Thus, under the blessing of God, was happily completed, in eight months and one week, a voyage which, before it was undertaken, the mind hardly dared venture to contemplate, and on which it was impossible to reflect without some apprehensions as to its termination. This fortunate completion of it, however, afforded even to ourselves as much matter of surprise as of general satisfaction; for in the above space of time we had sailed five thousand and twenty-one leagues; had touched at the American and African Continents; and had at last rested within a few days sail of the antipodes of our native country, without meeting any accident in a fleet of eleven sail, nine of which were merchantmen that had never before sailed in that distant and imperfectly explored ocean: and when it is considered, that there was on board a large body of convicts, many of whom were embarked in a very sickly state, we might be deemed peculiarly fortunate, that of the whole number of all descriptions of persons coming to form the new settlement, only thirty-two had died since their leaving England, among whom were to be included one or two deaths by accidents; although previous to our departure it was generally conjectured, that before we should have been a month at sea one of the transports would have been converted into an hospital ship. But it fortunately happened otherwise; the high health which was apparent in every countenance was to be attributed not only to the refreshments we met with at Rio de Janeiro and the Cape of Good Hope, but to the excellent quality of the provisions with which we were supplied by Mr. Richards junior, the contractor; and the spirits visible in every eye were to be ascribed to the general joy and satisfaction which immediately took place on finding ourselves arrived at that port which had been so much and so long the subject of our most serious reflections, the constant theme of our conversations.
The governor, we found, had employed the time he had been here in examining the bay, for the purpose of determining where he should establish the settlement; but as yet he had not seen any spot to which some strong objection did not apply. Indeed, very few places offered themselves to his choice, and not one sufficiently extensive for a thousand people to sit down on. The southern shore about Point Sutherland seemed to possess the soil best adapted for cultivation, but it was deficient in that grand essential fresh water, and was besides too confined for our numbers. There was indeed a small run of water there; but it appeared to be only a drain from a marsh, and by no means promised that ample or certain supply which was requisite for such a settlement as ours. The governor, therefore, speedily determined on examining the adjacent harbours of Port Jackson and Broken Bay, in one of which he thought it possible that a better situation for his young colony might be found. But as his search might possibly prove fruitless, and that the few days which it should occupy might not