Tuesday 6 September 1836

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

Remained on board all this morning making preparations for a start to Gulf St. Vincent. After dinner Captain Ross of the “Lady Mary Pelham” came to beg me to visit his Mate who is suffering from a complication of disorders brought on by exposure and drinking. I was happy to find that no fresh disturbance had occurred on board but that they had put back from stress of weather. On my return I went on shore with some of our men to draw the seine and we have been very fortunate catching twenty-six fine salmon trout, so that we shall have a capital dinner to begin our new cruize upon. We have hired one of the Sealers and his two native women to go to the Main with us, and as they have capital dogs they will answer a double purpose, that of providing fresh food, and by means of the women conciliating the natives should they prove hostile. The Sealers living on Kangaroo Island are Englishmen – some of them having deserted their ships to settle here – and others being runaway convicts from Sydney. We were given to understand that they were little better than pirates, but were agreeably surprised to find them a civil set of men and they will be of much use in forming a colony here. For their honesty I cannot answer as we do not put temptation in their way. Some of these men have whale boats in which they frequently cross over to Cape Jervis from which place they have at different times stolen the women who now live with them. These women are very clever at snaring game and fish for their Keepers whilst the men remain at their little farms on the Island. One of these by the name of Walland has a farm about seven miles up the river which does him great credit as he has several acres of flourishing wheat and most of the English vegetables. He has been fourteen years on the Island and is called the “Governor” – he has two native wives.

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