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An Historical Journal of the Transactions at Port

And embarked them in the boats


governor was now determined to return as fast as possible to Port Jackson, and, after resting a few days, to prosecute this useful discovery to its source. We struck the tents at night, and embarked them in the boats; for, as the wind was northerly, it was intended they should sail at midnight; a wigwam was made to shelter us during the night, and a large fire before it, by which we lay till day-light. The boats having sailed in the night, we set off at dawn of day in the morning by land; we found an easier path than that by which we came, and arrived at the north cove of Port Jackson by two in the afternoon, where the boats were already arrived.

In our journey we fell in with several dead bodies, who had probably fallen by the small-pox, but they were mere skeletons, so that it was impossible to say of what disease they died.

Boats were upon our arrival immediately ordered to be prepared, and provisions got ready for another excursion, the same party being engaged to go again, and, if possible, trace this river to its source. As far up as we advanced, I made an eye sketch of it.

On Sunday the 28th of June, the boats being ready, provisions embarked, and the wind fair for another visit to Broken-Bay, they sailed before day-light on Monday morning; the party engaged to go by land were put on shore at the north part of the harbour at six o'clock; the same gentlemen who were on

the former expedition were on this also, and an addition of five marines; on the whole, our numbers amounted to about forty, including those in the boats: we were all well armed, and capable of making a powerful resistance, in case, as we advanced up the river, we should find the interior parts of the country well in-habited, and the people hostile.

Having, on our last expedition, found a good track to travel by, we were soon in the neighbourhood of the south branch of Broken-Bay, at which place one boat had been ordered to meet us, in order to save us by much the worst part of the journey. We arrived at the head of Pitt-Water before eleven o'clock, but no boat appeared, which obliged us to walk round all the bays, woods, and swamps, between the head and entrance of this branch; by which, when we joined the boats, we were exceedingly fatigued; the weather being rather warm, and each person having his knapsack and arms to carry, this last part of our journey increased the distance from twelve or fourteen miles to about twenty-five; in the course of which we had very high and steep hills to climb, and many deep swamps to wade through: by the time we joined the boats the day was too far advanced to think of proceeding any farther, we therefore pitched the tents, and occupied the spot which we had formerly done when here.

On Tuesday the 30th, we embarked in the boats at day-break, intending to reach as high up this day as possible; we passed Mullet Island, and proceeded into the river, and before night, we had advanced as far up as a point on which we had rested a night the last time we were here, and which was within three or four miles of the place, where we left off the pursuit: here we slept for the night, and at day-light on the 1st of July we embarked, and after advancing a very little way beyond our farthest discovery, the river divided into two branches, one leading to the north-west, the other to the southward.

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