HM Convict Ship Sarah
The HM convict ship Sarah was a 480 ton brig from London. The Sarah was converted from commercial use to convict transport. She was waiting outside Portsmouth harbour in 1836 to take on convicts. The surgeon-superintendant of the Sarah was James McTernan who was a royal naval surgeon. The surgeon-superintendants job was to ensure the safety of the convicts and make sure that they made it to Australia by keeping the convicts fit and healthy. For every convict that he delivered safe to the Australian colonies, James McTernan would receive half a guinea.
The Sarah had already been to Australia and sailed back so she was relatively new and watertight. On the 22nd December 1836, the Sarah left Portsmouth harbour with the wind blowing from the north-north-east. When the Sarah got out into the English Channel, she was taking heavy seas over the forecastle and washing the convicts out of their bunks in the orlop deck. This bad weather lasted for a week and soaked the convicts and crew. Eventually as the ship sailed south, the weather cleared up and the convicts could dry their clothes and bedding. As they approached the equator they got more pleasant weather and the health of the convicts got a lot better.
The Sarah did not stop at Rio di Janeiro because of fears that the convicts would mutiny and take over the ship, and officers would take in stores to sell in the Australian colonies. The Sarah sailed South-east towards the cape of good hope in hot weather, and then sailed a few points south to the tip of Tasmania at Port Davey, which she sighted ninety-three days after leaving Portsmouth. On the 28th March 1837, the Sarah entered the Hobart Town Heads after a voyage of 97 days and dropped anchor in The Cove.
Baudin & Flinders
Sir Robert Seppings