John McDouall Stuart - Sixth Expedition


Saturday, 19th April, North End of Newcastle Water. I shall remain here till Monday, in order to take some lunar observations, as I am not quite certain that my longitude is correct. Wind, south-east.
Sunday, 20th April, North End of Newcastle Water. Wind from the east; blowing strongly during the day, but it dropped a little before sundown, allowing the mosquitoes to annoy us very much.
Monday, 21st April, North End of Newcastle Water. Some of the horses having strayed some distance made it 10 o'clock a.m. before I could get a start. Proceeded through six miles of forest and scrub to the water that I found on the 14th instant; from thence I changed to 301 degrees 30 minutes for nine miles, and then to 275 degrees, and at two miles camped at the ponds I had discovered on the 16th. Native smoke all around us. The day has been very hot, and the flies a perfect nuisance. Wind, south-east.
Tuesday, 22nd April, Howell Ponds. Preparing for a start to-morrow to the north-west in search of water. Wind, south-east.
Wednesday, 23rd April, Howell Ponds. Leaving Mr. Kekwick in charge of the party, I started with Thring and Frew at 8.5 a.m., on a course of 284 degrees. At 9.55 (seven miles) changed to 320 degrees. At 11.20 (four miles and a half) crossed the open plain, changing to 40 degrees to avoid the scrub. At one mile and a half changed to west. At one mile changed to north-west. At 2.20 (five miles) changed to 45 degrees. At 3 o'clock (two miles) changed to north. At 3.25 one mile and a half changed to north-west. At 3.45 camped without water. I have skirted the border of the forest land in the hope of finding water, but am disappointed. I have not seen a drop since I started. The plains are covered with beautiful grass, two or three feet high. There are a great many different kinds of birds about, and native smoke all round. I have searched every place where I thought there was the least chance of finding water, but without success. The day has been exceedingly hot. With such hot weather as this I dare not attempt to make the Victoria. The horses could not stand a hundred and forty miles without water. Those I have had with me to-day seem to have suffered enough, and would not stand another two days without. I must therefore return to the camp to-morrow. Wind, calm.