A few years ago I was flipping through some hundred year old newspapers when I stumbled on a story about a sailor who was shipwrecked on an island not too far from my home on Queensland’s Capricorn Coast. The sailor was the only one to survive the sinking of a small schooner during a ferocious cyclone. Five of his shipmates perished but he was washed up on an uninhabited island. He spent nearly three weeks there before escaping on a flimsy raft of his own making. His story was remarkable, and I was hooked.
I started delving into other shipwrecks and, in the process, started learning about Australia’s rich maritime heritage. From the early discoveries of Dutch and English navigators, to the arrival of the First Fleet, and the influx of immigrants through the 19th and 20th Century, this country’s very fabric has been shaped by the sea.
In January 2022 I published my first book, A Treacherous Coast: Ten Tales of Shipwreck and Survival from the Queensland Coast. It was the result of nearly two years of research into Queensland historical shipwrecks and I am very pleased with how it has turned out.
While working on that project I came across many stories that I found interesting but for one reason or another did not suit the book. Many of them can be found as blog posts. I hope you find them as interesting as I do.