Historical Records of New Zealand
3, St. George’s Square, Portsea, 13th February, 1799
I hope you received my letter of the 11th, which I am rather doubtful of, as you do not mention it in yours which I received to day. As the garden is considerably less than the five tons, not being four, I conclude it will remain; perhaps the bulwark on the quarter being removed, and light low railing in its place, may amend the crankness; and if the Navy Board page 220 should judge proper to order the cloathing from the ’tween decks on shore here for some other ship to bring out, then stuff might be put on board to make an inclosure for the greatest part of the plants between decks, for it will be in the passage between the Cape of Good Hope and Van Diemen’s Land that the removal of the garden below (or at least its contents) will be an ease to the ship, and of no detriment to the plants. From the ship’s sailing and steering so bad there is no other remedy than lengthening her. I do assure you the accounts of the masters of West Indiamen that came round under her convoy from the Downs presents us a gloomy presage of a tedious and long voyage, exclusive of the danger to be apprehended from her being pooped by the heavy seas we must meet on the latter part of the passage, for according to all accounts she absolutely refuses to answer her helm when going anything large.*
As I presume Mr. Dalrymple will be with you this morning, may I request you will be so good to tell him that altho’ I cannot just yet lay my hand on the N. Zealander’s chart, yet he may be assured of it. I wrote to Mr. Nepean about a copy of the French survey of the harbour of Van Diemen’s Land that is in Mr. D.’s possession, but have received no answer. If Mr. D. will have the goodness to send my journals and the copy of Bampton’s passage to Mr. Sykes’s, Arundel-street, it will be forwarded to me; and I think that will be the best way for Cayley’s things to be forwarded. He is much rejoiced at his microscope being found. Souter has been extreemly ill during the passage, but the garden has been well attended by Grimwood’s man. I think everything looks far better than I expected to find them.
I shall very anxiously expect the returns from the Navy Board to the report gone from here respecting the garden.
I am, &c.,