The Tragic Loss of George III – 1835

The 400-ton ship George the Third sailed from England on 12 December 1834 carrying 220 convicts bound for Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania).   When less than 80kms from their destination at Hobart, tragedy struck with terrible loss of life.   On Sunday 12 April 1835 the George III  made land at South Cape, the southernmost point ofContinue reading The Tragic Loss of George III – 1835

William Bryant’s Great Escape – 1791

It is an odd piece of Australian history that the first people to repeat Captain Cook’s voyage up Australia’s east coast were not other intrepid navigators or explorers, but a motley band of prisoners bent on escaping penal servitude. On 28 March 1791 William Bryant, a fisherman by trade, his wife Mary and two childrenContinue reading “William Bryant’s Great Escape – 1791”

No Charts, No Worries

When Captain George Browning sailed the small schooner Caledonia from Sydney in December 1831, he intended to follow the coast north as far as the Tropic of Capricorn.   There he was to collect salvage from a ship that had been wrecked in the Bunker Islands and return it to Sydney to be sold.   But onContinue reading “No Charts, No Worries”

The Caledonia’s perilous last voyage

On a stormy December night in 1831, eleven desperate convicts seized a small ship at Moreton Bay and forced its captain to take them to a South Pacific Island.   But as the prisoners turned pirates climbed aboard the vessel, little could they have imagined that most of them were escaping one reign of terror forContinue reading “The Caledonia’s perilous last voyage”

All Hands to the Pumps

In September 1789 H.M.S. Guardian sailed from Portsmouth, England with much needed supplies for the newly established penal settlement in New South Wales.    But its voyage was cut short when it struck an iceberg in the Southern Ocean and began filling with water. After an uneventful passage south, the Guardian had stopped at Table BayContinue reading “All Hands to the Pumps”