The Appalling loss of the Grimeneza

On 3 July 1854, the Peruvian ship Grimeneza struck a reef at Bampton Shoals in the Coral Sea.    The Captain, first mate, ship’s surgeon, and four sailors immediately abandoned the ship leaving the rest of the crew and about 600 Chinese passengers to their fate. Twenty-eight days later Captain M.H. Penny and five others reachedContinue reading “The Appalling loss of the Grimeneza”

The May Queen’s Long and Lucky Life

Launched in 1867, the May Queen is Australia’s oldest sailing ketch still afloat.   During her century long working life she twice sank, survived several collisions and a myriad of other mishaps that could have been her demise. The 36-ton May Queen was purpose built for carrying timber, but over her long career she transported allContinue reading “The May Queen’s Long and Lucky Life”

The Tragic Loss of RMS Quetta

In 1890 Queensland experienced one of its worst maritime disasters when the passenger steamer Quetta sank in Torres Strait in just three minutes with the loss of 133 lives. The R.M.S. Quetta was a 3,300-ton coal-powered, iron-clad steamer measuring 116 metres (380 feet) in length and could travel at a top speed of 13 knotsContinue reading “The Tragic Loss of RMS Quetta”

The Norna and the Conman Commodore

In the early 1900s many hard-working sailing vessels saw out their days plying the waters between Australia and the islands of the South Pacific.   Few, however, would have had such a fascinating history as that of the Norna. The Norna was built in New York in 1879 as a luxury ocean-going schooner rigged yacht.   SheContinue reading “The Norna and the Conman Commodore”

The Huia schooner – Elegant and Fast

The New Zealand topsail schooner Huia has long been heralded as the best-looking vessel of her type and one of the fastest sailing.   Launched at Kaipara Harbour New Zealand in 1894, the Huia was built using Kauri planks over a puriri timber frame.   Measuring 35 metres (115 ft) in length and registered at 196 tons,Continue reading “The Huia schooner – Elegant and Fast”