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The Flinders papersletters and documents about the explorer Matthew Flinders (1774-1814)
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Portion of Flinders' journal on HMS Providence (1791-93) (FLI08a) Page 11

Octr 15th we caught three Dolphins, these are certainly
a fine fish, both with Respect to flavour and form and
are deserve which is deservedly calld [sic] beauteous, their Colours change accord-
-ing to the angle you view them in, to blue, yellow, green,
and brown, a Number of Dolphins together display all
these different Colours at the same Time and are a beu- [sic]
-tiful Sight, the fish is about 3 feet long, head flat
and rounded Tail a little forkd [sic], a larger Fish running
fore and aft from his Head to the Tail, is rather ^ a slender
^ Fish and spotted with small, round, irregularly placed Spots. –
The same afternoon we caught a middle sizd [sic] Shark, I sup-
-pose about 7 feet long for there was not time to measure it
this is the best Fish in the World for Sailors, the Captains
not chusing [sic] to take any of him, A Shark is always considerd [sic]
lawful Plunder, from which circumstance this poor fellow
had not been on board three Minutes before he was in a
Dozen Peices [sic] and perhaps before half an hour they were
feasting upon him, he had a most forbidding stupid Appear-
-ance. I had no Idea the Mouth of this Fish was situated
so far under him, it must be inconvenient to him to
seize upon any thing. he or she had five young ones taken
out of her alive. –
Before we made the Cape, saw several Spermaceti Whales,
close to the Ship, great ugly Monsters that went rolling
along and blowing every now and then, they seemd [sic] to move
without any Sense as one might suppose a {House or Horse} woud [sic]
or rather a Ship by way of a better Similitude, I suppose
their Tops of the Sails which are horizontal could not be leƒs
than 12 or 15 feet broad.

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Related people
Pope Clement XIII
Guthrie, James
Nichols, William
Bligh, William
Flinders, Matthew
Smith, Christopher

Cape of Good Hope


Words and phrases
Marvel of Peru
Aloe americanae
Semper vivum
Order of St Dominic
Spanish mackerel
Hedgehog fish
Portuguese man of war
Dolphin fish
Time keeper
Spermaceti whale

Related Documents
Other documents written by Flinders, Matthew