Page:The life of Matthew Flinders.djvu/315

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At daylight on May 3rd the Investigator dropped out of Port Phillip with the tide. Westall, the artist, made a drawing of the heads from a distance of 5 miles.

At dusk on Saturday, May 8th, she stood seven miles off the entrance to Port Jackson. Flinders was so thoroughly well acquainted with the harbour that he tried to beat up in the night; but the wind was adverse, and he did not pass the heads till one o'clock on the following day. At three o'clock the ship was brought to anchor, and the long voyage of discovery, which had had larger results than any voyage since the great days of Cook, was over. It had lasted nine months and nine days.

The horrors of scurvy were such a customary accompaniment of long voyages in those days that the condition of Flinders' company at the termination of this protracted navigation was healthy almost beyond precedent. But this young captain had learnt how to manage a ship in Cook's school, and had profited from his master's admonitions. Cook, in his Endeavour voyage of 1770 and 1771, brought his people through a protracted period at sea with, "generally speaking," freedom from scurvy, and showed how by scrupulous cleanliness, plenty of vegetable food, and anti-scorbutic remedies the dreadful distemper could be kept at bay. But, fine as Cook's record is in this respect, it is eclipsed by that of Flinders, who entered Port Jackson at the end of this long period aboard ship with an absolutely clean bill of health. There is no touch of pride, but there is a note of very proper satisfaction, in the words which he was able to write of this remarkable record:—

"There was not a single individual on board who was not on deck working the ship into harbour; and it may be averred that the officers and crew were, generally speaking, in better health than on the day we sailed from Spithead, and not in less good spirits. I have