The Ambitious Drifter

Words, Images and The Occasional Noise

Bradley’s Journal


Last Friday I was lucky enough to be a runner up in the Faber Quickfic Weekly Challenge.  It’s a lot of fun to do and it’s good exercise for a wannabe writer like myself.  I took my photos for this week’s photo challenge on Bradley’s Beach. I took the liberty of inventing a journal entry for the Lieutenant, who enjoyed pretty much the same view as I did.

From the journal of Lieutenant William Bradley, 7th March 1788.

After a day’s rowing from Sydney Cove we had made good progress. Following a somewhat turbulent passage across the new bay we had landed at a sheltered beach on a small island. It being coming on for dusk, there was no possibility of taking a walk that day. I was struck by the way the sailors appeared to consider their labours light work indeed. My knees and calves told me I was no longer a young man, but I had not time to stretch my legs.

I set the men to casting the nets and shortly we had a good haul of the local mullet. Our shared meal was a jolly one, considerations of rank being little observed. I believe we all felt the same exhilaration that evening. I can still recall the lapping of the calm water, the gentle noises of the forest at our backs. Above us, the stars were fiercely clear, an unaccustomed blaze of signs, symbols and pointers. I had seen the skies above the Southern Seas many times, but here I was struck by the newness of the sight. An idea possessed me somewhat, it was I who was the newcomer. This was an ancient place. The sea and the stars had been here since they had been first made. We had sought to bring the place into our own era, but I felt myself carried far back into a time I could scarcely imagine.


Bradley’s Beach, Dangar Island, Australia







4 thoughts on “Bradley’s Journal

  1. Beautiful writing conjuring up the magic of that moment! Congratulations!