In Adventure Bay Van Diemens Land
Fine Weather with a few showers of Rain in the Night. Very little surf in the Bay, so that the Boats were loaded with Wood and Water without any trouble.
The People continue to catch fish with Hook and Line, & We hauled the Seine and took sufficient to make a distribution to all hands. We were fortunate also in Angling on the Lake having caught about a Score of very fine Bream. These Fish are very delicious & particularly those that are of a size for frying. The Fish caught in the Seine are a few Flounders, Seals and a Variety of small Fry, among them were several pretty Fish brilliant as Silver and faintly spotted, in size and shape they were not unlike a herring. There were two fish which were called Warriors, being particularly Armed with sharp bones from their Fins, and two very remarkable ones from the Fore part of the head. They were of an ugly dull Colour disagreeably spotted with black.
This Afternoon on examining the Spirit Room, Mr. Fryer reported to me a Cask of Rum No. 32 Contents 32 Gallons was found entirely leaked out. These losses become now very serious matters to us, however I saw no fault in the Stowage the only cause being in the Cask which I ordered to be surveyed. Two of my People felt a disagreeable sensation & sickness from eating Muscles gathered from the Rocks, but altho I had eat plentifully of them myself: I found no ill effects. We Caught several Crabs but they were all very poor.
The Opposum which I have mentioned being found isnearly the Size of a Rabbit, Its under jaw is ¾ of an Inch shorter than the upper, with two projecting teeth which meet with the two upper, and is remarkable in this particular. The Ears are like a Rats only a little larger, and the head altogether is not unlike a Ferrets. The Colour is of a Yelowish brown with a black tinge on the back and head. From the Ears to the beginning of the Tail is 14 Inches, and the Tail is the same length, 4 Inches of the top being perfectly white. It stands about 4 Inches from the Ground. The fore feet have each five distinct claws & regular, but the hind feet have them not so regular, one of them being above the others, and the whole foot seems to be designed to gripe and hold by; yet there are five distinct claws, two of them being small than the others, and only divides at the extremity. From the natural inclination of a curl in the Tip of the Tail and the form of the hind feet there is no doubt but it is capable of climbing any Shrubs or Trees, and that it feeds in common as a Ferret or Squirrel.
Being in want of Plank I directed a Saw pitt to be digged and got it finished. At five feet from the Surface, the Sea had access into it through the Sand altho 70 yards from the water side, and I am inclined to think that at high tides it penetrates through under the Trees into the Lake, it being an entire bed of Sand excepting the little alteration which the fallen leaves have made about the Surface.