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An Historical Journal of the Transactions at Port

To Batavia in the Waaksamheid Transport


the morning of the 24th, we saw a number of water spouts and whirlwinds, some of which came so very near that we fired a few guns, in hopes that the concussion of the air would have dispersed them; but our guns were too small to give a sufficient shock to the atmosphere; however, a good breeze of wind sprung up and carried us clear of them. We steered from Cariman Java, west, and in the evening of the 25th, we made the small islands called the Boomkins, which lie about five leagues from the Coast of Java; we passed about three miles within them, and saw the shore of Java. During part of the night we steered west-north-west to avoid some sunken rocks which are laid down to the westward. The south side of the Boomkins lies in latitude 5 deg. 56' south, and longitude 108 deg. 21' east.

In the morning, we saw Carawang Point on Java, bearing south-south-west six or seven miles; and at five in the afternoon of the 27th, we anchored in Batavia Road, after a passage from Port Jackson of twenty-six weeks.

[A Table of the winds and weather, etc. on a passage from Port Jackson, New South Wales, to Batavia in the Waaksamheid Transport.] [The tables are included in the HTML version]

Chapter X


September 1791 to April 1792

Captain Hunter waits on the

Governor at Batavia.--Applies for a passage to England.--Purchases the Waaksambeyd for that purpose.--Leaves Batavia.--Passes the Keelings.--Arrives at the Cape of Good Hope.--Leaves that place, and anchors at Saint Helena.--Departs from Saint Helena.-- Arrives at Portsmouth.--Tables for the variation of the compass.--Captain Hunter's letter to the Lords of the Admiralty.-

The master of the ship went immediately on shore, to inform his owner (the Shebander) of his arrival: that gentleman wrote me a note the same night, begging to see me the next morning as early as possible, that he might introduce me to the governor; he informed me at the same time, that it was quite unnecessary to write to the governor upon any business I might have to settle with him, (which the master of the ship informed him I intended) as my business could be done with more ease in a personal interview.

I landed the next morning, and went with the Shebander (who spoke English) to the governor, who lived about three miles out of town. I had previously told the Shebander, in writing, what my business was, which he thought necessary for enabling him the better to interpret between us. I informed the governor, that Governor Phillip had found it necessary, for the forwarding of his Majesty's service, to employ the vessel in which I was embarked to convey to that port the officers and company of his Majesty's lost ship the Sirius, with a view, that after we had procured the necessary provision and refreshments, we should be permitted to proceed in the same vessel to England: I therefore desired permission to have her refitted, and to proceed with all possible expedition.

The governor, in answer to my request, informed me, that he could not consent to any vessel belonging to the company being employed as a transport, and that it was contrary to the established regulations of the company to permit that vessel, as Dutch property, to proceed from thence to Europe.

I desired that he would take the trouble to consider the nature of my application; and I begged he might understand, that I was not soliciting a favour to myself, as an individual, but that I was an officer in the king's service, and that although I was not at that port in the command of one of his Majesty's ships, that I nevertheless was in actual service, and had at that time a ship's company, and their proper officers, under my command; that he would be pleased, therefore, to understand me correctly, that it was for his Majesty's service I was then making the application he had heard; and I hoped, and believed, that himself and the council would find no difficulty or inconvenience to the company's concerns, in deviating a little from their established rules for the accommodation of his Britannick Majesty's service.

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