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Home Colonial Events 1788 Convict Ships Governor Arthur Philip

Arrival of the First Fleet at Botany Bay  


Historical Records of Australia
Volume 1, 1788- 1796. p17

Governor Phillip to Lord Sydney

Sydney Cove, New South Wales
May 15th 1788 {Extract}

My Lord,.........

The westerly winds we now had continued till the 3rd of January, when we saw the coast of New South Wales, but the winds, which had been so favourable, having seldom been to the eastward, and then for a few hours only, blowing from the N.W. to the S.W., generally very strong gales, now left us, and we had variable winds, with a current that at times set very strong to the southward, so that we did not arrive at Botany Bay before the 18th (January)

The Alexander, Scarborough and Friendship came in the next day, and the Sirius, with the rest of the ships, the day after. Those ships had continued very healthy.

The Supply, sailing very badly, had not permitted my gaining the advantage hoped from, but I began to examine the bay as soon as we anchored, and found that tho' extensive, it did not afford shelter to ships from the easterly winds; the greater part of the bay being so shoal that ships of even a moderate draught of water are obliged to anchor with the entrance of the bay open, and are exposed to a heavy sea that rolls in when it blows hard from the eastward.