleasure. We had expended all our ammunition and were returning towards the ship with empty guns when we found ourselves close upon five native huts which as we had no means of defence created a little alarm. It turned, however, that they were vacant and we resumed our journey unmolested but at a rather quicker pace than we had hitherto walked…

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 9 October 1836 ]


Sunday 9 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

9 October-Still very unsettled weather; at noon calm, which lasted till eight p.m. Employed on board in writing, &c.

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 9 October 1836 ]


Monday 10 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

9 p.m. Monday, 10th October. In getting under weigh early this morning we were obliged to ship one of our anchors which had got foul of the other. This accident detained us some time. We again made sail at 10 a.m. and ran back about fifteen miles along the coast to the Southward with the [...]

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Monday 10 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

we proceeded down the coast in search of the river the native woman had mentioned. At half past one p.m. To ‘heave to’ is to reduce a ship’s sails and adjust them so they counteract each other and stop the ship making progress. It is a safety measure used to deal with strong winds. hove to abreast of the river, and sent Mr Pullen in the A light, narrow ship’s boat that could be rowed or sailed. gig to examine the entrance. At ten past two he returned, and reported his seeing a large river for some distance, but the bar of sand having such a surf over it that he was nearly upset. Again disappointed in my hopes of finding Jones’s harbour, I now felt fully convinced that no such thing could exist on this coast, at least as described by him. Captain Jones’s account says:

There are several other streams of fine water all along the eastern side of the Gulf St. Vincent. Sturt River is always open to the sea, but the others are closed by a bar of sand during the summer, through which the water filters. The inlet (mis-called by Sturt Sixteen-mile Creek) is a stream of fresh water, and is much deeper and wider than the rest. About fifteen or twenty miles north of this river, he discovered a fine harbour, sheltered by an island at its entrance; the southern passage through which he entered is about one mile wide, with three and a half to four A fathom is a measure of depth in the imperial system. One fathom is equal to six feet or 1.83 metres. fathoms water; he anchored here in three and a half A fathom is a measure of depth in the imperial system. One fathom is equal to six feet or 1.83 metres. fathoms , and remained a day and a night. He did not land on the main, but was on shore on the island, which is about three miles in circumference; it is sandy, but there is an abundance of fresh water on it, as well as some streams running into the harbour from the main land…

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Tuesday 11 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Tuesday, 11th October

… About one we descried a boat steering for us and it was soon alongside when we found it contained little Stephens (our Nepean Bay friend) and Mr. Morphett a Land Agent who had come out in the “Cygnet” which vessel we were all delighted to hear had arrived safe on the 11th. of last month. They had, as we suspected, put into Rio for water. They have had two births on board, one since their arrival and one off the Island. Little Stevens has made the “Literally meaning honourable compensation, amende honourable was a public apology or reparation made to satisfy the honour of a person wronged.amende honourable” since we left the Island by marrying a girl whom he had been living with in a discreditable manner. She is the sister of an industrious man by the name of “Bear” – the same whose wife became insane on the passage out.

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Tuesday 11 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

…At a quarter to six got under way, light variable winds from the S.W. At noon we observed a boat coming towards us; at two p.m. hove to for the boat, which brought Mr Morphett and Mr Stephens. From these gentlemen we learned the arrival of the Cygnet at Nepean Bay, and that great part of the stores were already landed, and that the party had begun to hut themselves. I now resolved upon going into Rapid Bay, and after landing some stores there, to send the brig to Kangaroo Island, to fetch over the Assistant Surveyors, that they might be employed in the survey on this side of the Gulf, during my examination of Port Lincoln…

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Tuesday 11 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

On the Gale moderating which it did not until Monday 11th weighed & procee- -ded down the Gulf abreast of Yankalila we saw a boat standing out from under the land it turned out to be Mr Stevens C. Manager & Mr Morphett a gent- -leman arrived in Cygnet now lying at Nepean Bay & [...]

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Wednesday 12 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

…The natives we left in care of the garden have proved honest and are here to welcome our return and claim their reward. Our garden is looking well the seeds having nearly all come up.

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Wednesday 12 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Light airs from the eastward, and very fine weather; we all felt in high spirits, the air had a freshness quite exhilarating, and the idea of winter and gales being now over, we might set to work without any hindrances except what usually and unavoidably attend the commencement of such an undertaking…

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Wednesday 12 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Wednesday 12th The Colonel has determined on remaining here for some time in the mean time the Brig to proceed to Nepean Bay for the remainder of the Surveying party & stores. Commenced immediately landing the camp equipment & stores. On returning to the Brig in the evening heavy surf upon the beach for the [...]

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Thursday 13 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Thursday, 13th October.

The gale increased last night and blew with such violence that we were in momentary expectation of having our tent blown away. Jacob and I were the only two Officers on shore and in the night the carpenter and one of the labourers broached the rum cask and got dreadfully drunk. The latter was nearly dead this morning when I drew him out of the sand in which he was nearly buried and to make matters worse the tide rose so much higher than usual in the night that it floated our two boats that had been hauled up above high water mark. A box of carpenter’s tools was washed out of the surveying boat and nearly all of them are lost. Last night was the first I have slept on shore since we left England. A more uncomfortable one I never passed and it would not require many such to make me wish myself on board again. The A sailing vessel with two square-rigged masts. Brig has ridden out the gale bravely which proves that the anchorage is good. The weather moderated about noon and at 4 p.m. the Captain and Lady with Pullen and party joined us and all things are going on smoothly. I sent two of our natives to hunt with our dogs and they have captured a fine kangaroo which will be sufficient to feed all hands for four days.

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Thursday 13 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

13 October-Strong gales and a high sea. All the forenoon the ship pitched very much, but she held on well; at one p.m. it began to moderate, and by four we had fine weather. I went on shore, and we landed a few more things the same evening.

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Friday 14 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Friday, 14th October.

We have been busy all day putting our tents to rights and have just returned from our native’s fire where they entertained us with their native dance called by them A word from the Sydney area, in common usage by the 1830s to refer to a dance or ceremony performed by Australian Aboriginal people.“Corroborey”. It is chiefly characterized by feats of activity and violent contortions of muscle having nothing of grace in its composition. They dance it to a very monotonous harsh kind of vocal music, constantly repeating the same words. After the dance was over I played them an air on the flute. They seemed very much pleased but did not evince any great surprise.

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Friday 14 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

14 October-Moderate breezes and cloudy. Employed all day getting things on shore and erecting a store tent.

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Friday 14 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Thursday 14th Visited by the Natives dist-
-ributed amongst them a few red jackets &
trousers old ordnance stores which we were furn-
-ished with for that purpose, they were very
much pleased by them.

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Saturday 15 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Saturday, 15th October. Explored much the same as yesterday – went out with my gun in the morning but did not kill anything.

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Saturday 15 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

15 October-The few remaining things left yesterday were landed early this morning. In the forenoon, I was employed in arranging the disposition of tents, &c. And the afternoon writing to the Commissioners, with a mind worn down with anxiety in consequence of such repeated bad weather checking our work, and the dread of having a host of emigrants out before I knew where to land them.

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Sunday 16 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

16 October-Fresh breezes and cloudy. At seven, the brig got under way, and reached over to the north-west; at eleven, the brig out of sight. All hands employed cutting wood, hut building, and various other jobs.

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Sunday 16 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Sunday, 16th October.

The Brig being detained till today by contrary and strong winds got under weigh at daybreak for Nepean Bay, the wind being having moderated and the weather being very fine. Some of the natives showed much ingenuity this afternoon capturing several very fine fish of the salmon species. They descried the shoal from their huts – a distance of half a mile and upon a signal given each man dashed into the water with a small net under his arm and each succeeded in bringing out two, three or four enclosed in it in an incredibly short space of time. They immediately brought them to our tents and gave them to us, but we only took three from them, in return for which Colonel Light intends to give them a meal of beef. This tribe, i.e. the Cape Jervis tribe, have evinced much goodwill and not the slightest disposition to thieve. They are very useful to us fetching our wood and working in any way with great cheerfulness. Yesterday they were all rigged out in new jackets and trowsers and are promised each a new cap if they remain faithful. Contrary to the opinion of most people I think that with kind treatment they may be as easily civilized as any other race of savages. One of them who has lived with Wallend [Henry Wallen], the Chief Sealer, on the Island speaks a little English and understands much more, so he is a good interpreter. He generally accompanies me out shooting and fetches the game out of the water as well as any dog. He is much pleased when I kill a bird on the wing and expresses his surprise by the exclamation ‘Nurra-dourra”.

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Sunday 16 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Sunday 16th Brig weighed for Kangaroo Isle.

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Monday 17 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

17 October-Light breezes and fine, with cold air. At six, thermometer 52, noon 95, at two p.m. 105, at four 85, at six 62, at nine 52.

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Monday 17 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

… Stevens [Stephens] and Morphett called in just at dinner-time on their return from the Gulf. They are now with us and remain tonight. Bathed this morning for the first time.

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Monday 17 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Monday 17th The Whale boat with Mr Stevens & Morphett arrived having been detained at Yankalila by bad weather they were much pleased with the country the next day they left us for Kangaroo Isle.

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Tuesday 18 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

18 October-Very sultry and unpleasant weather, at night pleasant weather.

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Tuesday 18 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Tuesday, 18th October.

The weather today is extremely warm and sultry – thermometer in the tent 100. Stevens [Stephens] and party left us this morning for Kangaroo Island after which I went out with my gun and Jacob and killed a brace of quail. We sent our dogs out with two of the native men this morning and they have just returned with a fine kangaroo. This is the third we have had since we encamped here. Colonel Light and I took our rods and lines down to the stream and caught five dogfish in less than two hours.

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Wednesday 19 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

19 October-Light breezes and fine weather; employed in writing and drawing for the Commissioners.

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Wednesday 19 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

9 p.m. Wednesday, 19th October.

After our walk yesterday Jacob who was much fatigued and heated – contrary to my most urgent advise [advice] bathed in the fresh water stream which is extremely cold and in consequence is now confined to his bed suffering from a fever. I have not strayed far from the tents today but after the heat was over I again accompanied Colonel Light with Pullen to fish. Those we caught last evening were dressed for breakfast and proved extremely good tho’ small, and we have been equally successful this evening. The difference between the temperature of the mornings, evenings and mid-day is excessive. On Monday the range of the Thermometer in the tents was from 520 to 1050 .

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Thursday 20 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

20 October-Went with Messrs Pullen and Woodforde over the hills, to the next valley, and spent the day in looking over the country and taking a few angles.

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Thursday 20 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

…I have been engaged with one of the natives this evening learning the language and teaching him in return words of English. They are very apt at pronouncing words but forget them the next minute. Jacob is still very ill.

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Friday 21 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

21 October-Employed these two days in my surveys of the coast, drawings, and reports. All this day changeable; at night hard rain.

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Friday 21 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Friday, 21st October. Washing clothes all the forenoon – fished at the stream this afternoon – heavy rain, wind North.

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Saturday 22 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

22 October-Hard rain almost the whole day. At work on my chart.

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Saturday 22 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Saturday, 22nd October.

It rained hard the whole of last night and occasionally this forenoon. Until the tents were well wet the rain filtered thro’ them as thro’ a sieve so that our beds were rather damp. I went out alone with my gun after breakfast till dinnertime but killed nothing. After dinner I went with Colonel Light and Pullen to fish at the stream and we were successful. We sent our dogs out this morning and one of them was dreadfully torn by a kangaroo. I sewed the wound up and the poor creature seems much easier.

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Sunday 23 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

23 October-Sunday. The Rapid arrived with Mr Kingston from Nepean Bay; employed this afternoon getting things on shore. Rain great part of the day, with strong breezes.

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Sunday 23 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

[Sunday 23 October?]

On Sunday morning Colonel Light, Pullen and I started on a walk towards Cape Jervis, but seeing from one of the hills that the ‘Rapid’ had just come into the Bay, we returned and found that she had brought over a great number of the Surveyors and Labourers with stores which we have been busy landing ever since. The Brig started this morning to bring the rest of the Surveyors and some of the females from the Island. When she returns the party will be divided – some remaining here, and the others going up to Holdfast Bay, the name given to our last anchorage, from our having ridden out two very serious gales there. With regard to myself, the present arrangements are that I remain with the party here and I have consequently got all my traps on shore. The heat in the day is excessive, and the flies, the greatest pests imaginable, crawling incessantly to the eyes, and if not immediately dislodged, blowing there.

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Monday 24 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

24 October-Employed all day landing stores.

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Tuesday 25 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

25 October-Employed all day landing stores.

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Wednesday 26 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

26 October-TheRapid sailed for Nepean Bay. Party on shore employed in moving stores from the beach.

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Thursday 27 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

27 October-People employed in cutting wood for a store-house, and in various jobs.

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Friday 28 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

28 October-Light breezes and rainy.Employed building a store-house. The air very cold all day and night.

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Saturday 29 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

29 October-Very sudden changes, hot and cold alternately, with showers. At five p.m. Captain Lipson and Mr Pullen arrived in the hatch-boat, from Nepean Bay. I wrote to Captain Rolls of the Cygnet to receive on board Captain Lipson and his family and proceed to Port Lincoln.

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Sunday 30 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

30 October-Very cold. Captain Lipson and Mr Pullen left at six p.m. to return to Nepean Bay; very cold all night, exceeding cold air.

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Monday 31 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

31 October-Employed all day in my hut constructing my chart, and the men all day in building a store-house. Very variable climate; at six exceedingly cold, at eight still colder, and cold all night.

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Monday 31 October 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Nothing worth noting has occurred since I last wrote. My time has been employed chiefly as follows. The mornings, in shooting with Claughton, and my evenings in reading a little, washing a little and idling a great deal. Pullen came over in the surveying boat on Saturday bringing with him Captain Lipson, the Harbour-Master. They returned yesterday. This morning I was up to my eyes in flour making a pudding with birds shot by Claughton and myself. It is my first attempt and is intended for tomorrow’s dinner – “The proof of the pudding will be etc.”

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Tuesday 1 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

1 November-Calm and fine. The men employed constructing a store-hut – myself with chart.

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Wednesday 2 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

2 November-Employed all day in landing some stores from the Rapid, having determined on dividing the surveying party into two, one under Mr Kingston and the other under Mr Finniss, to make as many observations on this side the Gulf as possible during my absence at Port Lincoln or elsewhere, as I was perfectly satisfied as to the soil and extent of the country. Mr Kingston with the largest party, and Mr Gilbert with the greatest part of the stores, were directed to embark on board the Rapid for Holdfast Bay, and Mr Finniss to remain with his party at Rapid Valley; Mr Jacob taking charge of the stores for this party.

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Friday 4 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

4 November-The Rapid sailed for Holdfast Bay; I was obliged to remain at Rapid Valley, on account of the crowded state of my cabin, and intended going up in the A class of net fishing boats used on the Thames estuary. The Rapid’s boat was built specially for the Colonization Commissioners by W.T. Gulliver of Wapping. hatch-boat, which was hourly expected from Nepean Bay.

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Saturday 5 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

5 November-Employed in writing, drawing &c., and the men in building huts.

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Saturday 5 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

The last three days being almost maddened by the flies, I have been building myself a hut which will in some measure keep off these persevering tormentors. As the heat is excessive in the middle of the day and I have nearly half a mile to fetch my wood I fear it will be an endless job. The A sailing vessel with two square-rigged masts. Brig arrived from Kangaroo Island with the rest of the Surveyors etc. on Wednesday evening. The party is now divided into two – one of which sailed yesterday at 1 p.m. in the A sailing vessel with two square-rigged masts. brig for Holdfast Bay where that division will for the present be stationed. We are in momentary expectation of the arrival of Pullen who remained behind at the Island with the hatch boat to bring over Dr. Wright of the “Cygnet” who is detained at a bad case of midwifery. Colonel Light has appointed Dr. Wright to the Holdfast Bay station and I remain in care of the Rapid Bay one. When Pullen arrives Colonel Light will join the A sailing vessel with two square-rigged masts. brig with him and proceed round the Gulf and then to Port Lincoln leaving Maria here under my care.

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Sunday 6 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

6 November-At four p.m. the Africaine, Captain Duff, arrived with Mr Gouger the Colonial Secretary, Mr Brown the Emigration Agent, and many other passengers. I went on board and found that the ship had touched at Nepean Bay, where hearing that I had ordered all the surveying party and stores to this part of the Gulf, they followed, imagining some very urgent reasons had induced me to take such a step, contrary to the instructions given in England, which were for the stores to remain at Nepean Bay. My reasons were sent home to the Commissioners very soon after. Mr Gouger was of course very anxious to know where we should settle – a question I was by no means prepared to answer; and the only thing I could do was to recommend his proceeding to Holdfast Bay for the present. This was not at all satisfactory, everyone in such circumstances being anxious not to move again after landing all his embarked property; I could only recommend this place as one from which they were the least likely to re-embark – stating strongly at the same time, that I could not guarantee permanent settlement there. To make the best of a doubtful case, both Mr Gouger and Mr Brown agreed to take their chance; and Captain Duff having very kindly offered me a passage, I embarked at ten a.m., on the 7th. After beating against northerly winds, we came to at six p.m. the following day (8 November), at Holdfast Bay, where we saw the Rapid at anchor. Mr Field and Mr Morphett came down to meet us before we anchored; the accounts given by these gentlemen, did not cheer the spirits of our newcomers although they were anything but unfavourable. I had to undergo a little torment, which I kept to myself, being still persuaded that the connection of these plains with the creek, their immense extent to the N.E., consequently towards the Murray, and the certain conviction in my own mind of the existence of plenty of rich soil, would, after a month or two of dissatisfaction, fully quiet any apprehensions now entertained by these gentlemen. And these surmises were more strongly impressed by the trip Messrs Field, Kingston, and Morphett had made a few miles inland, during which they had come to a fresh water river, much larger than any we had yet seen.

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Sunday 6 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Sunday, 6th November. This morning have been engaged at my hut and until it is finished I am afraid I shall be compelled by the heat and flies to labour on the Sabbath, for which I hope to find pardon hereafter. At six this evening a ship hove in sight. Colonel Light went out in [...]

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Monday 7 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Just as I had received my letters this morning and was eagerly opening the first, a message arrived for me to attend a labour. Mrs. Hoare, a wife of a labourer. She is safely delivered of a fine boy who, at my request, is to be named “Rapid”. I was not detained long and again returned to read of all that was dear to me, and when I was assured of their welfare and health the happiness of that moment I would not have exchanged for millions. One of the labourers, Heath, in fighting, fractured the first metacarpal bone of the right hand. I have now reduced it and he is comfortable. Another man, Bristow, is under my care with a dreadfully inflamed finger from a fishbone wound. This shows a great disposition to flake off – usually refers to dead tissue slough and an amputation is not improbable…

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Tuesday 8 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

…Pullen arrived in the surveying boat this evening and had it not been for the timely assistance of the natives would have been drowned in swimming ashore through the surf. The “Cygnet” passed our Bay on her way up the Gulf. Captain Rolls is taking this trip to bring his accounts with Kingston to an issue which are very complicated. Mr. Kingston seems to shrink from the investigation and his behaviour is censured by high and low. He is universally disliked for his despotism and upstart tyranny.

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Wednesday 9 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

9 November-Messrs Gouger and Brown, with Captain Duff and myself, guided by Mr Field, landed about two miles to the northward of the Creek at Holdfast Bay, to ascertain, if possible, the mouth of the river discovered by Messrs Kingston, Field and Morphett; and here I give a short extract of my letter written as soon as I got on board to the Commissioners:

We have this morning been looking for the mouth of the river and find it exhausts itself in the lagoons, these must either ooze through the sand into the sea, or be connected with the creek. I strongly suspect the latter, as the distance to the creek is small at this part, and the water in the upper part of the creek, where I grounded, was far from being salt. I feel more interested in this flat than ever, and have determined that a survey may be carried on here while I am in the other Gulf…

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Wednesday 9 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Wednesday, 9th November. Pullen left us again to join Colonel Light at Holdfast Bay. It blew so hard yesterday that one of our Sealer’s dingy that he was towing over for us to fish with broke adrift and was lost, a great disappointment to all hands as we have now no means of procuring fish. [...]

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Thursday 10 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

…I felt again quite broken with such repeated bad weather, blowing strong all night with a heavy swell and the ship pitching much.

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Thursday 10 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

This day I have endeavoured to make up for past idleness and have been right manfully at my hut which is rapidly progressing.

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Friday 11 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

11 November-Fresh gales and heavy sea; at eight more moderate. Employed all day landing stores, &c. from the three ships but with much trouble on account of the high swell and surf; however, owing to the exertions of all employed, many heavy things were landed without accident; it blew hard again all night.

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Saturday 12 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

12 November-Still bad weather, and about noon one of the heaviest A squall is a sudden, sharp increase in wind speed. squalls we have yet had. I shall now give another extract of my letter to the Commissioners, of this date:

As various opinions are afloat as to the eligibility of the settlement here, I will now state my reasons in detail for the removal of the stores from Kangaroo Island, and the subsequent motions.

1st. I ought to have been sent out at least six months before anybody else, which would have given me time to settle emigrants or stores as they arrived.

2nd. Having seen so much beautiful country on this side [Gulf Saint Vincent, I was resolved on employing all the surveying gentlemen here, while I went round the other side and round Gulf Spencer, after which the site of the Capital would be fixed, and final arrangements made. The Rapid was therefore dispatched to Nepean Bay, and I went onshore in Rapid Valley to give up my cabin, and bring up some back work.

3rd. Hearing such lamentable accounts from our party at Nepean Bay from scarcity of water, I thought it best for the whole to come over, and for the want of another efficient officer I was obliged to divide the party into two instead of three; therefore the largest party, with Mr Kingston, should come to Holdfast Bay, and Mr Gilbert’s stores to accompany him also, Rapid Bay not having so good a beach for landing stores; and besides, should a gale come on, and a ship go on shore, all would be lost, whereas, at Holdfast Bay, lives and property in such a disaster would at least be saved, and most likely the ship also; had I a third party I would have landed them at Yankalilla. I could not make a store ship of the Cygnet to go from one part of the Gulf to another as stores might be wanted, from her inefficient sailing qualities, and her not being the kind of vessel required for such service.

4th. Looking generally at this place I am quite confident it will be one of the largest settlements, if not the capital of the new colony, the Creek will be its Harbour. Six months labour would clear a road down to it, and if not there is a hard, sandy beach the whole way, on which a mail coach might run. I next view the range of mountains going with a gradual slope into the plain where it ends altogether, and we see no other hills which gives me great hopes that this plain extends all the way to the Murray, and in spite of all the opinions on the subject now, I am positive there is quite enough of good rich land for every purpose; the low parts of this plain are covered with fresh water lakes, many of which are full of rushes, and in the winter a great part of the plain may be covered with water, but the ground rises gradually towards the mountains, and that part can never be flooded, and it has the same appearance that exists on the hills about Rapid Bay, the second valley, and other parts which are extremely rich. Much remains to be done also by proper management of the waters that have hitherto run in natural courses, by collecting them with proper dams, and conducting them through more eligible channels. This will I am sure be one of the finest plains in the world.

5th. If I had time to examine the other side of this Gulf, Port Lincoln, and Gulf Spencer, perhaps some better place might have been found for the stores; even then we should have wanted more men for their protection, as the natives on Yorke’s Peninsula and Gulf Spencer are represented much more hostile; when I say better place, I allude to the anchorage, and landing stores on a A lee shore is dangerous. It is a coast onto which the wind blows from the sea, presenting the danger that a ship will be blown onto shore. lee shore ; in other respects they cannot be better, having here plenty of wood and water, and for those who have stock there is plenty of good grass…

[ Read the full journal for: Saturday 12 November 1836 ]


Sunday 13 November 1836

[ | , who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

13 November-Employed landing stores, &c.

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 13 November 1836 ]


Monday 14 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

14 November-Ditto.

[ Read the full journal for: Monday 14 November 1836 ]


Tuesday 15 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

15 November-Ditto. Everything landed from the Rapid.

[ Read the full journal for: Tuesday 15 November 1836 ]


Tuesday 15 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Tuesday, 15th November. Walked this morning with Lipson to the next valley where we spent the forenoon in shooting for the pot. We were pretty successful shooting Parrots and Lowries of enough for two large puddings, but were so much fatigued that neither of us were able to work at our huts this afternoon. The [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Tuesday 15 November 1836 ]


Wednesday 16 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

16 November-Walked with Messrs Kingston and Brown to examine the plains, taking a south-easterly direction; we were much pleased with the appearance of the whole; at four p.m. returned on board, the weather looking bad, and the wind increasing fast from the westward; about six the Cygnet‘s Sailing ships carried various smaller boats for different purposes. A longboat was an open row boat accommodating eight to ten oarsmen that was capable of moving through high waves. long-boat in going from the shore to the ship unfortunately capsized in a A squall is a sudden, sharp increase in wind speed. squall , and went down; no lives were lost…

[ Read the full journal for: Wednesday 16 November 1836 ]


Wednesday 16 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Nothing worth notice has occurred since Friday until yesterday which Lipson and I spent shooting and fishing in the next valley. My time has on the other days been variously employed working at my hut when the weather would permit, and lying down with a book in the middle of the day. The heat has been excessive these last two days, the thermometer in the tents yesterday being at About 48 Degrees Celsius. 1180 . We have no mosquitoes in Rapid Bay but the flies are the most torturing of torments, alighting by hundreds on the face and creeping into the ears, eyes and nose, thus keeping one in a constant fever. I gave 5/- for an old gauze veil which acted as a defence against the brutes but rendered the heat almost suffocating, which last evil I willingly endured to be rid of the first. I was unfortunate enough yesterday to lose my veil and my poor face is again doomed to be victimised. We did not return from our sport yesterday till night had set in when, on reaching the hills we were alarmed by seeing a great part of the valley of our encampment in flames which were rapidly spreading in the direction of the tents. On our arrival we were informed that the fire was accidental and arose from one of the labourers imprudently setting fire to some grass on ground that he was about to dig. The breeze, however, which caused the flames to spread so rapidly covering more than two miles of country, happily died away before midnight and the fire gradually subsided. The sight from the hills was grand in the extreme, completely illuminating our settlement and the effect of the glare reflecting on the snow-white tents was as beautiful as it was strange.

[ Read the full journal for: Wednesday 16 November 1836 ]


Thursday 17 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

17 November-Still blowing fresh all day from the westward.

[ Read the full journal for: Thursday 17 November 1836 ]


Thursday 17 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Thursday, 17th November. This morning being quite ennye [?] and being unable to get to my tools, I took my gun and Beppo and went in search of quails of which I succeeded in killing three brace and returned to dinner quite exhausted by the heat. I have just shot a native dog that I [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Thursday 17 November 1836 ]


Friday 18 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

18 November-The Cygnet‘s boats with the assistance of our jolly-boat raised the long-boat that went down on the 16th.

[ Read the full journal for: Friday 18 November 1836 ]


Friday 18 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

9 p.m. Friday, 18th November.

An idle day, the tools being still in use by the surveying party. I shot a few quails yesterday which with those of yesterday will make us a nice pudding – a thing not to be sneezed at in this infant Colony, especially as we are getting tired of kangaroo which as the heat of the weather increases gets poor and rank. This afternoon I cleaned my gun, smoked and read and am now going to bed, leaving the gentlemen surveyors to sup off roasted potatoes of Kangaroo Island growth.

[ Read the full journal for: Friday 18 November 1836 ]


Saturday 19 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

19 November-Employed on board arranging with Captain Duff to proceed to Hobart Town for stock, &c. The following is an extract from my letter of the same date to the Commissioners: I have also entered into an agreement with Captain Duff, to go to Hobart Town for sheep, oxen, &c. &c. The sheep to be fattened and killed here, and sold to all who are not entitled to rations, at a price fixed by Messrs Gouger, Brown, and Gilbert, those who are entitled to rations will get alternate days fresh and salt provisions. This measure I deem highly necessary for the welfare of the colony, for among our men, who have been seven months on salt provisions (and will be nine perhaps before the stock arrives) strong symptoms of scurvy appear-if any get the slightest scratch, he is not cured for a month or six weeks; and I am sorry to observe cases of sore feet and painful swellings occur too frequently. The oxen, withcarts cars complete, are very much wanted-no work can be carried on inland without them, they are indispensable; therefore I should not do my duty to omit sending for them. I am told, some are ordered from the Cape, but when will they arrive? And when they do, there will be work for treble their number-this can never be a loss to the Commissioners, for the purchasers of land will require them also, and for the present we cannot go on without them. In England and other countries where roads are made, houses are found for accommodation, &c. vehicles and animals are allowed for public duties, but in this country, no one knows how impossible it is to work without them, except those on the spot. The number I have sent for are as follows: 800 sheep for fatting and killing, 10 oxen with cars complete, such as are used by the government Surveying. Two men to take charge of the stock, to be engaged on their arrival here, at £3 a month with rations, and a prospect of future advancement as their conduct may deserve. The sale of fresh provisions will, I trust, nearly, if not fully, cover the expense of the ship’s freight. Having now settled everything for the present, I shall get under way and proceed for the creek, taking Mr Kingston with me, and there give him his line of operation, whence I shall proceed to Gulf Spencer, &c. and I am satisfied (if we find nothing better) whatever may appear now more eligible for individual comfort, a few years will make this plain the greatest and most wealthy settlement in the new colony.

[ Read the full journal for: Saturday 19 November 1836 ]


Saturday 19 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Poor Jacob, a good-hearted but unsophisticated companion of ours, is in a peck of trouble having met with a chapter of accidents in the night. About 1 a.m. he came in his shirt and night-cap to my tent to borrow a loaded gun to shoot the other native dog which he said had been several times into his tent. Hardy, who was sleeping in my tent, happened to have his gun loaded and lent it to him. We shortly after heard the report and soon after poor Jacob, muttering to himself, made his appearance quite broken hearted, for lo instead of the native dog, he had killed a favourite little bitch, heavy with pup, belonging to Hardy and to make things worse had broken the borrowed gun and has been obliged to purchase it. His misfortune did not end here for in his flurry he tumbled over, or through, a chair belonging to another Officer. The Ghost of Hamlet is a fool to the figure, long pale Jacob cut on entering our tent in the above-named costume with the moon shining on his white visage and a huge naked sword preceding him at arm’s length all ready for assault and battery.

[ Read the full journal for: Saturday 19 November 1836 ]


Sunday 20 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

20 November-Early part employed finishing our letters for England, at noon sent them on board the Africaine, and immediately after got under way for the creek… At six p.m. we came to anchor in the first reach in the creek, and all hands were overjoyed at the little A sailing vessel with two square-rigged masts. brig’s berth, in so snug a spot in this hitherto unknown anchorage.

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 20 November 1836 ]


Monday 21 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

21 November-Left the A sailing vessel with two square-rigged masts. brig , in the A class of net fishing boats used on the Thames estuary. The Rapid’s boat was built specially for the Colonization Commissioners by W.T. Gulliver of Wapping. hatch-boat , with Messrs Kingston, Morphett and Pullen, to examine the southern reach, which I had before left unnoticed but here I will give a copy of my letter to the Commissioners:

[ Read the full journal for: Monday 21 November 1836 ]


Monday 21 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Yesterday was passed in a quiet peaceable kind of way, none of us leaving our home. The heat exceeded anything we have as yet felt. The mosquitoes made their appearance at Rapid Bay and were very numerous. The thermometer in the tents was 1230 at mid-day and below 600 in the evening. This morning at daybreak I rose to join the Surveyors who were going to take a long [way?] round but being of straying habits I lost them before I had been away an hour and pursued my course with my gun for a companion. I shot a great many birds chiefly of the Parrot tribe which are very good eating – Being very much fatigued about mid-day, and thirsty in proportion to the heat, I was lothe to leave a stream that I found between N.W. High Bluff and Cape Jervis and consequently determined on shooting my way along it to a small beach where it emptied itself. The cliffs each side were so perpendicular that I was obliged to walk in the bed of the stream for more than a mile knee deep in mud and water. I was weary and well nigh exhausted and just had the little beach with the fresh sea breeze within my grasp where I intended resting until the cool of the evening when lo I found the very haven of my repose occupied by a tribe of strange natives. Being Latin, meaning alone. solus and not at all inclined to be eaten I quickly retraced my steps and as good luck would have it, unperceived by the black gentry who, I have learnt from our Sealer, belong to Encounter Bay. I arrived at our camp at 4 p.m. more dead than alive but am now considerably [refreshed?] by my tea of which I have swallowed six cups.

[ Read the full journal for: Monday 21 November 1836 ]


Tuesday 22 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

22 November-The harbour.

Gentlemen-I sent you my last report by the Africaine, on the 20th inst. I am now in hopes of seeing Captain Duff in Nepean Bay, before she sails for Hobart Town, that I may send this also. I could not leave this coast without looking once more at this harbour; the first impressions with regard to its being connected with the fresh waters grew stronger on my mind daily, therefore on leaving Holdfast Bay on the 20th inst. we steered at once for this beautiful anchorage, and ran the A sailing vessel with two square-rigged masts. brig in, where we now lie at single anchor, with only twenty fathoms of chain out, in smooth water, although it is blowing a gale of wind from the S.W., with thick rainy weather.

…Mr Kingston accompanied me in the surveying boat to examine that creek taking a southerly direction which I had not had time before to look at carefully…

We were more than delighted to find it running into the plain at such a distance, and I am now more than ever persuaded that it is connected with the fresh water lakes; if not, it extends to within a couple of miles of them, and one of the finest little harbours I ever saw is now fairly known; we had, as you will see, three A fathom is a measure of depth in the imperial system. One fathom is equal to six feet or 1.83 metres. fathoms water, and very often four at dead low water, at five or six miles from where the A sailing vessel with two square-rigged masts. brig was at anchor.

In the rough plan I send you I have put down all my views as to the Harbour and plain, and although my duty obliges me to look at other places first before I fix on the capital, yet I feel assured, as I did from the first, that I shall only be losing time. The eastern coast of Gulf Saint Vincent is the most eligible, if a harbour could be found that harbour is now found-more extensive, safe, and beautiful, than we could even have hoped for…I have never seen a harbour so well supplied with little creeks that would answer for ship building as this. We want some small craft sadly, from forty, fifty, sixty, or even one hundred tons; they would soon pay for themselves as the colony increases. A few horses are much wanted vehicles are absolutely necessary, work cannot go on without them.

[ Read the full journal for: Tuesday 22 November 1836 ]


Wednesday 23 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

23 November-I have this day been taking more angles on shore to ascertain the direction of the harbour, but find they differ so little from the first that it is not worthwhile altering until an accurate trigonometrical survey commences. You are, I hope, aware that all my plans hitherto have been done from hasty angles by A precision instrument for measuring angles in the horizontal and vertical planes. theodolites , bearings by pocket compass, and in many cases estimated distances, for I have done them frequently alone and with interruption of bad weather; but I am quite sure they are more than sufficiently accurate to give you a better idea of the coast than any former chart, and quite enough for any ship to sail by. While employed on shore, I requested Mr Field to lay down a buoy at the end of each spit forming the mouth of this harbour-and I hope in a short time to be able to take all ships coming here into as beautiful and safe a harbour as the world can produce. We want a mud boat also to deepen the channel for large ships drawing more than seventeen feet water. If we consider these channels to have remained with three A fathom is a measure of depth in the imperial system. One fathom is equal to six feet or 1.83 metres. fathoms at high water for ages with the natural drainings from the land, a little human industry may render these parts as deep as the rest, particularly as they extend but a short distance. There is another and a stronger reason than all for this idea-I have observed the ebb tide runs much stronger than the flood, a proof that the harbour is supplied from more than the flowing of the sea. Yesterday in the gale, with twenty A fathom is a measure of depth in the imperial system. One fathom is equal to six feet or 1.83 metres. fathoms of cable, the ship rode to the tide the whole time with the wind right up.

[ Read the full journal for: Wednesday 23 November 1836 ]


Thursday 24 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

At half past two, Messrs Kingston and Brown came on board, and I am, thank God, at last repaid for my former anxieties by finding the first impressions made on my mind of the plains and harbour so far realized. I cannot say how much I suffered (although I was determined not to allow individual feeling to hurt the future prospects of the colony) from the evident discontent experienced by all parties on my insisting on landing stores and all here; but I find now they have changed their minds, and think this is the place for the capital of a flourishing colony. I herewith enclose you Mr Kingston’s report:

Holdfast Bay,
24 November, 1836.
My Dear Sir – It affords me much sincere pleasure to be enabled to report to you that the branch of the harbour which we went up on Monday last, proves to be the embouchure of the fresh water river which I discovered the day after we had landed here, and which, as far as I have been able to see it, I am induced to believe, rises at the foot of Mount Lofty. I landed on Tuesday from the A class of net fishing boats used on the Thames estuary. The Rapid’s boat was built specially for the Colonization Commissioners by W.T. Gulliver of Wapping. hatch-boat , about a mile further north than we did the day previous, and proceeded as close to the banks as the mangroves would allow. About a quarter of a mile from where I landed, we crossed a creek from the eastward about fifteen yards wide and three feet deep; in the course of the day we crossed several other small ones, in all of which the water was salt. After proceeding on nearly a due southerly course, I found the water in the middle of the river nearly fresh (we had used much worse at Nepean Bay), and about a mile further perfectly so. Mount Lofty bearing E.50 S. I kept along the banks of the river, still running from the south, about two miles-when I think it had its source in the marshes, in which I found the river before alluded to, losing itself… [H]aving first crossed the river running down from Mount Lofty, my road for about six miles was across a plain of exceedingly fine land; I again traced the plain and then kept on its edge, being all along able to trace the course of the river through the reeds, until I found it again running through a regular bed. The river, although in parts shallow and much obstructed by fallen tea trees, would be navigable for flat-bottomed boats as far as the marshes, through which a regular communication with the upper part of it can easily be made. A very large body of water must come down the river in the winter, as in the upper part where the banks are thirty feet deep, there are evident marks of the floods reaching the top. I now feel assured that we have obtained sufficient information to convince the most sceptical of the great value and eligibility of these plains-possessing as they do, abundance of fresh water, an excellent harbour, with at least one river into it, which can easily be made eligible as a mode of communication between it and the plains.

Believe me, Sir,

Yours, most sincerely,

G. S. Kingston.

[ Read the full journal for: Thursday 24 November 1836 ]


Thursday 24 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

…Tuesday I felt very poorly and in the night was seized with a violent bowel complaint of which I have only now recovered, consequently yesterday was again a blank. Understand that Captain Light wished for the spot I had fixed upon for my hut, which is finished all but the thatch. I immediately gave it up to him with the frame and today I have three labourers getting under weigh with all speed. We have had for dinner today a mass of beautiful French beans. The first vegetables with the exception of radishes and cress grown in our garden. We shall soon be able to have green pease, and everything else looks very promising. We are still planting potatoes, but merely for seed, as the season is too far advanced for them to reach their full growth.

[ Read the full journal for: Thursday 24 November 1836 ]


Friday 25 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

25 November-We could not get under way this morning before eight o’clock, being calm. On reckoning up the quantity of bread left on shore at Rapid Bay, Mr Field calculates on their only having five days consumption of that article left, therefore I must go there and land some more for the party, and I [...]

[ Read the full journal for: Friday 25 November 1836 ]


Friday 25 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

The whole of this day I have been busy with the men at my hut and have now some hopes of getting it finished and not before it is wanted as we are all of us more or less sufferers from An inflammation of the eye. opthalmia , occasioned as I believe by the intense heat and glare of the tents in the day and the sudden cold in the evening.

[ Read the full journal for: Friday 25 November 1836 ]


Saturday 26 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

26 November-Working to windward all the first part; at two p.m. came to an anchor in Rapid Bay; at six the hatch-boat left the ship with dispatches for England to go by the Africaine, now in Nepean Bay. Blowing strong all night from the eastward.

[ Read the full journal for: Saturday 26 November 1836 ]


Saturday 26 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

The “Rapid” hove in sight at 7 a.m. this morning and came to anchor at 3 p.m. Captain Light, Pullen and Claughton came on shore to dinner and informed us that there is every probability of the Capital being formed at Holdfast Bay, as, during the last cruize, many paramount advantages have been found, viz. the creek higher up forms a most splendid harbour ending in fresh water streams, one of which having from two to four A fathom is a measure of depth in the imperial system. One fathom is equal to six feet or 1.83 metres. fathoms in it. It extends to within six miles of [the] Capital.

[ Read the full journal for: Saturday 26 November 1836 ]


Sunday 27 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

27 November-Employed landing bread, and I took the opportunity of accompanying Mr Finniss as far as the third range of hills, to examine that part of the country he was then surveying; I was delighted to find the tops of the highest hills composed of excellent rich soil, and quite moist.

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 27 November 1836 ]


Sunday 27 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

My birthday. Piping hot. Most of the “Rapid’s” on shore. I accompanied Captain Light and Mr. Finnis on a walk up to the hills after dinner and finished the evening at the hut of the Surveyors with which I was invited to take tea and cake – the latter made and sent by Mrs. Lisson [Lipson?].

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 27 November 1836 ]


Monday 28 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

28 November-We could not get under way before two p.m. on account of the calm; at nine came to anchor in Nepean Bay, blowing very fresh.

[ Read the full journal for: Monday 28 November 1836 ]


Monday 28 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Monday 28th November. The “Rapid” started at noon for Kangaroo Island to pick up Pullen who had gone with despatches for the “Africaine” bound to Van Dieman’s Land. The Brig then proceeds to Port Lincoln and is expected back in three weeks.

[ Read the full journal for: Monday 28 November 1836 ]


Tuesday 29 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

29 November-Remained at Nepean Bay weatherbound; our hatch-boat with Messrs Pullen and Morphett joined.

[ Read the full journal for: Tuesday 29 November 1836 ]


Wednesday 30 November 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

30 November-Ditto.

[ Read the full journal for: Wednesday 30 November 1836 ]


Thursday 1 December 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

1 December-Light breezes and fine; at half past five got under way and worked up to Kingscote; the wind being still against us I resolved on getting some things we were in want of from the John Pirie. All the afternoon blowing fresh with very cold air.

[ Read the full journal for: Thursday 1 December 1836 ]


Friday 2 December 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

2 December-Calm; at eight fresh breezes and fine; got under way and proceeded for Port Lincoln, at five p.m.; at eight p.m. ditto and cold; at eleven passed Althorpe Islands; at midnight hove to.

[ Read the full journal for: Friday 2 December 1836 ]


Friday 2 December 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

…Today I am again at work at my hut which progresses slowly, having lost the services of the native men who have taken it into their heads to leave us for a while, leaving their women behind. I enlisted three of the latter on Wednesday and found them very useful in carrying reeds for my thatch. The first dish of green pease was gathered yesterday from our garden. They relished exceedingly with a brace of wild fowl (red-bills) I killed the evening before. The temperature has been very moderate since my last notes on the thermometer.

[ Read the full journal for: Friday 2 December 1836 ]


Saturday 3 December 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

3 December-At four a.m. made sail; at eight passed Wedge Island, with moderate breezes and fine weather, but a very great swell from the southward; at noon nearly calm, off Thistle Island; at three p.m. light baffling airs, and a very unpleasant swell; at five a breeze again from the eastward, which gave us hopes of getting in before dark, as the entrance to Port Lincoln was now quite apparent, and we were drawing the land At or towards the stern or rear of a ship. aft very fast, the bearings were Point Donington N .W., and the dangerous reef N.E. by E.; at six we were again baffled, and soon after the breeze died away; at seven we found we were going To be any distance behind a vessel. astern ; at eight the flood began to make, and we made a little progress; very light and variable winds all night.

[ Read the full journal for: Saturday 3 December 1836 ]


Sunday 4 December 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

4 December-After many shifts of wind, sudden gusts, and a great deal of trouble, we came to an anchor at ten a.m. in seven fathoms water, under Grantham’s Island; the Cygnet was seen at anchor in the bight of the Harbour; at eleven Captain Lipson came on board and remained with us about an hour; he spoke most highly of this harbour and the land, and thought there could be no doubt of its being the best situation for the capital. I certainly was much pleased to find we had so many good places in this part of the world, for should this prove the fittest place for the capital, still the eastern shore of Gulf Saint Vincent would always be an extensive corn and grazing country; however, it was determined we should go on shore together and examine it; we had strong gusts of wind with occasional rain all the afternoon. I will now insert a copy of my letter the Commissioners:
Brig Rapid, Port Lincoln,
5 December, 1836.
Gentlemen…
The necessity of getting fresh provisions increases daily: at Rapid Valley nine labourers out of fifteen are hardly able to do any thing from caused by scurvy scorbutic sores on their feet and ankles; another has a finger which I fear must eventually come off having pricked it with a fish bone; one of my boat’s crew on 26 November hurt his fingers between two pigs of ballast, and his hand is now so bad that I much fear he will suffer some months; and out of a small ship’s company there are five with swelled feet and ankles, besides a number at Holdfast Plain suffering from the same cause. These cases will, I hope, convince the Commissioners that I have only acted for the best in sending for fresh stock from Hobart Town.

The Cygnet had been sent here from Gulf Saint Vincent with Captain Lipson, to await the arrival of the Governor, and I was sorry on our arrival yesterday at seeing the Cygnet at anchor alone, for I was full of hopes that by this time the Governor had arrived. It is very odd that every time I write I have to report the bad state of the weather; it has been blowing hard occasionally since 26 November, and now a perfect gale, with thick rainy weather. I am decidedly of opinion that Port Lincoln is no harbour for merchant ships; looking at it as a port for men of war well-manned, plenty of boats, &c. it is very well; it is capacious, and there is excellent holding ground, but the strong gusts of wind shifting all round compass renders the entrance not altogether so safe as the plan of it on paper would indicate. When Captain Lipson came here in the Cygnet, they had fine light easterly breezes all the way; we, however, found that coming into this harbour was more troublesome than anything we have met with since our arrival in South Australia.

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 4 December 1836 ]


Sunday 4 December 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

The heat is again oppressive having had yesterday and today one of the hot northerly winds which appear to be very frequent. A sealing cutter anchored in our Bay and disposed of a ton and a half of potatoes to us with chease (Colonial) and mutton and bird’s eggs which are very fine. I have today recommended a distribution of potatoes to the labourers as they are showing a disposition to scurvy. We were alarmed last night by observing a light in the offing which had the appearance of a vessel on fire, but which from not altering its bearing we were happily convinced was a conflagration on the opposite side of the Gulf. For the last week we have had fires on all sides of us, it being the season at which the natives set fire to the grass.

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 4 December 1836 ]


Monday 5 December 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

5 December-At eight a.m. we reached in between Boston Island and Cape Donington; at this moment the gusts of wind were so strong we were obliged To [take] in The topgallant mast (pronounced and sometimes written t’gallant) is the mast immediately above the topmast, or an extension of the topmast. See ships’ rigging for further discussion.top-gallant sails, lower the topsails on the caps, up courses, and downA triangular sail carried on a rope stay running between the foremast and the jib boom, an extension of the bowsprit. jib. A merchant vessel bound for this port not expecting anything like this after a long passage, may here have her rigging rather slack and not think it necessary to set it up before coming into so fine an harbour; a ship thus situated would have most certainly been dismasted, gone on shore, and on a rocky coast. Trading vessels coming here must anchor at least one mile from the shore, and then landing goods is by no means easy. I much doubt the safety of Gulf Spencer altogether, whether the season of the year was better when Flinders and the French navigators were here I cannot say, but from the little I have seen I think if this be the principal port many ships will be lost.

I will now compare the two Gulfs:

GULF SPENCER
1st.The mouth of the Gulf has many obstructions by rocky Islands and Reefs, and during the prevalence of the westerly gales a most tremendous sea must be thrown there if we may judge by the high swell we had in crossing it in fine weather.
2nd. (Query) Can a strange ship, making Thistle Island, Wedge Island, or any other part just before dark, and a gale coming on, with thick weather, shape her course and run without danger into the Gulf? I say no, for the winds may, and most likely would shift from one direction to another baffle at the most critical part, that is, between two Islands; her safest plan therefore would be to run for Investigator’s Straits if she could fetch it, if not, she must lay to, and the flood tide in such case being much stronger, she might be drifted into a very unsafe situation. If unfortunately she should be driven upon any of the rocks or shoals it would be destruction to all.
3rd. Port Lincoln is certainly a fine capacious harbour, but a great part of it is open to the N.E. and the mouth of it is surrounded, as the chart will show, by islands and reefs, and if we had so much trouble in getting in, and sudden shifting gusts of winds at this season of the year, what may we expect in winter. The westerly gales that would bring a ship up to its mouth would prevent its getting in, when there, and she runs, as I said before, great risk of carrying away her masts.
4th. Merchant vessels after getting in must land their cargoes at a distance of one or two miles from the ships; and in blowing weather, would not be able to land them at all-and I believe it blows hard full half the year round. From what I have seen these two days here, nothing could have been landed even if lighters were prepared, therefore I have reason to say that in this port many days in the year would be entirely lost to trading vessels.

GULF SAINT VINCENT
1st. There are no obstructions whatever, and it is certainly much more sheltered from westerly winds than Gulf Spencer.
2nd. If a ship be bound to Gulf Saint Vincent she would make the land at the S.W. end of Kangaroo Island, or go the other passage, in either case a westerly gale coming on she is soon out of danger and under shelter. In the next place should the vessel be at the mouth of Gulf Saint Vincent when a gale comes on, she may steer right up the Gulf even in the night by compass, and the farther she goes the less sea she will have, and finally may let go her anchor in seven, six, five, four, or three A fathom is a measure of depth in the imperial system. One fathom is equal to six feet or 1.83 metres. fathoms water, where, if well found in ground tackle she will most likely ride out well (I speak this from experience), and should even the last disaster happen of going ashore, lives and property would be saved, and most likely the ship herself.
3rd. The harbour in Gulf Saint Vincent is long and more like a river, and sheltered from every wind. The heaviest gale from any quarter can never hurt; and when the entrance is properly buoyed down there is no difficulty whatever; but the material point in favour of this harbour is that in Gulf Saint Vincent there is no fear from any winds except westerly from N.W. to S.W., and these are all fair to run into the harbour with, the only fault is that ships must wait for the tide; but with two of the mud vessels for deepening channels, the shallow parts could easily be made free for ships drawing from 16 to 18 feet water, as they extend but a short distance, and over these shallow parts there is now three A fathom is a measure of depth in the imperial system. One fathom is equal to six feet or 1.83 metres. fathoms at high water, spring tides.
4th. In the harbour above Holdfast Bay a ship once in may lay alongside a wharf when it is erected, and until that time land her cargo in boats in perfectly smooth water, in the heaviest gale, and not one day lost in any season of the year.

[ Read the full journal for: Monday 5 December 1836 ]


Tuesday 6 December 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

6 December-Went on shore with Captain Lipson, Mr Morphett, and Mr Pullen; Captain Lipson had before told me the land here was rich and abundant. We landed at the S.E. end of the port, and walked in a southerly direction for some distance, until we could plainly see the ocean; but I was much disappointed at finding nothing but hard rocks and she-oak. After looking about for some time, we descended into the plain at the head of the Gulf, and here we found some tolerable land, but only in small patches, and some pools of fresh water-high hills surrounding the plain, which might be about four miles in circumference, but in which I do not suppose there were a thousand acres of tolerable land; at the bight a sand runs out a long way, and on the southern side a bed of flat stone extends into the harbour for nearly half a mile. I was much disappointed altogether with the place; at five p.m. we returned on board. I must decidedly say it cannot be thought of as a first settlement; some years hence it may be made a valuable sea port, but can only be after the colony has increased considerably.

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Wednesday 7 December 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

7 December-It was my intention to have gone on shore this day and examine the other side of the port, but after looking attentively with a good glass and comparing the appearance of the country on both sides, I found them so exactly of the same nature that I determined on running for Spalding Cove, and search for fresh water. No settlement of any extent could be formed here for many years; the hills sloping down to the water’s edge, and the want of fresh water, are impediments that could not be got over without ruining the first settlers…

[ Read the full journal for: Wednesday 7 December 1836 ]


Thursday 8 December 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

8 December-Blowing very strong; at half past four more moderate, sent a boat on shore to search for fresh water, but none was found.

[ Read the full journal for: Thursday 8 December 1836 ]


Friday 9 December 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

9 December–Moderate and cloudy… At ten we got under way, and meeting with almost as much trouble in getting out as we did in coming in, we were at last drifted so far to the southward as to oblige us to run for an anchorage under Taylor’s Island. (I insert here a short extract from my letter written this evening to the Commissioners.)

Got under way to return to Gulf Saint Vincent and prosecute my survey there, for I have been considering much of this Gulf, and think it best to give it up entirely for the present, for should there be a good harbour and good soil higher up, yet the dangers that surround the entrance are too many for a new colony, if any other equally good can be found, and the prospects on the eastern side of Gulf Saint Vincent are so promising that I do not like losing more time here.

[ Read the full journal for: Friday 9 December 1836 ]


Saturday 10 December 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

10 December-Calm and cloudy; at eight got under way with light variable winds, and not being able to fetch to the northward we stood for the southern channel, but the wind baffling so much, and seeing there was no chance of getting through before dark, perceiving also a long way in the offing rollers extending [...]

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Sunday 11 December 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

11 December First part strong breezes with vivid lightning to the westward; at five a.m. more moderate; got under way; at eight passed the rock off Thistle Island, and we discovered an extensive reef running from Grindall’s Island in a north easterly direction, not laid down in Flinders’ chart, and reaching across the very course I had intended to steer had we been driven from our anchorage in the night; we must all [have] perished had that happened, but Providence kept us safe in Memory Cove.

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 11 December 1836 ]


Sunday 11 December 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

The last days I have been employed on alternate days shooting and working at my hut, which I had the extreme facility of removing to last night. On one of my shooting excursions I shot aold name for a brolga, so named because they were observed in pairs native companion weighing 14 pounds. This bird much resembles a heron in the shape with the exception of the legs which like the emu’s are armed with three toes. The plumage on the back is speckled, not unlike the guinea-fowl and is white on the breast. The “Emu” called here on Friday on her way up the Gulf, having on board stock etc. brought by the “John Pirie” to Kangaroo Island. She left us yesterday at daybreak. We learnt from the Officers that of the six landed on Kangaroo Island to find their way on foot to Nepean Bay, four only have been found, and they were nearly exhausted by fatigue and famine. The two others, one of whom was a surgeon (Mr. Slater) have in all human probability perished. The weather during the week has been variable, having had two very sultry days with the hot northerly wind.

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 11 December 1836 ]


Monday 12 December 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

12 December-Blowing very fresh; at half past four a.m. the wind increasing and weather looking bad, I did not like running for Rapid Bay, therefore made sail for Nepean Bay. At six, being off the end of the sand, hauled the wind, and began working in, and after hard beating, anchored off Kingscote at thirty minutes p.m. Found here the John Pirie and the Tam O’Shanter, the latter lately from England. At one, Mr Finke came on board, and brought us letters.

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Tuesday 13 December 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

13 December-Blowing a gale of wind all day.

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Wednesday 14 December 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

14 December-At eight a.m. got under way, the Tam O’Shanter in company; at six a.m., the Tam O’Shanter shaped her course for Holdfast Bay, and we stood in for Rapid Bay, to embark all things previous to running over to the western side.

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Thursday 15 December 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

15 December-Employed on shore, and sending things on board.

[ Read the full journal for: Thursday 15 December 1836 ]


Thursday 15 December 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

The “Rapid” arrived last night from Kangaroo Island and Port Lincoln, but it being late nobody landed till this morning. The “Buffalo” is not yet arrived with the governor, but Captain Light gives a most unfavourable report on Port Lincoln. The harbour when once gained is very fine, but it is extremely difficult of access and the land has a most forbidding aspect consisting of little else than stones and totally unfit for agriculture. They searched unsuccessfully for the Tablet in Memory’s Cove raised by Flinders to the memory of the Boat’s Crew lost there. Holdfast Bay is at length fixed upon for the seat of the Capital and a more advantageous spot it is impossible to select, both from its vicinity to a beautiful harbour and the fineness of the soil, with abundance of fresh water. Captain Light makes a start tomorrow for the settlement, but as he intends stretching over to the Western side of this Gulf he will probably be some days on the way. On the return of the “Africaine” which he has sent to Hobart Town for stock etc., it is Captain Light’s intention to remove us all to the Town where he has offered to renew my Engagement as a shore going Surgeon. My former one on board the “Rapid” being ended on the 31st. inst. of the present month (Dec. 1836). I was delighted to find that Captain Light had letters for me brought by the “Tam O’Shanter”. One from my Mother, another from Harriet and the third from my good friend – Major – the latter enclosing one to Mr. Neale which I have given to Captain Light to deliver to him at Holdfast Bay. My dear Mother and Sister wish me to return, but as I think there is a chance of my bettering myself here, I think it is right to make a trial.

[ Read the full journal for: Thursday 15 December 1836 ]


Friday 16 December 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

16 December-At eleven a.m., having embarked everything, we got under way and stood over to the western side of the Gulf. At six, made the land out distinctly ahead, and on the The old term for the left hand side of a ship looking forward. The right hand side is starboard. To avoid mis-hearing an order, it is now referred to as ‘port’. larboard beam; but an opening between gave me hopes that some harbour might exist there, although all the information I had before collected from my man Cooper and others was contrary to any such thing, and very soon after we saw low barren-looking land connecting the two points before observed.

[ Read the full journal for: Friday 16 December 1836 ]


Friday 16 December 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Friday, 16th December. The Brig started about mid-day and I have been busy making my hut comfortable, putting up bookshelves etc.

[ Read the full journal for: Friday 16 December 1836 ]


Saturday 17 December 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

17 December-At daylight, Mount Lofty and the range of hills seen, fine weather, made all sail for Holdfast Bay, and at ten came to an anchor and went on shore to see our party, and hear from Mr Kingston if he had made any interesting discovery during my absence. That I may not appear to wish to conceal any part of my operations or my reasons for them, I here again insert a short extract from my letter to the Commissioners, dated this day:

The time now lost in much extra labour, and the arrival of many people from England, makes me anxious to find some place to locate the land purchasers and others; and from every answer to my enquiries of the sealers, as well as the practical view of the coast I had to the westward, I felt convinced I should never find anything more eligible than the neighbourhood of Holdfast Bay, I therefore steered at once for it, and at ten a.m. came to an anchor.

As for Encounter Bay I resolved on leaving that to a future period for the following reason. As much as Encounter Bay and Lake Alexandrina had been talked of in England, I never could fancy for one moment that any navigable entrance from the sea into the Lake could possibly exist, on looking at Flinders’ chart, and considering the exposed situation of that coast, open to the whole southern ocean, great danger must always attend the approaching it with fresh breezes; moreover the very circumstance of so large a Lake being there was a convincing proof to me that the Murray could not have a passage sufficiently deep or wide to discharge its waters into the sea. These ideas I mentioned in England, and often during our passage, but when I saw the sandy shore to the eastward of Encounter Bay from the Rapid as we stood over, beating against strong northerly winds, and seeing that this shore of sand was open to several thousand miles of the southern ocean, where S.W. winds prevailed during eight or nine months of the year, I was more than before convinced that no good and accessible harbour could exist, contrary to the general laws of nature. Deep and fine harbours, with good entrances on the sea coast, are only found where the shore is high, hard, or rocky; in other cases such harbours must be in large rivers or gulfs; sand alone can never preserve a clear channel against the scud of the sea, and particularly such as must inevitably be thrown on the coast about Encounter Bay. I was quite certain that even should such a thing as a harbour be there, contrary (as I said before) to the general laws of nature, yet no ship could make it exactly, and if she missed it there is no trifling on such a coast, and with a strong breeze from the southward or westward no one would dare to approach it. What then must ships do? They must go to Nepean Bay and wait for favourable weather to enter this harbour, in doing which a ship may lose two months of her time. I was also sure that on a low, sandy shore like that, there must be a bar and tremendous surf. When I reached Nepean Bay this idea was fully confirmed by the reports of the sealers, and some said there was no such thing as a harbour along the coast; I therefore thought I should be throwing away valuable time in examining there, and besides this, had I wished it, the frequent westerly winds would have prevented me.

[ Read the full journal for: Saturday 17 December 1836 ]


Saturday 17 December 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

After breakfast I went off in the whale-boat left by Captain Light, to catch fish, but not knowing the ground we were unsuccessful, catching only three snappers and one rock-fish. After dinner I started with my gun, but was equally unsuccessful. So we stand a good chance of having Slang, meaning salted beef or pork. salt junk for Sunday’s dinner.

[ Read the full journal for: Saturday 17 December 1836 ]


Sunday 18 December 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

At half past nine got under way for the harbour; at six we entered the first reach and came to anchor, and the Tam O’Shanter got under way for the harbour; about eleven she struck on the edge of the western sand spit, after passing the shallowest part, not being sufficiently to windward… On the 22nd, about four p.m. she was hove off, and both ships made sail for the higher part of the harbour, [I] preceding both ships in my A class of net fishing boats used on the Thames estuary. The Rapid’s boat was built specially for the Colonization Commissioners by W.T. Gulliver of Wapping. hatch-boat . It was really beautiful to look back and see two British ships for the first time sailing up between the mangroves, in fine smooth water, in a creek that had never before borne the construction of the marine architect, and which at some future period might be the channel of import and export of a great commercial capital. We anchored for the night about six p.m.; the Tam O’Shanter having taken the mud laid till about midnight, when the flood tide having floated her off, she passed us and brought up till daylight. Having now got both ships up the harbour, I shall leave my narrative of the maritime part of this expedition, and proceed to my work on shore.

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 18 December 1836 ]


Saturday 24 December 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Walked over the plain to that part of the river where Mr Kingston had pitched his tent, with a small party of the surveying labourers. My first opinions with regard to this place became still more confirmed by this trip; having traversed over nearly six miles of a beautiful flat, I arrived at the river, and saw from this a continuation of the same plain for at least six miles more to the foot of the hills under Mount Lofty, which heights trending to the sea in a south-westerly direction were there terminated about four or five miles south of the camp ground at Holdfast Bay, affording an immense plain of level and advantageous ground for occupation. Having settled some matters for future proceedings with Mr Kingston, I left him and returned to the brig at six p.m., to make arrangements for finally leaving the ship.

[ Read the full journal for: Saturday 24 December 1836 ]


Sunday 25 December 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Christmas Day. Reminds us of Old England and our friends warming their knees by a rousing fire, with all other Christmas comforts. Here we are broiling under a sun nearly vertical and half of us nearly blind with An infectious inflammation of the eye. Also called Trachoma or Egyptian Ophthalmia. Opthalmia which I hear from the Sealers who visit this Coast always prevails during the Summer months. It is very distressing and of the purulent kind. The small flies, which when living in the tents were maddening, are, I am happy to say, much less troublesome in the huts, but the large disgusting blow-fly is very active, actually depositing living maggots on the plate you are eating off and making no distinction between fresh meat and the salt ship provisions. One of our sheep, the first, was killed last night after sunset and my ration which was served out at 6 this morning altho’ carefully wrapped in a towel was actually crawling by 10 and it has taken me nearly an hour to wash it. Nothing worthy of mention has occurred this last week with the exception of the days when I brave the heat and sally forth with my gun. My time is passed principally within my hut reading etc. The whale-boat left here by Captain Light which was to have been such a source of comfort, has, on the contrary, created disappointment, as we have had no success whatever among the finny tribe. Our dinner today (that is Jacob’s and mine) will consist of the above named piece of mutton, some parrots and pigeons, killed, plucked and cleaned by me and a plum pudding made by Jacob, and all I have to say is that I sincerely hope my dear friends at home are spending a Merrier Christmas than we are here. If not, I pity them.

[ Read the full journal for: Sunday 25 December 1836 ]


Tuesday 27 December 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Tuesday, 27th December. As yesterday I have remained at home today. This afternoon we heard guns firing in the offing and on looking out we descried a large ship about ten miles off sailing up the Gulf in the direction of Holdfast Bay. We are all of the opinion that it is the “Buffalo”.

[ Read the full journal for: Tuesday 27 December 1836 ]


Wednesday 28 December 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

l left the ship and pitched my tent near Mr Kingston’s at the side of the river. I heard of the Governor’s arrival, but having much to do, had not time to go to Holdfast Bay and meet him.

[ Read the full journal for: Wednesday 28 December 1836 ]


Wednesday 28 December 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

Our conjectures with regard to the ship yesterday were strengthened this morning by hearing distant guns, as of a salute given and returned in the direction of the settlement, and we have come to the conclusion that the Governor is safely arrived and that his salute was returned by the land battery brought by the “Tam O’ Shanter”. I have been shooting all day and have killed nearly five brace of quails which is considered as excellent sport, but in my opinion the best of the sport is in the eating. Our life here is exceedingly monotonous and uninteresting as we are completely debarred from news. We are all very anxious to remove to Holdfast Bay.

[ Read the full journal for: Wednesday 28 December 1836 ]


Thursday 29 December 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote.]

I have been out twice after a flock of “Cape Barron” geese which have been in our neighbourhood this morning, but it appears they have learnt a wholesome fear of man as it was impossible to get within shot of them. We killed a sheep last night which turned out better than the first. We had the leg roasted today and a better dinner I have not made since I left England. Our garden produced us an excellent salad which with a dish of tolerable potatoes made us one of those feasts which come “few and far between”.

[ Read the full journal for: Thursday 29 December 1836 ]


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