Captain Riou's logbook | State Library of New South Wales

Captain Riou's logbook

The logbook of the Guardian is a powerful and touching document. Riou's regular entries reflect the dramatic events of the striking of the iceberg and chronicle the gains and losses made by the crew throughout the course of the disaster. Riou's unsteady handwriting and the untidy state of some of his entries are a poignant visual reminder of the desperation of the Captain and his crew.

The unrelenting hard work of the Captain and crew at the pumps is reflected in the logbook. Recurring phrases include, 'people employ'd pumping'; 'lost 18 inches'; 'gain'd on the leak' and 'lying too'. One of the starkest entries is on the page for Wednesday 10 February. Across the page, in extremely unsteady handwriting , Riou has simply scrawled, 'Losing'.

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Selections from The Log Book of a Voyage to Port Jackson in New South Wales, performed by Lieutenant Edward Riou Commanding his Majesty's Ship Guardian by Order of the Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, 21 April 1789-5 May 1790
Manuscript volume  MLMSS 5711/1 (Safe 1/233a)


> View the entire logbook on the Library's catalogue catalogue link