Today marks 150 years since the flagship of the Royal Navy’s Australian squadron sank off the entrance to the Manukau harbour. It was a beautiful sunny day but there was a hidden danger lurking beneath the waves. At about 1:30pm the Orpheus hit a submerged sand bar. Of […]
Tempests, waterspouts, thunderstorms and hurricanes have throughout the centuries struck fear into the hearts of many a brave sailor. The image of a tall ship battling against the relentless elements will be familiar to fans of maritime historical fiction such as works by Patrick O’Brian and C.S. Forester. […]
Resurrecting the humour of yesteryear is a favourite pastime of mine – so today I thought I’d share a charming hundred year old postcard from my maritime collection. As usual, it also comes with an interesting back story.
I spotted an auction on eBay that got me thinking. The auction is for two letters from an American whaler writing back home about his experiences in the South Pacific. “I am in the ship Beaver of Hudson, cruising on the coast off New Zealand. Our luck has […]
This snapshot of history is an original photograph of a ship called the SS Kumara. Its story includes hundreds of thousands of carcasses, an insight into the beginnings of an invaluable industry and a debate over how comfortable life would be in a floating freezer. The birth of […]
August 29th 1935 – The Dutch liner Nieuw Zeeland approaches the Australian coast, ending another routine voyage from Singapore. The passengers are dining on delicacies such as Iced Asparagus with Remoulade Sauce and ‘Fantasie’ Ice Cream. They have no idea that peaceful Pacific cruises will soon come to […]