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1-003 (Original)

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addressee,male author,male,Philip, Arthur,50
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Government English
Imperial Correspondence
Clark, 1977
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1-003.txt — 3 KB

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The Supply, sailing very badly, had not permitted my gaining the advantage hoped for, but I began to examine the bay as soon as we anchored, and found, that tho' extensive, it did not afford shelter to ships from the easterly winds; the greater part of the bay being so shoal that ships of even a moderate draught of water are obliged to anchor with the entrance of the bay open, and are exposed to a heavy sea that rolls in when it blows hard from the eastward. [45] 
Several small runs of fresh water were found in different parts of the bay, but I did not see any situation to which there was not some very strong objection. The small creek that is in the northern part of the bay runs a considerable way into the country, but it had only water for a boat. The sides of this creek are frequently overflowed, and the lowlands a swamp. The western branch runs up for a considerable distance, but the officers I sent to examine it could not find any water except in very small drains.
The best situation that offered was near Point Sutherland, where there was a small run of good water; but the ground near it, as well as a considerable part of the higher ground, was spongy, and the ships could not approach this part of the bay.
Several good situations offered for a small number of people, but none that appeared calculated for our numbers, and where the stores and provisions could be landed without a great loss of time. When I considered the bay's being so very open, and the probability of the swamps rendering the most eligible situation unhealthy, I judged it advisable to examine Port Jackson; but that no time might be lost if I did not succeed in finding a better harbour, and a proper situation for the settlement, the ground near Point Sutherland was in the meantime to be cleared and preparations made for landing under the direction of the Lieutenant Governor.
As the time in which I might be absent, if I went in the Supply, must have been very uncertain, I went round with three boats, taking with me Captain Hunter and several officers, that by examining different parts of the port at the same time less time might be lost.
We got into Port Jackson early in the afternoon, and had the satisfaction of finding the finest harbour in the world, in which a thousand sail of the line may ride in the most perfect security, and of which a rough survey, made by Captain Hunter, and the officers of the Sirius after the ships came round, may give your Lordship some idea.
The different coves were examined with all possible expedition. I fixed on the one that had the best springs of water, and in which the ships can anchor so close to the shore that at a very small expence quays may be made at which the largest ships may unload.
This cove which I honoured with the name of Sydney, is about a quarter of a mile across at the entrance, and half a mile in length.
We returned to Botany Bay the third day, where I received a very unfavourable account of the ground that was clearing.
The ships immediately prepared to go round, and the 25th - seven days after I arrived in the Supply - I sailed in her for Port Jackson, leaving Captain Hunter to follow with the transports, it then blowing too strong for them to work out of the bay. [46] They joined me the next evening, and all the transports were moored in the cove.