Tuesday 27 September 1836

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

Tuesday, 27th September.

We have had another run of about ten miles up the coast – a calm prevented our starting before 11 a.m. We came to at 3 p.m. at about four miles from the shore. We are now very near the head of the Gulf which we can plainly see from the masthead, but the water is too shallow to permit us to go higher up. Field took the jolly-boat this evening a few miles along the nearest shore to us, but he discovered no stream and could scarcely effect a landing owing to shallows and swampy ground – mangroves growing down to the water’s edge. Colonel Light is of opinion that we have passed all the rivers on this side of the Gulf and that the one he went to yesterday is the one described by Captain Jones – the distance we kept from the shore while running along it renders this highly probable. Colonel Light intends to retrace his steps and while the Brig keeps at a safe distance the surveying boat is to run close in so that nothing in the shape of a river can thus escape us. We are now lying in very shallow water having only three fathoms at half-flood although at so great a distance from the shore. I have been a prisoner some days owing to our being so far off consequently have seen very little of the country except for the ship – however from what I can see from this distance and from the description the Surveying Party give I have lost nothing. At daybreak this morning I went with the boat to haul up the net which we had left in the water all night – we found it full of fish but our disappointment to see nothing but dog-fish and sting-ray. Of the latter, bad and coarse as it was, we ate heartily at breakfast. It is not unlike Skait and I have ordered some of it to be hung for a day or two to give it a fair trial. The former were a very disgusting looking fish resembling the dog-fish of the English shores in all except the head which was bony and in shape like a gurnet. Anything in the shape of fresh provisions is so acceptable that, uninviting as these fish are, we intend having some fried for breakfast tomorrow. We have had no kangaroo for some time not having had an opportunity of landing our women and dogs.

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