1: The First Fleet On May 13 1787 the first fleet set sail from Portsmouth to NSW. When they left they had 749 convicts on board and there were also 550 other people, like sailors, marines, officials, wives and children. Captain Arthur Phillip was in charge of the boats. There were boats called the Friendship, the Charlotte, the Fishburn, the Golden Grove and the Borrowdale. After sailing for 3 weeks they got to an island called the Canary Islands. When they got there it was the 3rd of June. After hard waves and really long night they reached Rio de Janeiro. When they got there they decided to stay there for a month. The convicts were allowed on the top. When they were there they got some animals, seeds, flowers and more fresh food. After 10 weeks they got to a little place called Botany Bay. When they got there it was the 20th of January. On that place there were not many trees. They sailed up the cast line and found Port Jackson. They hoisted the flag of the British to declare NSW theirs.