chief mate of the Lady Penhryn, was responsible for conveying dispatches between Governor Phillip and Captain Sever, the master of the Lady Penhryn. Surgeon Arthur Bowes, also on board, wrote a superbly detailed account of the voyage in which Anstis frequently figured.
After the Lady Penhryn left Port Jackson bound for North American fur trade, scurvy broke out for want of fresh provisions. They reached Otaheite (Tahiti) on 10 July 1788 and were welcomed by the islanders.
Bowes recorded that he, Antsis, and Sever exchanged names with the chiefs of the island, Anstis taking the name of Tarta, King Brother. Within a week the crew had recovered and were taking advantage of the island an the embraces of its women. They sailed on 24 July, with Antsis and most of the ships complement having been tattooed on the arms.
In June 1790, Anstis returned to Port Jackson as master of the Surprize in the infamous Second Fleet. On their arrival the Reverend Richard Johnson boarded the Surprize and "went down amongst the convicts, where I beheld a truly shocking sight to the feelings of humanity, a great number of them lying, some half and others nearly quite naked, without bed or bedding unable to turn or help themselves. Spoke to them as I passed along, but the smell was so offensive I could scarcely bear it."
The landing of the convicts was just as shocking; many could not walk, or move their hands or feet. Some were slung over the side like caskets, and some fainted when brought up to the fresh air. Many died on the decks, others in the boats and on the rocks.
The treatment they had received during their passage was an indictment of Anstis and the other masters. Some had been chained together, hand and leg, for days in the bilgewater - even the sick were not exempted. Many were kept in irons until a few days before they reached Port Jackson. In the six weeks after they had landed, 84 convicts, one child and one soldier from the Second Fleet were buried. On the voyage out, 163 convicts died on the Neptune, 68 on the Scarborough and 42 on the Surprize. It is difficult to defend Antsis, as he, out of all the masters, knew full well that only 40 people had died out of the total complement of 11 ships on the First Fleet.
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