The Windjammer Grace Harwar 1889 – 1935

The 1750-ton steel-hulled fully-rigged ship Grace Harwar was launched in Glasgow in 1889 and for the next 45 years, she crossed the world’s oceans carrying all manner of bulk cargoes.    She was well known to Australian mariners and dockworkers regularly taking on coal, grain and other goods bound for distant ports.  Despite her majestic linesContinue reading “The Windjammer Grace Harwar 1889 – 1935”

S.S. Maheno (1905 – 1935)

As anyone knows who has ventured across to K’Gari (formerly Fraser Island) the wreck of the old luxury passenger liner SS Maheno makes an imposing presence on the long sandy beach which serves as the island’s main highway. Swept ashore during a cyclone in 1935 on her way to a Japanese scrapyard, the Maheno wasContinue reading “S.S. Maheno (1905 – 1935)”

The Dunbar Tragedy – 1857

The loss of the Dunbar in August 1857 was one of the more tragic and distressing shipwrecks to occur in Australian waters.   On the morning of Friday 21 August people living in Sydney’s East awoke to find wreckage and mutilated bodies dotted along the rugged coast and inside the harbour mouth.   A large ship hadContinue reading “The Dunbar Tragedy – 1857”

The Mystery of the Zuydorp

In August 1711 the Zuydorp sailed from the Netherlands bound for Batavia (Jakarta) in the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia).   However, after rounding the Cape of Good Hope, the ship vanished without a trace.    For more than 200 years the fate of the ship and all those on board her remained a mystery.  The Zuydorp wasContinue reading “The Mystery of the Zuydorp”

The CSS Shenandoah: Victoria’s link to the American Civil War.

On 25 January 1865 a large foreign warship unexpectedly dropped anchor in Hobson’s Bay off Melbourne causing considerable consternation in the colonial government.    The ship proved to be the 1160-ton, eight-gun auxiliary steamer CSS Shenandoah of the Confederate States of America and had pulled in to make urgent repairs.   Five years earlier the Southern statesContinue reading “The CSS Shenandoah: Victoria’s link to the American Civil War.”