Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales
Riou's narrative of the wreck of the Guardian, 8 September - 25 December 1789
On the 8th September 1789 we sailed in his Majesty’s ship Guardian from Spithead and after having been detained three days with unfavourable winds at St Helens Road proceeded on our intended voyage to Port Jackson. On the 26th of September we anchored in the Road Santa Cruz in the island of Teneriffe where
after having we procured a quantity of Wine & received such refreshments for the Crew as that place as that place afforded we and on the 30th of the same month set sail again and made the best of our way to the Cape of Good Hope where at which place we arrived without any remarkable occurrences intervening on the 23rd of November and anchored in Table Bay.
The Lords of the Admiralty having given me orders to purchase Live Stock at such places as we might stop at to refresh in the course of our voyage to Port Jackson for the service of
the New that Colony (I conceived it a duty incumbent on me) I was resolved in consideration of the continual misfortunes that had befallen [Note in margin],
[[indecipherable] it a matter of the last importance]
befallen the Cattle and other Stock carried thither by Governor Phillip to make use of every method in my power that might ensure the providing that settlement with every Article of Livestock that that could in any way be serviceable
which and which could be procured at the Cape. To accomplish this purpose as fully as possible the guns excepting two were all dismounted from the Main Deck and the Rigging was so disposed that the Ship might be manoevered on the Quarter Deck Gangways and Fore Castle. The Main deck was fitted up with stalls & Mangers and a Complete Covering of Tarpaulins & Canvas put over it in order to render it impervious from the Rain or Sea Water. Other parts of the Ships and the Boats were appropriated for the reception of poultry & smaller kind of Animals. Having, in this manner, made as great an economy of Room as we were able I purchased two of the best stallions of the best breed of this place with five young [Note in margin], [originally Spanish]
young mares Two Bulls & sixteen Cows beside a quantity of Sheep Hogs rabbits and poultry of every species that could be obtained. I received in addition to this stock a very fine Buck and Doe of the Deer of the Isle de France which were presented to me by Colonel Gordon the Commd. in Chief of the Dutch Forces.
I regretted it was not in my power to procure a male & female Ass but as no particular private person at the Cape was in possession of such things and the Governor would not permit any belonging to the Company to be disposed of I was obliged to give up the Idea of introducing to the new Colony so useful a breed of Animals. With this stock in addition to the Vegetable productions both of England and the Cape amounting to upward of one hundred & forty different sorts of Trees, Plants and shrubs in the highest State of perfection we set sail from Table Bay on the 12th day of December with the pleasing idea of the Consequence we should be
of to Governor Phillip and his Infant Colony.
On the 14th in the evening we lost sight of the Cape of Good Hope and having a fine breeze at NW we steered to the S.E.
on our intended voyage. By this time, our Stable & other parts of the Stock had arrived to that state of discipline and Economy that every Animal was in the greatest [humor?] and perfection. [Note in margin], [excepting the loss of one cow that had been hurt in getting in to the Lighter]
In the evening of the 15th we steered rather more to the Eastward in order to avoid falling in with the situation in which is placed the Shoals mentioned by Mr Petrie which perhaps I should have much wished to have searched for in order to ascertain the reality of the Existence of such Rocks had I been employed on any other Service than that in which I was
of proceeding to Port Jackson [In margin] one that would not permit of [indecipherable] or delay. Nothing remarkable occurred until the 21st when at about 1 O’Clock in the afternoon we saw to the Southward of us at about 4 or 5 Miles distant an Island of Ice, shaped in two hillocks tolerably high [Note in margin] 50 to 60 feet and judged it to be about 1 and ˝ Miles
Miles in Circumference. We soon afterwards saw another about the same size but so far distant as to be only discerned from the Masts head. The thermometer was now from 50° to 60° in the course of the Twenty four hours and the Latitude of the Ship was 42° 16 So. The Longitude 38°25 Et. With these circumstances I could not but be exceedingly surprised at seeing Islands of Ice (which were by no means contemptible bodies) especially when Captain Cook in his Voyage to the Southern hemisphere never fell in with ice in a lower latitude that 52°52 So. And that I had [indecipherable] him in this last voyage
in the same month of sailed across this Ocean in the Parallel of 49°and 50° without seeing them and never seen Ice [Note in margin], [least vestige] although at that Time the thermometer was generally never higher than from 39° to 45°. I therefore regretted that in consideration of the improbability of seeing any more Ice in our passage to New South Wales that these Islands had been so much to windward of the Ship’s Course, considered it very inconvenient to make use of them by way of keeping replacing
Replacing that Stocks of water which had been expended since our departure from the Cape, for as the daily
expense consumption of water was great I feared it would be found necessary to touch at Adventure Bay before we could proceed to Port Jackson a circumstance I ever wished much to avoid on many accounts. The wind which had been for some days blowing fresh from the Westward on the 22nd in the afternoon left us & we were for a few hours becalmed with thick Hazy weather uncomfortable rainy weather and fog. On the morning of the 22nd the wind blew from the South East and toward Noon veered round to the North East blowing a fine fresh steady Breeze attended with a very thick fog.
The ships Latitude on this day at noon was 43°17 So. and the Longitude 42°45 East.
This kind of weather continued in the afternoon the ship running between five & six miles an hour to the South Eastward [Note in margin], [wind at ENE running SE by compass about ESE for a time] with very smooth water But about five O’Clock the fog in some degree clearing away to Leeward the officer
Officer of the Watch informed me in my Cabin that an Island of Ice was in sight. I immediately went up on deck and observed about three points before the Lea beam what at that time [Note in margin; at this instant] I supposed to be land covered with snow and which mistake was owing to the blackness of the Atmosphere about the Horizon being so [shaped?] by the fog where the Ice was, as exactly to represent in one [indecipherable] dark mountain covered with Snow. As the fog was at this time rather clearing away I immediately ordered the Helm to be put up in order to bear up towards it and lose no time in assuring myself as soon as possible of the Truth of my supposition. But this operation was hardly effected before it was plainly discovered that it was an Island of Ice about two or three Miles distant from us. As the Weather now had greatly all the appearance of clearing up, and as the fog was dispersing very fast to Leeward I continued to haul towards it. In approaching it every favourable circumstance presented itself
to induce me to go near enough to examine if there were any loose pieces of Ice floating about the main Body of the Island that we might be able to procure in order to increase our stock of fresh water the effecting of which as has already been [indecipherable ?described?] as would in all probability have enabled us to have proceeded round Van Diemens Land without having any thing to do with the Coast or any of the harbours of New South Wales until such time as we might have attained the Latitude of Port Jackson, which for a deep laden ship lightly manned was an object of no small consideration [Note in margin], [By the time we had got within 1 Mile or less of the Island, the Weather etc., etc.,] the Weather was so clear to the Westward which was likewise to Leeward that the sun began to shew itself, and the sea being remarkably smooth, were together sufficient Reasons to resolve me on seeing a quantity of loose floating Ice surrounding
surrounding the Main to procure some of the pieces. This Island was in shape a cylinder and rather inferior in bulk at half its height from the surface of the Sea than was either at the top or Water line. [Sketch of the iceberg in the margin] I judge it might have been at least Two hundred feet in height, and in diametrical breadth rather more than half its height. To the Eastern side of it at about the distance of three or four hundred feet was attached a small Hummock about one fourth part of the size of the Main Island from which contiguous to the Whole was low Ice forming as it were a reef. As the ship was approaching towards it there frequently fell from its [impending?] top into the Sea Masses of Ice of Twenty Thirty & Forty tons weight convincing proof of the rapid decay of what at first sight could appear sufficiently durable
to last for ages. The wind was at this time North East and the ship was brought to on the Larboard Tack to Windward of the body of the Island and about three quarters of a Mile distance from it. The Jolly Boat was immediately lowered from the stern and sent away under the direction of Mr Tremlet [?] one of the midshipmen to pick up such pieces of loose floating ice as the men could easily handle and in that manner to load the boat with all possible dispatch. The ship then stood a few minutes to the Eastward under the Three Topsails and Top Gallant sails and was nose [?hove?] round and brought to, when the small Cutter was hoisted out in which Boat I sent Mr Kewey one of the Mates on the same service. But the Ice drifted so fast to Leeward whilst the ship laid to [indecipherable] to hoist
hoist out the Cutter that we had increased our distance from it so much as to render it necessary to Tow the Cutter down towards it that she might more readily join the Jolly Boat. The Cutter left us when the ship had nose round again & got upon the larboard tack with direction to Mr Kewey to be careful always to keep exactly to windward of the Ice and not to go too close to the Main body. I now kept the ship under sail standing backwards and forwards the wind blowing fresh but the Sea remarkably smooth. I had resolved to hoist out the other Cutter and make the most of the time but observing that the fog still hung about and did not disperse so fast as I imagined it would from the appearance of the Weather [Note in margin], [when I determined on collecting Ice]. When we lowered the Jolly Boat down I gave up that idea and contented myself with the prospect we had of procuring Two Boat loads only as also in the present circumstances [Note in margin], [my attention was sufficiently was sufficiently [sic] engaged in watching] It was sufficient employment to watch the motions of the Two Boats that were then out. The loose pieces of floating Ice were so very
readily handled that by the time Mr Kewey had joined the Jolly Boat, Mr Tremlet had loaded that boat completely & was returning to the Ship.
The Ship being then on the Starboard Tack and standing towards the Boats & the Jolly Boat rowing towards her, but when I was preparing to receive her alongside by shaping the Ships course accordingly when from the appearance of the fog increasing coming on did not like to have the Cutter any longer time away. By the time the Jolly Boat was nearly alongside the fog was increasing very thick I therefore run in directly towards the Ice to pick up the Cutter, leaving the Jolly Boat to follow, but as soon as I perceived Mr. Kewey rowing towards the Ship the Ship was [indecipherable] round in the Starboard Tack & brought to. The Cutter and Jolly Boat were now both alongside, the fog
so thick that though the Ship could not be above three quarters of a Mile from the Ice, yet it was not wholly discernable. An hour had elapsed in clearing the Boats and hoisting them in before the Sails were set thought the greatest Expedition had been made; during which time the Ship was lying with the Try & Main Topsails aback rather more Weatherly then and increasing her distance from the Ice. At the time of making sail I saw the main body of the Ice about two points on the Lee Quarter bearing South, and about one Mile and a Quarter – the wind was North East and the Ship in the Starboard Tack going NNW. Preparations were made for Tacking and after having run a quarter of an hour she was put about by Mr. Clements all the sails being set except the Main sail Middle and top Gallant Staysails, the wind at this time increasing and the water very smooth. I attended at the Conn [?] whilst Mr Clements trimmed the sails and having staid upon deck a quarter of an hour after the Helm
Helm had been put down, during which time I had never left the Binnacle in order the better to observe the Ships course and likewise to attend the Conn myself. The Ship then sailing with a clean full sail ESE at the rate of 6 & 7 Knots p. hour and knowing that by this time we must have brought the direction of the Ice nearly upon the Beam, I went from the deck into my Cabin to drink a dish of Tea which Mr Farquarson had prepared; Mr Clements soon afterwards came to partake with us, and having sat about a quarter of an hour or twenty minutes left Mr Farquarson & myself together. A few minutes after this, whilst Mr Farquarson & myself were in conversation I heard the Helm move either to one side or the other with instantaneous and unaccustomed velocity. I immediately ran upon deck, and as the fog was then as thick as possible without stopping to ask any Questions whatever proceeded with the utmost expedition along the Weather Gangway in order to inform myself exactly of the Danger with which we were threatened
And which judging from the Alarm that had taken place throughout the Ship I conceived to be of no trifling kind. On the Gangway I met with Mr Clements to whom on seeing no danger to windward and without knowing how the Helm was situated immediately said the helm must be put down. But he instantly answering No sir the helm must be up [indecipherable] stopping an instant I proceeded with the greatest haste towards the Forecastle. But I had not made above two or three steps further forward when I conceived from the Actions and despair & the Countenances of horror of the men on the Forecastle that the danger appeared on the Lee bow. At the same instant they screamed out put the helm down I saw now that I had not [indecipherable] forward and that instantly ordering the Helm alee which was directly done. I
ran ran aft on the Quarter deck towards the Lee Gangway I had no sooner turned my face forward when by the Lee Leech of the Foresail a sight presented itself which no words can
can describe. A body of Ice full twice as high as the Masthead just showing itself through the thickest vapour I ever breathed in. The instant & inevitable [?] dissolution that appeared before us created upon the different minds of a few around me the most dismal expressions of despair & [indecipherable] which in that moment a dreadful [indecipherable] [indecipherable] to be collected served to
convince me of the necessity of to put on an appearance of Calmness and preserve a presence of Mind at a time when I had to be collected at a time when perhaps I would pos nothing but instant destruction. My authority with the example of them the firmest among us instantly checked what otherwise would have rendered our labours perfectly useless, and I stood then silently [indecipherable] the consequences of this dreadful Situation as nothing at this moment was possible [?] to be done The Ship was now entering into a vast Cavern which appeared to be high & large enough to devour [?] her entirely. My eyes fixed on the end of the Jib boom the Garnets being then hauled up in order to be ready
[Note in margin], [for as the helm had been put up at the time I was closed in my Cabin & had [indecipherable]]
ready to brace about the foreyard and judging from the distance to the Ice that I should every instance see it feel the first effects of our dissolution. In this situation
from the time I had [been on] regained the Quarter Deck we were about one a minute or less when the expected shock came which though it made the whole frame of the Ship to tremble was so unexpectedly favourable (as there I had little hope of her surviving after the first instant she struck) that I immediately ordered the afteryards were immediately to be braced about, the Ship having by this time felt so much the effect of the Helm being [indecipherable] came so much round on her Heel that the Wind was now rather on what had before been the Lee bow and still continuing to come around on her heel I perceived at this instant that were at the weathermost extremity of the Ice, the Wind blowing fresh around a projecting precipice which acted upon the head sails that were aback & thereby inabled her to tack compleatly. The Head sails were now braced about, and the Ships
Ships head off from the Ice and so much round that the Wind was now abaft the beam. An Impending Mountain overhanging the Mizen Topmasthead and threatening us with its Weight which had it fallen would have overwhelmed us instantaneously. I now feared that as the Sails on the Main & Mizen masts were perfectly becalmed under the Lee of this Mountain and that the Headsails were receiving a fresh of Wind blowing round the Weathermost precipice that the Ship the stern of which
which was now hanging had already entered into this dreadful Cavern would fall round off broadside & bring herself bodily & totally [indecipherable] but this most fortunately was obviated from her being[indecipherable] as it were [indecipherable] most dreadful?
To avoid which nothing was left in our power to do but keep the head sheets well off and to put the Helm amidships in readiness to act in whatever direction should be necessary whenever the Ship gathered way. This I ordered to be done but after the Man at the Wheel could not move it by which I was sure the Ship still
hung on the Lee, nothing therefore was more done than the hoisting the Middle & Top gallant stay sails. In this most dreadful and anxious situation which lasted about five or six Minutes, I ordered the pumps to be got ready to be worked and waited silently at the [indecipherable] watching to seize any advantage which might offer from the least change of Circumstances, when we felt that the ship received a sudden shock and immediately began to move through the Water – I now ordered the Helm amidships, but at this same instant that the Man at the Helm found the Tiller Rope broken a Boy ran up from the Ward Room & said the Rudder was torn quite away from the [indecipherable] posts. The loss of the Rudder was not irreparable I therefore sent everybody to the pumps anxiously hoping that that loss might prove to be the greatest injury we had received. All the pumps were immediately set at Work and my care was directed now to prevent if possible the Ship from
from either weaving or coming up to the Wind, and to keep her running from the danger which might perhaps in either of those cases be more upon us from to Windward.
The Mizen Topsail was furled by two or three men that were not at the pumps as the ship would not keep otherwise into the wind, for the same purpose the Main Topsail was lowered down & the Top Gallant sail suffered to beat to pieces, the wind now began to blow very fresh but there was no possibility of sparing any men to furl the Sails. I had received the Report of the water in the Well from the Carpenter when the Pumps were first set to work which was two feet and upwards, but finding in a few Minutes after all the pumps had been working & which were in excellent condition delivering immense quantities of water that nevertheless the leak gained upon us I was so well convinced of what I most dreaded that we had received though in so short a time and smooth water and so [no?] Violent Thumping [?] an Injury which would oblige us to lighten the Ship. I therefore ordered Mr Clements to clear the Main Deck
Deck of the Cattle which was immediately put into execution but it was soon discovered from the great quantity of Water which the pumps produced working without ceasing that the Leak was too material not to begin to lighten the Ship of every possible Article. The two Guns therefore on the Main Deck were with the utmost dispatch were directed to be thrown overboard, the Anchors were cut from the Bows a quantity of water lying in the lower Deck to be stacked, and the Ends of the cables to be got up in order to be thrown over out of one of the ports.
I had staid alone upon the Quarter deck nearly an hour solely to watch the Motions of the Ship and finding we had run about Six or Seven Miles from the Ice with the Wind on the Beam and the Ship continuing to bear the steady Course in the manner in which the Sails were disposed, I left the Quarter deck and attended to the lightning of the Ship. As the Lower Deck was completely & fully stowed with provisions & stores of various kinds every article that nearest the Hatchway was got up & thrown overboard. This duty Mr Farquarson the Purser
Purser attended to with such few people as could be spared from the Pumps. The Boatswain was employed with a few others of the seamen in cutting & clearing the Anchors from the Bows, the Guns in heaving the Guns overboard, and Mr hervey the Mate with Two or three men stacking the Butts of Water on the lower Deck. About this Time I went down into the Well in order that I might myself adjudge of what effects the Pumps would have on the Leak and I found from the Report I had before received that as yet the Leak had regularly but slowly increased. With such hands as were not actually at the pumps the end of the Larboard Cable was got up & pointed out at one of the ports and some part of it cut up in links and thrown overboard, but as the pumps employed nearly all hands with the Relief only that business as with as many others which had been projected was found impossible to effect. In these different Employments was everybody occupied for about two or three Hours, the
Whole of the pumps working with the greatest Velocity and delivering an immense quantity of Water. The Wind now had increased to a Gale & blew very strong and the Sea began to be very rough, the quantity of Water delivered by the pumps was too great to be vented at the Scuppers and the Lee side of the Main deck was perfectly full. Some people were therefore employed in baling & throwing out of the ports such Water as the pumps delivered from the Well, in order to prevent its rushing down the After Hatchway where Mr Farquarson with a few people were employed in lightning as fast as possible the Ship of such stores as were there stowed. But the Sea soon rose to such a height that with the Violence of the Motion of the Ship it was found impossible any longer to prevent the water from rushing down this Hatchway without securing it & thereby discontinuing that Employment. I now saw the Consequences of Establishing some very exact & more regular Method of [indecipherable] that had as yet been Adopted, and found
found that with what few hands it was absolutely necessary to spare in order to continue on the different services performing the Crew Officers included could only manage Relief at the Four pumps. the people therefore were divided into Two divisions, the Starboard and Larboard watch, and as it now required in order to keep up their Spirits and Thoughts the greatest Exactitude to provide regular Reliefs, I attended myself to the Time for such Reliefs & stood without leaving the spot by the Pumps to Encourage them as well as constantly to observe the quantity of water delivered & thereby the better to be a judge of the quantity received. The people had pumped so extraordinary well & willingly, some time after midnight a violent[indecipherable] the [indecipherable] pumps nearly [indecipherable] but not so as ever to admit the least stoppage of heaving [indecipherable] the winches. About Midnight also
the business of securing the After hatchway being secured in such a manner as to prevent the water from finding its way down below being effected i desired Mr Facy [?] seaman to make some preparations for
[NB the above passage is very confused with a number of insertions and deletions]
the Refreshment of the people, and to establish a regular method of providing them constantly & often with small quantities observing to keep them strictly sober. We therefore with such spirits and wine as were in the Cabin and belonging to himself & Officers constantly kept them supplied with what was necessary & proper and with a bag of Bread some slices of Cheese and some smoaked Dryed Meat
they kept them were constantly provided with what was requisite & most fit on the Occasion and by this means a regular and established method was adopted for their support without the possible [indecipherable] of the most thoughtless being able to be intoxicated an evil which at this time my mind was into a Whole intent upon avoiding. It was sometime after Midnight when the Anchors had been cut from the Bows, the Guns, Hay, Cattle and all that was possible had beenthrown overboard had been that Mr Clements began with the sailmakers & a few seamen that could handle a needle began to prepare a sown shedding [?] sail with Rolls of Oakum & other things in order to Fother the Ship. This
Sail after having been well fothered with such difficulty upon Daylight was got over the Ships Bows & swept from forward & made fast in the best manner possible,
though ?? but as the Ship had gone Stern on the Ice and turned quite round on her Heel there was no possibility of judging where particularly the Leak might be and therefore
I had never left the pumps till day light only to go into the Well
[indecipherable] be acquainted [indecipherable] in order that I might myself constantly be a judge of the state of the Leak without its being too well ascertained by the People in general – And tho the Leak gradually & slowly increased Pumps to my Wonder and Astonishment worked with more spirit or moved with equal velocity I found that the Leak continued regularly & slowly to increase upon Us. And I continually dreaded that the pumps would not endure the force of the people as they had never yet ceased to turn around windlass & employ both pumps
with the same quickness as at the first instant they had begun.
At day light I went forward on the jib boom to endeavour to discover if possible any injury we might have received on the Bows. But though from the Ship’s pitching frequently very high
[indecipherable] frequently I could [indecipherable] a great part of the stern & Bows were in sight, yet I could not discover anything amiss. The appearance of day light brought with it a most distressing sight. Every sail in the Ship excepting the Fore sail & Main sail & Two topsails had been blown from the yards & their Remains & Rigging blowing about in utmost disorder, making a horrid noise – the Fore topsail which had been lowered down in the Night was preserved from the sheets being fast, but as we were pitched & laboured very much I later these sheets were let loose in [indecipherable] that this sail also might split itself to pieces. I now went down into the Well & found between Six & seven feet Water which had regularly increased since the time the pumps had started, though as was before mentioned the pumps were worked incessantly and to admiration well. I therefore consulted with Mr Clements & it was agreed that he should
with the greatest dispatch prepare another fothering sail and get it as quickly as possible under the bottom. In the meanwhile I wished much to lighten the Ship abaft, but to open the After Hatchway as was before done was impossible as the Water which was delivered by the pumps rolled a foot in depth over the decks. We therefore got another lower studding [?] sail and began to fill it very thick with Rolls of Oakum, pieces of Blankets, Dung & Tarred Hay and about Two or Three O’Clock it was got over and hauled up as tight as possible round the Ships bottom near to the the [sic]
first one others. Mr Clements having accomplished this business I mentioned to him my [indecipherable] of lightning the Ship Abaft but particularly the clearing of the Bread Room, in the effecting of which I was in the hopes that we might be able to discover something of the Leak. The Afterbeam of the Cabin Deck had been broken in Two pieces & lifted up by the violence of the Blow it had received when the Rudder was torn from the Stern which had likewise tore up all
all the Midship planks that were fastened to it. Mr Clements therefore purposed the making a Hatchway here by cutting up the Deck & sawing a Karling [?] which was immediately accomplished. And as the Reliefs at the pumps were now regularly established & no other duties going on
to weaken the people to interfere with that business I left the direction of them the relief to the Mates by turns. Mr Clements had got into the Gun Room At the hole for the in which the Tiller used to traverse in where he found that the Tiller it had been broken in Three pieces Two of which remained in the Gun Room – the Deck being now sufficiently but for to admit of a barrel being hoisted up. We fixed a Tackle through a Hole bored on the Quarter deck and began to hoist up many things And Mr Clements began to sling every Thing that was weighty and at hand in the Gun Room whilst we in the Cabin hoisted it up & threw overboard out of the Cabin windows. He then began to clear away in the Bread Room as I thought it very probable we might find out some Leak in the rear of the Ship. This business went on very rapidly & we had worked very hard for about a couple
Couple of hours when in lifting a cask of Flour was rendered useless by the jamming of the fore & middle fingers of my left hand – Whilst we had been Employed at this work I went down into the bread Room & found a Roll of Oakum lying close aft in the rear of the Ship, but though it was of the same size & like the Rolls we had put onto the fothering sails yet, from where it was lying, I could not conceive it possible to have come from them. The Accident which I had met with put a stop to the present employment of clearing the Bread Room as it was only Mr Clements, Mr Farquarson & Mr Crowther the Chaplain with myself that were at that business. The pumps during this time were continuing to go round with their usual velocity and the people observing the greatest order & regularity with good spirits. But nevertheless fatigue now began to shew itself and though every encouragement was necessary yet no plan represented itself to alleviate it, and I was reduced to that heart aching pang of endeavouring to hide as much as possible my Ideas that little chance was left of Safety. The Gale towards
towards the Evening increased and it blew now with redoubled violence, the Sea making breeches clear over the Ship’s Gunwale & covering the people for a time entirely while they stood at the pumps. In the Evening I took my post again at the pumps in order to see them properly Relieved & Refreshed, but I now found that I myself began to fail, perhaps from great Bodily strength & capable of enduring much fatigue, I should have been able to have held out without the least rest, but I could no longer propose a single plan that had the shadow of success, and no other Officer had anything to advance to ameliorate our situation to be reduced to the Commonplace expressions of Encouragement of heaving at pumps to Men whose Exertions astonished me was a situation which my Spirits could hardly support The only object I therefore now resloved to persevere in was to keep them regularly at the pumps & to give them there regular refreshment and to avoid any possible means of their getting at Liquor which I dreaded would be the Consequence of despair. But after having moved about the decks until midnight & finding the People feeling the effects of Excessive labour, their [indecipherable] spirits [indecipherable] entirely Exhausted
I laid myself down with a Mind Tormented on the dreadful scenes that presented themselves before me.
[indecipherable]. In truth I can say that I was preparing myself for leaving a scene of wretchedness [indecipherable].
whenever my thoughts turned on myself, but how I could act for the preservation of so many unfortunate men whom I looked on as so many souls under my particular Guidance was a thought that almost deprived me of my Reason. The scenes that stood glaringly before me & which there appeared no probability of escaping & how differently the Minds of men might be effected from them made me pray without vanity I say it, to that Another of all Good to enable me to do everything for the preservation at least of some of them. I now rose again & went down into the Well & found that the Water had gained regularly & slowly on us between Three & four feet since the Morning, and had the pumps not constantly & incessantly been Worked so extraordinarily well & delivered such immense quantities of water I should yet have entertained some hopes whenever the
the Weather should be moderate. But at present I had none. As yet, Action and Encouragement to the people had fully employed my Time; but it was far different now for when with them at the pumps I found it difficult to hide my Idea of our situation, especially with the eyes of a desperate [?] Ship’s Company directed on me, tho’ I had not yet suffered the least Action or word to escape me of what I then thought but to one person whose mind I knew was sufficiently firm to participate in my real sentiments. my constant presence therefore in this melancholy situation I felt to be more discouraging to the people as well as disturbing to myself than if I moved about from one part of the Ship to the other. And I must acknowledge I went from the Deck into the Cabin & back again without
much meaning any other Meaning.
Some time after midnight I laid down in Mr Clements cabin getting up every now & then to observe how the pumps went round they still continued to move
round tolerably well, tho’ not with that rapidity we had been accustomed to see them. It was sometime before the day light when I desired Mr C
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[Transcribed by Jan Thomas for the State Library of New South Wales]