Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

6 August to 4 September 1787

Watercolour painting of the First Fleet voyage.

City of St. Sebastians, Rio Janeiro: Sirius& convoy at anchor, 1787. William Bradley, watercolour from his journal ‘A Voyage to New South Wales’, 1802+. State Library of New South Wales: safe 1/14.

At Rio de Janerio a variety of seeds and plants were obtained for the new settlement. These included coffee, cotton, cocoa, banana, orange, lemon, guava, tamarind, prickly pear, Pomme Rose [rose apple] and medicinal plants ipecacuana & jalap.

While in port, attention was given to the health of the convicts, who were supplied with daily rations of rice, fresh beef and vegetables served along with, as David Collins wrote, ‘great numbers oranges’ to ‘put them in a state of health and condition to resist the attacks of scurvy’.

The voyage