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John MacGillivray
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 317 pages of information about Narrative of the Voyage of H.M.S. Rattlesnake, Commanded By the Late Captain Owen Stanley, R.N., F.R.S. Etc. During the Years 1846-1850..

On November 16th we got underweigh at daylight, but the wind died away in the afternoon, and we anchored halfway down the harbour.  Next day we got out to sea on our voyage to Sydney.  We were all glad to leave Port Essington—­it was like escaping from an oven.  During our stay the sky was generally overcast, with heavy cumuli, and distant lightning at night, but no rain fell, and the heat was excessive.  These were indications of the approaching change of the monsoon—­the rainy season, with a wind more or less westerly, usually commencing in December and continuing until March.

December 3rd.

Latitude 11 degrees 2 minutes South longitude 123 degrees 11 minutes East.  Today we may be said to have cleared the land after a dead beat to the westward, between the Sahul Bank and the islands of Timor and Rottee.  It took us eleven days to make good less than 300 miles.  The land was in sight during the greater portion of this time, and we had a good view of the noble mountain-range of Timor, also of Rottee and the Strait of Semao, which last we entered with the intention of passing through, but the wind headed us and we had to pass to the southward of Rottee.  For a few days after leaving Port Essington we experienced very light and variable winds, which gradually settled into south-westerly, with occasional gloomy blowing weather and frequent squalls at night.


At length on January 24th, 1849, a long and monotonous passage of sixty-eight days brought us to Sydney, from which we had been absent for nine months.


Fate of Kennedy’s Expedition. 
Sail on our Third Northern Cruise. 
Excursion on Moreton Island. 
History of Discoveries on the South-East Coast of New Guinea and the
Louisiade Archipelago, from 1606 to 1846. 
Find the Shores of the Louisiade protected by a Barrier Reef. 
Beautiful appearances of Rossel Island. 
Pass through an opening in the Reef, and enter Coral Haven. 
Interview with Natives on Pig Island. 
Find them treacherously disposed. 
Their mode of Fishing on the Reefs. 
Establish a system of Barter alongside the Ship. 
Description of the Louisiade Canoes, and mode of management. 
Find a Watering Place on South-East Island. 
Its Scenery and Productions. 
Suspicious conduct of the Natives. 
Their Ornaments, etc. described.


The most eventful occurrence during our stay in Sydney, was the arrival of the schooner which we had left at Port Albany, awaiting the arrival of Mr. Kennedy.  She brought the sad news of the disastrous failure of his expedition, and of the death of all but three composing the overland party, including their brave but ill-fated leader.  I was present at the judicial investigation which shortly afterwards took place, and shall briefly relate the particulars.  I shall not easily forget the appearance which the survivors presented on this occasion—­pale and emaciated, with haggard looks attesting the misery and privations they had undergone, and with low trembling voices, they gave their evidence.

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