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Journal Entries written by: William Deacon

Wednesday 28 September 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

28 September, 1836 840 mile east of the Cape; still very fine. Shot two Blrds 10½  feet from extremity of Wings they were skinned for preservation – have taken 5 tons of Fish in a few hours and intend touching at St Pauls to take more.

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Monday 24 October 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

Oct. 24 Nothing particular happened, save that one night we had a perfect gale, which would have driven an old ship to pieces -the last seven days we have sailed 1,500 miles, and are now 150 miles from New Holland and all in good spirits at the idea of landing, laid too 3 days, landed […]

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Wednesday 26 October 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

26 October-TheRapid sailed for Nepean Bay. Party on shore employed in moving stores from the beach.

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Wednesday 2 November 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

All landed safe at Nepean Bay, November 2nd. Beautiful
country, but sandy, plenty of wood, but as hard as iron, no fruit
to be seen, but currants growing on a large tree. All is mutiny
among our labourers, the greatest dissatisfaction prevails, only one
store erected, that a Booth from the Crown and Anchor tavern,
and part of another. Provisions enormous and just risen. Flour
quite musty, no water near our settlement. 5 men go daily to fetch
it, and that only to the extent of 2 quarts each person daily – have
bored and dug for water without success, if rough weather comes
on, we shall die of thirst. Captain Nelson, having introduced
spirits, men are continually drunk, and will not be spoken to on
business. Not a drop of Beer under 16d. per Bottle – salt Beef &
pork 6 ½  & 7 ½  p. lb – Tea 5/- – Treacle 4 ½  – no sugar – Flour
3d Butter ¼  – [tooltip color=”grey” text=”fir or pine board”] Deal Board [/tooltip]6d per foot … The ground is a
complete sandbank I fear nothing will grow – not a blade of grass
to be seen, not a Kangaroo on the Island. The natives are very
peaceable on the main land and do anything for a biscuit, except
at Port Lincoln, where they seem very ferocious.
All the vessels sent out arrived safe, but with loss of nearly all
cattle and livestock.

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Saturday 12 November 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

Sunday November 12th, Kingscote. 4 of the men who went
on shore north side of the Island came in on Thursday in a dreadful
state having been sent to by the Company who arranged with
the Islanders and their black women to trace them – two now are
I have planted round my tent half a bushel of potatoes which
cost 6/-. Morning and evening as cold as in England those coming
out should have the thickest cloathing they can buy – Shoes are
12/- per pair, womens 6/-, dutch cheese 1/- per lb. Lamp oil 5/per
Gallon. I am at a loss for an oven, no such thing here, no
prospect for a Coffee House here at present, especially as Spirits
are to be had in any quantity. However I shall endeavour to acquit
myself so as to give satisfaction to my employers in the best way I
can and Mr Stevens has just informed me I am to have his house
and stay on the Island, and that some years must elapse before an
Hotel can be of utility and profit, but small profits will answer at
first I allow. Mr Stevens wants me to take charge of all here and
seems quite pleased with all I do or propose. I sincerely hope when
the Germans arrive we shall be able to weed those labourers we
now have, and render ourselves independent of them.
The weather is now very hot we are subject to heavy showers &
sudden [tooltip color=”grey” text=”A squall is a sudden, sharp increase in wind speed.”] squalls [/tooltip]. Here are immense sharks 17 foot long which come
within 20 yards of shore. Plenty of Salmon if a man could make
it his Business to attend to them. We has Wallabas like a
Kangaroo, but not larger than a Hare, very fine eating, very few
birds here, no oysters except at a great depth; some men who
have lived here 14 years are very good sailors and are now
employed by the Company.

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Wednesday 16 November 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

November 16th I am sorry to say the two lost Gents have lost
their lives. Some of the ships were 6 months on the Voyage and
when I arrived here, had not unloaded they lost all the cattle
and horses bought at the Cape and had a dreadful passage.

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Wednesday 23 November 1836

[, on board the wrote.]

November 23rd Please inform Mr Angas the Governor had
not arrived and no water has been found near the Settlement; no
ship arrived from England since the Africaine which returned
here from Holdfast Bay on 22nd inst. where she left all the
Government passengers I hear they have plenty of fresh water,
and plenty of mosquitoes, every man being obliged to wear a
veil to keep them off. I hope we shall get water by some means
and soon receive the malt hops from the Company and begin to
brew. I, this day, paid 15d. for a bottle of Beer. I must conclude
by saying I was never better in my life, compliments to Mr Angas
Mr Wheeler, and all enquiring friends.

[ Read the full journal for: Wednesday 23 November 1836 ]