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December 9, 1873
On the 10th we leave here for Simon's bay again to fill up with coal, and also to take in a deck cargo of it. We leave there before the 15th December, and observe the Transit of Venus. Two or three parties are going from England to observe it in different parts of the world, & our party will watch it from some island in the China sea. We call first at Prince Edward island, and probably spend Christmas there, before going on to Marion island, & thence to the Crozet islands; after that to Kerguelen's Land, a large island discovered by Kerguelen, a French navigator in 1763. Captain Cook was there in 1774, & lay a long time in the only harbour—which he called Xmas harbour. The island he called the Land of Desolation, as there was no vegetation on it, neither any animals except seals, sea-elephants & c., but there is ice and snow all the year round. The island is 100 miles in length, & 50 in breadth; it is 2,200 miles south by east of this colony. We are to lie a month in Xmas harbour, and thoroughly survey, & explore the island, which has never yet been done.

Leaving there we steer south until we reach the great Antarctic ice barrier, then run up for Melbourne about the end of March, & stay there a week or 10 days before going on to Sydney to stay 5 weeks, re-fitting & c. From there we go to Wellington & Auckland, after which warm weather, & some far different islands. New Guinea is the first, then Timor, Borneo, Amboyna, & Manilla, Phillipine Islands; thence to Hong Kong, China, & on to Yeddo, Japan, after which the Kurile islands, & Petropaulopsky, the cold capital of Kamchatka. Thence Aleutian islands, Behring's Straits, & down to Vancouvers, about May '75, after which begin again.