April 1788

Thursday. 3rd. Another party came up the Harbour & occupied the Caves &c. which the former had left, [Out] boat went to them with peices of cloth &c.; the Women all ran into the Woods, the men remained & met our boat; they had several things given them among which was a shirt one of them put it on, this new skin he seem'd much pleas'd with, but appear'd to be deprived of the use of his limbs while within it, they could not be prevailed on to come to the Ship.

Friday. 4th: Natives as yesterday & the former party fishing higher up in sight of the Ship.

Sunday 6th: Some of the officers went to Botany Bay, No Ship there, they found that the Inscription which had been painted on board & fixed on a Tree near the place the French Abb who died was buried while those Ships were at Botany Bay, was torn down by the Natives, the inscription was not so much defaced but that it was copied by one of the Gentlemen & the same order'd by Governor Phillip to be engraved on a peice of Copper & nailed in the place the other had been taken from.

Thursday. 10th: The Governor & party being in that part of the Harbour round Middle Cape, found an entrance round a long sandy point into a very extensive peice view facsimile

of water which branched away in three directions & good depth of water after having pass'd over the flat at the entrance.

Sunday 13th. The Governor went down the Harbour to visit the Coves in the lower part of it, He crossed the neck from the N.o Cove & found at the end of the beach at the back of it a peice of stagnate brackish water.

Monday. 14th: Cap Hunter traced the N.omost branches of the Middle Harbour, to endeavour to know if they had any communication with that peice of water found yesterday: the N.omost branch was found to end in a flat, dry at low water & about 2 miles above it a large run of fresh water. This day two Natives landed on the p.t of the Cove where the Observatory is fixed, but could not be persuaded to go into Camp.

Tuesday. 15th: The Governor & party were landed in the N.o Cove, for the purpose of going some distance into the Country & to examine that peice of stagnate water beforementioned.

Wednesday. 16th: A Boat went to the N.o Cove to bring this party back should they return: while the Boat was laying there we walked across the neck, where some Canoes were just landing which they did with ease altho' a very great surf was running, they met us & walked over with us to the place where our Boat was laying, they staid with us half an hour, several women appear'd at a distance but would not come to us.

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Thursday. 17th: Lieut Ball with some of the Governor's party crossed the Branches of Middle Harbour & returned to the N.o shore opposite to Sydney Cove; they left the Governor at the N.omost branch leading to a large run of water up which they meant to go the next day. Mr Ball found all the Country he crossed to be a jumble of rocks & thick woods, except one small spot about a mile to the NW of the place he came to.

Friday. 18th: Went up the N.o Branch of the Middle Harbor to meet the party which we did just below the Flats. The Governor had traced the run of water some miles found the Country in general Rocks & Woods; the peice of water near the Sea they found to be a stagnate pool into which the sea breaks over the shore in bad weather.

Saturday. 19th: Some Canoes landed on Garden Island, had some things given to them & went away immediately.

Sunday. 20th. Some Officers went to Botany Bay & a boat was sent without the Heads of the Harbour, from a report having been made to the Governor that distant Guns had been heard: The Officers & Boat returned in the evening, nothing at Botany Bay, or to be seen in the Offing.

Monday. 21st: Captain Hunter with the Officers who had before assisted him, went with two boats to survey the branches of the Middle Harbour.

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Tuesday. 22nd: On a point where we landed, found the earth thrown up in the manner of a Grave, which we turned up & found the ashes of some deceased person & by the burnt wood laying near it we suppose it to have been consumed on that spot, the ashes appear'd to be heap'd together on the surface of the ground & cover'd with earth, some peices of bones were found not quite consumed but too much so to know what part of the body they belonged to; from a greater quantity of the ashes at one end than at the other, I suppose the body to have been laid at length before the fire is applied to the Pile & conclude that they dispose of the dead in the same manner. Saw very few of the Natives.

Wednesday. 23rd: Examined all the N.omost branch & Moored the boats below the flats leading up to the large run of Water, pass'd several of the Natives on & fishing off the Middle Cape.

Thursday. 24th: As the tide flowed we went over the flats in the small boat, found many winding reaches with holes of 2 & 3 fathom water in some of them: As we went up we saw one Old Man setting upon the rocks by his Canoe, at about 1/2 flood we got nearly up to the fresh water in the boat: When we returned we found the Old Man with our people, they entertained him with dancing, combing his hair & beard & shew'd him how to smoke a pipe, two or three whiffs perfectly satisfied that part of his curiousity & set him coughing.

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We gave him roasted Oysters which he eat as fast as he could get them & on giving him a bunch of them roasted he open'd them with his thumb as easy as we could with a knife, He got into the Long boat & examined every part of her attentively. All the Natives in this part of the Harbour, except the Old Man were very shy & would not come near us we did not find any Huts, they were in Caves formed by shelving rocks at the outer part they make a fire which serves both for roasting their Fish & giving them heat during the night.

Friday. 25th: A Boat was sent to the upper part of the Harbor to attend the Governor who with a party of Officers & Marines had been landed there the 22nd. to make an excursion to the W.tward. Some Officers who had been at Botany Bay return'd In going there they crossed from the upper part of the SW arm to the NW branch of Botany Bay which they found but a very short distance across a swamp, they met several of the Natives, all very friendly; One party which they met at the close of the evening shew'd them a Hut, making signs for them to sleep there, they also brought them Fire & Water & came to visit them in the morning. This night 5 Sheep were killed by some Animal.

Sunday. 27th. Officers visited Botany Bay, no ship there, they met the Natives in great numbers along the shore of the upper part of the Bay where they slept near a large party view facsimile

of them: the Natives were very friendly, gave the Officers Fish & remain'd the night near them & parted in the morning very friendly: there were many Women & Children amongst them.

Monday. 28th. The Marines who were with the Governor return'd, a small boat was detained up the Harbour to examine a lake which run to the W.t ward above the Flats. The Governor had been several miles into the Country all of which was found to be a clear open Country & good Soil. They found a channel up the lake to a large run of water, where there was a kind of slate found in great quantities.

Tuesday. 29th: The Carpenter was employed fixing new skirting boards under the Whales & while the ship was on the Heel for that purpose, the white Composition Bolts & Nails which had been driven for experiment at Rio Janeiro were examined and found to be very much decay'd being eaten into by [indecipherable word] Copper: some of the Iron Bolts in the Butts were also examined & found but little touched.

Wednesday. 30th. At one haul of the Sein we caught Fish enough to serve the Ships Company, Hospital, Battalion & great part of the Convicts.