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An Historical Journal of the Transactions at Port

But were prevented by the surf


It

was a providential circumstance that the discovery of the plot (as has already been related) happened previous to this dreadful storm, as, on that account, the convicts had altogether been employed in cutting down large trees round the settlement, to make room for building other houses: had not this been done, our houses would probably have been destroyed and many lives lost, as we had no asylum or retreat whatever: fortunately, however, only one man was hurt; he received a violent contusion on his right side by the branch of a tree falling on him. There was no appearance on any part of the island of such a storm having ever happened before.

During the remainder of the month we had very pleasant weather; the wind at south-west, but a heavy surf kept still running.

On the 2d of March, at day-light, we saw the Supply in the road; on which I sent Mr. Dunavan on board her: he soon returned, bringing letters for me from Governor Phillip, who, I learnt, had sent twenty-one men and six women convicts, with three children in the Supply, to be landed on this island. As I had the fullest confidence in the few free persons who were with me, I did not hesitate one moment in receiving the additional number of convicts who were now arrived, although some of them had very bad characters. By the Supply I also received a bushel of potatoes, and some seed-wheat and barley, that had been saved at Port Jackson; and in the course

of the day, all the convicts and the greatest part of the provisions and stores were landed. One turn of provisions were got on shore early the next morning, but the surf increasing, no more boats passed that day.

Landing was very practicable on the 4th, and we received the remainder of the provisions and stores; also two three-pounders and their carriages belonging to the Supply, which should have been landed when I first came to the island, but were prevented by the surf. The surf ran so high on the 5th, that no boats could land: at two o'clock the Supply parted her cable, and stood off and on during the night. The Supply's boats were employed during the 6th, in sweeping for her anchor, as no landing could be attempted; but the surf abating on the 7th, we received every article on shore that was intended for the settlement.

I now ordered the surgeon to examine all the convicts who had lately arrived, in order to discover if any of them were infected with diseases, or troubled with complaints of any kind; but on examination, he found them all healthy.

The Supply having ineffectually swept for her anchor till the morning of the 10th, she made sail for Port Jackson at ten o'clock in the forenoon. The ground in the road off Sydney-Bay is very foul in general, although there may be some clear spots. The Golden-Grove parted her cable in the road, but regained her anchor, which the Supply was not lucky enough to accomplish; and she had the additional misfortune of nearly ruining two new cables in sweeping for it. It is somewhat remarkable, that the beach in Sydney-Bay has at times five feet of sand on the stones, and at other times it is all cleared away: this has happened when the wind has been at south-east, and when the beach was filled with sand, the wind has been at south-west: this probably may be the case in the road.

I gave the convicts who were newly arrived until the 18th, to build habitations for themselves; the others were employed at task-work. The numbers now on the island were as follows, viz.


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