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Week 04 - A fair wind

[ 13th of March 1836 to 19th of March 1836 | Read source notes. ]
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The middle of March found both the John Pirie and the Duke of York still anchored close to shore in the English Channel, as strong adverse winds and torrential rain delayed their departure still further. But by 19 March the winds had swung around and Captain Morgan prepared his ship once more for sea. His duty called, as he put it, but he agonized about leaving his ‘beloved partner close to the trying hour of naturs sorrows’.  All soon turned to happiness however, when he learned that he was the father of a new daughter and that both wife and child were ‘likely to do well’. Much relieved, he went on his way ‘rejoiceing.’

Sketch of the Cygnet at anchorage, Port Augusta, April 1833.

Sketch of Cygnet at anchorage, Port Augusta 1833. Image courtesy State Library of Western Australia MN 586 ACC 303A/21.

Meanwhile the first of the Colonization Commissioners’ ships, the Cygnet was preparing to sail. Boyle Travers Finniss, deputy surveyor-general and his wife Anne made their final farewells and Finniss began his diary of the journey, extracts of which will be presented from this week.

 


Journals from passengers at sea:

Week 42: Numeracy Onboard

Over the past eight months we have read many journal entries, diaries and letters describing the experiences, thoughts, ideas and feelings of those onboard the nine ships. We have followed the authors…

[ Read the full journal extract ]


Week 25 – The demon drink

[ | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | , on board the | | | | | | | | wrote.]

On land It is one week into the grand experiment of colonisation and things are not going well at Nepean Bay. Samuel Stephens and Captains Morgan and Ross have their hands full, with both the company …

[ Read the full journal extract ]


Week 20 – infectious disease

[ | | | | | | | | | | , on board the | | | | | | wrote.]

The Duke of York is now in the Southern Ocean, making good progress. It is Captain Morgan’s wife’s birthday and he reflects endearingly on his love for her and his happiness in the married state….

[ Read the full journal extract ]


Week 14 – steady progress

[ | | | | | | | | | , on board the | | | | | wrote.]

All six ships are making steady progress, sailing south in the Atlantic. The weather is fine and conditions pleasant, but relations on board the John Pirie and the Cygnet are tense. On the John Pirie …

[ Read the full journal extract ]


Week 13 – tensions reach breaking point

[ | | | | | | | , on board the | | | | | wrote.]

This week we catch up with the Cygnet as it approaches the Equator. A bout of bad weather has seen many of the passengers sick and conditions below deck are foul. Boyle Travers Finniss is impatient with…

[ Read the full journal extract ]


Week 06 – a ‘perfect Hurricane’

[ | | | | , on board the | | | wrote.]

On 26 March the John Pirie seemed to be making progress, as it finally cleared the English Channel and struck out for the Atlantic Ocean. But just west of the Bay of Biscay the weather worsened…

[ Read the full journal extract ]


Both the Duke of York and the John Pirie finally seem to be on their way, but once again the weather conspires against them.  Will they ever break free of the Channel? Find out next week.

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