Saturday, 3 April 2010

Tank Stream (1) - Water as life blood

The Supply, a First Fleet class ferry, entering Sydney Cove
The First Fleet settled into Sydney Cove at the end of January 1788. The Second Fleet did not arrive until June 1790. This island continent was a long way from the rest of the world, the Second Fleet taking about 150 days to make the journey – 5 months. The Third Fleet arrived variously between July and October 1791. The Third Fleet brought with it provisions.
The colony found survival during those initial years to be tortuous. The landscape was foreign. The seasons were reversed. The weather came from different directions. The populace lacked farming skills.

The furthest west wharf at Circular Quay. The Tank Street enters Sydney Cove at this point
Gardens were established on Garden Island on January 27, 1788. One gardener carved FM 1788. Checking through the First Fleet manifest it was concluded that FM was Frederick Meredith, steward to Captain John Marshall of HMS Sirius. Governor Phillip’s personal servant, Henry Edward Dodd, established a small grain farm at the site of the future Royal Botanic Gardens. The first grain was harvested in July 1788. However, most of the crop failed due to being planted out of season, being eaten by rats and poor soil quality.

Being connected by sea was crucial.

Also important was fresh water for drinking and general cleanliness. One of the attractions of Sydney Cove for Phillip was the small stream that entered the cove at its western headwater. As the water levels rapidly depleted, Phillip had two tanks dug into the bedrock of the stream near the site of the current Bridge Street.

A flowing Tank Stream was crucial.


I am down the South Coast, swimming and walking at Merry Beach, then to the Four Winds Music Festival at Bermagui. I return late Monday.

14 comments:

Tulsa Gentleman said...

Good photos, excellent text. Like most Americans I know very little about the settlement of Australia. The early settlers of both Australia and America certainly had their work cut out for them.

Coffeeveggie addict. said...

this is great...i love that big ship i always got fascinated with ships and dreaming of touring around the world with those cruise ship...

Serge Cornillet said...

I come from French Brittany and I think without the sea there wouldn't have been so great history. I like the perspective of the first picture, the colors are natural.
Bye,
Serge.:D

Bill said...

Great post, Julie. Have a great Easter down the coast.
Cheers, Bill and Diane

Rinkly Rimes said...

I've just returned from a short break in Sydney....Art Gallery, Maritime Museum, Domain, and lots of zooming about on ferries with our pensioner tickets! Great place. But Merewether, in Newcastle, is always good to come home to!

brattcat said...

Beautifully shot, prepared, and presented. What a fine historian you are.

diane said...

Great post full of Sydney's history. I'm still not sure what a First Fleet Class ferry is. Are they the smaller ones?

Mirela said...

I love the last photo! Have fun @ Merry Beach :)

Jayne said...

T'was the anniversary of Busby's Bore the other day, good timing on the history post :)

Joan Elizabeth said...

Hope you've been having a wonderful time at the festival. I love the banners in the bottom show ... gives a liveliness to a familiar scene.

Vicki said...

Beautiful photos again. I've always loved the older ferries.

Lachezar said...

Your storytelling is fascinating and the images great as always from you!

jennyfreckles said...

Love the ship in the first photo - it looks like a toy boat. And the history is fascinating - I know shockingly little about Australia's history so I look forward to learning more.

J Bar said...

Wonderful shots.
Sydney - City and Suburbs