The south-east wind now beginning to blow, the signal was made for weighing, and at ten minutes before two in the afternoon of Monday the 12th of November the whole fleet was under sail standing out with a fresh of wind to the northward of Robin Island.
It was natural to indulge at this moment a melancholy reflection which obtruded itself upon the mind. The land behind us was the abode of a civilized people; that before us was the residence of savages. When, if ever, we might again enjoy the commerce of the world, was doubtful and uncertain. The refreshments and the pleasures of which we had so liberally partaken at the Cape, were to be exchanged for coarse fare and hard labour at New South Wales. All communication with families and friends now cut off, we were leaving the world behind us, to enter on a state unknown; and, as if it had been necessary to imprint this idea more strongly on our minds, and to render the sensation still more poignant, at the close of the evening we spoke a ship from London*. The metropolis of our native country, its pleasures, its wealth, and its consequence, thus accidentally presented to the mind, failed not to afford a most striking contrast with the object now principally in our view.
[* The Kent—southern whaler.]
Before we quitted the Cape Captain Hunter determined the longitude of the Cape-town in Table-bay to be, by the mean of several sets of lunar observations taken on board the Sirius, 18 degrees 23 minutes 55 seconds east from Greenwich.
Proceed on the voyage
Captain Phillip sails onward in the Supply, taking with him three of
Pass the island of St. Paul
Weather, January 1788
The South Cape of New Holland made
The Sirius and her convoy anchor in the harbour of Botany Bay.
Every precaution being absolutely necessary to guard against a failure of water on board the different ships, the whole were put upon an allowance of three pints per man per diem soon after our departure from the Cape. This regulation was highly proper, as from the probable continuance of the easterly wind which then blew, the fleet might be detained a considerable time at sea.
For several days after we had sailed, the wind was unfavourable, and blowing fresh, with much sea, some time elapsed before we had reached to the eastward of the Cape of Good Hope. On the 16th, Captain Phillip signified his intention of proceeding forward in the Supply, with the view of arriving in New South Wales so long before the principal part of the fleet, as to be able to fix on a clear and proper place for the settlement. Lieutenant Shortland was at the same time informed, that he was to quit the fleet with the Alexander, taking on with him the Scarborough and Friendship transports. These three ships had on board the greater part of