The carpenter of the Supply, who had undertaken the construction of the hoy, being obliged to proceed with that vessel on her going to sea, the direction of the few people employed upon her was left with the carpenter of the Sirius during his absence.
July 14.] The governor returned from his second visit to the river, which he named the Hawkesbury, in honor of the noble lord at the head of the committee of council of trade and plantations. He traced the river to a considerable distance to the westward, and was impeded in his further progress by a shallow which he met with a short distance above the hill formerly seen, and then named by him Richmond Hill, to the foot of which the course of the Hawkesbury conducted him and his party. They were deterred from remaining any time in the narrow part of the river, as they perceived evident traces of the freshes having risen to the height of from twenty to forty feet above the level of the water. They represented the windings of the river as beautiful and picturesque; and toward Richmond Hill the face of the country appeared more level and open than in any other part. The vast inundations which had left such tokens behind them of the height to which they swell the river seemed rather unfavourable for the purpose of settling near the banks, which otherwise would have been convenient and desirable, the advantages attending the occupation of an allotment of land on the margin of a fresh-water river being superior to those of any other situation. The soil on the banks of the river was judged to be light; what it was further inland could not be determined with any certainty, as the travellers did not penetrate to any distance, except at Richmond Hill, where the soil appeared to be less mixed with sand than that on the branches.
During the governor’s absence the sail-maker of the Sirius had strayed into the woods about the cove where she was repairing, and, not knowing the country, wandered so far that he could not find his way back to the ship. Fortunately for him, the governor, on his return from Broken Bay, met with him in the north arm of this harbour, but so weakened by hunger and fatigue, as to have all the appearance of intoxication when first discovered and spoken to, and in a situation so remote from a probability of assistance, that perhaps a few days more would have fixed the period of his existence.
On visiting the settlement at Rose Hill, the convicts were all found residing in very good huts, apparently under proper regulations, and encouraged to work in the gardens, which they had permission to cultivate during those hours which were not dedicated to public labour. A barrack for the soldiers was erected in the small redoubt which had been constructed, and in which also stood the provision store. Some ground had been opened on the other side of the stream of water which ran into the creek, where a small house had been built for the superintendant Dodd, under whose charge were to be placed a barn and granaries, in which the produce of the ground he was then filling with wheat and barley was to be deposited. The people of all descriptions continued very healthy; and the salubrity of the climate rendered medicine of little use.