Sunday 18 December 1836

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

18 December-At half past nine got under way for the harbour; at six we entered the first reach and came to anchor, and the Tam O’Shanter got under way for the harbour; about eleven she struck on the edge of the western sand spit, after passing the shallowest part, not being sufficiently to windward, and the flood tide catching her on the weather bow canted her on the sand, from which she might have been hove off in a short time, for not half her own length from where she touched there were three fathoms water. The only hawser they had was an old coir one, which gave way the first strain. She laid here till the 22nd, during which time all hands of both ships were employed in lightening her and pumping. On the 22nd, about four p.m. she was hove off, and both ships made sail for the higher part of the harbour, [I] preceding both ships in my hatch-boat. It was really beautiful to look back and see two British ships for the first time sailing up between the mangroves, in fine smooth water, in a creek that had never before borne the construction of the marine architect, and which at some future period might be the channel of import and export of a great commercial capital. We anchored for the night about six p.m.; the Tam O’Shanter having taken the mud laid till about midnight, when the flood tide having floated her off, she passed us and brought up till daylight. Having now got both ships up the harbour, I shall leave my narrative of the maritime part of this expedition, and proceed to my work on shore.

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