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Type: Survey Sloop ; Armament 18
Launched : 25 Aug 1831 ; Disposal date or year : 1903
BM: 485 tons
1830 Pembroke, building
24 Sep 1831 commissioned at Plymouth.
22 Oct 1831 in Hamoaze.
20 Nov 1831 in Hamoaze.
10 Jan 1832 went out of Hamoaze, into Plymouth Sound, where her ship's company were paid two months advance of pay.
23 Jan 1832 departed Plymouth, but put back the following day due to contrary winds.
26 Jan 1832 departed Plymouth for the West Indian and Halifax Station.
5 Feb 1832 departed Madeira for the West Indies.
10 May 1832 at Port Royal, Jamaica, when the Champion departed for England, and due to proceed in 48 hours for the Gulf of Mexico.
31 Aug 1832 brought the dismasted and abandoned water-logged wreck of the Agenoria, of Bermuda, into harbour at Port Royal.
22 Oct 1832 arrived Bermuda.
27 Oct 1832 departed Bermuda for Jamaica with troops.
4 Nov 1832 arrived Jamaica from Bermuda.
14 Nov 1832 at Port Royal.
8 Jan 1833 reported to have departed Jamaica for La Guayra.
17 Apr 1833 departed Havannah.
19 Jul 1833 at Jamaica.
22 Aug 1833 remains Jamaica.
30 Sep 1833 arrived Portsmouth from Halifax.
1 Jan 1834 On the North America and West Indies Station.
5 Feb 1834 is reported to be at Port Royal.
5 Sep 1835 is reported to have arrived at Plymouth on Thursday, from Mexico, and is to be paid off.
15 Sep 1836 is reported to be fitting for service on the South America station.
Circa Jan 1839 in the Pacific. 17 Jul 1840 arrived Spithead from South America, with 1,700.000 dollars. She left Valparaiso on the 31 Mar, and Rio de Janeiro on 21 May. It is expected the Fly will go to Plymouth to be paid off. 6 Aug 1840 midshipman Mr. Thomas Anson, late of the Fly, passed for Lieutenant in seamanship. 31 Oct 1840, Lieutenant Hon. G. Hope, of Fly, promoted to the rank of Commander. 12 Nov 1841 Plymouth, was undocked and is expected to be commissioned shortly. 19 Nov 1841 Plymouth, commissioned to survey the Torres Straits and will be attended by the Bramble cutter. 27 Nov 1841 Mate D. Aird, appointed to the Fly. 8 Dec 1841 Surgeon (Dr.) A. Muirhead, apptd to the Fly 11 Dec 1841 Lieutenant C. F. L. Shadwell ; Mate T. C. R. Gill apptd to the Fly. 16 Dec 1841 Plymouth, is expected to be ready to sail in early March, although volunteers entering very slowly. 18 Dec 1841 Assistant-Surgeon D. A. Sibbald, apptd to the Fly. 23 Dec 1841 Plymouth. In commission in Harbour. 23 Dec 1841 Mate Nuton J. Sulivan, apptd to the Fly. 18 Jan 1842 the Bramble was commissioned at Plymouth by Mr. Charles B. Yule, Mate, and born on the books of the Fly.
22 Jan 1842 supplied with three 7 cwt. stream anchors, and two 4 cwt. kedge anchors, on Lieut. Rodgers plan.
24 Mar 1842 in Hamoaze.
29 Mar 1842 went out of harbour into the Sound and with the Bramble her Ship's Company have been paid their advance of pay in preparation for leaving in company for the Torres Straits, etc., Australia, shortly.
11 Apr 1842 departed Falmouth.
18 Apr 1842 arrived Funchal, where the chronometers were rated, and then departed for Teneriffe.
28 Apr 1842 arrived Santa Cruz, from Madeira and sailed on 3 May for Australia.
3 May 1842 departed Teneriffe.
9 May 1842 stopped briefly at Porto Praya, St. Jago, Cape Verde Islands.
23 May 1842 stopped briefly at the island of Trinidad, before departing for the Cape of Good Hope.
19 Jun 1842 arrived at Simon's Bay to refit and re-provision etc.
14 Jul 1842 departed Simon's Bay for the Island of St. Paul's.
5 Aug 1842 arrived St. Paul's.
28 Aug 1842 arrived at Hobart Town, from the Cape of Good Hope.
6 Oct 1842 departed for Port Arthur, where they remained for a day or so.
15 Oct 1842 arrived Sydney.
24 Oct 1842 the remains of the late Dr. Munro, assistant surgeon of HMS Favorite, were interred at the grave yard. The funeral was attended by the commanding officers of the Favorite, Fly, and Bramble.
19 Nov 1842 the following are said to be the objects of the surveying expedition of the Fly and the Bramble, under the command of Capt. Blackwood : 1. The survey of the exterior or eastern edge of that vast chain of reefs which extends from Breaksea-spit to the shores of New Guinea. 2. The thorough examination of all the channels through the Barrier Chain with detached plans of those which offer a secure passage. 3. To devise some practical plan of marking the channels by beacons of wood, or stone, or iron, upon the outer islands or bays, to guide the navigator to a sure and certain landfall; the erection of which will have to be performed by colonial resources. 4. The examination of the several detached reefs and shoals which lie to the mouth of Torres' Straits, which, having been discovered and laid down by different authorities, assume a complicated appearance on the chart, are to be carefully explored and laid down, in order that the best channel may be selected for the safe navigation of the strait. 7. The complete survey of Endeavour Strait, with its tides and soundings. The south coast of New Guinea, the islands of Louissiade and New Caledonia, and the coast in the neighbourhood of Whitsunday Passage, in lat. 20° will also be visited in the course of the expedition. 25 Nov 1842 departed Sydney for Port Stephens.
26 Nov 1842 arrived Port Stephens.
11 Dec 1842 The Bramble left Port Stephens on Sunday morning at seven o'clock, and arrived off the Port Jackson Heads on Sunday night at twelve o'clock and came on to Sydney to pick up some men who had absconded at Port Stephens from the Fly. The Bramble did not come to an anchor, but put to sea again us soon as the deserters were put on board by the Water Police boat.
17 Dec 1842 departed Port Stephens.
21 Dec 1842 arrived Sandy Cape, where the survey work began.
7 Jan 1843 landed on First Bunker's Island, in the Capricorn Group.
9 Jan 1843 departed First Bunker's Island, and departed for the N.E. and passed by Northern Bunker's Island, and anchored between it and a nearby reef, where sharks were very numerous and attacked and bit the patent log when it was trailed overboard to take its measurements.
10-18 Jan 1843 continued surveying the Capricorn Group.
22-26 Jan 1843 departed the Capricorn Group to survey an area adjacent.
27 Jan 1843 viewed Swain's Reef, but weather not suitable for a survey, the sea making a clean sweep over the Reef. A gale blew up and several unpleasant days were spent off the Reef.
3 Feb 1843 parted company with the Bramble, whilst she traced the inside or lee boundary of the reef, and the Fly fan along the windward edge of the Reef, en route for Port Bowen.
14 Feb 1843 arrived off Port Bowen, where they remained the rest of the month, surveying the harbour and repairing the hawse-holes of the Fly, damaged when attempting to bring on board a snagged anchor.
28 Feb 1843 weighed and departed through the Percy Islands to West Hill, where a supply of water was discovered, the Bramble having been despatched on a similar search, found water in abundance north of Cape Hillsborough.
25 Mar 1843 anchored at Port Molle. The coxswain of the pinnace, Dowling, disappeared, and was assumed to have fallen / jumped overboard, having been ill for some time.
30 Mar 1843 anchored at Cape Upstart where the store ship William arrived with fresh provisions, and the carpenter's crew hauled up the pinnace, in order to fit a false keep, raise her sides, and fit a shifting-deck to improve her sea keeping properties when surveying, and as usual, when the opportunity arose, the surveyors brought their equipment ashore to take their measurements and details of their magnetic observations etc.
23 Apr 1843 at Cape Upstart. Captain Blackwood reports that a considerable portion of the Barrier Reef had been surveyed, but the Fly received so much damage in weighing her anchor, from the strong under-tow setting through the openings in the reefs, that she was obliged to put into Port Bowen for repairs. At the same time Captain Blackwood and some of the officers went of to inspect the coastline for sources of fresh water, prospective ports, and rivers etc.
17 May 1843 departed Cape Upstart, for Rockingham Bay, with Bramble, and the upgraded pinnace, now know as Midge.
19 May 1843 arrived Rockingham Bay, anchoring near Gould Island, where there was an excellent supply of water ; the next fortnight was spent surveying. Relations with the natives started off very well, but a boat's crew was attacked whilst bringing in the seine net, and had to fire a fowling piece at one their attackers before they withdrew.
1 Jun 1843 proceeded north until the 4th, when they anchored off the mouth of the Endeavour River.
4 Jun 1843 the next 10 days were spent off the out edge of the Barrier Reef, between Lizard Island and Cape Melville.
25 Jun 1843 the Bramble having been detailed off to measure the meridian distance between the Barrier Reef and Cape Direction, which required a party to go ashore to take the necessary measurements, during which, when about to leave, things appearing to get unpleasant, when one of the natives threw a spear into the back of one of the accompanying seamen, by the name of Bayley, which resulted in his death 3 days later.
26 Jun 1843 on and off the northern end of the Barrier Reef. After an 8 month diet of salt provisions and no access to fresh provisions scurvy is now starting to take hold with 12 men on the sick list from the problem, 1 man almost incapable of walking, and a surgeon who had never even seen the disease before! Tirade deleted.
12 Jul 1843 continued survey and other activities in side and out side the Barrier Reef.
8 Aug 1843 the survey of the Barrier Reef, completed as far as the Murray Islands.
11 Aug 1843 anchored in Blackwood Bay.
14 Aug 1843 departed the Torres Strait for Port Essington and Coupang, Timor, being rejoined by the Bramble and Midge, the latter being dismantled and loaded on board the Fly.
30 Sep 1843 arrived Swan River, and anchored in Gage's Roads.
29 Oct 1843 The Fly departed for Hobart Town, leaving the Bramble to complete her refit and attempt to recover deserters. On departing, undertook to take specie round to King George's Sound for the colonial government, but on entering the harbour got aground for 4 days, during which time a gale blew up, causing more damage before she could be got off, but subsequently arrived Hobart Town safely, but leaking and was hove down at Port Arthur to make temporary repairs, but had to go on the patent slip on her arrival at Sydney.
8 Jan 1844 departed Hobart Town for Sydney, arriving on the 13th.
14 Feb 1844 Hobart Town, the Bramble is to undergo a refit in preparation for the preparatory survey of the Bass Strait, and the Prince George, cutter, is to be fitted up as a tender to the Fly, during her next exploratory trip through Bass's Strait.
27 Mar 1844 departed Sydney, for Raines Islet, Torres Straits, via Port Stephens, Sandy Cape, passing through the Capricorn Group, the Percy and Northumberland Islands to Cape Upstart, for more water, and eventually started landing stores on Rsine's Islet on 27 May.
27 May,1844 a tented camp was built, and a quarry opened up near where the beacon was to be built. There being no suitable anchorage near the island, the Fly had to anchor 12 miles away, whilst the Bramble, Prince George and Midge fan back and forth bringing provisions, and since the lime had to be slaked large quantities of wood had to be found to burn the lime, water from the Sir Charles Hardy Islands, and timber and a water tank from the wreck of the Martha Ridgeway, found on reefs 25 miles to the south of the Fly's anchorage, the tank being used to catch the rainwater from the roof of the beacon. Cocoa nuts plants, along with maize etc were planted.
14-25 Sep 1844 the Bramble was employed surveying Endeavour Strait, whilst the other vessels survey the area around Raine's Islet, more water being found at Cape York.
21 Sep 1844 the Fly departed for Port Essington arriving there on 27th inst., and then after 5 or 6 days departed for Sourabaya, Java.
19 Oct 1844 arrived at Sourabaya with crew of "Lady Grey," lost on the coast of New Holland, and was shortly joined by the Bramble and Prince George.
14 Jan 1845 the Fly and Bramble departed Sourabaya for Port Essington and the Torres Strait, leaving the Prince George to complete her refit.
27 Jan 1845 arrived Port Essington.
10 Feb 1845 departed for Alass Strait, to the Torres Strait during the NW Monsoon.
10 Feb - 19 Apr 1845 surveyed the north eastern parts of the Torres Strait.
19 Apr 1845 the Bramble was sent to try to make her way along the eastern coast of Australia to Sydney, in which she succeeded, along with adding 120 miles of survey to the Barrier Reef, from Lizard Island, southward to lat. 16° 40'.
19 Apr-2 Jun 1845 the Fly and Prince George explored and surveyed the coast of New Guinea to the north and east of the Torres Strait. 31 May 1845 Sailing Directions for Torres Strait - Raine's Island to Cape York in Sydnry Shippng Gazette.
2 Jun 1845 departed the coast of New Guinea for Port Essington.
12 Jun 1845 arrived Port Essington, where 70 ship-wrecked passengers and crew from the Hyderabad, and the Coringa Packet, wrecked in the Torres Straits, had made it to shore in their boats. Port Essington being unable to support so many people, those wishing to return to Sydney went back in the Prince George, after a partial refit.
18 Jun 1845 the Fly departed Port Essington, with the remainder of the passengers for Singapore. 5 Jul 1845 arrived Singapore, and went up to Malacca, to communicate with the Flag Officer.
21 Jul 1845 arrived Singapore from Malacca to refit and replenish provisions etc.
3 Aug 1845 departed Singapore for Anjer, against the trade winds, arriving on the 19th inst.
20 Aug 1845 departed Anjer, and using the SE trade wind down to lat. 30° 15' S., long. 89° 05', arriving in the Bass Straight, before picking up the SW trade back to Sydney, where they arrived on 25 Sep.
25 Sep 1845 orders from the Admiralty ordering the Fly home awaited them, and the Bramble to continue the survey with a colonial vessel, the Castlereagh being purchased and fitted out for the purpose, under the command of Lieut. Aird (late Mate).
27 Sep 1845 having rubbed her bottom on the coral reefs is about to be moved to Mossman's Bay to be hove down and undergo repairs.
11 Oct 1845 in Mossman's Bay refitting.
25 Oct 1845 returned to Farm Cove.
6 Dec 1845 Dinner to the officers of the "Fly."- On Saturday evening, the members of the Australian Club gave a dinner to Captain Blackwood and the officers of H.M.S Fly, as a testimony of the gallant officers' services in the arduous duty of surveying Torres' Straits. The chair was filled by Mr. Speaker M'Leay, and the vice-presidents were Messrs. Riddell and Griffiths. Among the invited quests were his Excellency the Governor, the French Consul, and Commodore Berard, and several officers of Le Rhin corvette.
15 Dec 1845 Surveying Squadron - Farewell Dinner.-On Monday, the junior officers of H.M. Schooners Bramble and Castlereagh were entertained at a farewell dinner given by their brother officers of the Fly, at the Adelphi Hotel, York-street.
16 Dec 1845 Mail for Melbourne, Adelaide, Swan River, Mauritius, Cape of Good Hope and St Helena to be made up for HMS Fly.
19 Dec 1845 departed Sydney for Port Phillip.
22 Dec 1845 Mate D. Aird, promoted to Lieutenant.
29 Dec 1845 arrived Port Phillip, from Sydney.
11 Jan 1846 departed Port Phillip, for Adelaide.
16 Jan 1846 arrived off Adelaide.
10-19 Feb 1846 called at Swan River, to pick up and take home Governor Hutt, having been superseded by Colonel Clarke.
6-15 Apr 1846 called at the Cape of Good Hope.
30 Apr 1846 called at St. Helena.
19 Jun 1846 arrived at Spithead.
22 Jun 1846 departed for Plymouth to be paid off.
26 Jun 1846 arrived Plymouth from Spithead.
5 Dec 1846 Lieutenant C. F. A. Shadwell, late first lieutenant of H.M.S. Fly was promoted to the rank of commander, June 27, 1846.
Jun 1847 An advert for "A Narrative of the Surveying Voyage of HMS Fly under the command of Captain F Blackwood etc 1842-46" to be published.
25 Oct 1847 I note that officers are being apptd for the forthcoming commission.
17 Nov 1847 was towed out of Hamoaze into the Sound by the Comet, and departed immediately for the Cape of Good Hope.
25 Mar 1848 The "Mary reports the Fly to have entered harbour at Hobart Town the day she left for Sydney.
8 Apr 1848 arrived Auckland from Hobart Town and England, via Cape of Good Hope - Captain Oliver
Apr 1848 On arrival she was sent to Port Nicholson to relieve the Racehorse.
22 Apr 1848 arrived Port Nicholson from Auckland. Subsequently despatched to Otago and the Auckland Isles.
7 Aug 1848 departed for Nelson, Akaroa, and Otakou, with Lieutenant-Governor Eire. and Messrs. Mantell and Wells, Commissioners for purchasing up native claims to land in the Middle Island.
1 Sep 1848 arrived Port Nicholson with Lt-Gov Eyre onboard
20 Sep 1848 Reported by the "Despatch" as still being at Port Nicholson
Circa 16 Dec 1848 Seen at Port Nicholson.
20 Dec 1848 East Indies
15 Jan 1849 arrived Auckland from Port Nicholson and Nelson with Gov. and suite onboard
10 Mar 1849 departed for Kawau and Bay of Islands
1 Apr 1849 departed from Auckland for Wellington, Nelson and Sydney.
14 May 1849 arrived from Port Nicholson, 16 Apr., Nelson, 30 Apr.
26 May 1849 In Farm Cove, Sydney. About to undergo repairs.
9 Jun 1849 The boats of the Fly assisted the Diana in getting off shore at Milsom's Point, Sydney.
1 Jul 1849 Arrives at Auckland from Sydney
Dec 1849 At Port Nicholson.
2 Feb 1850 Seen at Wellington.
6 Feb 1850 departed with the Havannah from Port Nicholson for the Auckland Islands
13 Feb 1850 arrived Port Ross, Auckland Islands.
23 Feb 1850 Departed Port Ross.
28 Feb 1850 Anchored at Akaroa
4 Mar 1850 departed for Port Cooper.
5 Mar 1850 arrived Port Cooper.
7 Mar 1850 departed for Port Underwood.
10 Mar 1850 arrived Port Underwood.
12 Mar 1850 arrived Wellington (per Wellington Independent of 13 Mar 1850)
11 Apr 1850 departed from Auckland
20 Apr 1850 arrived Anatam. Fever and ague reported to be prevailing on this island.
24 Apr 1850 Departed Anatam
24 Apr 1850 arrived Tanna
27 Apr 1850 Departed Tanna
28 Apr 1850 arrived Erromanga
29 Apr 1850 departed Erromanga
5 May 1850 Called at Island of Wea, following the recent reported loss of the schooner Rosetta on that Island.
9 May 1850 departed from Island of Wea
10 May 1850 arrived Balade Harbour, New Caledonia
23 May 1850 Called at Island of Pines
29 May 1850 Departed for Sydney.
28 Jun 1850 Sydney. Anniversary of the Coronation celebrated by dressing overall and at 12 o'clock by firing a royal salute. See next item.
1 Jul 1850 On the afternoon of Friday last one of the seamen, whilst in the act of loading one of the guns for the salute in honour of her Majesty's Coronation, had his right hand completely blown off, to which the attention of the bystanders was called by his exclaiming "Look here" at the same time extending his mutilated limb. The medical officers was fortunately on deck at the time of the accident, immediately rendered his services ; but such was the nature of the injury inflicted that amputation was deemed necessary.; and the promising young man now lies in his cot, and will be comparatively useless for the rest of his life. He is but 23 years of age, and has been 5 years in the service, part of which he served in HMS Calliope, Captain Stanley and the remainder of the Fly. On his arrival in England he will be entitled to a pension of a shilling per diem. Providentially he has a good constitution, and we are happy to be able to state that he is doing well.
6 Nov 1850 arrived at Wellington.
14 Nov 1850 departed for Auckland Islands, with His Excellency the Governor-in-Chief, Lady Grey and suite.
17 Nov 1850 arrived Otago.
23 Nov 1850 Delayed by bad weather. departed for the Auckland Islands
28 Nov 1850 arrived at the Auckland Islands.
5 Dec 1850 departed for Akaroa.
8 Dec 1850 arrived Akaroa.
21 Dec 1850 arrived Wellington.
22 Mar 1851 Is reported to still be at Wellington.
2 Apr 1851 departed for Auckland with Governor and suite.
29 Aug 1851 departed from Auckland for England.
27 - 30 Sep 1851 Falkland Islands.
17 - 22 Oct 1851 Rio Janeiro
4 Dec 1851 arrived at Plymouth Sound in the evening.
11 Dec 1851 arrived at Devonport
13 Dec 1851 Having been mustered and inspected the vessel was towed into harbour and paid off this day. United Service Gazette.
1855 Coal hulk
1860 Coal Depot, Devonport
1870 Coal Depot, Devonport
1879 Coal Depot, Devonport
1890 Coal Depot, Devonport
20 Dec 1845 The Surveying Squadron. (From the Sydney Morning Herald.) The approaching departure of H. M. S. Fly from the colony, on her return to England from the arduous voyage on which, with H. M. Schooner Bramble, she has been employed, induces us to give our readers a brief sketch of her services, in order to impart to them some idea of the benefits that have been conferred upon the commercial interests of the colony by Captain Blackwood and the officers tender his command.
The "Outer Route" through Torres Straits, as it is generally called, which has been of late years so generally followed by vessels bound to India, has hitherto been but imperfectly known, and only could be considered safe for those ships whose commanders had already passed that way. The rough, and little more than eye-sketched, plans of the different passes through the Barrier Reef, which were procurable previously to the Fly's voyage, were sufficient to lead a stranger into danger, but not to extricate him from it ; and many have been the melancholy and distressing losses of fine ships in consequence. During the last year, even with the advantage of Capt Blackwood's chart, the loss of the Hydrabad, with a valuable cargo of horses for the East India Company's Service, which by missing the beacon on Raine's Island, was thrown to leeward, and was obliged to run through the first opening that offered, in doing which she struck on a rock, and sank almost instantaneously, in deep water - is a proof, were one wanting, of the difficulties of these passages - and fully shows, when under circumstances of unfavourable weather, or an error in the reckoning, the pas-sage intended to be taken is passed by, or can- not be recognised; and it becomes necessary to make a dash at the first opening - how critically the safety of the ships property and lives of all on board are jeoparded (sic).
In this state of things, however, the voyage of the Fly has conferred a very great benefit upon the colony. It has lessened the risks and dangers of the "Outer Route," and so rendered a very dangerous, and at the best a very anxious voyage, one of comparative safety.
Secondary to this, but not less important, is the detailed survey of the channel round Darnley Island, between it and the coast of New Guinea,- a route, although more to the northward, far preferable to any entrance through the Barrier, inasmuch as the passage will not be lengthened more than twenty-four hours, and is many miles in width, and quite free from difficulty and danger of any kind. It is evidently the principal passage through Torres Strait.
Endeavour Strait has also been completely surveyed, whereby Captain Stokes' passage in the neighbourhood of Wallis's Islands has been made available for ships of heavy burthen. The services were performed by Lieutenant Yule. in the Bramble, under Captain Blackwood's directions, who also continued the survey of the Barrier Reef from Lizard Island southerly to the latitude of 17°, by which a continuous survey of the sea board of the Great Barrier has been made, extending between the latitudes of 9° south, and 22° south, and comprising a distance of 780 miles.
One of the chief objects of Captain Blackwood's instructions was to erect a beacon in a convenient spot to direct ships to the best channel through the reef - and this has been most effectually performed. The passages generally used lie in the neighbourhood of that part of the "Barrier" situated to the north of 12° south. In the latitude of 12° 21' the Ferguson, with a detachment of the 50th regiment was wrecked, and in 12° 9' 11" the wreck of the Martha Ridgway serves to point out the entrance round the "Black Rock," in 12° 12',- a favourite passage, and perhaps the best amongst the bad. It is not known to us whether any ship has been lost in this passage ; but, if not, chance has carried them clear of a very dangerous sunken patch, having only ten feet upon it, in the direct track of the course. Here there was no possibility of erecting any mark, as heavy breakers lashed over the reef, and there is no rock or island where a party could be safely landed. To the north of this there are several openings in the reef, such as "Nimrod's Entrance," in 12° 5' 30", about a quarter of a mile wide. The "Single Rock Entrance," in 12° 2', scarcely so wide ; and "Head's Passage," considered a safe one by Captain Blackwood, in 11° 55', but equally contracted. No beacons could be erected at any of them; but at Raine's Island, in 11° 36', every facility was afforded, and the beacon was constructed, and serves to point out the safest and best passage that exists; and according to the direction given by Captain Blackwood, there will be no difficulty in making It.
During the progress of building the beacon, the Fly and Bramble were employed in exploring the relative situations and extent of all the reef's between Raine's Island and the coast, as well as the exact positions of the more southern entrances above noticed, so that through whatever passage a ship may enter, the chart will be most useful in leading her clear of all danger to a safe anchorage.
A chart of this part, showing the whole detail of the Barrier Reef, and of the new passage round Darnley Island, and embracing the track to Booby Island, has been put into the hands of the engraver, at the expense of the colonial government, and will be completed before the ensuing season, by the use of which ships bound to India may proceed on the voyage with confidence. In thus leaving for immediate use the most important result of his voyage, Captain Blackwood is entitled to the thanks of the colonists, inasmuch as no small portion of the éclat of his labours will be lost in England by the previous publication of his work in the colony. The Admiralty will doubtless republish it in England, and probably with improvements; but in the mean time the public will derive the advantage of an earlier possession of the information it conveys.
A more particular description of this part of the voyage would be out of place here - nor indeed is it at all necessary, because the chart in itself will be a description, which those who consult it will perfectly understand and be satisfied with ; but it is due to those who have rendered this service to be assured that their labours are valued and duly appreciated by those who are capable of judging of the vast importance of this survey to the large and rapidly extending commercial intercourse between the Australian colonies and India.
Although the principal object of Captain Blackwood's voyage was confined to the "Great Barrier," yet there was another of less immediate importance attached to his instructions - viz., the exploration of the Coast of New Guinea - the one of labour and intense anxiety - the other full of interest and novelty - in fact the cream of the voyage. The time, however, expended upon the survey of the "Barrier," the progress of which was materially interfered with by the erection of the beacon, precluded anything being done there until within the last few weeks of the last voyage; but sufficient was seen of its coast and inhabitants to cause the greatest regret on leaving it. The portion of coast explored, which embraced about fifty or sixty miles to the west of the meridian of 145° east, was formed by a low coast, intersected by numerous inlets running many miles into the country, and forming, as was supposed, the deltoid embouchures of a considerable river or inlet of the sea - its shores were densely populated - villages of considerable size being passed at intervals of every two or three miles, at some of which they landed, and were enabled to look about them; but at some they were prevented, and their intercourse fiercely opposed.
There were no signs of any previous intercourse with white people, and they were evidently ignorant of the use of fire-arms ; but they possessed some of the refinements of a civilized life, which showed that they were a people of superior intelligence to the generality of savages - particularly to their neighbours of New Holland.
Lieutenant Yule of H. M. schooner Bramble. with the Castlereagh as her tender, under Mr. Aird, remains to carry on the survey of the outlaying reefs, and of the coast of New Guinea. This important service could not be left in better hands.
THE OFFICERS OF H.M.S. FLY:
By letters recently received from England, ire have learned some particulars respecting the disposal of some of the officers of H.M.S. Fly. which will be no doubt most interesting to the friends of those gentlemen in the colony. Of Captain Blackwood's present employment we know nothing. Lieutenant Shadwell, First Lieutenant, and Lieutenant Ince, who superintended the erection of the Safety Tower in Torres Straits, are both promoted to the rank of Commander. The latter was to have come out as Lieutenant on board H.M.S. Rattlesnake, Captain Owen Stanley, shortly expected here, but was superseded on his promotion. Mr. M'Gillivray will come out in her as naturalist. Mr. Evans, the late Master of the Fly, is employed in the Isle of Man on the coast survey he is in the enjoyment of very handsome pay and is shortly about to be married. Mr. Jukes, naturalist, has joined the geological survey of Great Britain and Ireland and at the date of his last despatches was busily engaged in the neighbourhood of Bala, in Merionethshire. This gentleman mentions to his correspondents some facts respecting the geological survey, which serve to show what importance is now attached to that undertaking. The Director-in-Chief is Sir H. De La Beche, having under him local directors, with a large staff of officers, surveyors, palaeontologists, collectors, chemists, analyzers, &c. The revenue of the establishment is £10,000 sterling per annum, being a Parliamentary grant. The present office is at Craig's court, Charing cross, but a new office and museum are building in Piccadilly.
The Ordnance maps are being rapidly coloured ; and sections are making of great accuracy in all directions. Memoirs are also published as the survey goes on.
Mr. Jukes was deputed to write the account of the voyages of the Fly ; but he says, he is obliged to give up publishing his journal, " as every book mentioning Australia lately has fallen dead from the press." Even the British Association showed no inclination to hear any de-tails, as " nobody cares about Australia now."
The undertaking of Mr. Leichhardt to cross the continent to Swan River creates some astonishment in London. One letter says, " If he do it, his name will live for ever, but it seems a clear determination to manure some desolate spot with his carcass, and mingle the phosphates and carbonates of his bones with the silex of the desert." The late expedition from Fort Bourke to Port Essington does not appear to be noticed.
One of the junior officers of the Fly was here recently, on board H. M. steamer Inflexible.