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December 1786

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According to previous advertisements, Tenders were received for Transports to carry Convicts to Botany Bay on the Coast of New South Wales & taken up the 12th of Sep.r 1786 in 5 Vessels measuring about 300 Tons more than advertised for: The Berwick Store Ship about that time was taken into Dock at Deptford. it being intended that she should be fitted as a Man of War for this Expedition. The Grantham Packet was purchased into the service to be employed as a Tender, but on examination was found very rotten & totally unfit for the Voyage, in consequence of which, the Supply Navy Transport was ordered to Deptford & fitted in lieu of the Grantham. Three Ships measuring 990 tons were also taken up as Store Ships & stowed under the direction of Cap.n Tier Agent for Transports in the River. The 25th of October the Berwick Storeship was Commissioned & named the Sirius, Cap.n Phillip (the intended Governor of the view facsimile

New Colony.) was appointed to the Command of her: The Supply was also commission'd & the command of her given to Lieu.t H.L. Ball. The 28th the Sirius having a few hands began rigging &c from which to the 8th of December we were employed getting ready for Sea, which was much retarded by bad weather & unavoidable delays in being furnish'd with some part of the Stores. The Provisions with which we were supplied were of the best quality, Wheat, Sugar, Essence of Malt, Mustard seed & other articles usually supplied in long Voyages we were also furnish'd with, & an unlimited Order for Officers Stores.

Tuesday. Dec.r 5. Capn Hunter came on board & on the same day, the Officers had directions from Capn Phillip to receive his Orders for carrying on the duty; the 9th. we sailed down the River & Moored the same afternoon in Long Reach, just off Purfleet, We rec.d our Guns, Powder &c. here & were ready with a Pilot on board the 15th to proceed at the shortest notice. The 15th two of the Transports passed us bound to the Port where their proportion of Convicts were to be embarked, the three Store Ships also passed bound to the Mother bank, the place of Rendezvous, the 21st another of the Transports pass'd; there now remained only two at Gallions (Alexander & Lady Penryhne) both of which were to take in their proportion of Convicts from the Hulk at Woolwich & from Newgate & the Sirius detained at Long Reach to escort them.

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Some alterations were found necessary to be made to the securities already fitted in those ships from the representation of the Officer commanding the party of Marines on board the Alexander, it was also judged necessary to make some alterations in the handcuffs. On the 27th. these Ships were again reported ready but were detained as no Orders had been yet given to discharge any Convicts from the Hulks to these Transports.

The Board of Longitude furnished the following Instruments for the use of the Voyage & new Colony, An Astronomical Quadrant of one foot Radius. A 31/2 feet treble object Glass achromatic telescope by Dolland with a wire Micrometer for measuring diff.ce of R[t]. Ascension & Declination, also a Micrometer with oblique wires & a Quadrant fixed to it with a moveable short Telescope to take the distance of any object (nearly) from bright fixed stars. A Night Glass. An Astronomical Clock. A Journeyman Clock. An Alarum Clock. An Old Sextant by Ramsden. A portable Barometer & two Thermometers. These Instruments Captain Phillip gave a receipt for, promising to return them to the Board (the dangers of the Sea & other unavoidable acccident excepted) at his return or a receipt from such Officer as may supercede him in the Command. Lieu.t Dawes of the Marines a Voluntier for the Botany Bay detachment having been introduced to Dr. Maskelyne the Astronomer Royal, he was acknowledged a proper person to make such observations on shore as might be judged of use.

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The 24th. The Supply anchored in Long Reach By Order of the King in Council the Admiralty were to appoint a second Captain to the Sirius, with the Rank of Post Captain & pay of a 6th Rate with 4 servants, with full Power to Command Her in absence of the Principal Captain, but nevertheless subject to his Control & Orders: In consequence of this Cap.n John Hunter was appointed 2nd Cap.n of the Sirius (bearing date 15th Dec.r).

In the beginnning of January. A ship of 350 Tons was taken up the first Tonnage being found very insufficient.

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