Saturday 24 December 1836

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

Saturday Dec 24. At ½ past 4 this morning we were off Cape Donnington;
& at 9 perceived the Cygnet at anchor in Spalding Cove. Capt. Lipson
came on board & announced that Jones’s Harbour in the Gulph of
St. Vincent is considered a desirable spot for our metropolis. Colonel
Light’s letter speaks in glowing terms of the place, & of the whole eastern shore
of the Gulph, which he compares to Devonshire. All the vessels that preceded
us but the Tam o’Shanter have arrived safe & well. The only accident reported
has happened to the surgeon & another young man in the Africaine, who
are said to have perished, at least they have been lost in a mad attempt
to walk from the western shore of Kangaroo Island to Nepean Bay on
the north eastern side. Heard rather bad accounts of the proceedings of
Mr Stephens the Company’s Manager at Nepean Bay, who has
been involved in some quarrels with his people. This we hope is exaggerated;
if not, the circumstance is deeply to be lamented, as on the prudent
management of the Company’s affairs here depends in a great
measure the success of the Colony. We are told that supplies are already
abundant from Van Diemen’s Land. Landed with the Governor,
Fisher & Lipson at the head of Spalding Cove. The land does not
appear good; it is covered with scrubby wood, & there is no water to
be found. Picked up some specimens of lime-stone & feld spar. The
rocks were chiefly pudding stone; the tea-tree of New Holland (
) growing in great abundance & a variety of the
samphire plant. The shells were very numerous, & the cuttle fish in
great plenty. It was determined to take the Cygnet with us to
show us our way & the Captain accordingly ordered her to follow us, which
she did; so Port Lincoln has been left without any one to warn the
ships expected from England where to go should they arrive in Spalding
Cove ere a boat’s crew can be sent back to keep a look out, & give
information to all comers of our ultimate locality. This arrangement
is quite of a piece with all the others.

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