And another blog entry that I wrote for the Transit of Venus project:
William Wales arrived at his destination in Hudson Bay in August 1768. He reached Fort Prince of Wales on 10 August. It was a bleak place of bare rocks with little vegetation – some dwarf willows and birch as well as some gooseberry bushes - but nothing, Wales noted, ‘that would bear the name of trees’. Luckily they had brought timber and a prefabricated observatory that had been designed by engineer John Smeaton. In fact judging from this entry in Wales’ journal they must have had had several observatories which they placed on the fort. ‘“We laid the foundation of the observatory in its proper place and position, which was on the S.E. bastion, the higher and lower observatories nearly N.N.E. and S.S.W. of each other respectively.” On 29, 30 and 31 August, Wales wrote, he and his assistant ‘were employed on the observatory’.
Diligently following their detailed orders, they concentrated on their work place rather than their own accommodations. For two weeks they slept on the bare wooden floor planks of their cabin before the carpenter finally found time to build two beds. They were pestered by mosquitoes, enormous flesh flies as well as millions of tiny flies which, Wales moaned, were so obnoxious that it was impossible ‘either to speak, breathe or look, without having one’s mouth, nose or eyes full of them’.