The Loss of the Sydney Cove – 1797

In May 1797 a fishing party returned to Sydney with more than their daily catch. They had found three shipwreck survivors south of Botany Bay who told them that the merchant ship Sydney Cove had been wrecked somewhere far to the south.  The survivors had trekked over 600 kms seeking help for their crewmates whoContinue reading “The Loss of the Sydney Cove – 1797”

The Loss of HMS Sirius – 1790

The loss of a ship is always a tragedy, especially so if there is also loss of life.   But sometimes a shipwreck can have a profound effect beyond the actual loss of the vessel.   Such was the case in 1790 when HMS Sirius was wrecked off Norfolk Island. HMS Sirius sailed from Portsmouth on 13Continue reading “The Loss of HMS Sirius – 1790”

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”