1: The First Fleet In 1787 in Portsmouth England the ships in England carried 749 convicts and 550 people to New South Wales. The ships also carried 700 spades, 700 shovels, 2100 hoes, 700 axes with spare handles, 74700 nails, 10 sets of copper, 40 mills, 40 wheelbarrows and 12 ploughs. Captain Arthur Phillip was in charge of the ships. They sailed for three weeks and arrived at Tenerife on a very rough day. On 5th August they sailed into Rio de Janeiro and they stayed thee for one month. By mid October they fleet was in Cape Town and they bought supplies, for example, animals, seeds, flowers and fresh supplies. They sailed on with their next stop being the Great South Land. They arrived at Botany Bay on 20th January 1788. The bay as shallow, the soil was sandy and there were few trees and little water. So they sailed up the coast and they found a place at Port Jackson. They called it Sydney Cove. Lieutenant William Collins and some convicts went ashore and cleared some land and hoisted the British flag to declare New South Wales as their own soil.