Laying the cable to Woody Island from Maryborough.

The Queenslander 20 March 1869.

The S.S. Leonie left Brisbane on Wednesday, March 3, with the telegraph cable for connecting Woody Island with the land line to Maryborough. She had also on board the necessary instruments and appliances for laying and testing the cable. The steamer was in charge of Captain Belither and the cable and other telegraphic material were under the care of Captain Sterling, the Government marine surveyor.

The Leonie left the Brisbane bar on Thursday, the 4th instant, at 9 a.m. and passed out to sea by the North Passage near Bribie Island. About 8 p.m. the same day, she exchanged signals with S.S. Diamantina bound north. On the passage down to Wide Bay, fine weather with light north-easterly winds prevailed. On Saturday, the 6th, she made Double Island Point at daylight; stood in for the western bar of Wide Bay and at 11 a.m. she crossed it.

On getting inside, she took on board a blackfellow named Harry, from Fraser Island, to assist in piloting the vessel to the Fairway buoy, at the mouth of the Mary River. At 7 p.m. the pilot cutter Era came alongside and put Mr. Cracknell, the Superintendent of Telegraphs, and his assistant, Mr. Edwards, on board the steamer and about an hour later she anchored for the night near the Fairway buoy.

At daylight on Sunday, the 7th, weighed anchor and stood for Woody Island and at 10 a.m. anchored abreast of the northernmost lighthouse on that island. The weather being very favorable, all the instruments were landed and fitted up in the lightkeeper's cottage, preparatory to laying the cable next day. The land line on the island, which extends from the light-keeper's house to the test-house on the western side of the Island, was completed before the steamer arrived. At 5 p.m. the steamer got underweigh and proceeded round south of the island to the western side, where she anchored about 9.30 p.m., a little to the southward of the test-house.

She lay there that night, and on Monday, at 6.30 a.m., the shore end of the cable was landed. The connections with the land line were then made. About 8 o'clock Mr. Cracknell came on board the steamer, which immediately got underweigh,and the laying of the cable commenced. She steered a direct course for the test-house on the main land. The steamer ran up on the beach, which was muddy, until she grounded, about half-a-mile from the shore.

On Tuesday morning, at high water, the steamer was enabled to run in close, and the other end of the cable was landed. The connections with the land line were then made, and the Woody Island telegraph line was complete.

Throughout the trip the weather was most favorable and the whole of the work was finished without a single mishap - even of the most trivial kind. Mr. Cracknell had the general supervision of the entire work; Captain Sterling had charge of the cable and other material and Captain Belither was in command of the steamer. In noticing the departure of the Leonie for Wide Bay, we stated, in error,that Captain Sterling was in charge of the steamer. That gentleman simply had the telegraphic material under his care; Captain Belither was in charge of the Leonie throughout the expedition.