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Week 22 - all ships underway

[ 1836 to 1836 ]
[ View related 'school content': Week 45: Proclamation and Celebration ]
[ View related 'school content': Week 43: Kangaroo Island ]
[ View related 'school content': Week 40 - Finally! The harbour is found ]
[ View related 'school content': Week 37: Building a Home ]
[ View related 'school content': Week 36: Family Life ]
[ View related 'school content': Week 35: Pastimes ]
[ View related 'school content': Week 34 - a tempest ]
[ View related 'school content': Week 26: Whose story? ]
[ View related 'school content': Week 25 - The demon drink ]
[ View related 'school content': Week 22: In Good Time ]
[ View related 'school content': Week 20 - infectious disease ]
[ View related 'school content': Week 18 - the port of Rio ]
[ View related 'school content': Week 16: Crossing the Line ]
[ View related 'school content': Week 16 - towards Australia ]
[ View related 'school content': Week 15 - high drama on the John Pirie ]
[ View related 'school content': Week 08: Employment ]
[ View related 'school content': Week 06 : Weathering the Storm ]
[ View related 'school content': Week 05: Ship Shape ]

All of the fleet is finally underway, but it is by no means fair sailing.  The Buffalo sets off hopefully, after much delay, but is soon back in port ahead of an approaching storm.  This week we meet two new informants on the BuffaloGeorge Stevenson, who is secretary to Governor Hindmarsh and partner to Robert Thomas of the Africaine, and Young Bingham Hutchinson, a former naval lieutenant, who is intending to farm in South Australia. Stevenson’s lively diary is full of strong opinions about his fellow passengers.

Black and white photograph of an 1833 portrait of Robert Gouger. Robert Gouger, 1833. Image courtesy of SLSA: B48189

On the Africaine and the John Pirie both passengers and crew are battling illness.  Harriet Gouger is in delicate health at the best of times, made worse by the fact that she is pregnant, and she suffers badly from seasickness.  At last Robert Gouger manages to have a hammock made for her, which makes her much more comfortable.  On the John Pirie both the cook and the chief mate are sick, while we are told that one of the passengers ‘has been almost a constant Customer, to the Medicine Chest’. We shouldn’t think too much about what he is taking!

Robert Gouger has more to occupy him than his wife’s sickness however. The intermediate passengers are increasingly dissatisfied with their lot and begin to make demands, led it seems, by Robert Thomas, whom Gouger describes as the ‘agitator of the ship’. Gouger finally manages to restore calm and believes that he has set their minds at rest, although he may not have convinced everyone: Mary and Robert Thomas apparently ‘preserve dignified silence’’.

The Duke of York meanwhile is very close to its destination and the crew is buoyed by the sight of sperm whales in the Bight.


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 ]


Next week: Land ho!  The Duke of York arrives in Nepean Bay, Kangaroo Island.

 

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