Saturday 19th. This morng. I arose at 5 o'Clock in hopes of seeing Land, but was disappointed -- The Sirius & all the fleet made Sail abt. 4 o'Clock in the morng. & at 7 a.m. we discover'd Land abt. 40 miles distant. The joy everyone felt upon so long wish'd for an Event can be better conceiv'd than expressed, particularly as it was the termination of the Voyage to those who were to settle at Botany Bay, & : it is 10 weeks on monday since we left the Cape of Good Hope; the longest period of any we had been at Sea without touching at any Port. -- The Sailors are busy getting up the Cables & preparing all things for Anchor- ing - lye to all night.
Arthur Bowes Smyth (1750-1790)
On the 13th of May 1787, 11 ships left left Portsmouth England carrying more than 1000 convicts. The fleet spent 250-252 days at sea, stopping at Rio de Janeiro and Cape Town before finally arriving at Botany Bay on the 24th of January 1788.