Page:An account of the English colony in New South Wales.djvu/40

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[1788.
ACCOUNT OF THE ENGLISH COLONY

course of that time they had sailed five thousand and twenty-one leagues; had touched at the American and African continents; and had at last rested within a few days sail of the Antipodes of their native country, without meeting any accident in a fleet of eleven sail, nine of which were merchantmen that had never before sailed in that distant and imperfectly explored ocean; and when it was considered that there was on board a large body of convicts, many of whom were embarked in a very sickly state, they might be deemed peculiarly fortunate, that of the whole number of all descriptions of persons coming to form the new settlement, only thirty-two had died since their leaving England, among whom were to be included one or two deaths by accident; although previous to their departure, it had been conjectured, that before they should have been a month at sea, one of the transports would have been converted into an hospital ship. Fortunately, however, it happened otherwise. Their provisions were excellent, and they had all partaken liberally of refreshments at the Cape of Good Hope and Rio de Janeiro.

The governor had employed the short time which he had gained, in examining the bay; but on their arrival he had not seen any spot to which some strong objection did not apply. If in one place he met with a promising soil, it was deficient in that grand essential, fresh water, and was besides too confined for their numbers. He therefore determined on examining the adjacent harbours of Port Jackson and Broken Bay; and for that purpose set off the day following the arrival of the Sirius and her convoy, in three open boats accompanied by some of the officers of the settlement.

The coast as he drew near Port Jackson wore a most unpromising appearance, and the natives every where greeted the little fleet with shouts of defiance and prohibition, the words “Warra warra,” Go away, go away, resounding wherever they appeared. The governor’s utmost expectation, as he drew near the harbour, being to find what Captain Cook, as he passed it by, thought might be found, shelter for a boat; he was most agreeably surprised at discovering, on his

entrance,