Tuesday 22 November 1836

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

22 November-The harbour.

Gentlemen-I sent you my last report by the Africaine, on the 20th inst. I am now in hopes of seeing Captain Duffin Nepean Bay, before she sails for Hobart Town, that I may send this also. I could not leave this coast without looking once more at this harbour; the first impressions with regard to its being connected with the fresh waters grew stronger on my mind daily, therefore on leaving Holdfast Bay on the 20th inst. we steered at once for this beautiful anchorage, and ran the brig in, where we now lie at single anchor, with only twenty fathoms of chain out, in smooth water, although it is blowing a gale of wind from the S.W., with thick rainy weather.

Yesterday we had beautiful weather, with a fine breeze. Mr Kingston accompanied me in the surveying boat to examine that creek taking a southerly direction which I had not had time before to look at carefully, and which has since been running so strongly in my mind that I could not rest till I had seen it again. We were more than delighted to find it running into the plain at such a distance, and I am now more than ever persuaded that it is connected with the fresh water lakes; if not, it extends to within a couple of miles of them, and one of the finest little harbours I ever saw is now fairly known; we had, as you will see, three fathoms water, and very often four at dead low water, at five or six miles from where the brig was at anchor.

In the rough plan I send you I have put down all my views as to the Harbour and plain, and although my duty obliges me to look at other places first before I fix on the capital, yet I feel assured, as I did from the first, that I shall only be losing time. The eastern coast of Gulf Saint Vincent is the most eligible, if a harbour could be found that harbour is now found-more extensive, safe, and beautiful, than we could even have hoped for. I have this morning sent Mr Kingston in the surveying boat to be landed where we went yesterday, and to trace the connection, if any, between the head of the creek and the fresh water, on his way back to the camp by land; and shall occupy myself in surveying the entrance more accurately than I had time to do before. Noon-it is blowing and raining so hard, that I am not able to do anything; I really never expected so much bad weather in South Australia, particularly at this season of the year-every phase of the moon brings a gale, so that we may expect one every week and never have more than five days of continued fine weather. I have never seen a harbour so well supplied with little creeks that would answer for ship building as this. We want some small craft sadly, from forty, fifty, sixty, or even one hundred tons; they would soon pay themselves as the colony increases. A few horses are much wanted vehicles are absolutely necessary, work cannot go on without them.

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