Page:An account of the English colony in New South Wales.djvu/39

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1787.]
7
OF NEW SOUTH WALES.

leaving the world behind them, to enter on a state unknown; and, as if it had been necessary to imprint this idea more strongly on their minds, at the close of the evening of the day on which they sailed, they spoke a ship from London*[1]. The metropolis of their native country, its pleasures, its wealth and its consequence, thus accidentally presented to the mind, failed not to afford a most striking contrast with the object then principally in their view.

For several days after they had sailed, the wind was unfavourable, and blowing fresh with much sea, some time elapsed before they had reached to the Eastward of the Cape of Good Hope. This having at length accomplished, Captain Phillip, embarking in the Supply, proceeded forward, accompanied by the Scarborough, Alexander, and Friendship transports. On board of these three ships was the greater part of the male convicts, whom Captain Phillip had sanguine hopes of employing to much advantage, before the Sirius, with that part of the fleet which was to remain under Captain Hunter’s direction, should arrive upon the coast. He was also attended by Major Ross, the commandant of the marine detachment (and lieutenant-governor of the settlement), together with the adjutant and quarter-master, in order to co-operate with him in his intention of preparing, as far as time might allow, for the reception of the rest of the convoy. But when the Sirius anchored in Botany-Bay, Captain Hunter was informed that the Supply had preceded him in his arrival only two days; and the three transports, under the agent, Lieutenant Shortland, had gained but one day of the Sirius and her convoy, most of which began to grow foul long before their arrival, not one of them being coppered.

Thus, under the blessing of God, was happily completed in eight months and one week (the whole fleet being safe at anchor on the 20th of January 1788) a voyage which, before it was undertaken, the mind hardly dared venture to contemplate, and on which it was impossible to reflect without some apprehension as to its termination. In the

  1. * The Kent, Southern Whaler.

course