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Journal of a Voyage and Tour of Inspection to Van Diemen's Land 1821.
Wednesday 4. Apl. 1821.
Thursday 5. April !
At 2. P.M. It came on to blow very fresh – the Wind continuing in the same Quarter – with a rough Sea. Towards Sunset the Wind freshened, and Sea increased, which occasioned much motion.
As we did not appear to make much progress in our Voyage, Capt. Beveridge came to the resolution to make a Tack in for the Land about the middle of the Night – and return again to Port Jackson in case there should not be a change of Wind for the better in the morning. — The Brig "Campbell Macquarie" sailed in Company with us from Port Jackson this morning, also bound for Van Diemen's Land; but we lost Sight of her before Sunset, not being able to keep up with us.
Friday 6. April !
The Wind however continuing still in the same Quarter, and there being every appearance of a strong Southerly Gale coming on, Captain Beveridge determined to bear up for Port Jackson, and lay there until the Wind should change in our favor. — We accordingly bore up, and entered the Heads of Port Jackson at Half past 2,O'Clock in the afternoon, anchoring within about Half a mile of the Entrance and on the South Side of it.
We found the Private Merchant Ship Duchess of York, from England, but last from the Derwent, at anchor a little within the Heads, having arrived last Night from Hobart Town; Mr. Justice Field and his Lady having come Passengers in her. — This Ship has been 11 days making her Passage from the Derwent. —
Saturday 7. April !
We had not been long on shore before we were visited by Colonel Erskine, Major Druitt, Doctor Stephenson, and Mr. Provost Marshal Campbell.
Mrs. M. contrived, in her usual clever prompt way, to knock up a Dinner for them, and of which they partook accordingly at an early Hour; they returning to Town, and we again to the ship about Sunset. —
Sunday 8. April !
We had no Visitors from Town this Day. — The Gale blew still fresher towards the Evening with Heavy Rain.
Monday 9. April !!!
On my Dressing and going up on Deck early in the morning, I could not help thinking we were in a most perilous situation, and eminent danger; but on my communicating my apprehensions to Capt. Beveridge he assured me, there was not the smallest danger, or risk of the ship's driving any farther, or nearer the Rocks. — The Pilot (Murray) also gave me the same assurance, and therefore I then said nothing further on the subject. — After we had Breakfasted, however, seeing no steps had yet been taken to remove the ship from her awkward situation, and what I still considered a most dangerous one, I spoke again to the Captain and Pilot, and strongly recommended to both of them to have the Ship removed if possible, immediately from her present alarming Position.
They at length agreed it was necessary to do so, and I offered to send up an Express to Sydney for assistance. — I accordingly wrote a hurried note to Mr. Nicholson the Master attendant, desiring him to send us two Long Boats, with Warps, and every other necessary assistance immediately to remove us from our present perilous Situation – with which Note a light Whale Boat belonging to the Ship was dispatched at 11,O'Clock.
In the mean time a Gun was fired from the Midas for the purpose of bringing to a Hawkesbury Boat which was then passing us, and which Capt. Beveridge wished to come along side to assist his own Boats in carrying out a Kedge anchor. The firing of this Gun was mistaken by the Guard at the Flag-Staff on the South-Head as a Signal of Distress from us – and of our being actually on shore, which it appeared to them, from our closeness to the Cliff, we really were. — They made that Signal accordingly to give the alarm to the Town. — This Signal conveyed the information of our dangerous State to our friends in Town long before my Note to the Master attendant could reach Town. — The Naval Officer, accompanied by my faithful friend Campbell (my late Secry.) in one Boat, and several Commanders of Ships in others, and also Mr. Underwood the owner of the Midas, set out immediately from Town, and were with us by about half past 12,O'Clock. — Mr. Nicholson sent also, all the required assistance, and came Himself to Superintend the removing of the Ship to a safer Birth. [sic]
As our remaining on board the Midas during all this confusion could do no good, I determined on conveying Mrs. M. and Lachlan on shore, to the Pilot's House, and remaining there till the Weather should be settled, and until a fair Wind should enable us to prosecute our Voyage. — We accordingly left the Ship in Captain Piper's Boat, and landed at the Pilot's at Half past 1,O'Clock; Major Taylor and Lt. Macquarie having followed us in another Boat. — Some of our Servants, our Bedding, and some few Eatables and Drinkables, followed us in a third Boat. — Thus establishing our Head Quarters for the present at the Pilot's House in Watson's Bay; – thankful to God that we had all made so miraculous an escape from a Watery Grave ! —
Colonel Erskine paid us a Visit – and staid to dine with us. — While Dinner was getting ready, we went a Fishing and caught a good many; Mrs. M. and Lachlan being the most successful Fishers. Colonel Erskine staid with us till 5,O'Clock – and then returned to Town. —
Major Druitt came to visit us today – and accompanied us to the Fishing – at which we amused ourselves till Dinner time. — The Major dined with us and returned to Sydney in the Evening. —
Friday 13. Apl.
After the Pilot left us, we steered due East, so as to get a good Offing, the Wind having come more round to the Southward as soon as we had cleared the Heads.
We passed our time very pleasantly for the last four days on Shore, in reading, walking, and fishing; so much so that Mrs. M. was very desirous to remain for some time longer at the Pilot's House – which is certainly a charming retirement, and admirably well calculated for Sea Bathing; there being a very fine smooth sandy Beach immediately below the House for that purpose.
Sunday 15. Apl.
The Day being very fine we all assembled on Deck to Prayers at 11,O'Clock this forenoon. —
Monday 16. April !
N. B. I omitted to mention in its' proper place that on Sunday afternoon we saw a Ship in-shore of us, to the Northward of Port Jackson, standing to the Southward, which was supposed to be the Indian, American Whaler, which intended sailing from Port Jackson the day after us.
Tuesday 17. April !
By 3. P.M. we were abreast of the Pigeon House; and in the Evening the Breeze freshened – with smooth water, a fine clear moonlight Night, and sailing at the rate of 6 Knots an Hour. — This fine Wind continued all Night, and gave us a good run.
At 8. a.m. we were abreast of "Mount Dromedary" – and at Noon were rather to the Southward of "Cape Howe" – (the Northern Head of the Entrance of Bass's Strait) being by our observation at Noon in Latd. 37°. 45' South; and by Noon tomorrow we expect to be abreast of Cape Portland the Northern Extremity of Van Diemen's Land. — At 2. P.M. we were going 7 Knots, with a strong steady Wind at North – and smooth Sea. —
Thursday 19. April !
Friday 20. April !
At 11. a.m. the Wind nearly died away – and became baffling.
At Noon it came round to the Southward, and consequently headed us – but appears quite unsettled – and inclined to a Calm.
By 3. P.M. it came on to blow a smart Breeze at South with a nasty jumbling disagreeable Sea – and continued thus adverse all Night – during which we Tacked to and from the Land alternately so as not to lose any ground in what we had gained. —
At Noon, by our Observation, we were only Ten miles to the Northward of Cape Piller [sic] – the Northern Head of Frederick Henry Bay. — We were then steering for the Land – but it being hazy we could not see it. — At 2. P.M. Saw Land directly ahead, which proved to be Cape Pillar, distant about 15 miles – and which we hope to double this Evening, and get to anchor at the Mouth of the River Derwent in the course of the Night. — It is now fair and the Sea is gone down a good deal.
At 5. P.M. Doubled "Cape Pillar", properly so called, being mostly composed of Basaltes [sic] – and broken Rocks resembling Columns or Pillars; – the adjoining Heads being also of a similar substance – very grand and beautiful. — Cape Pillar, on first sight, appears a part of the Main Land, but on a nearer approach it is discovered to be a small lofty Island, separated from the Main by a narrow Strait. — It blew a very fresh Gale from the North East when we doubled Cape Pillar. — Soon after rounding Cape Pillar, we saw a large Brig to Leeward of us, about 4 miles distant, steering to the Northward, and which had come out of the Derwent River.
At 6. P.M. We doubled "Cape Basaltes", – about 6 miles to the westward of Cape Pillar, still blowing very fresh with a rough Sea. — Cape Basaltes is also properly so named – being a very singular and beautiful Head Land and very high. — This Cape forms the Northern Extremity of Frederick Henry-Bay, while Cape Frederick Henry forms the Southern Extremity of it; this last being situated on Bruney [sic] or Dentre Casteaux [sic] Island.
After doubling Cape Basaltes we entered Frederick Henry Bay, but the Wind having headed us we despaired of getting into the Derwent River this Night.
We persevered however in our progress up the Bay till we got within a mile of Betsy's Island, near the mouth of the River, where we came to an anchor at Ten O'Clock, it blowing then a hard Gale from the Northward – and continued to do so the whole of the Night, occasioning a great deal of motion.
Sunday 22. April.
At Ten we had a smart shower of Rain. — At 11. a.m. the Wind changed to the Westward – and the Weather became more moderate.
At ½ past 11. a.m. the Clouds on the Hills cleared away – and we saw the Signal flying for us at the Signal Post established by me on "Mount Nelson" in the year 1811. — We fired a gun as a Signal for a Pilot, and soon afterwards saw a Boat coming down the River.
Began to weigh anchor a little before 12,O'Clock, the Wind being now fair for our going up the River. —
At 1. P.M. The Pilot (Mansfield) came on board, and the anchor being up, we made Sail for the River – with a fine Breeze but rather Scant. — We made very little progress towards the River, the Wind having headed us still more soon after we had made sail – having taken from 1 to 6 O'Clock to weather Iron Pot Island.
At ¼ past 6. P.M. Lieut. Robinson Secry. to Lt. Govr. Sorell, and Mr. Bromley the Naval Officer, came on board, and the former brought me a Letter from the Lt. Governor, congratulating me on my arrival. — Mr. Bromley brought me a Bag of Dispatches from Downing Street which came out by the Ship Medway. —
At ½ past 6. P.M. we came to anchor in the mouth of the River, the Wind having failed us entirely.
At ½ past 8 – Lt. Robinson and Mr. Bromley took their leave, after taking some refreshment. —
At ¼ past 8. a.m. the Tide of Flood having made, we weighed anchor, set sail, and commenced turning up the River; the Pilot saying he believed we should be able to work up to Hobart Town in the Course of the Day in case the Weather continued moderate, the distance from where we lay last Night (near the Entrance of Storm-Bay-Passage –) being only 12 miles from Hobart-Town. —
The Wind continued adverse all day, blowing a strong Gale from the North West, so that we made very slow progress up the River. — At 4. P.M. I received complimentary Letters from Lt. Govr. Sorell and Mr. Judge Advt. Wylde, who I find is still at the Derwent. — At 6. P.M. we dropped anchor within 4 miles of Hobart Town, it being then almost dark, and still continuing to blow a fresh Gale against us. —
Tuesday 24. Apl.
At ½ past 11. a.m. Lieut. Govr. Sorell, accompanied by the Honble. Mr. Judge Advocate Wylde, & Lt. Robinson Secry. came on board to wait on me. — At Noon the Midas had worked up into Sullivan Cove, and anchored abreast of Hobart Town within Half a mile of the Shore a few minutes afterwards. —We found 8 Square Rigged Vessels lying in Sullivan Cove – Vizt. Ships Eliza, Regalia, Caroline, Mary, Emerald, St. Michael, and Brigs Campbell Macquarie and Prince Leopold, Govt. Vessel. — On the Midas coming into the Cove a Salute of 19 Guns was fired from Mulgrave's Battery – and the same was repeated from all the Ships in the Cove. —
At 1. P.M. I disembarked accompanied by Mrs. M. and Lachlan, the Lt. Govr. & the Judge Advocate, in the Govt. Barge, under a Salute of 19 Guns from the Midas and also repeated again from Mulgrave's Battery; all the Ships manning their Yards as we passed them to the Shore.
We landed at the Wharf immediately under the Government House, where all the Principal Officers of Government – and a great number of the more respectable Inhabitants were waiting to receive me; the Troops lining the Street from the Landing Place to the Govt. House, whither I proceeded in the first instance – to receive the compliments of the officers of Government and Principal Inhabitants on my arrival in the Settlement; Mrs. Macquarie proceeding in the Lieut.-Governor's Carriage direct from the Landing Place to the Lodgings taken for us at Mr. Birch's in Macquarie Street, where I joined her immediately after the Breaking up of the Levee at Govt. House. —
The Lieut. Govr., his Secry., and the Judge Advocate, dined with us at Mr. Birch's at ½ past 5,O'Clock. The whole Town was illuminated at Night. —
Thursday 26. Apl.
Saturday 28 Apl. 1821.
I had the misfortune to lose in the course of last Night my fine and excellent Carriage Horse Ajax – in consequence of his having broke out of the Stable and run himself on a Plough which lay in the Stable Yard, the Handle of which ran into his chest about 14 Inches, which instantly killed him on the spot. We have had this useful fine Horse upwards of 11 years in constant use – and therefore I feel it a most severe loss. — It is particularly provoking to lose so valuable a Horse in so foolish a manner – and more particularly at the present moment when we are so much in want of Horses, on the eve of our departure for Port Dalrymple – on which Journey poor Ajax would have been so very useful to us. —
I inspected all the Prisoners in the employ of Government at Church Muster this morning, and went afterwards along with Lt. Govr. Sorell to hear Divine Service at the New Church of St. Davids. —