This is one of a series of pieces that may or may not ever see the light of day in a book: it is more likely than not that I will be self-publishing my Colonial Concerns, from which this is taken, as an e-book: it turned into a huge opus (a quarter of a million words of Australian history) that frightens print publishers. If and when the e-book happens, I will edit this to indicate where it can be obtained. In the interim, this is available to students of all ages, complete with sources.The First Fleet arrived with enough food to last the population two years. They also brought live animals, plants and seeds, but these were not for eating. One important source of fresh food for the early settlers was fish. There was a catch with relying on fish as a food source: there had to be boats around, and for some convicts, that was a temptation, but let’s look at the history of escaping back to the sailing of the First Fleet.
Ralph Clark (a notoriously poor speller) wrote in his journal as they sailed up the Atlantic on Sunday, May 1792:I confess that I never looked at these people without pity and astonishment. They had miscarried in a heroic struggle for liberty after having combated every hardship and conquered every difficulty.The woman, and one of the men, had gone out to Port Jackson in the ship which had transported me thither. They had both of them been always distinguished for good behaviour. And I could not but reflect with admiration at the strange combination of circumstances which had again brought us together, to baffle human foresight and confound human speculation. 
Squaly weather with a great dele of Rain all this day last night the child beloning to Mary Broad the convict woman who went a way in the fishing Boat from P. Jackson last Year died about four oClock committed the Body to the deep Latd. 5–25 No.