November 1787

November 11th. Having got on board such animals, provisions, &c. as we could stow, the commodore, with all the officers that had lodgings on shore, embarked. Previous to the commodore's embarkation he gave a public dinner to some of the gentlemen of the town and the officers of his fleet. The Dutch governor was to have been of the party but by some unforeseen event was detained in the country, where he had been for some days before. Commodore Phillip had his band of music on shore upon the occasion, and the day was spent with great cheerfulness and conviviality.

13th. About half past one o'clock we sailed from the Cape of Good Hope. A small American ship had arrived during the forenoon, bound on a trading voyage to China, with several passengers on board. We learnt from her that the Hartwell East Indiaman had been lost, by bordering too close on the island of Bonavista, in order to land some recruits, who had mutinied and occasioned great disorder and confusion in the ship. It gave us pleasure to hear from

  ― 100 ―
the carpenter of the Hartwell, who was on board the American ship, that no lives were lost by the accident. The principal part of the crew, we found, had got to Madeira, on their return to England. Abreast of Penguin Island, about three o'clock, we passed a large Dutch ship from Holland, bound to the Cape, with troops on board. A little before it was dark, we spoke the Kent whaler, from London, who had been four months out. She with ourselves was endeavouring to get to the eastward. On our first discovering her, as she seemed desirous of joining or speaking to the fleet, we were in hopes of her being from England, probably to us, or at least that we might get letters by her; but our suspense on these points, a suspense only to be conceived by persons on long voyages, was soon put an end to by hearing she had been so many months out. A few days before we left the Cape, some of the officers of the expedition received letters from England by the Ranger East India packet, Captain Buchanan, who had put in to water, and stop a leak; both of which being soon accomplished, she proceeded on her voyage.

14th. This morning Catherine Pryor, one of the convicts,

  ― 101 ―
was delivered of a male child. The officers, seamen, troops, and convicts, were put to an allowance of three quarts of water a day.

17th. The wind variable, inclining to the southward and eastward, with hazy weather, an epidemic dysentry appeared among the convicts, which very soon made its way among the marines, and prevailed with violence and obstinacy until about Christmas, when it was got under by an unremitting attention to cleanliness, and every other method proper and essential for the removal and prevention of contagion. It gives me pleasure to be able to add that we only lost one person by this disease, violent and dangerous as it was, and that was Daniel Cresswell, one of the troops intended for the garrison, who was seized on the 19th of November and died the 30th of the same month, the eleventh day of his illness. From the commencement of his disorder, he was in the most acute agonizing pain I ever was witness to; nor was it in the power of medicine to procure him the shortest interval of ease. His case being a very singular one, I have transmitted it, with some others, to a medical friend in London, with permission to make what use of them he may think proper. The wind kept to the southward and

  ― 102 ―
eastward until the 21st, without veering a point in our favour, which carried us far out of our way to the westward; but that day it shifted.

23d. We spoke the Prince of Wales, who informed us, that the preceding night one of the seamen had fallen from the top-sail yard, and was drowned. Indeed it was so dark, and the ship went so fast through the water, that all efforts to save him, had any been made, would have proved fruitless. This day and the following running to eastward, with the wind to the southward and westward, we saw many aquatic birds.

25th. The commodore removed into the Supply armed tender, and took with him Lieutenant King of the Sirius, and Mr. Dawes of the marines, whom I had before occasion to mention as having undertaken the astronomical observations during the voyage. Having likewise selected some artificers from among the convicts, he went on, taking the Alexander, Scarborough, and Friendship with him, being fast sailing vessels; leaving the heavy sailers, both transports and victuallers, under the direction of Captain Hunter of the Sirius. Major Ross, commanding officer of the troops, removed into the Scarborough, as did the adjutant.

  ― 103 ―
26th. We had not lost sight of the Supply and other ships, though they were considerably ahead. Between nine and ten at night the wind came to the S.S.E. which made us tack and stand to the S.W. In the morning could see nothing of the flying squadron, as the seamen termed them. The wind continued all this day at E.S.E. with pleasant clear weather.

28th. The wind shifted to the E.N.E.; the weather hazy, with small rain and strong breezes. The Sirius made a signal for the convoy to close.

30th. The wind variable, with some heavy showers, and in the intervals clear weather.