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John Gilbert diary entry

28 May 1845 - 29 May 1845

Page 110. Volume 2

[in left margin]

1340

Camp we are not at all troubled with any kind of Ant, but in their place, the Kite (Milvus isurus) and the common Crow628, play sad havoc, if we are not constantly near the spot on which the meat is drying, so bold in fact is the former that he will fre=quently make his stoup upon the meat within a yard of us. Some idea may be formed of our present elevation of country, last night was one of the coldest we have yet ex=perienced, and this morning Charlie when out for the Horses observed Ice, the last 100 miles of the Burdekin, and since leaving it to the present time we have re=marked the mornings α evenings so cold that we have all been glad to fly to warmer clothing and hug ourselves around the fire, The wind generally has been very light during the day generally freshening in the evening from the Northward, till within the last few days, when the wind has generally blown strong from the Eastward.

[in left margin]

Thurs 29th.

17=55=0

143=30=0

The Dr made out our Longitude to day 143=30=0” which gives us but 44 miles of westing since Steers last, but then our comparatively short progress is accounted for by the long and numerous delays we have since then had, amounting to half the month. on reference to the Map, we find our present position is 183 miles from the nearest point of the Gulf. Mr Roper with Charlie reconnoitered down the river, they returned in the evening, and reported that they had a long ride in search of water, the country every where presenting a very dry appearance, in fact this has been the general character of the Country we have travelled over for some time past, if we except the whole Burdekin with its stream, and the collection of Lakes, we have since leaving Snowballs Last629 travelled over a very dry country, yet with all this apparant want of water the country every where away from the river, presented the most beautiful green α luxuriant appearance, our main object now is to follow down any water course that promises to bring us into a system of waters which we know belongs to the Gulf side, and which will take us off the high land we have now been so long travelling on; and we are in full hopes the present water course will be the conductor to the so much wished for part of Australia.

Note 628

Square-tailed Kite Lophoictinea isura and Torresian Crow Corvus orru.

Note 629

The campsite of “Snowball’s Last” was on 28th March 1845, by the Suttor River.