Reports arrival at Falklands; weather conditions, and unsuccessful search he made for a geological formation CD had seen. Describes cliffs, streams, rocks, and lines of elevation; includes two drawings.
HMS Arrow Berkley Sound
October 20. 1838
My dear Philosopher
We arrived here on the 15th
(a) is the range South of Berkley sound and on one side a complete section is exposed
which makes it appear to be dipping from a center to all points, but perhaps I may have
been deceived, in the same hill there is evidently another line of elevation South of
the Summit which forms in most places steep cliffs with piles of castelated
shale. Dipping towards the Summit of the hill, directly South of these cliffs (c) is the
valley of Fragments I speak of (b) South of which is a high Conical Hill also dipping to
it appeared to me as if the valley from Hill to Hill was one mass of Fragments on some spots of which some shrubs & moss had grown up & covered the Stones, leaving narrow strips of Fragments which seemed all curved one way and looking from the Hill the curves seemed as regular as the waves of the Sea beach. now I daresay you know all this but as I do not recollect it in your description I mention it in case any thing more may strike you from it another thing struck me which was that the large stream of stones seemed slightly rounded on their edges by running water but evidently not by rolling over as some slight projecting portions on many stones must have been knocked off. The stones in the small lateral streams seemed more waterworn than those in the valley till near the top of the Hill where they were not worn the least. unfortunately I have not your book here now as I left it with my Father for him to read it & he will bring it to me in the Stag. Some of the Quartz rock was so speckled by some dark mineral (I suppose mica) that I should almost have supposed it to be a fine grained Granite. I hear from one of the officers of the Sparrow that near Falkland Sound on this Island the slate exactly resembles the roofing slate in England and he says it is just as good.
I tried to get a line of Soundings down the coast of Patagonia but after passing Cape Corientes the Wind from the Northward forced us off the bank & we never regained it again tho we stood in for the land whenever the wind got to [ N] W but before we could reach soundings the wind drew to West[ N] W & prevented our getting any closer so that the first place we struck soundings was off the NE end of the Falklands in 73 faths about 60 miles off. the bottom was very fine sand nearly black but several little white specks in it which I think with the small power glass I have appear to be Tiny agate Pebbles but when I return you shall see them yourself not that I suppose it will be of any use I hope your work goes on cheerily & that you are in a fair way of following my example on one point that you may have some one to keep you company during your solitary life. you may depend it is the best thing you can do but never after let any thing separate you if you really feel any affection for each other
God bless you my dear Friend | & Believe me | Sincerely Yours | B J Sulivan
- f1 429.f1Sulivan was in charge of a survey of the Falklands, 1838–9.
- f2 429.f2Berkeley Sound, on the north-east coast of East Falkland Island.
- f3 429.f3See Journal and remarks, pp. 253–6. CD must have given Sulivan the unbound pages of his book, before the Arrow sailed.
- f4 429.f4Thomas Ball Sulivan, then serving in the Stag as Commodore of the South American station of the fleet (DNB).
- f5 429.f5Sulivan's wife accompanied him on board the Arrow.