Friday 26 August 1836

[, on board the wrote. | Read source notes.]

Friday, 26th. August.

I again went on shore this morning with Jacob – a young surveyor – for the purpose of shooting at salt lagoon about eight miles along the shore and a more unpleasant and fatiguing walk I never remember. The heat was excessive and our pocket pistols were soon exhausted. We made a diligent but ineffectual search for fresh water, but I was determined to proceed to the lagoon which we reached about midday. Here we were very much disappointed finding instead a fine sheet of water covered with wild fowl, a miserable salt swamp – merely an inlet of the Bay – with nothing on it but screeching curlews and these so wary that we had no chance of killing any. The Island even at this Season swarms with mosquitoes and today they have bitten me so unmercifully, giving me rather an unpleasant idea of the pleasures of the summer season. On our return we penetrated a little way into the bush and here found the trees very similar to those at the Eastern side of the Bay. The Clematis grows in great abundance which together with a species of Mimosa, having very much the smell of May, imparts a delicious fragrance to the air. This, however, does not compensate for the want of water which is here very distressing. The wells that have been dug near the tents producing after much labour nothing but salt water. I hope to God we shall find better cheer when we visit the main – this is dreary enough and I begin to sigh for Old England with all her faults and all the dear Friends I have left there.

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