SIGNALS quarterly NUMBER 115 june • july • august 2016
WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR
Coming to ANMM
SHIPS, CLOCKS & STARS The quest for longitude
SAMUEL WRIGHT Digging up a whaleship
Bearings FROM THE DIRECTOR
2 SHIPS, CLOCKS & STARS: THE QUEST FOR LONGITUDE 8 WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR 12 CLASSIC & WOODEN BOAT FESTIVAL 2016 16 STORIES IN STITCH 22 TREASURES OF THE AMERICAN COLLECTION 26 spice islands eclipse 30 JUBILEE SAILING TRUST 34 SONGLINES 38 SEARCHING FOR SAMUEL WRIGHT 44 MESSAGE TO MEMBERS AND MEMBERS WINTER EVENTS 50 AUTUMN EXHIBITIONS 54 FOUNDATION 58 MARITIME HERITAGE AROUND AUSTRALIA 64 AUSTRALIAN REGISTER OF HISTORIC VESSELS 68 COLLECTIONS 70 TALES FROM THE WELCOME WALL 74 READINGS 75 CURRENTS 78 transmissions How maritime history’s greatest technological challenge was solved The prestigious international exhibition comes to the ANMM Our rejuvenated festival in photos
Museum Director and CEO Kevin Sumption with the Windjammer Sailors statue outside the museum’s Wharf 7 Maritime Heritage Centre. Photograph Andrew Frolows/ANMM
WORKING WITH SOME of Australia’s innovative contemporary artists, senior curator Daina Fletcher has guided the development of three new public artworks, each carefully conceived to respond to its location on the foreshores of Sydney Harbour and to amplify the unique history of Australia’s maritime experience through some of the stories of the harbour and the ships that have plied its waters. The latest public work of art unveiled at the museum relates very directly to the important maritime heritage of our site. It is a sculptural work in bronze titled Windjammer Sailors, a figurative realist piece that relates to the wharves, rail tracks, trading barque James Craig and light ship CLS 4 Carpentaria, all of which now sit within the new sculpture’s shadow. This bronze has been gifted by Rear Admiral Andrew Robertson ao dsc ran (Rtd) and is based on a concept by marine artist, sculptor and sailor Dennis Adams (1914–2001), who sailed on the last of the windjammers in the 1930s. Windjammer Sailors was originally conceived in the 1980s and in 2015 was reimagined to sit in front of Wharf 7 to reinvest the wharf with some of the characters from its past. Brett Garling (born 1970), the principal sculptor who worked on Windjammer Sailors, is a descendant of noted maritime artist Frederick Garling (1806–1873). Brett is a figurative sculptor and painter and the placement of his work between our main exhibition building and our collection store is an important first step in the
transformation of this area into the museum’s and Sydney Heritage Fleet’s shared vision of a Maritime Heritage Precinct.
engagement between the Ottoman torpedo boat Sultanhisar and Australia’s second submarine, HMAS AE2, in 1915.
In contrast to the muscularity of Windjammers Sailors, Warren Langley’s art installation ‘... the ocean bed their tomb’ has an altogether different tone. It takes the form of a stainless steel wreath that gently rises and falls with the tide. Floating next to HMAS Onslow, this work was unveiled in September last year in the museum basin. It features a light installation that reflects its form onto the water below by both day and night. Warren’s combination of light and stainless steel is a lyrical memorial to the loss in 1914 of HMAS AE1, Australia’s first submarine, and its 35 souls.
The work will consist of a pair of kinetic sculptures that stand opposite each other exchanging a series of poetic semaphore-like movements and evocative sounds. The two signallers are symbolically identified as Ottoman and Australian by their naval ensigns and hats. Alexander Knox describes their interplay as first being that of foes in a wartime encounter that gradually choreographs into a series of warm and respectful exchanges. The work deliberately draws on a rich naval history of abstract visual languages as well as audible maritime signals.
One hundred and two years years after AE1’s disappearance, the poignancy of Warren’s work, I believe, continues to keep the memory of these men alive and importantly serves to remind visitors of the sacrifice of individuals and their families in the defence of Australia. Warren is one of Australia’s most important contemporary artists and the development of his floating memorial, together with our new Action Stations pavilion, is a powerful reminder of the risks of naval life in more than 100 years of RAN service.
Central to the brief for all three of these new public artworks is that each should deliberately engage and surprise visitors and hook them into reflection and inquiry. In this the museum is using the creative potential of public art to move beyond our galleries and walls, even beyond digital, to populate our surrounding site and adjacent waters with provocative works. It is my sincere hope that as the museum looks to the future we can continue to commission public art to excite and engage visitors with the many oftenforgotten stories of Sydney’s harbour and the watercraft and people that have used its waters for thousands of years.
Work is also progressing on a third public art piece, by the Melbourne-based artist Alexander Knox – Johnnie and Mehmet. To be unveiled later this year, Johnnie and Mehmet will be a striking mechanical and kinetic exploration of the
Nautical history and migrant tales embodied in needlecraft A new exhibition celebrates 25 years of our USA Gallery Astronomy and history in the Moluccas
A unique charity brings tall ship sailing to people with disabilities The art of navigating the Indigenous world
An American whaleship comes to light – under a carpark in Western Australia Your calendar of activities, talks, tours and excursions afloat
Ships, Clocks & Stars, Wildlife Photographer of the Year and more Endeavour’s voyage to Victoria and South Australia
Silentworld Foundation, supporting Australian maritime archaeolog y
Diverse sailing craft, from training dinghies to radical world record holders The effects of colonisation expressed in a recently acquired artwork
Cover: Marine timekeeper H1 – this first of five experimental marine timekeepers made by John Harrison – was created between 1730 and 1735 in his quest to solve the longitude problem and win the rewards offered by the British Government. A replica of it is on display in the museum’s exhibition Ships, Clocks & Stars. © National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Ministry of Defence Art Collection
A daughter records her mother’s migration story Across the Seas by Klaus Neumann
Model ship expo; new bronze statue unveiled; Coral Sea commemoration H3 time-lapse video; Instagram photo competition winners
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01 Marine timekeeper H4, 1759. Made by John
Harrison. © National Maritime Museum, London, Ministry of Defence Art Collection 02 Watch belonging to Astronomer Royal Nevil Maskelyne. © National Maritime Museum, London 03 Marine chronometer by Thomas Earnshaw, c 1801. © National Maritime Museum, London
The exhibition displays around 100 historic objects, including famous items such as John Harrison’s marine timekeepers
Ships, Clocks & Stars
THE QUEST FOR LONGITUDE
Three hundred years ago the Longitude Act of 1714 was passed, leading to maritime history’s greatest scientific breakthrough. The extraordinary story of the race to determine longitude at sea is told in Ships, Clocks & Stars: the Quest for Longitude, a major new international exhibition. Curator Richard Dunn of the National Maritime Museum, London, provides a preview.
THE BRITISH LONGITUDE ACT of 1714 was the unlikely catalyst for an extraordinary burst of creativity and innovation that led to one of the most pressing problems of the time being solved. It was a triumph of the Georgian age in which Greenwich, UK, played a crucial part. The importance of the longitude problem was summed up quite neatly by the Act: ‘nothing is so much wanted and desired at Sea, as the Discovery of the Longitude, for the Safety and Quickness of Voyages, the Preservation of ships, and the Lives of Men’. Put simply, in the age of sail, when it was quite possible for voyages to take weeks or months, anything that could make sea travel safer and, importantly, quicker was looked upon with great interest. Longer journeys increased the chance of accidents and had a major impact on the health of the crew. If your crew wasn’t well, the voyage could end badly. Time really was money.
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In the past few decades, Yorkshire-born clockmaker John Harrison has been transformed into the solitary hero of the story through the universal success of Dava Sobel’s book Longitude and its subsequent translation into a television film and stage play. This exhibition seeks to redress the balance, also acknowledging those who were seeking to develop the lunar method of determining longitude, which relied on complex calculations of the Moon’s distance from the Earth. As well as examining the contributions of Galileo,
Isaac Newton, James Cook and William Bligh, the work carried out by John Hadley, Tobias Mayer and other astronomers in perfecting the instruments needed for measuring lunar distance is also addressed. Greenwich itself is central to the story in many ways, particularly through the Reverend Dr Nevil Maskelyne frs, the fifth English Astronomer Royal, whose work was conducted mainly from the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, resulting in the Greenwich meridian being internationally adopted as the Prime Meridian from 1884. In the past Maskelyne has been cast as something of a villain in the Harrison story, but this exhibition aims to set the record straight, pointing to his work on the Nautical Almanac – which published information useful to astronomy, navigation and cartography – and with the Board of Longitude, demonstrating the complementary nature of astronomical and timekeeper methods, ultimately leading to the successful determination of longitude at sea. Although Harrison’s story is inspiring in many ways, Ships, Clocks & Stars firstly looks at the broader historical context – thinking, for instance, about why people thought longitude was so important from the beginning of the age of exploration onwards, and also about the huge amount of effort needed to get from one successful sea-watch (Harrison’s H4) to a position when any ship could routinely use the new instruments to find longitude.
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01 Terrestrial table globe by Jacob Aertz Colom,
So, as it took many years for chronometers to be proved accurate and reliable enough to be trusted, the rather taxing lunar method remained crucial for navigation well into the 19th century. The crux of the exhibition is that it was not until this time, when astronomy and timekeeping were brought together, that navigation really came into its own. The realisation eventually dawned that astro-navigation is easier and much more accurate if one has a good chronometer and that astronomy is needed for the chronometer method and to check that the timekeeper is working well.
c 1640. © National Maritime Museum, London 02 Portrait of John Hadley (1682–1744), attributed to Bartholomew Dandridge, c 1640. © National Maritime Museum, London 03 A View of Point Venus and Matavai Bay, looking east. August 1773. By William Hodges. © National Maritime Museum, London, Ministry of Defence Art Collection
The exhibition also focuses on the ways in which Harrison and his contemporaries negotiated with the Board of Longitude (and others) to get their ideas accepted, sometimes with considerable support, at other times in more difficult circumstances, as well as the ways in which marine timekeepers and astronomical methods were put to work in the late 18th and 19th centuries and used to help people explore and understand the world through extensive charting and related activities. The exhibition displays around 100 historic objects, including famous items such as John Harrison’s groundbreaking sea-watch, 01
H4, but also more unexpected artefacts (a drinking cup made from a coconut; fish-hooks from the Pacific) to show the social, commercial and political dimensions of the story – in other words, to show that the history of science and technology is the history of people.
It was not until the 19th century, when astronomy and timekeeping were brought together, that navigation really came into its own The exhibition also attempts to show that it takes more than an idea or a principle to solve a practical problem – in other words, that a problem is not ‘solved’ simply at the point where it has been shown to be possible to answer the challenge. Rather it takes further development for the idea or technology to be made stable and, in the words of the time, ‘practicable’.
For the longitude story, the process of making many marine timekeepers, observing instruments and navigational tables, and, crucially, ensuring that there were trained seamen able to use them, was just as vital to ‘solving’ the problem as were innovations in lunar theory and technical horology. This is a process that can take decades, and did so in the case of longitude at sea. Lastly, the exhibition seeks to show that the lengthy process of embedding these new technologies and methods and making them part of maritime routine eventually had practical benefits in the 19th century, notably in the astonishing volume and range of surveys carried out across the world’s oceans. The exhibition also features items relating to early European presence in Australian waters. These include a pipe, jug and coins from the Vergulde Draeck, a Dutch merchant vessel bound from South Africa to Batavia (modern-day Jakarta, Indonesia) that was shipwrecked off Western Australia in April 1656. A number of objects are associated with Captain William Bligh, who survived a 47-day, 6,700-kilometre open-boat voyage after being cast adrift
What are latitude and longitude? Latitude is the distance north or south of the equator, measured as an angle from the centre of the Earth, and running from 0° at the equator to 90° at the north and south poles. Each degree of latitude corresponds to 60 nautical miles (111.1 km) on the Earth’s surface. Lines of latitude run parallel to the equator. Longitude is the distance east or west measured from the Greenwich meridian (0°) to 180° east and west on the other side of the globe. Until there was international agreement on this, longitudes might be measured from any meridian or reference point. London, Paris and many other places were used on different charts. Latitude and longitude are divided into degrees (°), minutes (') and seconds ("), with 60 minutes in a degree, and 60 seconds in a minute. The Sydney Opera House, for example, lies at a latitude
of 33° 51' 35" south of the equator and a longitude of 151° 12' 50" west of Greenwich. Its position is written as 33° 51' 35" S, 151° 12' 50" E. Latitude relates to something physical (the equator) and can be determined from the position of heavenly bodies such as the Sun or pole star, but longitude is more difficult because there are no natural references from which to measure. Since longitude is a distance in the direction of the Earth’s daily rotation, the longitude difference between two places can be thought of as the difference between their local times as defined by the Sun’s position, local noon occurring when the Sun is highest in the sky. The Earth rotates through 360° in 24 hours, so one hour of time difference is equivalent to 15° of longitude. The Earth turns through one degree of longitude every four minutes.
Terrella (‘little earth’), unknown maker, c 1600. © National Maritime Museum, London
Most longitude schemes were based on this principle and relied on an observer determining the time both where they were and, simultaneously, at a reference point with a known geographical position. The difficult part was knowing the time at the reference location. This was Harrison’s achievement – the development of an instrument that could keep accurate time at sea over months and years, enabling the accurate comparison of time at two locations, and thus the precise calculation of longitude.
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by the Bounty mutineers. Items associated with Cook’s second and third voyages of discovery include timekeepers K1 and K3 (copies of Harrison timekeepers made by Larcum Kendall), a sextant, and a ‘dip circle’ (a device used to measure the vertical component of the earth’s magnetic field). It was not until the 20th-century advent of, first, wireless radio signals and, later, positioning systems including satellite navigation (GPS), that these 19th-century methods started to become obsolete. On 1 November 1968, it was decreed that ships of the Royal Navy should cease to carry marine chronometers, although sextants, almanacs and, of course, dead reckoning remained as a back-up to electronic devices. Given the potential vulnerability of a military-backed system like GPS, it is worth remembering that, should a ship in open water lose communication and its longitude, it is only by astronomy that the latter can be re-established.
Richard Dunn has been a curator at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, since 2004. During that time he has worked on the history of navigation and its instruments, including a major research project on the history of the British Board of Longitude, carried out in collaboration with the University of Cambridge. As well as being lead curator for the exhibition Ships, Clocks & Stars: the Quest for Longitude, he is author of The Telescope: A Short History (2009), Finding Longitude (with Rebekah Higgitt, 2014) and Navigational Instruments (2016).
Exhibition produced by the National Maritime Museum, London Proudly Sponsored by
Ships, Clocks & Stars: the Quest for Longitude is on at the ANMM until 30 October. The companion book to the exhibition, Finding Longitude: How clocks and stars helped solve the longitude problem, by Richard Dunn and Rebekah Higgitt ($55.00/$49.50 Members), is available at the Store and online at store.anmm.gov.au
01 ‘Little midshipman’ trade sign of
a nautical instrument maker and/or seller, late 18th or early 19th century. © National Maritime Museum, London 02 Scene in a Madhouse, from A Rake’s Progress, William Hogarth, 1735. © The Trustees of the Weston Park Foundation, UK/Bridgeman Images
A maddening quest In its day, finding a solution to the longitude problem was talked about as a joke or an impossibility, and widely lampooned, including by famous names such as artist William Hogarth and author Jonathan Swift. The quest for longitude was already the butt of jokes by the 17th century. In 1688, a satirical pamphlet proposed that a wounded dog be placed on each ship. The knife that made the wound or a bandage that had bound it would remain at the home port before being plunged into the ‘Powder of Sympathy’ at midday. This would cause pain in the dog’s wound thousands of miles away, causing it to howl and thus providing a ‘canine time signal’ from which longitude could be determined on the ship. William Whiston and Humphry Ditton proposed that vessels moored at known locations could fire rockets vertically to 6440 feet (1.96 kilometres) at set times. Navigators would look for the explosion and gauge their bearing and distance from the moored vessel by compass and by timing the difference between the flash and sound of the rocket exploding, or by measuring its elevation. Whiston and Ditton thought the
explosions might be visible for 100 miles (160 kilometres). Despite the obvious drawbacks of the scheme, it was instrumental in the passing of the Longitude Act. As had been the case in the 1600s, solving the longitude problem was linked with a range of seemingly impossible tasks, such as constructing a perpetual motion machine. It was thought that anyone associated with these schemes was likely to be, or to become, mad. Published in 1735, the final scene of Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress (above) shows the interior of Bethlehem Hospital, the lunatic asylum also known as ‘Bedlam’. One of the inmates is drawing longitude schemes, including Whiston and Ditton’s rockets, on the wall. The implication is clear: only madmen attempt to solve the impossible.
International Exhibitions Insurance Program
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Wildlife Photographer of the Year
01 Morkel Erasmus (South Africa),
PROGRAMS AT THE MUSEUM reflect a diversity of maritime topics, from people’s many interactions with the oceans – defence, shipbuilding, exploration, leisure – to the nature of the ocean environment itself. Museum exhibitions have explored ocean environments and animals (Amazing Whales, Beautiful Whale, X-ray Vision, Voyage to the Deep) and also the inspiration that artists and photographers have drawn from these animals and places (Fish in Australian Art, Elysium Antarctic Epic, Ansell Adams – From the Mountains to the Sea). Now the world’s best wildlife photography – much of it featuring aquatic and marine environments and creatures – comes to the museum in the stunning 2015 Wildlife Photographer of the Year collection.
Natural frame. Droughts are common in Africa, but elephant herds led by older females tend to survive dry periods with fewer casualties, as the experienced females are likely to know where to find waterholes. 02 Petr Bambousek (Czech Republic), Reflection in black. The Celebes black macaque is a critically endangered species endemic to only a small area of Indonesia, where its rainforest habitat is dwindling. This male had lost part of its arm after it was caught in a bird trap.
COMING TO ANMM
For the first time, the Australian National Maritime Museum is hosting the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, from 23 June. It brings together 100 images across 20 categories, shot in all manner of environments: remote wilderness, bustling cities and back gardens.
Truly great images of nature can transform the way people look at the natural world, challenge opinion and stimulate debate. For more than 50 years, Wildlife Photographer of the Year has remained at the forefront of contemporary photography, championing ethical practice, while also recognising and awarding artistic composition, narrative form, technical excellence and truthful interpretation of the natural world. The Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition began in 1965, with just three categories and about 500 entries. Even then, it was a leading event for nature photographers. It grew in stature over the years, and in 1984 London’s Natural History Museum became involved, creating the competition as it is today. Now, thousands of entries are received from almost 100 countries around the globe. The winning photographs, selected by a professional jury, range from intimate animal portraits to atmospheric landscapes, ground-breaking photojournalism and evocative abstract images. Wildlife Photographer of the Year is developed and produced by the Natural History Museum, London. Merchandise from the exhibition is available at The Store or online at store.anmm.gov.au
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01 Klaus Tamm (Germany), Wings of summer.
A pair of black-veined white butterflies rests either side of a vetch flower in Tuscany, Italy. 02 Thomas P Peschak (Germany/South Africa), The shark surfer. A curious blacktip shark sidles up to a paddling surfer in the Aliwal Shoal, Durban, South Africa. 03 Conor Stefanison (Canada), Creekside nursery. Female American dippers build their nests above fast-flowing streams, high enough to be safe from flooding and predators, but low enough to stay moist from the spray.
04 Andrey Gudkov (Russia), Komodo judo.
Two Komodo dragons wrestle in Komodo National Park, Indonesia, in what is probably a territorial dispute. 05 David Doubilet (USA), Turtle flight. A hawksbill turtle in Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea. Now critically endangered, the species is threatened by an illegal trade in its shell, eggs, meat and juveniles, which are stuffed as exotic gifts. 03
Classic & Wooden Boat Festival
Celebrating maritime heritage and culture
The museum’s Classic & Wooden Boat Festival drew some 16,000 people to Darling Harbour in April. More than 120 boat owners moored their beloved vessels in the museum’s basin for the three-day event. Famous ocean racers, elegant steam yachts, handsome Halvorsens and family sailboats mingled in a colourful display in the museum’s basin, while on shore, demonstrations of caulking, steam bending, line throwing and Indigenous canoe making highlighted traditional skills. Our pictorial review captures some of the highlights.
01 Pages 12–13: Visiting boats occupied both the
museum’s basin and the Cockle Bay Marina. All photographs Andrew Frolows/ANMM unless otherwise stated Members of the Halvorsen Club brought a fleet of their prized vessels. Models in vintage swimming costumes from the museum’s Education collection pose aboard the Edwardian steam yacht SY Ena. Hayden Charles (left) explains the use and construction of nawi, traditional tied-bark canoes of the Sydney Aboriginal people, to festival visitors. Photograph Helen Anu/ ANMM Students construct canoes, which were later tested in the museum’s basin. Bidjigal cultural educator Dean Kelly performed a traditional smoking ceremony and (behind him) members of the Sydney Children’s Choir sang as part of the festival’s opening ceremony. The winners of the Classic & Wooden Boat Festival Instagram photography competition are listed on page 79.
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Elizabeth Cook’s map sampler traces her husband’s epic voyages to the South Seas
01 Embroidered map sampler depicting the
voyages of Captain James Cook in the western hemisphere, attributed to Elizabeth Cook, c 1800. Silk and linen, 74.5 x 55 cm. ANMM Collection
Stories in stitch
NAUTICAL CRAFT AND MARITIME HISTORY INTERTWINED Mention the word ‘craft’ in the context of the Australian National Maritime Museum, and people will usually think of our unique collection of watercraft. But the museum also holds an equally interesting collection of maritime handicrafts. Curator Kim Tao looks at some examples, and the stories embodied in them. MARITIME HANDICRAFTS in the museum’s collection range from traditional favourites such as scrimshaw, sailors’ knots, shellwork and ships in bottles, through to lesserexplored, and often undervalued, examples of nautical needlework like embroidered samplers, woolwork pictures and knitting. While the latter objects are frequently dismissed as folk art or women’s domestic work, their histories are worthy of further exploration as they allow us to unravel some fascinating personal stories in stitch.
Tracing a husband’s tracks One of the icons of the collection is the late-18th century embroidered map sampler of the western hemisphere attributed to Elizabeth Cook (née Batts), the wife of renowned British navigator Captain James Cook. While little is known of Elizabeth’s early life, it is well documented that she remained a widow for 56 years following Cook’s untimely death in 1779, outlived all their six children and died at the age of 93. Elizabeth’s single-hemisphere sampler traces her husband’s epic voyages to the South Seas, which over the course of a decade would lead to the charting of vast areas of the globe previously unknown to Europeans. Various continents and countries are depicted on the map, including the United States and New Zealand, as well as the equator, the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, the Pacific, Atlantic and Southern oceans, and lines of latitude and longitude.
The cartographic details are embroidered on cream-coloured linen, using black silk thread to replicate the appearance of engraving lines on printed charts. The sampler is bordered by four sprays of English flowers, which are worked in coloured threads on each corner of the cloth. Tiny stitches are used to indicate the tracks of Cook’s three voyages to the Pacific in 1768–1771, 1772–1775 and 1776–1779. These voyages greatly enhanced European knowledge of the region and resulted in Britain claiming the east coast of Australia, the discovery of a number of Pacific islands, and the first circumnavigation and mapping of New Zealand. Between the 1770s and 1840s, the embroidered map sampler was a popular educational tool for young girls and women in Britain and the North American colonies. An extension of the traditional marking sampler featuring rows of the alphabet, numerals and geometric motifs, it enabled them to learn entwined skills in needlework and geography. The map took the form of either a single or double hemisphere of the globe, and could be hand drawn by the maker or her teacher, traced from a paper pattern or embroidered directly onto commercially printed fabric. Researchers at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (which has one of the world’s finest collections of samplers dating from the 14th to the 20th centuries) suggest that hemisphere maps were almost always undertaken on pre-printed grounds due to their
complexity, thus establishing an early form of the ‘sampler kit’.1 The existence of similar embroidered map samplers in the collections of the National Museum of Australia and the Auckland War Memorial Museum (AWMM) would seem to corroborate this theory. While Elizabeth Cook’s map sampler is not signed or dated, it is purported to have come from her home at Clapham, Surrey, where she lived until her death in 1835.2 According to Vivien Caughley at the AWMM, the inclusion of the name ‘United States’ on the map indicates a production date after the 1776 Declaration of Independence, while the accurate placement of the tracks of Cook’s final ship, HMS Resolution, further signifies a date after 1779. The presence of the United States also suggests a possible production date after the end of the American Revolutionary War in 1783, when the USA was formally recognised as an independent nation. These details enable the sampler to be dated to ‘definitely after 1779 and probably after 1783’.3 The embroidered map contains a wealth of historical and geographical information and would have provided a way for women at home to demonstrate, through needle and thread, their knowledge of the new world that was unfolding in the age of exploration. It illustrates the significant interest in Cook’s Pacific expeditions and the way in which understanding of his discoveries was transmitted and commemorated in the public consciousness. AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM 17
01 Embroiderer Alison Larkin in costume at the
Captain Cook Memorial Museum in Whitby, UK, 2015. Reproduced courtesy Alison Larkin 02 Portrait by William Henderson, believed to depict Elizabeth Cook aged 81 years, 1830. Oil on canvas, 75 x 63 cm. Reproduced courtesy Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales 03 Embroidered sampler made by Julia Donovan on board Carnatic, 1879. Wool and cotton, 31.3 x 33.8 cm. ANMM Collection
But it also stands as Elizabeth Cook’s personal memorial to a husband whose distinguished naval career would keep them apart for much of their 17-year marriage, thus shifting the focus back to the intimate sphere of the woman at home and the emotional, tactile power of the sampler.
which explores the private lives and loves of the wives of voyagers including James Cook, William Bligh and Joseph Banks, connecting their stories across oceans and centuries.
One of the most delightful aspects of Elizabeth Cook’s map sampler is that it can be read in so many different ways, entangled as it is in discourses of craft, art, gender, politics, geography, and women’s contributions to society and lived history. Over the years it has been interpreted and reinterpreted by researchers and artists, with the most recent reimagining being a replica completed by English embroiderer Alison Larkin in January 2016.
Another piece of needlework associated with ocean journeys is a charming embroidered sampler made by 19-year-old assisted immigrant Julia Donovan on board the Carnatic in January 1879. Julia was among 302 migrants travelling from Gravesend, England, to Queensland on the 871-tonne barque. Most passengers were single female domestic servants and male farm labourers destined for the towns of Rockhampton, Aramac and Blackall. Immigration records show that Julia arrived in Rockhampton on 5 February 1879 and presumably went into a domestic placement in the growing port town.
Alison was inspired to work on the sampler during her living history sessions at the Captain Cook Memorial Museum in Whitby, North Yorkshire, where she demonstrates 18th-century embroidery techniques. She says, ‘I’ve tried to get as accurate a replica as I can, using the same stitches and similar materials as Elizabeth’. The map is worked on fine linen, with a coarser linen backing, using a variety of stitches such as straight, long and short, satin, seed and couching. The floral borders are stitched with single strands of silk thread, while the map uses split strands to emulate the size of the threads employed by Elizabeth Cook. The work is on display until November this year in the exhibition Wives and Sweethearts: The Sailor’s Farewell in Whitby,
An immigrant’s tribute
From the 17th century, embroidered samplers were used to teach young girls and women the essential art of needlework, incorporating a repertoire of stitches and symbols that would be used to mark household linens and garments. While samplers typically featured a combination of letters of the alphabet in upper and lower case, numerals, geometric borders, small emblems and moral verses, the specific arrangement of motifs was often highly personal to the maker.
From the 17th century, embroidered samplers were used to teach young girls and women the essential art of needlework
Julia Donovan’s sampler is hand embroidered in cross stitch using green, blue, red and purple wools on a square piece of cloth. It includes the alphabet, numbers 1 to 17 and two small sprays of blue flowers. Julia’s sampler is particularly special as it is signed and dated, and connected to her journey on Carnatic through the following verse that reveals a migration story in stitch: Dearest Matron we must part you On that strange and distant shore For though across the stormy ocean With great patience you us bore May the seasons richest blessing Rest within your home and heart Peace and love and happiness possessing And may all troubles from you part. The sampler was presented by Julia as a thank-you gift to the ship’s matron, Alice Wadley, who worked as a stewardess and government-appointed chaperone to single female immigrants on the Australian route from 1879 to 1887. It is both a simple token of friendship between the matron and her young charge over the 103-day voyage, as well as a complex historical document that communicates broader themes such as late-19th century attitudes to colonial education, religion and the role of women, the prevailing ideologies of feminine domesticity, and the way in which gendered skills were transferred across cultures and continents – from a familiar land to ‘that strange and distant shore’.
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01 Sailor’s woolwork picture of the convict
transport Mermaid, c 1850. Wool and canvas, 30.6 x 35 cm. ANMM Collection 02 Knitted colourwork cap belonging to Anu Mihkelson, 1950s. ANMM Collection Gift from Anu Mihkelson 03 Textured cardigan with cherry bunches, knitted by Magda Mihkelson, 1960s. ANMM Collection Gift from Anu Mihkelson
A Mermaid in wool An interesting counterpoint to the typically feminised needlework sampler is the sailor’s woolwork picture or embroidered ship portrait, affectionately known as a ‘woolie’. Woolies were produced mainly by British sailors between the 1830s and early 1900s (reaching their peak in 1860–1880), and reflected the popularity of needlework in the Victorian era. They may also have been inspired by the embroidered works that were sold in Chinese territories and treaty ports such as Hong Kong, Shanghai and Canton. During the age of sail, seamen were accustomed to mending sails and nets, and repairing their own clothing and uniforms, at sea. Woolwork pictures were simply an extension of their fine needle skills, helping them to pass the time on a long sea voyage and resulting in a unique memento of the ship. The museum has a few examples of this engaging 19th-century handicraft in its collection, including one that depicts the 472-tonne convict transport Mermaid, which was built in Calcutta, India, in 1817. From 1828 it made several voyages to Australia, the last one being in 1851, when it carried 209 male convicts to the Swan River Colony near Perth, Western Australia. The colony was initially established in 1829 as a free settlement, but a declining population and perceived need for a cheap labour supply led to the introduction of convict transportation in 1850. More than 9,000 male convicts were sent to the colony until 1868, when the practice of transportation was formally abolished. The woolie shows Mermaid broadside, flying the Red Ensign, with the name of the ship embroidered in the calm sea below. The coloured wools are worked on a canvas backing, using long stitches to create a smooth, flat texture. The stitches are executed in a horizontal direction for the sea and sky, and a vertical direction for the ship’s sails, which helps to lift them from the plain background. While the overall effect is quite naïve and charming, the attention paid to the detail of the rigging (rendered with long taut stitches in a finer thread) indicates that it must have been the work of a skilled seaman. The Mermaid woolie is an appealing example of a distinctive nautical craft that emerged from the traditional skills of the sailor. It also reflects an important transition in shipping and technology, with the demise of the craft linked to both the shift from sail power to steam
(which altered the size and abilities of a ship’s crew) and the rise of photography (which presented a less demanding way to record a voyage). Remaining pieces in museum collections such as ours provide a rare and tangible insight into the life of the 19th-century sailor. In the case of the Mermaid woolie, this significance is enhanced by its association with Australia’s early colonial history and the practice of convict transportation. It reveals the intersecting materialities of nautical craft and maritime history, with each stitch expressing something of the maker’s individuality and personality.
The Mihkelson collection Each stitch also tells a story in a wonderful collection of knitted textiles, handicrafts and family heirlooms donated to the museum by Anu Mihkelson, who migrated from Sweden to Australia with her Estonian parents Oskar and Magda in 1948. One of the museum’s richest holdings relating to post-World War II migration to Australia, the Mihkelson family collection weaves together multiple narratives of women, needlework, memory and the material culture of migration. When Soviet Russia invaded Estonia in September 1944, Oskar and Magda Mihkelson fled across the Baltic Sea on a cutter bound for Sweden. Oskar had fought in the Estonian War of Independence (1918–1920) and knew that under the Soviets he faced almost certain death or imprisonment. In Sweden Oskar and Magda were housed at a refugee camp at Medevi Brunn. They later moved to Rättvik and then the university city of Uppsala, where their only daughter, Anu, was born in 1945. In 1948, fearing that Sweden was too close to Soviet influences, the Mihkelsons migrated to Australia, where the government particularly welcomed the ‘beautiful Balts’ with their fair skin, blond hair and blue eyes under its ‘populate or perish’ immigration policy. Magda Mihkelson was an accomplished knitter who used her skills to contribute to the family income. She knitted intricately patterned shawls and cardigans to order, both as part of the vibrant Estonian refugee community living in Sweden in the 1940s, and later among the rural migrant canecutting and mining hubs of Tully and Mount Isa in northern Queensland, where Oskar Mihkelson worked. Magda was such a prolific knitter that she even knitted up all her leftover wool
as the family travelled by train from Sweden through Denmark, Germany and Switzerland to board the Lloyd Triestino liner Toscana at Genoa, Italy, for the six-week voyage to Australia. The Mihkelson collection, part of which is currently on display in the museum’s Passengers exhibition, includes some exquisite examples of Haapsalu lace shawls, which are reputedly so fine that they can be slipped through a wedding ring. Worked in traditional geometric and lily of the valley lace patterns, they incorporate the characteristic Estonian nupp stitch, a small bud or bobble that gives the impression of pearls scattered across the delicate lace background. There are also cardigans and boleros in a range of lace, textured or colourwork stitches, which reflect not only northern European knitting practices but also changing fashions of the 1950s and 1960s. One of the highlights is a heavily textured cream-coloured cardigan with cherry bunches, which Magda laboured over for weeks as the pattern was incorrect. Once she had perfected the cardigan for her client, Magda made a fully lined version for herself, but it was never worn. The collection also includes colourful knitted gloves and bonnets, patterned with Nordic and Baltic snowflakes and stars, which are vivid markers of a foreign climate and a distant homeland – what Magda’s daughter Anu eloquently describes as ‘Estonia left behind, in war’s dust’. Crafted entirely by hand, the Mihkelson collection provides an evocative, embodied connection to the maker that speaks volumes about war and displacement, the adaptation of European cultural traditions to the Australian context, and the strength and resourcefulness of migrant women. Much like Elizabeth Cook’s embroidered map, Julia Donovan’s sampler and the Mermaid woolie, the collection’s value lies in the ability to articulate and give voice to those often marginalised from the historical record – women, workers, migrants, refugees – allowing their stories to live on through the power of stitch. 1 ‘A History of Samplers’, vam.ac.uk/content/ articles/h/a-history-of-samplers/. 2 Tyrrell’s catalogue, undated, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales M1 120/1779/1. 3 Vivien Caughley, ‘Cook map samplers: women’s Endeavours’, Records of the Auckland Museum, vol 50, 2015, 21.
03 20 SIGNALS 115 june–august 2016
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM 21
Treasures of the American Collection 25 years of the USA Gallery
From July we celebrate the 25th year of the museum’s USA Gallery in an exhibition featuring more than 100 objects acquired with the USA Bicentennial Gift Fund, writes Richard Wood. It includes masterful ship paintings and seascapes, portraits of dour ship’s captains, intricate ship and engine models and other treasures of a collection that documents the American–Australian maritime relationship in trade, science, migration, defence, exploration, politics, popular culture, love and war. 02
THE OBJECTS IN THE Treasures exhibition span more than 200 years of Australian–US history. The oldest is A Journal of a Voyage Around the World in His Majesty’s Ship The Endeavour, thought to be authored by New York–born James Mario Magra, who was a midshipman on the first Pacific voyage of James Cook’s HMB Endeavour. The newest objects are a model of the aluminium trimaran-based Littoral Combat Ships designed by Perth company Austal and being built by them in Alabama for the US Navy; and Kei Athe Mosby, an enormous vinylcut print by Torres Strait Islander artist Glen Kei Kalak, great-great-great-grandson of Edward ‘Yankee Ned’ Mosby, a mysterious American Civil War veteran who settled on Masig Island (formerly Yorke Island) in the Torres Strait, where he married a Masig woman called Kudin (‘Queenie’) and started a pearl, shell and bêche-de-mer dynasty in the 1870s. The exhibition includes some borrowed objects. The ship’s bell and engine telegraph from USS Canberra are on loan from the US Navy History and Heritage Command. USS Canberra was named in honour of HMAS Canberra, which was lost in the Battle of Savo Island on 9 August 1942 along with USS Quincey, USS Vincennes, USS Astoria and 1,023 Australian and American lives. The bell was presented to Prime Minister John Howard in Washington DC by President George
W Bush on the afternoon of 10 September 2001, a day before Australia’s defence alliance with the USA would once more be invoked. Displayed among a small collection of works by Australian wartime artists is a gardenia corsage given by Joe Caldwell to Donna Griggs in Melbourne in 1942, a lovingly preserved tribute to an enduring Australian –American romance that took Donna to Nashville, Tennessee, as a war bride.
Among the exhibits is a gardenia corsage, a lovingly preserved tribute to an enduring Australian–American romance
Recently acquired souvenir Zippo cigarette lighters collected by Vanessa (Zena) Roberson from US Navy vessels visiting Sydney between 1950 and 1980 are a unique personal record of Operation Deep Freeze, the Vietnam War, naval exercises and visits by nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. They echo the enthusiasm with which almost half the Australian population greeted America’s Great White Fleet on its visit to Sydney, Melbourne and Albany in 1908. Add to this rich selection the cinecameras used by Ron and Valerie Taylor to capture underwater scenes for the 1970s movie blockbuster Jaws, documents signed by Abraham Lincoln and Queen Victoria, scrimshaw, movie posters, and watercolour paintings from the United States Exploring Expedition to the Pacific, which visited Sydney as a friendly port in 1840, and you discover something of the treasure trove that is the museum’s American collection.
01 Vanessa Roberson’s collection of Zippo
lighters and other keepsakes was acquired between 1950 and 1980, from mainly US Navy ships visiting Sydney. Photograph courtesy Louie Douvis/ Fairfax Media 02 Kei Athe Mosby, by Torres Strait Islander artist Glen Kei Kalak. Image by Michael Marzik AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM 23
DELIVERING REVOLUTIONARY DEFENCE SOLUTIONS, GLOBALLY US NAVY 127m Littoral Combat Ship
ROYAL NAVY OF OMAN 72m High Speed Support Vessel
The museum’s USA Programs In his address to the Australian parliament in November 2011, President Barack Obama said: The bonds between us run deep. In each other’s story we see so much of ourselves. Ancestors who crossed vast oceans – some by choice, some in chains. Settlers who pushed west across sweeping plains. Dreamers who toiled with hearts and hands to lay railroads and to build cities. Generations of immigrants who, with each new arrival, add a new thread to the brilliant tapestry of our nations. The museum’s USA Gallery and collection were built and are maintained by a gift of $5 million from the people of the USA to mark Australia’s Bicentenary in 1988. Our USA Programs examine, interpret and foster close cultural, scientific and environmental maritime ties that connect Australia and the USA, and explore and interpret more than 200 years of maritime contact, co-operation and competition. The gallery was dedicated by President George H W Bush on New Year’s Day 1992 and was viewed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in the same year. In 2007 President George W Bush visited the museum and inspected the USA Gallery. The USA Programs play an important role in Australia’s official relationship with the United States, frequently hosting visits by cultural, trade and congressional delegations and US Navy dignitaries, and in 2014 by Secretary of State John Kerry to announce the Our Oceans international ocean conservation initiative. 24 SIGNALS 115 june–august 2016
The recent USA Gallery exhibitions Ansel Adams – photography from the mountains to the sea, Beautiful Whale – life size photography by Bryant Austin and X-Ray Vision – fish inside out (the last from the Smithsonian Institution) have boosted overall museum attendance figures, with American visitors consistently among the top three international groups to visit the museum.
Our USA Programs examine, interpret and foster close cultural, scientific and environmental maritime ties between Australia and the USA The USA Programs have a special role in commemorating the sacrifice of Australians and Americans in war. One example is the recent exhibition Mission X – the rag tag fleet, about the US Army Small Ships, a flotilla of Australian civilian vessels and crew that supplied the Allied army advance against Japan in the south-west Pacific during World War II. In January 2017, Guardians of Sunda Strait opens in the historic Julia Ideson Building of the Houston Public Library, then travels to Perth and Sydney. This travelling exhibition commemorates the 75th anniversary of the loss of the light cruiser HMAS Perth, heavy cruiser USS Houston and the Dutch destroyer HNLMS Evertsen in the Battle of Sunda Strait on 1 March 1942, with the loss of 1,071 lives.
US NAVY 103m Expeditionary Fast Transport
In May next year, the USA Programs will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea, fought between the US and Australian navies and the Imperial Japanese Navy. This battle was the first naval action in which aircraft carriers engaged each other, and neither side’s ships sighted or fired directly on the other. Beyond these and the Treasures of the American Collection exhibition, programs under development include Ultimate Depth – James Cameron’s DEEPSEA CHALLENGE, a major immersive environmental exhibition about an amazing expedition to the bottom of the sea in 2012 in an Australianbuilt submersible and the Americans and Australians who made it possible; and First Nations Pacific, a travelling exhibition in collaboration with the Mariners Museum in Virginia and other Pacific nation partners to mark the 250th anniversary of Captain James Cook’s first Pacific voyage. Richard Wood is the Manager of the USA Gallery. Treasures of the American Collection opens on 1 July.
AUSTRALIAN BORDER FORCE 58m Cape Class Patrol Boat
PROUD PARTNER OF THE AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM email@example.com
01 Oil painting on canvas by Australian artist
Captain Thomas Robertson, titled The Red Jacket in Hobson’s Bay, 1856–67. ANMM Collection 00006060, purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds. Photograph ANMM 02 Launch of Littoral Combat Ship (LCS-12), the future USS Omaha, on 18 November 2015. The exhibition contains a model of one of these Australian-designed ships. Photograph courtesy Austal USA
ANY MAIN MEAL SERVED WITH A GLASS OF WINE OR COLD BEER* Features a menu of modern Australian cuisine and lovely fresh seafood. This is waterfront dining at its best with stunning Sydney skyline views which includes the HMAS Onslow submarine, the HMAS Vampire destroyer & the daily buzz of this social hot spot. *Available from 11.00am to 3.00pm *No other Members Discounts apply
To make a reservation contact us Australian National Maritime Museum 2 Murray Street Darling Harbour Sydney NSW 2000 T + 61 2 9298 3799 E firstname.lastname@example.org W www.anmm.gov.au
01 Across the strait from Lonthoir on the
nutmeg-producing Banda islands is the active volcano Gunung Api, showing a recent lava flow. Photograph Jeffrey Mellefont
Spice islands eclipse
Diamond ring effect
ASTRONOMY, CELESTIAL NAVIGATION AND SPICE-TRADE HISTORY Baily’s beads
ANMM research associate Jeffrey Mellefont leads a voyage on board a traditional Indonesian sailing ship, to view a total eclipse of the sun in the Moluccas – the historic spice islands.
Umbra (total eclipse)
Penumbra (partial eclipse) 02
IN MARCH THIS YEAR A TOTAL ECLIPSE of the sun tracked across the Indonesian archipelago, from Sumatra in the west to the remote, eastern group of islands called the Moluccas. It was some 300 years since a total solar eclipse had taken the same track through these historic islands of spice. At the time of that previous eclipse, the Moluccas were dominated by the United Dutch East India Company. This corporation of armed Dutch merchants had imposed a ruthless monopoly over two of the world’s most lucrative trade commodities, the spices clove and nutmeg. They grew nowhere else in the world but on a few remote Moluccan islands. Prized by the elites of Europe, the Middle East and Asia for their rarity and exclusiveness, it was these costly Moluccan spices that spurred the European age of discovery as the Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and English competed to find their mysterious source, and then to control their trade.
The voyages teach visitors about the cultures and history of these exotic islands In today’s post-colonial world, the cloves and nutmeg that were once worth their weight in gold don’t count for all that much. The Moluccas are once again a backwater, remote and little-visited even as international tourism to Indonesia increases. Their unspoiled beauty and fascinating cultural and historical heritage are outstanding, though, and the best – indeed the only – way to explore them is by boat.
One of very few vessels specialising in maritime tourism to the Moluccas is Ombak Putih (‘White Wave’), a luxurious sailing ship based on traditional Indonesian sail-trading craft. The voyages teach visitors about the cultures and history of these exotic islands, including past maritime links with Australia. That’s the role of on-board guest lecturers such as me. In March this year we added the unique opportunity to view a total eclipse of the sun. There’s a solar eclipse somewhere on the planet every 18 months or so, when the earth, moon and sun are lined up in a row (see diagram above). If the moon is also at its closest to the earth (sometimes called a ‘super moon’), it appears big enough to completely obscure the sun, causing a total eclipse. If the moon’s more distant and appears smaller than the sun, leaving the sun’s outer circumference visible, it’s known as an annular eclipse. A total eclipse can only be seen in the dense shadow zone called the umbra. During the total solar eclipse of 9 March 2016 the umbra, only about 150 kilometres wide, sped along a track through Indonesia and out into the Pacific Ocean, as the moon performed its cosmic dance over the face of the sun. The more diffuse moon-shadow, or penumbra, fell as far south as Darwin, where people saw a partial eclipse. On Ombak Putih we were able to place ourselves in the best position to view the eclipse, in one of Indonesia’s most breathtaking seascapes. This is where four perfect, conical, still-active volcanoes rise from the sea in a spectacular line, just a few nautical miles north of the equator. It was on the fertile slopes of these four volcanic islands – Ternate, Tidore, Moti and Makian
– that clove trees had evolved. Sultans built their palaces and mosques on them, and colonial powers built forts and fought wars to control the spice trade. Our voyage had begun in Ternate, which was gripped by eclipse fever. Its hotels were full and a festival of Moluccan music and dance, hosted by its traditional sultan, was in full swing. Yet when we sailed into our eclipse-viewing position, two days later and 30 nautical miles south, we were the only boat in sight. My chosen spot was between the islands Moti and Makian, right on the centreline of the eclipse track, to maximise our experience. For us the eclipse lasted two hours 45 minutes from first to last contact of the moon with the sun. Its climax was three minutes 20 seconds of total eclipse when the moon entirely obscured the sun, and day turned to night. This dramatic event has often terrified humankind. Ancient Indian texts blamed it on a demon called Rahu who tried to drink divine nectar to become immortal. The goddess Mohini cut off his head before he could swallow the nectar, but the magic potion in his mouth made Rahu’s head immortal. From time to time it swallows the sun, causing eclipses. Luckily, the sun soon escapes back into the sky through the severed gullet, ending the eclipse. Related legends explaining eclipses are found in Indonesia, where Indian religious traditions took root over a thousand years ago, carried by seaborne traders involved in the ancient spice trade. Predicting such a frightening event was useful for rulers. Clay tablets show that ancient Babylonians recorded eclipses – the first was on 3 May 1375 BC – AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM 27
01 Dancers at Ternate’s cultural festival
to celebrate the eclipse. 02 On Banda Neira island, dancers celebrate
the nutmeg harvest. 03 Volcanic islands where cloves first grew:
Makian and Moti, with Tidore and Ternate in the distance. 04 Guests on Ombak Putih don eclipse glasses as the spectacle begins at 8.30 am local time. All photographs Jeffrey Mellefont (front, left, with sextant) 01
and could also predict them, identifying the recurring, precise celestial cycles by which these events occur. Chinese legend speaks of two court astrologers called Hsi and Ho who were executed for being too drunk to predict a solar eclipse for Emperor Chung K’ang (2159–1948 BC). Modern astronomers can deduce this was the eclipse of 22 October 2134 BC, which thus becomes the earliest one mentioned in human annals.
The Greek astronomer Hipparchus (c 120–190 BC) used a solar eclipse to calculate the distance from the earth to the moon – and was only 11 per cent out. An eclipse was used to validate a critical prediction of Albert Einstein’s 1916 theory of general relativity. In 1919 the British astronomer Sir Arthur Eddington showed that gravity bends light, by photographing stars that came out next to the eclipsed sun. The stars weren’t quite where they were supposed to be, as their light was deflected by the sun’s gravity. Looking at a partially eclipsed sun can permanently damage one’s retina. On Ombak Putih I handed out eclipseviewing spectacles sourced from a Sydney astronomy shop. We also used reversed binoculars to project an enlarged image of the eclipsing sun onto the deck. But for the best view of all, I brought along the old sextant that I had used for navigation during an earlier, pre-GPS seafaring career. Sextants use solar filters and magnifying optics to let you look directly at the sun (or the moon, stars and planets) in order to measure their height above the horizon. That, plus an accurate chronometer to give the exact time of the sighting, books of tables and a page of pencilled sums, gave your position at sea before GPS satellites were launched in the 1980s.
On Ombak Putih, as the invisible moon slowly took an ever-bigger bite out of the disk of the sun, there was time to show everyone on board how to sight the eclipsing sun through the sextant – giving everyone a hands-on experience they shared with navigators like James Cook.
Four perfect, conical, still-active volcanoes rise from the sea in a spectacular line, just a few nautical miles north of the equator Then, dramatically at about 10 am, the dark shadow of the umbra swept over our part of the Moluccas. The hot tropical day suddenly got cooler and it went so dark that you couldn’t read your wristwatch. Above us, the sun was completely covered by the moon, a stark black circle surrounded by a ghostly halo – the sun’s corona, a lovely, luminous plasma of charged particles. But perhaps most memorable of all, right around 360 degrees of horizon, was a beautiful, pre-dawn flush of colour, silhouetting those spectacular volcanic islands of cloves rising out of the tranquil Moluccan Sea. It got even better, in fact, as the moon began to move out of alignment with the sun. We glimpsed ‘Baily’s beads’, little gems of light visible for just a few moments as the sun’s rays seeped through valleys on the moon’s periphery. They’re named for the English astronomer Francis Baily, who first described them in 1836.
And then we saw the ‘diamond ring’ effect, when the first jewel of light flares up from the re-emerging sun. Everyone cheered. ‘A Bach fugue in the sky,’ says science writer Timothy Ferris. ‘The heavens declare the glory of God,’ says Joseph Haydn in his mighty choral work The Creation. All I can say is, how extraordinary to live in a solar system where our one and only moon fits perfectly over the sun. To top off a flawless morning, we motored south when the eclipse was over and sailed over the equator. Here we stopped again for a line-crossing ceremony, performed by our Indonesian crew dressed as shaman–priests. They anointed us with holy water before we all jumped into the equatorial Moluccan Sea. So we left behind the volcanic islands that were once the world’s exclusive source of cloves, and a week later explored the even more remote volcanic Banda Islands that were once the world’s exclusive source of nutmeg. Our 12-day voyage, with its rich themes of spices, history and local maritime cultures, ended in Ambon, where we visited the beautifully kept Commonwealth War Cemetery, resting place of Australians who lost their lives in this theatre of the Second World War. Author and ANMM research associate Jeffrey Mellefont is lecturer and guide on selected voyages of the specialist Indonesian maritime tourism operator SeaTrek. Museum Members will receive a 10 per cent discount on Jeffrey’s next voyages: Bali–Kangean Islands–Madura–Bali 16–23 November 2016 and Moluccas to Sulawesi 11–22 January 2017. Full itineraries at seatrekbali. com, or contact the Members office.
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM 29 04
01 Tenacious was designed and built
to be fully accessible for all, including those with physical disabilities.
All hands on deck BRINGING TALL-SHIP SAILING TO PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
The Jubilee Sailing Trust is a globally unique charity that delivers socially inclusive sailing experiences for all ages, abilities and backgrounds aboard its two purposebuilt tall ships, Lord Nelson and Tenacious. Last year, the charity established its first overseas operation, in Australia, and in late July Tenacious will arrive in Sydney, its first port of call in a ten-month Australian visit. Peter Mitchell profiles the organisation. THE JUBILEE SAILING TRUST (JST) aims to provide opportunities for adventure in an all-inclusive environment. Its tall ships sail some 50,000 nautical miles (92,000 kilometres) every year and have a bespoke design and build to enable a mixed-ability crew to sail them. Since the first voyage 30 years ago, 43,720 people have sailed on these two iconic ships, including 5,579 wheelchair users, 1,913 people who are blind, and 1,676 with cerebral palsy.
Bespoke design Special design features on Tenacious include a deck that has ribs, tracks and locking points enabling wheelchair users to navigate independently even in rough seas, and for those who are blind to track exactly where they are on the ship. A speaking compass allows blind people on the helm to set the course and then maintain that course with a port/starboard sound tracker. While many people will steer the ship using the traditional wheel, those with very limited mobility can steer it using a joystick (much like those on electric wheelchairs). The design of both Tenacious and Lord Nelson allows for as much independence as possible on board – for example, vibrating pads under the bunks act as an alarm for those who are hearing impaired, waking them for their watch. People living with more extreme disabilities who require their own carer can be accommodated in dedicated cabins that provide more privacy and suitable facilities. Both ships are entirely wheelchair accessible. For the more adventurous, the crow’s nests (the platforms at various
heights up the masts) are larger than usual, so that wheelchair users can be winched up the mast and experience the thrill just the same as any able-bodied crew member.
The trust works with a number of organisations whose mission is to help injured ex-service people The aim of the JST is to encourage those living with disability to challenge themselves while having an adventure that is for people of all abilities (not the typical activity designed exclusively for the disabled), and in doing so build their self-esteem and confidence. This benefits all on board, as the able-bodied experience real inclusion and see beyond the disability to the person, challenging their preconceptions and realising the true extent of the contribution that everyone can bring to the team. In other words, they see the ability rather than the dis-ability. A great example is how well blind people steer sailing vessels – their feel for the wind and when the boat is sailing at its fastest is better than that of most sighted people. In this case they are more able than the seemingly able-bodied. Tenacious sails with nine professional crew who are assisted by volunteer bosun’s mates, watch leaders and cook’s assistants. These volunteers have previously sailed with Jubilee Sailing Trust and have had
sufficient training and hours of sailing to qualify for these roles. (If you want to support Tenacious’s crew in this way, or assist the charity with anything else from fundraising to maintenance, please email email@example.com.) As well as the professional crew, Tenacious carries 40 ‘voyage crew’, typically comprising half who are living with disability and half who are generally able-bodied. Ideally, across the 40 members of voyage crew, there will be a wide range of disabilities, from the deaf and blind to amputees and paraplegics. Tenacious can take up to eight wheelchair users on each voyage, including two with more complex medical and support needs (assisted by their own carer). The rest of the crew will ‘buddy up’, pairing a physically disabled crew member with an able-bodied person. They will support each another throughout the voyage, sharing experiences and developing a special bond, often creating a positive and lasting friendship.
The early days In the 1960s and 70s, opportunities for outdoor education, including offshore sailing, were growing for the able-bodied, but a negative attitude still existed towards what disabled people could and ‘should’ do. Christopher Rudd, who later founded the JST, had been teaching disabled and specialneeds children to sail dinghies, and his practical experience working with people of mixed physical abilities convinced him that they should be given the same opportunities as able-bodied people. He believed that the obstacles to sailing AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM 31
01 Onboard, all crew members are assigned
a buddy to work alongside and support throughout the voyage. 02 All crew members become one united team with a common goal, working together to sail the ship. 03 The experience on Tenacious will last with crew members for years to come, imparting life skills and enduring memories. 01
offshore could be overcome by thoughtful design and proper equipment. In addition, he believed that if physically disabled people were to sail alongside able-bodied people as part of the crew, it would help break down the prejudices and misunderstandings between people of different circumstances in life. A steering committee was set up and donations and grants sought. A successful application for a grant from the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Appeal led to the name Jubilee Sailing Trust. In 1978, the JST became a registered charity.
Tenacious can take up to eight wheelchair users on each voyage Experimental voyages in existing squareriggers had proved beyond doubt that integrating disabled with able-bodied people on a tall ship could be both successful and safe. Square-rig was ideal because sailing such a ship needs large numbers of people all working together and there are numerous tasks to suit different capabilities and strengths. The experimental voyages also proved 32 SIGNALS 115 june–august 2016
that a purpose-built vessel would best suit the JST’s aims. The first ship, Lord Nelson, was designed by naval architect Colin Mudie. It began construction in 1984 and made its maiden voyage from Southampton to Cherbourg on 17 October 1986.
However, both Lord Nelson and Tenacious were built with the capability to sail anywhere in the world with mixed physical ability crews aboard, and in 2012 the voyages became more adventurous and the charity became more ambitious.
After the launch of Lord Nelson, the JST grew from strength to strength, and demand for berths on voyages began to outstrip supply. This led to an extension of the JST’s ethos of integration onshore as 1,500 volunteers of mixed physical ability set about building a second ship – Tenacious. Designed by naval architect Tony Castro, the world’s largest operating wooden ship sailed on its maiden voyage on 1 September 2000 from Southampton. Many of the volunteers who helped build it, working alongside professional shipwrights, still sail on the ship today.
Lord Nelson made JST history by setting sail with a mixed physical ability crew for a two-year circumnavigation of the globe. This took the JST into the southern hemisphere for the first time, receiving a warm welcome in Sydney, where it took part in the centenary celebrations of the Royal Australian Navy and participated in the International Fleet Review in October 2013. The resounding success of this visit spurred the formation of a full-time operation in Australia, which was launched in the summer of 2015.
The JST’s two ships have sailed hundreds of thousands of miles, and changed thousands of lives. Initially operating in European and North Atlantic waters, the charity developed a number of impactful programs – Youth Leadership @ Sea, Diversity @ Sea, and more recently Sailing Forces, which integrates wounded and recovering service men and women with civilian crew aboard the two ships.
Partners, sponsors and supporters The JST benefits from the support of various organisations and individuals around the world, from the British royal family – HRH Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, has been the JST’s patron since 1984 – to schools, charitable institutions and the United Nations, which recently accredited the JST under its Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
One of these partner institutions is Spinal Cord Injuries Australia, an Australian disability enterprise that aims to create independence, dignity and unlimited opportunity for people living with spinal cord injury. The JST also works with a number of organisations whose mission is to help injured ex-service people, such as Help for Heroes in the UK and now Mates4Mates and SoldierOn in Australia. Many service men and women have quite severe injuries and as a result may have fallen to the edges of society and out of employment, with resultant low self-confidence. The JST has developed dedicated voyages and programs to help these people reintegrate into society, and return them to a more fulfilled life and better employment prospects. With other charitable partners, the JST collaborates to raise the funds for voyage opportunities that would otherwise not be accessible. These partners include a variety of secondary schools, various Sailability programmes around Australia, cerebral palsy charities, mixed-ability sports organisations, as well as some of the charities providing opportunities for the less advantaged in our society, such as Streetwork in Sydney. By working collaboratively with other
institutions, the JST seeks to provide a greater awareness of disability inclusion into society across the world.
A speaking compass allows blind people on the helm to set the course The JST also works with companies to develop strong leadership development programs. Corporate high-flyers develop their leadership skills, while seeing the power and success of a mixed-ability team. This increased awareness also helps them to view those with disability as something else – a potential employee or colleague – and changes attitudes in the workplace. It costs a large amount of money to keep these iconic and highly regulated tall ships sailing the world to fulfil the JST’s mission of disability and diversity inclusion. Although each berth on a voyage is bursary assisted, the JST’s corporate partners may donate funds, provide sponsorship, utilise the leadership development programs on board, or use the ships as a venue for a unique client event. The funds raised from
these activities subsidise the cost of sailing for those who would otherwise not be able to afford the experience of a voyage on Tenacious. From June this year until April 2017, Tenacious will be visiting Fiji, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Geelong and Hobart. From the Australian ports, there are numerous opportunities to join the crew of the ship – from single day sails to voyages lasting five or seven days, and even the chance to crew the ship between ports on a passage adventure across the oceans. Peter Mitchell is the Project Manager of the Jubilee Sailing Trust Australia. To book voyages or day sails, visit jst.org.au. For further information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0429 186 625. To donate to the JST, visit justgiving.com/ jst-Australia. For corporate donations, personal philanthropy or corporate enquiries, phone Peter Mitchell +61 (0)410 468 470
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM 33
01 Alick Tipoti (born 1975), Zugubal, 2006.
Travellers paddle a gul (canoe), which is a key symbol of connectivity in Zenadh Kes (Torres Strait) cosmology, navigating all the cycles of land, sea, sky and spiritual life. Ancestral spirits called Zugubal, whose forms are hidden in the intricate patterns of the sky, guide the travellers safely through the seas. ANMM Collection 00054665. Reproduced courtesy Alick Tipoti and Australian Art Network 02 Page 36: Linocut by Billy Missi (1970–2012), titled Kulba Yadail (Old Lyrics). It tells the story of how Torres Strait Islanders learn to read the stars, the moon and the sea to understand the four seasons of Zenadh Kes (Torres Strait) and what each brings to the land and sea environments within the region. Estate of the late Billy Missi/Licensed by Viscopy, 2016. ANMM Collection 00049227 Photograph Andrew Frolows/ANMM 03 Page 37: Alick Tipoti (born 1975), Kaygasiw Usul. The sculpture references star constellations and their relation to the movements of the shovel-nosed shark. Reproduced courtesy Alick Tipoti and Australian Art Network. ANMM Collection 00054384
THE ART OF NAVIGATING THE INDIGENOUS WORLD
Artworks depicting Indigenous ways of seeing and navigating the world are shown in two of the museum’s current exhibitions. They reflect cultural practices that have been handed down for millennia, writes Indigenous Programs Manager Donna Carstens.
FOR THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS of years, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have navigated their way across the lands and seas of Australia using paths called songlines or dreaming tracks. A songline is based around the creator beings and their formation of the lands and waters during the Dreamtime (creation of earth). It explains the landmarks, rock formations, watering holes, rivers, trees, sky and seas. Clan groups can, for example, demonstrate their infinite knowledge of place in the songs and dances passed down from generation to generation, in turn creating dreaming tracks for their area. Songlines will often follow on from one another, creating an intricate oral map of place. Earth and water songlines are mirrored by sky songlines, allowing people to travel vast distances and highlighting the deep connection they have to earth and sea. Songlines are central to the existence of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and are imperative to the preservation of the world’s oldest living culture and its practices. Contemporary Zenadh Kes (Torres Strait) artists such as Alick Tipoti and the late Billy Missi have used their art practice of lino print and 3D sculpture to express traditional navigation songlines and techniques to a wider audience. Some of their beautiful works can be found at the beginning of the museum’s new 34 SIGNALS 115 june–august 2016
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM 35
exhibition Ships, Clocks & Stars: the Quest for Longitude and in our NAIDOC week exhibition Munuk Zugubal – Saltwater Songlines. Missi’s linocut work Kulba Yadail (Old Lyrics) relates how Torres Strait Islanders learn to read the stars, moon and the sea to understand the four seasons of the Zenadh Kes and shows the significance of star constellations and seasons in orientating everyday life in the Zenadh Kes. The work is divided into three parts: the constellation of the stars, the land and the four seasons of the Torres Strait, all of which link together. There are important Zugubal (star constellations) that move through the sky and are intimately connected to the four seasons. One of the most important Zugubal is the Baydham (Shark), which is closely observed in the Western Torres Strait as a signal for changes in the tides, winds and seasons. The four seasons are represented as Sager (south-east trade winds) Gabu Thornar (winter), Naigai (the calm northerly wind before monsoon) and Kuki (the monsoon). Missi explains, ‘Kulba Yadail teaches us to read the stars, the moon and the sea. Kulba Yadail describes our environment, our culture and also our identity. In our culture, the stories and other knowledge of our world have always been handed
down orally from generation to generation since time immemorial. It is this knowledge that provides guidance. From the boys’ perspective, it is their uncles, fathers and sometimes grandfathers who teach them this knowledge. The relationship between the stars and the seasons determines when we can cultivate, hunt and harvest the food from the sea and land.’ Alick Tipoti’s sculpture Kaygasiw Usul also references star constellations and the shark. Kaygasiw Usul means ‘the trail of dust underwater created by the shovelnosed shark’ and is the language of the Maluyligal people of Zenadh Kes. The shark’s movement is reflected in the star constellation known as the Milky Way. The tide always changes when the Kaygasiw Usul star constellation swings as though it’s dancing with the Kisay (moon). The artist explains: This particular mask was inspired by the original turtle-shell masks in the British Museum in London UK. As a Torres Strait cultural protocol, I have not replicated it exactly as the original. Like my forefathers before me, I have composed and choreographed a traditional mask dance, only performed by men, about the star constellation that brings this mask to life. The two main totems depicted in this artwork are the Kaygas (shovel nose shark)
and the Baydham (shark). The Kaygas Mask alone is associated with the ancient ancestral spirits known to us Torres Strait Islander people as the Zugubal. Gaygays (giant trevally) swimming along with the Kaygas shows that this Kaygas is from the deep sea and is called Koey Malu Kaygas. The Kaygas is on top of a shark mask that is also connected to the Zugubaw Baydham (shark star constellation). The masks aligned on top along the centre of the Kaygas represent spiritual Mawa dancers performing a sacred ritual only for the eyes of the elders. Such rituals are only performed when a spirit is travelling to the other side. Inside the shark mouth is also a Mawa mask. This mask represents the sorcerer or the main dancer of the Kaygas clan picked by the spirits to perform this dance. Songs, dances, oral histories and intricate masks are all examples of vessels that hold the songlines specific to each community area. Today, contemporary artists such as the late Billy Missi and Alick Tipoti demonstrate their Indigenous knowledge through their art as a modern record of their ancestral and spiritual connection to their identity as Zenadh Kes (Torres Strait Islanders). Ships, Clocks & Stars is on until 30 October and Munuk Zugubal – Saltwater Songlines until 31 October.
36 SIGNALS 115 june–august 2016
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM 37
01 View of Samuel Wright site with
bow in foreground. Photograph Ross Anderson, Western Australian Museum
Searching for Samuel Wright An American whaleship far from home
A small sandy hook inside Koombana Bay in Western Australia holds a maritime archaeological treasure trove of 12 historic shipwrecks, resulting from the rich maritime heritage of Bunbury, a regional whaling and timber port. Ross Anderson of the Department of Maritime Archaeology, Western Australian Museum, reports on a recent excavation of one of these wrecks. IT IS DAY FIVE of an eight-day shipwreck excavation project on Koombana Bay’s foreshore at Bunbury, 170 kilometres south of Perth, Western Australia. At the bottom of the five-metre-deep excavation trench, archaeologists sweat in heatwave conditions as they shovel away buckets of sand to expose the wreck’s bow structure. Clumps of limpets and barnacles adhering to the outer hull planking indicate the ship’s original waterline. It doesn’t take much imagination to be transported back to the Indian Ocean in 1840, with a dolphin’s-eye view of the marine-growth-encrusted bow heaving in the swell as the ship makes all sail for Australia’s south-west coast. Today Bunbury is one of Australia’s busiest regional ports, with bulk carriers loading grain, coal, minerals and woodchips at the dredged Inner Harbour berths. Before construction of the enclosed Inner Harbour in the 1970s, Koombana Bay offered a naturally protected anchorage in the prevailing south-west winds of the area, though it was dangerously exposed to fierce north-west gales in winter. In one north-west gale on 7 July 1840, three North American whalers were wrecked in the wider Geographe Bay area: the Governor Endicott, Samuel Wright and North America – the latter two blown onto the beach at Koombana Bay. Another whaler, also named North America, was wrecked
at Koombana Bay in 1843. Between 1897 and 1936 massive rock breakwaters were constructed to improve harbour safety. A side effect was that Koombana Bay’s coastal sediment transport regime was disrupted, causing sand to accumulate inside the harbour. As a result, shipwrecks blown ashore on the original beach now lie 200 metres inland, below four metres of sand.
Whalers in the New Holland Ground From the late 1830s, North American whalers were fishing the ‘New Holland Ground’, a newly discovered whale fishery off Australia’s south and west coasts with year-round aggregations of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus), and along the seasonal migration routes of right whales (Eubaelena australis) and humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae). On voyages lasting between two and four years and circumnavigating the globe, the whalers arrived during winter to anchor in protected bays at Flinders Bay, Doubtful Island Bay, Two Peoples Bay, Geographe Bay and Koombana Bay. Here they stayed for periods of between two and four months to go bay whaling, using the ship’s oared whaleboats to chase and hunt right whales. In a good season whalers could fill their holds with thousands of dollars’ worth of whale oil, a mainstay of the northern American and
European economies, where it was used for street and lamp lighting, candles, soap, industrial lubricants and myriad other uses.
Shipwrecks blown ashore on the original beach now lie 200 metres inland, below four metres of sand While anchored in isolated bays, whalers could avoid official port dues and reduce weather stress on their ships while going ashore to plant vegetable gardens, collect firewood, hunt fresh game, socialise and trade with the few early European settlers in the area. Colonial authorities raised their concerns about the Americans fishing inside the three-nautical-mile limit of the colony’s coastal waters and taking land and marine resources, though they were powerless to do much about it. On one occasion a Resident Magistrate handed an American whaling captain an account for removing timber from Her Majesty’s lands. In reply the Yankee captain handed back to the Resident Magistrate an account for a greater amount for ‘work AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM 39
and labour done in clearing Her Majesty’s grounds’.1 As concerns grew about foreign competition with the colonial shore-whaling industry, the Western Australian government enacted legislation to prevent foreign whaling activity in its coastal waters. Nevertheless, visits by American whaling ships, including Samuel Wright, were crucial to sustaining small Western Australian coastal settlements such as Bunbury, Flinders Bay (Augusta) and King George Sound by trading imported goods in exchange for fresh provisions such as vegetables and kangaroo meat. The sale of whaling gear from eight shipwrecked American whaling vessels to local interests and the involvement of experienced American whaling crewmen (some of whom had deserted their ships) were key factors in the successful establishment of colonial shore-whaling operations that benefited early Western Australian society and economy.2 King George Sound residents held an interest in the Samuel Wright during its time there in 1837,3 probably cooperating in bay-whaling activities for a share of the oil. These interactions give an insight into Western Australia’s early colonial economy, and the importance of both foreign and colonial whaling to sustaining early settlements. 40 SIGNALS 115 june–august 2016
Koombana Bay wrecks discovered … and lost During the 1960s, mineral sand mining along Koombana Bay’s foreshore exposed a number of wooden shipwrecks – including at least one American whaler identified at the time as North America (1843). This raised local awareness of the wrecks, but was well before any protective historic shipwreck legislation or the development of professional maritime archaeology in Australia. Following the sand mining the wrecks became reburied, whereupon their exact positions were lost. In 1981 the Western Australian Museum conducted magnetic surveys and oral histories as part of a project to relocate Koombana Bay’s shipwrecks, which resulted in the approximate positions of some buried sites being documented. Between 2009 and 2011 the Western Australian Museum and City of Bunbury conducted further magnetic, ground-penetrating radar and water probe surveys, followed by archaeological excavations in November 2011. This resulted in the discovery of one large wreck (identified as a later 19th-century timber trader), two large ‘rafts’ of wooden ship wreckage and a site of interest for further investigation as the potential location of Samuel Wright – Bunbury’s most significant shipwreck.
Finding Samuel Wright In 1841 Government Surveyor Henry Ommaney was trudging through the sand and swamps of Leschenault Inlet, inland from Koombana Bay, to chain survey and peg out Bunbury’s town plan and future land allotments. The wrecks of both Samuel Wright and North America were still visible on the beach, and Ommaney used Samuel Wright’s still-standing mainmast as a convenient trigonometric survey point, duly marking peg locations, distances and compass bearings to the mast in his vellumbound survey notebook. Unfortunately Ommaney’s original plan was lost, but in 1988 Bunbury surveyor Ray Parks used Ommaney’s original field notebooks held in the Battye Library to recalculate his plan.4 As well as the few early settlers’ buildings, Ommaney’s plan showed timber-lined freshwater beach wells dug by American whalers, the wrecks of Samuel Wright and North America, an unidentified whaler’s grave and whaling lookouts on the hills overlooking the Indian Ocean. On the final day of the 2011 archaeological excavations, Ommaney’s position for the mast of Samuel Wright was investigated using six-metre-long water probes, which confirmed the presence of contiguous timber remains buried between four and six metres below the surface.
In November 2015, further water probing undertaken at this site – akin to playing an archaeological game of ‘Battleship’ – delineated a 34-metre-long and 14-metrewide buried timber structure consistent with a large, collapsed wreck the size of Samuel Wright. With support from the Department of Parks and Wildlife, Western Australian Museum and the Australian National Maritime Museum, a team of 20 professional and volunteer student archaeologists and conservators was assembled to conduct an eight-day excavation between 8 and 16 February 2016 to investigate the site. The logistics of excavating such a large wreck buried four to six metres below ground, lying below the water table, are significant. Dewatering contractors installed a wellpoint manifold system with pumps to lower the water table by five metres, creating a ‘cone of depression’, which allowed the wreck to be excavated as a dry site. A machine excavator then carefully removed sand overburden while archaeologists monitored progress. On day two the first of the ship’s timbers was exposed, a hull frame protruding slightly higher than the rest of the wreck, and finally the archaeology team could get to work, soon revealing an eight-metrelength of the amidships port hull.
Over the next few days more of the hull outline and internal hull structure was exposed. The oak hull ceiling (inner) planking was in perfect condition, along with fragile wooden branches, and cut logs of wood that might have been either firewood or dunnage – loose timber used to pack cargo securely in the hold. In the amidships area a wooden barrel complete with wicker hoops and withying (tightly wound wicker around the hoops) was discovered, a beautifully intact, fragile artefact that spoke of the high level of preservation of the site. Being buried below the water table, the wreck and all of its artefacts had become waterlogged – the ideal medium for preservation of organic remains such as timber, bone and leather. By day five the excavation was extended to include the bow area, as key structural features would assist identification and perhaps reveal new information. Meanwhile, exciting artefact finds were turning up across the site, including leather shoes, clay pipes, buttons, red bricks probably carried as spares for a ‘tryworks’ – a brick furnace built on the deck of whaleships and used to boil large iron cauldrons (‘trypots’) of whale oil – and a wooden lid from a cask of provisions with branded lettering still visible. The ship structure was also exciting, holding many
Whale oil was a mainstay of the northern American and European economies
01 Watercolour painting of whalers hunting
a southern right whale, first half of the 19th century. Artist unknown. ANMM Collection 00004451-21 02 Rev John Wollaston’s 1843 map, showing the wrecks of Samuel Wright and North America (highlighted by red box). Rev John Wollaston/ Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales 03 Scrimshaw of a 19th-century barque pursuing sperm whales in Australian waters. Artist unknown. ANMM Collection 00032478 AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM 41
The logistics of excavating a large wreck buried several metres down, and below the water table, are significant surprises, such as a repair to a breasthook (a large internal timber supporting the bow) made out of a natural log, and angled cant frames indicating an early build date consistent with Samuel Wright, which was built in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in 1831. With three wrecked North American whalers from the 1840s, and another three wrecks of later North American-built timber trade vessels of similar tonnage, the team was careful not to jump to conclusions as to the wreck’s identity. Timber and metal samples were obtained to provide provenance and dating information, and the artefacts and ship structure carefully measured and recorded. While confidence was high based on all of the historical and structural evidence, it was another two weeks before the timber and metal samples could be fully analysed by the WA Museum’s conservation laboratory to conclusively identify the wreck as Samuel Wright.
01 Author Ross Anderson and conservator
John Carpenter inspect a number ‘8’ draft mark on the bow. Note the marine growth still attached to the planking. 02 An intact wooden cask with wicker hoops is exposed. 03 Archaeologists recording Samuel Wright’s port side internal hull structure. All photographs Patrick Baker/Western Australian Museum
trading kangaroo meat and renting the wreck out to the Western Australian Company as a warehouse for their stores,5 making Samuel Wright one of Bunbury’s first buildings. Some timbers were salvaged and used in construction of another early building, the Western Australian Company’s storehouse constructed inside Leschenault Inlet in 1841. Captain Coffin himself used timbers to build a farm on 100 acres (40 hectares) of land at Picton River, which he sold to Reverend Wollaston, who in turn used this land to build the first Anglican church in the state’s south-west.
By day six the maximum extent of the wreck’s hull outline and bow structure was revealed, though it was kept blanketed under layers of hessian wetted by sprinklers and hoses to prevent the timbers from drying out in the relentless heat. The public was able to freely visit the site and see the wreck up close, some staying absorbed for hours watching the activity unfold and talking to the archaeologists, or returning the next day to see the latest finds.
Samuel Wright also has state, national and international significance, being representative of world systems relating to the northern hemisphere whaleoil trade, and the activities of American whalers and merchants that extended their economic frontiers to all corners of the world’s oceans during the late 18th and early to mid-19th centuries. This vigorous phase of unofficial maritime exploration led to early cross-cultural contact occurring with many Pacific, African and Australian Indigenous societies, including in Western Australia. These encounters were often the first stage in the transformation of Indigenous societies as they encountered newcomers and engaged in cross-cultural trade and exchange, some becoming involved in whaling as crewmembers themselves.
The significance of Samuel Wright
A new voyage
As well as being a landmark feature of Bunbury’s town plan, Samuel Wright is associated with other aspects of Bunbury’s early development. In 1840 and 1841 Samuel Wright’s entrepreneurial captain Francis Coffin lived aboard the wreck, making an income by shore whaling, piloting other vessels into the bay,
After a frenzy of last-minute excavating, recording and packing up gear on day eight, on day nine the archaeologists returned home. The pumps were turned off, allowing the water table to return to its natural level, and the wreck reburied under a blanket of geotextile and tonnes of sand. In lieu of being able to remove the entire
wreck and its contents and place them in a specially built museum with controlled conditions – a complex and expensive long-term proposition – a number of artefacts and samples were recovered. The site was recorded in maximum detail using photogrammetry and laser scanning to build 3D models to assist with future research and public interpretation. Samuel Wright has embarked on a new voyage – albeit without a crew or the wind in its sails – as its images, stories and artefacts will transmit knowledge of the shared whaling heritage of North America and Western Australia for years to come. Notes 1 Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal (PGWAJ), 30 January 1841. 2 Gibbs, M, 2000, ‘Conflict and commerce: American whalers and the Western Australian colonies 1826–1888’, Great Circle: Journal of the Australian Association of Maritime History, 22 (2): 3–23. 3 PGWAJ, 18 November 1837, p 1008. 4 Parks, R, 1990, ‘The Bunbury town survey – A surveyor’s view’, Early Days – Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Western Australian Historical Society (Inc), Vol 10 Part 2: 157–67. 5 PGWAJ, 1 December 1841, p 2. Acknowledgements Thanks to the Department of Parks and Wildlife, Western Australian Museum, Australian National Maritime Museum, City of Bunbury, Tempus Archaeology, Precision Drainage, MNG Surveys and archaeology students from the University of Western Australia and Notre Dame University. The Koombana Bay archaeological dig was supported by a grant from the ANMM USA Programs through the USA Bicentennial Gift Fund. Samuel Wright excavation website: museum.wa.gov.au/research/departments/ maritime-archaeology/samuel-wright
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM 43 03
MEMBERS WINTER 2016
Winter events MESSAGE TO MEMBERS
Winter attractions at the museum include a first for us – the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition – plus talks, tours, our ever-popular whale watching cruise and plenty of school holiday fun as well.
01 Rory McEvoy, Curator of Horology at the
Royal Observatory, Greenwich (centre), gave Members a preview of the Ships Clocks & Stars exhibition. Photograph Naomi Searle/ ANMM Juan Jesus Gonzalez Ahumada (Spain), The texture of life – one of the images on show in Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Courtesy Natural History Museum, London A highlight in April was the Classic & Wooden Boat Festival. Photograph Andrew Frolows/ ANMM The Nautilus and the Sea rooftop projection, part of the museum’s 2016 Vivid Sydney offering. Image courtesy of Ample Projects Commemorating the 74th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea. Photograph Naomi Searle/ANMM During the Classic & Wooden Boat Festival, Members had exclusive access to the immaculate SY Ena. Photograph Janine Flew An exclusive tour of Rough Medicine: Life and death in the age of sail gave Members an insight into the gory world of 18th- and 19th-century shipboard medicine. Photograph Andrew Frolows/ANMM
AS THE SEASONS CHANGE and we head towards winter, the museum is hotting up with plenty of exclusive Member activities. This past quarter we have had some interesting and varied Member pursuits, including previews of exhibitions such as Rough Medicine and Ships, Clocks & Stars: the Quest for Longitude. Members had the opportunity to meet Rory McEvoy, Curator of Horology at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, who was the brains behind the latter exhibition. Our tours for new Members were well received, providing an overview of the museum and all the benefits on offer for our Member community. Of course, the highlight of the past quarter was the Classic & Wooden Boat Festival. Sixteen thousand people attended, and most of the exclusive Member cruises and talks were booked out in advance. This festival will be held every two years and I look forward to the next one in 2018. Coming up this quarter, we have the second of our very popular Vivid Sydney events. Our first event was an outstanding success, with Members taking pleasure in seeing the harbour light up on the opening night. This year for the first time, the northern side of the harbour was illuminated, to highlight Taronga Zoo’s centenary celebrations. The second Vivid Sydney event will be hosted on the rooftop of Action Stations, the perfect vantage point to see the museum’s rooftop projection, The Nautilus and the Sea. This will be followed by the spectacular Darling Harbour fireworks.
chance to watch humpback whales head north after a summer of feeding on krill in Antarctic waters. They are renowned for their spectacular acrobatic displays, so with luck we will see one of these amazing animals putting on a show. For the first time, the museum will be hosting the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition from the end of June. Produced by the Natural History Museum in London, this international competition is the most prestigious photography event of its kind. Launched in 1965, today it receives more than 42,000 entries from 96 countries. It will be on show at our museum until October. We have more exciting tours planned for the rest of the year, so please check your emails for details. Many of our events sell out fast, so make sure you get in early! Finally, I would like to ask you to note 26 November in your diaries, as it’s the date of the 25th Members anniversary lunch. We will have more details about pricing and guest speaker in our next edition. Last year’s anniversary lunch was an overwhelming success, with more than 120 Members attending and very positive feedback. I would like to thank you for your ongoing support and invite you to come into the Members Lounge for a warming cup of tea or coffee and to meet our team of lounge volunteers who work tirelessly to ensure your visit is relaxing. Oliver Isaacs Manager, Members
Another of our winter Member favourites, and one that I am very excited about, is our whale watching cruise. Members will get a
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM 45 05
Photograph courtesy Robert Schaverien 02 Creative fun at Kids on Deck.
Photograph Annalice Creighton/ANMM 03 Dress-up time at Mini Mariners.
Winter school holidays
Meet the neighbours
Vivid Sydney from the rooftop
Kids’ and family activities
Spectacle Island tour
7.30–9 pm Wednesday 15 June
10.30 am–1.30 pm Thursday 4 August
The bright lights of Cockle Bay and Darling Harbour from our new venue The Lookout
Hands-on workshops, themed creative activities, film screenings and performances
A cruise to this heritage-laden island reveals the treasures of its naval repository
On the water
Family torchlight tour
Whale watching cruise
Secrets of the sub
10 am–1 pm Saturday 18 June
6–7.30 pm Friday 8 July
Family fun Sundays: Lighthouse larks
A chance to spot these migrating mammals on their way north from Antarctica
Explore the secrets of our submarine HMAS Onslow
Exclusive preview tour
Wildlife Photographer of the Year
2–3 pm Wednesday 22 June
Virtual excursions and holiday activities celebrate Indigenous culture
A sneak peek at this prestigious annual exhibition of the world’s best wildlife photos
Exclusive tour History talk
William Dawes: star surveyor of Sydney town 2–4 pm Sunday 26 June A profile of William Dawes, scientist, administrator and colonial surveyor
Welcome to new Members
Bookings and enquiries Booking form on reverse of mailing address sheet. Please note that booking is essential unless otherwise stated. Book online at anmm.gov.au/events or phone (02) 9298 3644 (unless otherwise indicated) or email email@example.com before sending form with payment. All details are correct at time of publication but subject to change.
Themed character tours, face painting, performances and more
Themed character tours, face painting, performances and more
Behind the scenes: Interpretation and Design 2–3 pm Thursday 25 August How is an exhibition created and built? Find out from our curators and other experts
An orientation tour of the museum to ensure you make the most of your membership
Family fun Sundays: Ocean commotion 11 am–4 pm Sunday 26 June
11 am–4 pm Sunday 21 August
10–11 am Tuesday 19 July and Sunday 24 July
MEMBERS WINTER 2016
01 Humpback whale seen on the 2015 cruise.
Kids’ and family activities
Vivid Sydney from the rooftop
Kids on deck
7.30–9 pm Wednesday 15 June
11 am–3 pm (hourly sessions) every Sunday during school term
Every Tuesday during school term and one Saturday each month
Play, discover and create in Kids on Deck – a fun-filled activity and art-making space for primary-school aged children and their families.
Explore the galleries and sing and dance in interactive tours with costumed guides. Enjoy creative free play, craft, games, dress-ups and story time in our themed activity area. For ages 2–5 and carers.
See the bright lights of Cockle Bay and Darling Harbour during Vivid Sydney 2016. Our new venue The Lookout, atop the striking Waterfront Pavilion, is the perfect vantage point to see the museum’s rooftop lightshow, The Nautilus and the Sea. In full colour and complete with soundtrack, it’s a highlight of the Vivid Sydney program. Finish the night with the spectacular Darling Harbour fireworks.
Members free. Included in any paid admission. To attend Kids on Deck only: child $8.50, adults general museum fees apply
Members $65, Members’ guests $75
Members free. Child $8.50. First adult $3.50, extra adults $7 (includes galleries). Booked playgroups welcome. Online bookings essential at anmm.gov. au/whats-on
For your diaries
On the water
Exclusive preview tour
26 November – Members 25th Anniversary Lunch
Whale watching cruise
Family fun Sundays
10 am–1 pm Saturday 18 June
11 am–4 pm Sundays 26 June, 21 August
Wildlife Photographer of the Year
26 December – Boxing Day cruise
Every year, around 3,000 humpback and southern right whales migrate thousands of kilometres from the Antarctic to warmer northern waters to breed. Witness these majestic creatures in their natural environment as they pass Sydney Harbour. An expert commentator will be on board to ensure you don’t miss spotting them in the vast ocean.
Themed family fun Sundays with lively performances, character tours, face painting and more. Full program online at anmm. gov.au/familyfun or subscribe to our family e-newsletter for upcoming events.
26 January – Australia Day family cruise and Australia Day on Endeavour
Members $60, guests $70, child $50. Member family $240, guest family $260. Includes cruise and morning tea (Note: whale sightings are not guaranteed.)
46 SIGNALS 115 june–august 2016
26 June – Ocean commotion 21 August – Lighthouse larks Members free. Included in any paid admission. To attend family fun Sundays only: child $8.50, adults general admission fees apply
2–3 pm Wednesday 22 June Join our exhibition team for a sneak peek tour of Wildlife Photographer of the Year. This world-renowned exhibition, on loan from the Natural History Museum in London, features 100 awe-inspiring images, from fascinating animal behaviour to breathtaking wild landscapes. This is the first temporary exhibition to be held in our newly refurbished Watermarks Gallery and is sure to be vibrant. Members free, guests $20. Meet in the Members Lounge
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM 47
01 William Dawes. Image John Brock collection 02 Learn TV presenting skills in our workshop.
ANMM photographer 03 Kids can handle and explore museum objects at the Cabinet of Curiosities. Photograph Annalice Creighton/ANMM
William Dawes: star surveyor of Sydney town
TV presenting – Time travellers
2–4 pm Sunday 26 June Lovers of early colonial history will enjoy this talk on William Dawes, whose surveying talents aided the ordered and thoughtful development of the colony in its earliest years. Historian and surveyor John Brock explains how Dawes used the stars to plan Sydney with the help of fellow colonists as well as Indigenous people. This is the perfect accompaniment to the exhibition Ships, Clocks & Stars: the Quest for Longitude.
10 am–4 pm Wednesday 13 and Thursday 14 July Join filmmaker Nicola Walkerden to script, film, present and edit your own creative TV segment inspired by our current exhibitions. Have your work exhibited in a special museum screening for your family and friends. For ages 8–14. Members and early bird special (until 6 July) $140, guests $165. Book online at anmm.gov.au/youth
04 Explore submarine HMAS Onslow on a torchlight
tour. ANMM photographer 05 NAIDOC Week celebrates Indigenous culture.
ANMM photographer 06 Historic Spectacle Island. Photo Jeffrey Mellefont
Kids on Deck – Stars and songlines
Meet the neighbours
Family film screening
Spectacle Island tour
Daily 3–17 July
2.30 pm daily 3–17 July
10.30 am–1.30 pm Thursday 4 August
Play, create and discover in Kids on Deck – a fun-filled activity space with art-making, games, dress-ups and interactive games for primary school-aged children and their carers. These holidays, delve into the history of seafarers and celestial navigation all around the world. Create your own tick, tock and twinkle prints, make your own glow-in-the-dark stickers, or design your own sculptural ship or an imaginary navigational instrument.
See anmm.gov.au/schoolholidays for a full list of what’s on
Celebrate Indigenous culture with a variety of events.
Munuk Zugubal – Saltwater Songlines exhibition (free entry; see also page 34).
By popular demand, the Spectacle Island tour is back! Members are invited to enjoy the rare opportunity to explore the island’s repository, overflowing with naval history and artefacts. Normally off limits to the public, this behind-the-scenes tour is led by former ANMM senior curator Lindsey Shaw. Take a step back in time and don’t miss this fascinating expedition!
Members free. Included in any paid admission. To attend Kids on Deck only: child $8.50, adults general museum fees apply
Members $25, guests $50. Includes afternoon tea
MEMBERS WINTER 2016
Pop-up planetarium 30-minute sessions, 9.45 am–4.15 pm daily 3–17 July (except Saturdays)
NAIDOC Virtual Excursions with Terry Olsen: ‘Unlock water and Indigenous people’. 21, 22, 28 and 30 June.
Fly through the galaxy, explore our spectacular solar system, and investigate how we use the night sky to navigate our way across the ocean in this 360-degree presenter-led planetarium experience.
Book through Virtual Excursions Australia: virtualexcursionsaustralia.com.au/
Members free. Included in any paid admission. No bookings required
Details of all events are still to be confirmed; please check our website for details.
NAIDOC school holiday activities include Sharing our Songlines (daily sessions with Indigenous artists).
Members $65, guests $85. Includes museum entry, ferry, morning tea
Winter school holidays
Family torchlight tour
Photography workshop: Photo story – Cockatoo Island
Kids’ and family activities
Available every day 2 July–30 October
Secrets of the sub
Welcome to new Members
Explore our latest exhibition Ships, Clocks & Stars: the Quest for Longitude with fun and creative activity backpacks specially designed for children ages 2–12.
6–7.30 pm Friday 8 July
10–11 am Tuesday 19 July and Sunday 24 July
Behind the scenes: Interpretation and Design
10 am–3 pm Tuesday 12 July Ferry out to the spectacular shipyards of Cockatoo Island for an adventurous photography workshop. Build skills in using digital SLR cameras and learn photo editing techniques. Have your photos printed and exhibited at a special exhibition at the museum. Course held in partnership with Spitting Image Photography and the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust. For ages 8–14, all levels of experience. Members $75, guests $78. Book online at anmm.gov.au/youth
3–17 July Have an adventure at the museum these school holidays with exhibitions, vessels, hands-on workshops, themed creative activities, free film screenings, performances and more. It’s fun for the whole family! Daily activities include art-making, games and dress-ups in Kids On Deck, exploring touchable objects and artefacts at the Cabinet of Curiosities, marvelling at the wondrous world of astronomy with planetarium performances, and more. Book early for some of our special holiday workshops and tours. See anmm.gov.au/schoolholidays for full program
48 SIGNALS 115 june–august 2016
Limited availability; check out from the concierge desk on arrival
Cabinet of Curiosities – Lost at sea Daily 3–17 July Touch and discover curious artefacts and objects related to the Ships, Clocks & Stars exhibition in this hands-on discovery device inside the galleries.
Experience life under the waves on this torchlight tour. Moonbeams will light our way down the hatch as we explore and unlock the secrets of the submarine HMAS Onslow. A theatrical guide, snacks and a take-home craft souvenir are included. For ages 4–12 and adults. Member adult $10, guest adult $18. Member child $18, guest child $22
NAIDOC holiday activities Including Sharing our Songlines (daily sessions with Indigenous artists).
This tour is specially designed to welcome new Members (with a membership of six months or less, or upon request) to the museum! A representative of the members’ team will guide you through the museum, pointing out areas of interest including the galleries, kiosk and the café Yots. At the end of the tour, enjoy a coffee in the Members Lounge and the opportunity to ask all your burning questions.
2–3 pm Thursday 25 August The Interpretation and Design department is at the core of every exhibition the museum holds. This tour, led by section head Alex Gaffikin, delves into the nitty-gritty details of the exhibition creation process: how do you design an exhibition, how is it built, what are the priorities of this team? Take a look in our workshops for a sneak peek at the museum’s next big exhibition! Members free, guests $10. No catering
Members free, bookings essential
Details to be confirmed; please check our website for details. AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM 49
01 Terrestrial table globe by Jacob Aertsz Colom,
c 1640. © National Maritime Museum, London 02 SR Bearse entering Hong Kong Harbour,
unknown artist. ANMM Collection 00005647 Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds. ANMM photographer 03 Then: AIF soldiers at the Acropolis, Athens. Unknown photographer. Australian War
Memorial AWM 006795. Now: Parthenon on the Acropolis, Athens, August 2015. Photographer Cheryl Ward. Composite image by Cheryl Ward 04 Kulba Yadail (Old Lyrics) (detail), Billy Missi. Estate of the late Billy Missi/Licensed by Viscopy.
Ships, Clocks & Stars: the Quest for Longitude Until 30 October For hundreds of years, European merchants staked their fortunes on long-distance voyages. Travel at sea was dangerous and safe passage relied on fair weather and effective navigation. Unlike land, the sea has no fixed points to help seamen determine their position. This could lead to unnecessarily long voyages or the loss of ships, cargo and life.
This award-winning exhibition tells the story of the centuries-long search for longitude, and the solution that helped to reshape our understanding of the world.
Pathways in the sky
Circle, the latest, much-anticipated picture book by award-winning children’s author and artist Jeannie Baker, will be exhibited as a remarkable travelling exhibition. Each year, Bar-tailed Godwits (Limosa lapponica baueri) undertake the longest unbroken migration of any animal when they fly from their breeding grounds in Alaska to Australia and New Zealand. They follow invisible pathways in the sky, which they have traced for thousands of years. In order to create Circle, Jeannie made her own journeys across the globe to observe godwits – to the wild, remote landscapes of Alaska and then to China and South Korea, where it was alarming to see the enormous extent of the reclamation and rapid loss of mudflats that the godwits and other birds depend on for food. Jeannie’s work conveys the sheer wonder of this giant migratory ‘circle of life’, but also reminds us to reflect on the
importance of the world’s remaining wetlands: ‘Everything in nature is interdependent and connected and changes we make in one place can cause a chain reaction in other places, even at the opposite end of the world,’ she says. Jeannie’s exquisitely detailed relief collages use a variety of textures to depict everything in the scene: ‘When I can, I like to use textures from the actual materials portrayed, such as bark, feathers, cracked paint, earth, knitted wool and rusty tin … so that their natural textures become an integral part of the work.’ A sense of this texture comes across in her picture books. Children will try to pick things off the pages of her books or stroke the textures. Jeannie’s collages illustrate her picture books, but also stand individually as works of art. They are part of many public art collections and have been exhibited in galleries in London and New York and throughout Australia.
Jeannie is the author–artist of a number of award-winning picture books, including Where The Forest Meets the Sea, Window and Mirror. Jeannie is also the director, artist and author of two awardwinning animated films, Where the Forest Meets the Sea and The Story of Rosy Dock. Visit her website at jeanniebaker.com Circle is a Newcastle Museum Touring Exhibition. It is on show at the Australian National Maritime Museum until 31 July 2016.
Ships, Clocks & Stars: the Quest for Longitude has been produced by the National Maritime Museum, part of Royal Museums Greenwich, London.
Treasures of the American Collection – 25 years of the USA Gallery From 1 July From the oldest, A Journal of a Voyage Around the World in His Majesty’s Ship The Endeavour, written by American James Magra; to the newest, a model of the Australian-designed Littoral Combat Ship being built by Austal in Alabama for the US Navy; and the borrowed, the ship’s bell and engine telegraph from USS Canberra (named in honour of HMAS Canberra, lost in the battle of Sunda Strait in 1942); to the myriad blues of 27 ship and seascapes, this selection of objects acquired by the USA Bicentennial Gift Fund explores the centuries-long maritime and cultural connection between Australia and the USA.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Munuk Zugubal – Saltwater Songlines
23 June–16 October
Until 31 October
This world-renowned exhibition features 100 awe-inspiring images, from fascinating animal behaviour to breathtaking wild landscapes.
For thousands of years Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have navigated across the lands and seas of Australia using paths called songlines or dreaming tracks. A songline is based around the creator beings’ formation of the lands and waters, and explains the landmarks, rock formations, watering holes, rivers, trees and seas.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year is the most prestigious photography event of its kind, providing a global platform that has showcased the natural world’s most astonishing and challenging sights for more than 50 years. Wildlife Photographer of the Year is developed and produced by the Natural History Museum, London.
EXHIBITIONS WINTER 2016
Crete 1941: Then and Now From 18 April A small exhibition at the museum looks at the Battle of Crete, fought during World War II in the Mediterranean. Using period photographs overlaid with her own images, artist Cheryl Ward has turned back the clock 75 years, returning Anzacs to the Acropolis and German paratroopers to the skies of Crete. There is a unique quality to looking at a historic photo ‘in situ’. What has changed and what has stayed the same? On Crete, what shone through to Cheryl Ward was the island’s survival and renewal. It brought home the efforts made by those who served so long ago.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people navigate by singing or dancing the path of the creator beings, passing down this knowledge from generation to generation. This exhibition, for NAIDOC Week, brings together artworks that express this traditional knowledge. 04
50 SIGNALS 115 june–august 2016
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM 51
EXHIBITIONS WINTER 2016 01 Children bound for Fairbridge Farm School,
Molong, NSW, 1938. Reproduced courtesy Molong Historical Society 02 Undiscovered 4 (detail), 2010 by Michael Cook.
ANMM travelling exhibitions
On Their Own: Britain’s child migrants UK tour V & A Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green, London UK Until 12 June From the 1860s until the 1970s, more than 100,000 British children were sent to Australia, Canada and other Commonwealth countries through child migration schemes. The lives of these children changed dramatically and fortunes varied. Some forged new futures; others suffered lonely, brutal childhoods. All experienced dislocation and separation from family and homeland.
03 Indigenous Western Australian incised pearl
shell pendant. ANMM Collection 00045196 04 Detail from a diorama of Suvla Bay, Gallipoli,
made by Geoff Barnes. Photograph Andrew Frolows/ANMM
East Coast Encounter – re-imagining the 1770 encounter Nature’s Powerhouse, Cooktown, Queensland 11 June–19 September
Living Waters Oceanographic Museum, Monte Carlo, Monaco Until 30 September For tens of thousands of years, shells have sustained Indigenous Australians – as a food source, as tools for fishing, hunting or cutting, and as cultural objects. They have been at once practical, workable items and prized artefacts of beauty, imbued with cultural and spiritual narratives and significance.
East Coast Encounter is a multi-arts initiative involving Australian Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists, writers and songwriters to re-imagine the encounter by Lieutenant James Cook and his crew with Aboriginal people in 1770. This project has received administrative and financial support from Sunshine Coast Council, Museum and Gallery Services Queensland, The University of the Sunshine Coast, Arts Queensland and the Australia Council. eastcoastencounter.com.au
The shell objects and artefacts in the exhibition Living Waters are by artists from three regions around Australia: the Kimberley in Western Australia, the Torres Strait Islands off the far north tip of Queensland, and Tasmania. Used in highly creative and versatile ways, shells continue to be important in contemporary Indigenous communities.
War at Sea – The Navy in WWI Western Australian Museum, Albany, WA 11 June–28 August The histories and stories of the Royal Australian Navy and its sailors, less widely known than those of the soldiers at Gallipoli and the Western Front, are told through first-hand accounts from diaries and journals, objects, film and interactives from the National Maritime Collection, the National Film and Sound Archives and the Australian War Memorial.
RSL Queensland is not a club. We are an organisation that has been there to provide strength and support to our Australian Defence Force personnel and their families for 100 years. RSL Queensland. We’re here for them.
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body. 04 52 SIGNALS 115 june–august 2016
w w w.rslqld.org
FOUNDATION WINTER 2016
A passage south
endeavour in victoria and south australia
In January this year, Endeavour sailed from Sydney to the southern states, calling at Geelong, Adelaide, Port Lincoln and Portland. For the crew, such voyages are an adventurous course in practical tall-ship sailing; for the thousands of port visitors, they are an evocative glimpse into 18th-century shipboard life.
THIS LATEST JOURNEY in Endeavour’s sailing program lasted almost two and a half months and covered nearly 3,800 nautical miles (7,000 kilometres) – noting that for a square-rigged sailing ship, the shortest distance between two points is not necessarily a straight line. The longest continuous period under sail alone was 10 days, during which the ship covered a distance of 800 nautical miles (1,500 kilometres). The weather ranged from light zephyrs to 40 knots (74 km/h), sea and swell from one to five metres and ocean currents from nothing to four knots. Throughout that period and over those distances, the workhorse pedigree of Cook’s chosen ship was always obvious. Voyaging a ship of this type is a complex undertaking that relies on a host of people both aboard and ashore. For the ship to move between ports, it requires a crew of at least 30 – a mixture of experienced professional crew and voyage crew, who pay to join this unique and active adventure. When in port, the ship is generously supported by many community
organisations, such as port authorities providing pilotage, berthing and essential services. In addition, local volunteers and tourist information staff are given briefings and familiarisation tours through the ship, to enable them to provide members of the public with accurate information about Endeavour and the programs on offer. Volunteer guides are essential in helping to interpret the ship for visitors. Some have supported Endeavour on previous visits, while others are new recruits. All receive training on key aspects of the ship’s story and in guiding visitors safely up and down gangways and above and below decks.
Voyaging a ship of this type is a complex undertaking that relies on a host of people both aboard and ashore
When darkness falls, our volunteers also collaborate with the professional crew to ensure the ship’s safety throughout the night. When in port, this rare example of 18th-century maritime heritage is opened to the public through a range of portside activities, including civic receptions, dinners in the Great Cabin, guided tours and the ANMM Education program. Endeavour is set up in ‘museum mode’, with replica objects displayed in key locations throughout the ship, so that visitors can experience it as Cook and his men would have while on their world voyage of exploration and discovery. What stands out during such visits is the ship’s considerable pulling power, both for those who have already experienced it, like some of our guides, and those who remember seeing it under construction in Fremantle in the early 1990s. At the same time it draws in the casually curious, who often end up walking along the gangway to tread the decks, go below and be immersed in the world of Cook and his crew.
01 The mizzenmast crew of the Adelaide
to Port Lincoln leg of the journey. Photograph Bill Ellemor AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM 55
FOUNDATION WINTER 2016
In all four ports that Endeavour visited, it was enthusiastically received by schools
Education and Endeavour In all four ports that Endeavour visited, it was enthusiastically received by schools. Many covered great distances to come along, some bringing the whole school. In Port Adelaide one class was filmed by the ABC’s Behind the News program and another by Coast Australia.
During the visit in Port Adelaide we hosted a teacher development evening in conjunction with the South Australian Maritime Museum (SAMM) and the tall ship One and All. It highlighted curriculum links to Endeavour, teachers’ resources, programs that were available at SAMM and One and All, and finished with a tour of Endeavour. In Portland we hosted more teachers and linked with the Portland Maritime Centre and Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village at Warrnambool. More than 3,200 school students, teachers and other accompanying adults visited the ship over the 14 days it spent in port. HMB Endeavour has strong links to the Australian Curriculum in History and Social Studies for year 4 students learning about the journeys of world navigators, explorers or traders up to the late 18th century. The topic links to the First Fleet, convicts, early colonisation and the impact on Indigenous people. A trip to Endeavour is also useful for providing context to Year 9 History students studying the Movement of People 1750–1901 and the Industrial Revolution 1750–1901. We also had students of outdoor education, events, tourism and life skills, who were looking at the role of volunteers. To invoke a sense of empathy – a key component of the Australian Curriculum History syllabus – students were asked to consider what it would have been like to leave home on a hazardous and uncomfortable voyage. No phone or internet, cramped conditions, constant danger,
harsh punishments, bad food and low pay – would you sign up? With this in mind, when the students boarded they were ready to walk in history’s footsteps and learn about the past in a more memorable way than by just opening a history book and quoting facts and figures.
migration up until today, comparing the different modes of transport over time. The comments of both students and teachers from the various schools were very positive, indicating that as well as being enjoyable, an excursion has genuine educational worth that extends beyond the actual visit.
The students were encouraged to stop and look around, to listen to the ship’s creaking and groaning and the sound of water lapping against the hull, to touch the piece of ballast that was on the original Endeavour and to smell the timber and the materials used to maintain the ship. Activating the senses, especially more than one at a time, stimulates greater learning, and we found that when questioned, most of the students remembered at least two or three facts about the ship. The grosser facts (in particular the 18th-century plumbing) were popular, but the museum’s education officers were continually surprised by the variety and depth of the answers and facts offered.
Captain John Dikkenberg (Master, HMB Endeavour), Richard Ferguson (ANMM Project Manager) and Anne Doran (ANMM Education Officer)
When in port, Endeavour is set up in ‘museum mode’, with replica objects displayed throughout the ship While in Port Adelaide we were delighted to host the South Australian School for Vision Impaired, whose students investigated the ship primarily by touch, listening and smell. One teacher commented that the visit would be continued through a unit of work to be studied this term. Another said that she used the visit as an introduction to the topic of early European settlement and as a way to look at explorers, convicts and
The Australian National Maritime Foundation supports the museum and its collection and has been featuring Endeavour’s voyaging and education program in its fundraising over the past year or so. The foundation is the museum’s fundraising organ, and has deductible gift recipient status, enabling it to issue tax receipts for donations and gifts in kind. Broadly, the foundation’s purpose is to support the acquisition, conservation and enhancement of the National Maritime Collection. The foundation has recently initiated development of an active and sustainable fundraising program with a view to gaining significant long-term support for the collection. For more information about donating or leaving a bequest to the foundation, please contact Andrew Markwell on 02 9298 3777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
01 Going aloft is both a challenge and
a highlight for many of the voyage crew. Photograph Paula Tinney While the ship was in Adelaide, British television presenter Neil Oliver came on board to record a segment for the popular series Coast Australia. Photograph Paula Tinney Staff of the Port Lincoln Tourist Information team aboard Endeavour for an orientation tour. Photograph Richard Ferguson/ANMM Working on the lower topgallant yard. Photograph Paula Tinney Firing the cannon as the ship approaches Adelaide. Photograph Paula Tinney
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM 57 05
MARITIME HERITAGE AROUND AUSTRALIA SYDNEY
01 Flinders University diver Toni Massey
examines an anchor from the Porpoise on Wreck Reef in 2009. Photograph Xanthe Rivett
Silentworld Foundation RESEARCHING AND PRESERVING MARITIME HISTORY
Australia’s vast coastline is dotted with thousands of shipwrecks, many of them unidentified and undocumented. The Silentworld Foundation supports research into these wrecks and other aspects of the nation’s maritime history, and has also amassed an important collection of artefacts. Silentworld’s director Paul Hundley profiles its work. SILENTWORLD FOUNDATION was established in 1999 to support maritime archaeology in Australia, especially that relating to pre-colonial and early colonial history.
Lieutenant James Cook filled in the charting of the east coast in 1770. Only the south coast and Tasmania remained unexplored until the early 1800s.
The foundation is privileged to possess a substantial collection of material relating to this period of history. Collected over 30 years, it has a maritime focus that complements Silentworld’s expedition activities. The collection comprises manuscripts and documents, paintings, etchings and prints, books, maps, coins, medals and other original items mostly dating from the 18th and early 19th centuries and before.
Silentworld Foundation has sponsored many of the ANMM’s maritime archaeology expeditions
The collection contains more than 1,300 objects covering Indigenous Australia, early exploration and European settlement. The foundation remains an active collector and is continually seeking to enhance the collection with selected items that complement the existing material. The map collection shows the evolution of speculation about and knowledge of Australia from early times. The earliest item in the collection is the Münster Map, dating from 1541. Starting with Münster, maps show the gradual receding of ‘Terra Incognita’ and a growing knowledge of the Australian coastline through the 1500s and 1600s, as shown by the chart of Abel Tasman (1642).
There are several hand-drawn charts of Australia and the Pacific in the collection. One by Captain Francis Blackwood, who commanded HMS Hyacinth, shows the track of the vessel on survey expeditions in the north-east of the continent. Blackwood went on to command the survey vessel HMS Fly, a watercolour painting of which is also in the collection. Highlights among the collection’s paintings are watercolours and oils from several famous early artists, such as Sir Oswald Brierly’s watercolour of the Rattlesnake, which surveyed much of the east coast, and an image by William Westall (the artist on Matthew Flinders’ expedition) of the Investigator.
A large and vibrant oil painting by Thomas Luny shows Matthew Flinders’ Cato, produced in 1800. Porpoise and Cato were taking Flinders back to England after his ship Investigator became too rotten to continue. The remains of the wrecks of Porpoise and Cato were discovered by Silentworld Foundation and ANMM divers on Wreck Reef, off the Queensland coast, during an expedition in 2009. A recent addition to the collection is an album of original drawings and watercolour paintings on 85 pages from the first Pacific voyage of the Astrolabe under the command of Dumont d’Urville, executed chiefly by Barthélémy Lauvergne but also LouisAuguste de Sainson. Lauvergne and Sainson were the official artists of the expedition, which left Toulon, France, in April 1826. Some of the drawings are the originals used for the engravings in the published atlas of the voyage and, organised chronologically, the album forms a complete account of the entire voyage, including views from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific. The album was evidently prepared by Charles Hector Jacquinot (1796–1879), d’Urville’s second-in-command on the Astrolabe. He was tasked with running the ship’s observatory, and several illustrations show the observatory set up in different locations. Jacquinot proved a very able officer, decorated with the Cross of Honour AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM 59
for this voyage, and on d’Urville’s second voyage in the late 1830s he commanded the corvette Zelée. Mount Jacquinot in Papua New Guinea was named for him by d’Urville, who was said to have been his best friend. Miscellaneous objects in the collection include a marine chronometer made by William Edward Frodsham and carried on HMS Beagle during the 1831–36 voyage that took Charles Darwin to the Galapagos and Australia. This fine marine box chronometer has a three-inch (7.5 centimetre) silvered dial signed ‘Willm Edwd Frodsham … London …’ on the face with a brass casing and gimbal, in the original three-part brass-inlaid mahogany box. An ivory lozenge on the front, reading ‘Two Days’, indicates the movement’s duration and the top cover bears a brass ‘X’, the Admiralty deaccession mark. On that journey, one of Darwin’s shipmates was John Lort Stokes, who later became captain of the Beagle. In May 1841 Stokes sailed from Port Jackson to continue his surveys of the north coast of Australia and came upon a small convoy of merchantmen bound, like the Beagle, for Torres Strait, but looking for someone to pilot them through the dangerous reef waters. Stokes obliged and at Booby Island, they expressed their gratitude with the gift of a commemorative silver beer-jug, now part of Silentworld’s collection, in recognition of Stokes’ consummate skill. 60 SIGNALS 115 june–august 2016
Manuscripts and other documents The collection includes a wealth of manuscript material. Its most important document is the only known copy of the first Quiros Memorial. Pedro Fernandez de Quiros was an experienced seaman who had been navigator on Mendaña’s second expedition in 1595 from Peru to look for Terra Australis, the mythical ‘great south land’. In March 1606 Quiros sailed a second time to the Pacific. He and his crew reached the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu and, although they never quite made it to Australia, they are probably the most important early expedition to look for this continent. Quiros’s pilot, Luis de Torres, sailed their ship through Torres Strait in 1606 on his way to the Philippines, making it the second European ship to sight Australia – the first was that of Dutchman Willem Janzoon, who landed near Weipa on Cape York earlier the same year. The knowledge of the strait between Papua New Guinea and Australia was kept secret for 160 years by the Spanish until Cook rediscovered it in 1770. A seminal document for the founding of New South Wales is the list of the military and civil establishment of the colony, subheaded ‘Captain Arthur Phillip of the Navy, Governor Commander in Chief of the territory of New South Wales, and of His Majesty’s Ships and Vessels employ’d on that Coast’. Subordinate officers are listed, followed by ‘Six Transports carrying the Convicts’, specifying the number and sex of convicts to be carried on each.
Overleaf are listed each of the six principal ships with their officers as well as the numbers in their complement of marines. This document is effectively a blueprint for the foundation of Australia, and would become for many years the standard reckoning of the disposition of the First Fleet.
The collection contains more than 1,300 objects covering Indigenous Australia, early exploration and European settlement The document has been tipped into a copy of the George William Anderson edition of Cook’s three voyages, New Authentic and Complete Collection of Voyages Round the World, which was printed in 1786 and would have been available at just the time when the First Fleet was being assembled. Other manuscripts by many famous names from early Australia can be found in the collection. A letter from John Macarthur – who was part of the Rum Rebellion but also founded the wool trade in Australia – to Governor King mentions the first merino fleeces that Macarthur has produced and is going to send to England for sale. This is a founding document of the wool trade.
01 A panoramic view of Sydney, drawn by Major
James Taylor. Engraved by R Havell & Son, London, 1823. 02 Portrait of James Taylor, believed to be by Henry Raeburn. Taylor is depicted at the peak of his career, having returned to Britain after six years of service in the Peninsular War. He wears his uniform as Brigade-Major and behind him lies the Spanish town of San Sebastian, the site of a famous battle in 1813 at which Taylor’s exploits led to him being mentioned in dispatches by Wellington. 03 Sebastian Münster’s map of the world according to Ptolemy. Coloured woodcut, 1541. All images courtesy Silentworld Foundation
James Taylor’s famous panorama is one of the finest early views of Australia
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM 61
From the mutiny on the Bounty, the collection includes Captain Bligh’s and Fletcher Christian’s signatures on Bounty documents, as well as pages of Captain Edward Edwards’ draft account to the Admiralty of Pandora’s capture of the mutineers in Tahiti and its wreck in Torres Strait on the way home. The accounts ledger of the American brig Fanny, for sales of supplies it brought to the new colony in 1802, includes purchases by Matthew Flinders, Baudin, Governor King and others, and is a ‘who’s who’ of First Fleet names.
The collection includes land grants from most of the early colonial governors from Bligh through to Macquarie. The most significant is the Bligh document, which epitomises the corruption that was alive and well in New South Wales during those days. When Bligh arrived in Australia in 1805 he waited for a few days before taking up the position of governor, during which period the outgoing Governor King awarded him several valuable land grants. After taking up the position of governor, Bligh awarded King several land grants in return. These grants were used as examples of Bligh’s corruption in the defence of George Johnston, John Macarthur and others who were courtmartialled for initiating the Rum Rebellion. The collection also includes the settlement between Bligh’s heirs and the Crown, when the validity of the grant was again questioned on Bligh’s death. It is signed by Elizabeth Bligh, his wife; Jane and Frances Bligh and Mary Putnam, his daughters; Sir Maurice O’Connell (of O’Connell Street in Sydney) and others.
Paintings Portraits of many famous names from early Australia feature in the collection, including James Cook, Arthur Phillip, Sir Joseph Banks and Lord Sydney. One recent acquisition is a full-length, near life-size portrait of Major James Taylor (1785–1829), one of Australia’s leading early artists and part of the inner circle of Lachlan and Elizabeth Macquarie. Although unsigned, the portrait is believed to have been painted by the prominent Scottish portraitist Sir Henry Raeburn (1756–1823) or another artist within his school. Taylor arrived in Sydney in 1817 as a senior officer of the 48th Regiment. He was trained as a topographic artist in the British Army in Spain and Taylor’s famous panorama –
painted on the spot in 1820 and printed in London in 1823 by the publisher Colnaghi – is one of the finest early views of Australia. This panorama, also in the collection, is one of the most famous panoramas of early Sydney. Drawn from a point on Observatory Hill, it provided a rather idyllic view of Macquarie’s Sydney for its London audience. Laundry hangs out to dry as chickens feed in the yard, a kangaroo or wallaby wanders in a garden where exotic flowers grow, a man tends the vegetable garden behind a neat cottage where a lady talks to officers, while further to the left convicts quarry sandstone for use in the construction of the colony’s new buildings. Taylor made the original drawings for his aquatints in around 1820, hoping the prints would be ‘of service to the Colony’. (letter from Taylor to Alexander Berry, 28 Feb 1820).
Maritime archaeology Since its establishment, Silentworld Foundation has held a deep interest in exploring early Australian shipwrecks through the science of maritime archaeology. In support of this interest the foundation has sponsored many of the ANMM’s maritime archaeological expeditions. The first of these took place in January 2009, solving a 180-year-old mystery when the wreck of Phillip Parker King’s survey vessel, HMCS Mermaid, was located on Flora Reef. In December 2009 the Foundation sponsored an expedition to Wreck Reef in the Coral Sea. This very remote and pristine series of reefs and sand cays some 450 kilometres off the Queensland coast is where Matthew Flinders was wrecked in 1803 with his ships Porpoise and Cato. The expedition was a great success, with the wreck of Porpoise being visited, the location of the wreck of Cato being confirmed, a visit to the site of the wreck of the Mahaica, originally misidentified as the Cato, and a general survey of most of the other reefs in the Wreck Reef system. The next expedition is now being planned for this coming September. The main objective will be the survey of Kenn Reef, a boot-shaped coral atoll 280 nautical miles (520 kilometres) east of Bundaberg, Queensland. It was discovered in 1824 by Alexander Kenn, captain of the William Shand, on a passage from Sydney to Batavia (now Jakarta, Indonesia). There are eight known historic shipwrecks on the southern
and south-eastern edge of the reef. The earliest known is that of the Bona Vista, which ran aground on the night of 18 March 1828. Captain Robert Towns and his crew spent weeks on a sand cay in the middle of the southern reef. During that time the crew built a 30-ton cutter from material salvaged from the shipwreck. They were eventually rescued by another vessel, but in the process the cutter was also lost. As Kenn Reef lies approximately 50 nautical miles north-east of Wreck Reefs, we intend to spend some time at this reef system doing follow-up work from the 2009 field season. At that time a series of magnetic anomalies was identified on the northern edge of the reef in a shallow gully. The historic records show that the American whaler Lion was lost in this area. It is hoped that with additional equipment we will now be able to confirm this wreck. A broader selection of the Silentworld Foundation’s collection can be viewed on its recently upgraded website at silentworldfoundation.org.au/museum. The collection is primarily for the private use of the foundation but access is willingly granted to researchers and other interested parties who wish to make use of the material for either research or exhibition. To obtain access please contact us on email@example.com Paul Hundley is a Director of Silentworld Foundation. He was formerly Senior Curator of the ANMM’s USA Gallery, and is currently an Honorary Research Associate of the ANMM. He is also a maritime archaeologist with 40 years’ experience collaborating on projects around the world.
01 Paul Hundley and Silentworld Foundation
diver Jacqui Mullen measuring an anchor from the Comet on Ashmore Reef in 2015. Photograph Xanthe Rivett. 02 The Astrolabe on its first Pacific voyage under the command of Dumont d’Urville. Watercolour in original artist’s sketchbook, 1826–7. 03 In 2013, Silentworld and the ANMM undertook a joint expedition to Ferguson Reef on the Great Barrier Reef in search of wrecks from the 19th-century India trade. Photograph Xanthe Rivett/Silentworld AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM 63
ARHV WINTER 2016
In 2011, Macquarie Innovation became the first yacht to break the barrier of 50 knots
01 Questing, designed by Alan Payne and built
in 1949 by Andy Riddell. Restored by Simon Sadubin, Tom Coventry and Roy Wilkins of Sydney Wooden Boats at Mona Vale, Sydney, 2016. Photograph Sydney Wooden Boats
Classic and innovative AUSTRALIAN REGISTER OF HISTORIC VESSELS
ANMM.GOV.AU/ARHV This online national heritage project, devised and coordinated by the Australian National Maritime Museum in association with Sydney Heritage Fleet, reaches across Australia to collate data about the nation’s existing historic vessels, their designers and builders, and their stories. The latest round of nominations to the register is a collection of sailing vessels. Curator of Historic Vessels David Payne profiles these diverse craft, from a classic yacht with a personal connection to a recordbreaker of radical design. SAILING CRAFT FEATURED in the second group of vessels nominated to the ARHV earlier this year. They comprise a oncepopular craft for youth sailing; the first yacht to break the 50-knot speed barrier; some examples of typical Australian adaptation; a cruising yacht evolved from one of Australia’s famous racing classes; two international designs modified to suit our market; and finally, classic designs from famous Australian names. One of those Australian names was also my uncle – the naval architect Alan Payne – and Questing, the yacht he designed in 1949, was owned by our family for a long period. It was built in Seaforth, Sydney, by Riddell & Sons and is possibly Alan Payne’s earliest design for a classic yacht. It was a style that became a trademark for many of his subsequent yachts,
which formed a major element of his successful career. This included the International Class 12 Metres Gretel (HV000471) and Gretel II (HV000437), the Tasman Seabird class and numerous other yachts for ocean racing and cruising. The original owner of Questing, Dr Ashleigh Davy of Woollahra, wanted to race with Sydney Amateur Sailing Club, and the design he commissioned came to the attention of Seacraft magazine. It featured in an article in October 1949, around the time it was launched. Questing was described in the opening lines as a ‘racy sloop’. When he showed us the plans, we commented on the fact that accommodation seemed rather limited for a 35-footer – and immediately discovered that Payne holds very strong views on the subject of ‘room below’. Though these views may run contrary to the fashion of the moment, Payne was able to back them up with sound arguments, so we told him to let his head go and set them down on paper. Reading Payne’s arguments, do not be misled into thinking he is generally opposed to roomy shortened craft; he believes they have their place — but that place is on the open sea, not on sheltered harbor waters, to which most yacht owners restrict their activities. The magazine went directly to Payne for comments:
When I was asked to write a few words about this design, I thought at first that I would content myself with saying the boat was more or less what the owner wanted. But I find myself taking a risk and suggesting that this boat would suit many other yachtsmen, even though it may not appeal to them at first sight. I have shown the drawings to a number of yachtsmen. Some said they thought it was not bad of its kind, but that their own preference would be for more room inside. I feel they are on the wrong track. Nine times out of ten their boats are taken out for day or afternoon sailing in sheltered waters. To enjoy this to the full we need a yacht with a comfortable, roomy cockpit, with somewhere below decks to brew a cup of tea and do a little elementary cooking, and (an important item this) with a satisfactory w.c. installation. Lastly, the yacht should be a pleasure to sail. Now, this is certainly the most important requirement. With a boat that is fast, responsive to the helm and easy to work, a day out will always be a pleasure, whether the winds be light or strong, whether the sun shines or not. At least that’s how it seems to me. But many people don’t seem to consider these requirements. I am surprised at those who buy heavy cruising yachts and then use AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM 65
ARHV WINTER 2016
‘With a boat that is fast, responsive to the helm and easy to work, a day out will always be a pleasure, whether the winds be light or strong’
them mostly for day trips to and from some lunch-time rendezvous. What use to them is full headroom or bunks for droves of people, lots of fancy fittings below decks, or rows of masts and sails instead of a single sloop rig? The usual answer is that people put up with these slowcoaches because one day they mean to make an extended cruise. But how many of them actually get around to making that cruise? One in fifty, perhaps.
All images on this page courtesy of the vessels’ owners except for 03, Solveig being shipped to California for the Transpacific Yacht Race, courtesy Randi Svensen.
He finished by saying: I hope she will turn out a little more graceful than some recent designs around her size. The tendency nowadays seems to be not so much to produce a good-looking boat, but rather to pile on as much height of topsides and cabin house as the design can possibly stand. Questing fulfilled the designer’s intentions and was admired by many. The hull looks like a classic International Class 6 Metre design, but it has slightly greater breadth and is finished with a low cabin top.
In 1983 Alan Payne’s brother Bill Payne bought Questing and while it was still in good condition, it had an old aluminium spar and masthead sloop rig from the 1960s. In 1986 the cockpit was rebuilt, a new Yanmar engine put in and a new, easily managed 7∕8 rig installed, which I designed. The yacht was sailed extensively on Sydney Harbour by all members of the Payne family and took part in some of the classic yacht races as well as day sailing and overnight cruising, just as it had been originally designed for. It stayed with our family for just over 30 years. In early 2015 it was sold to new owners, and has just finished a major overhaul and restoration with Sydney Wooden Boats at their Mona Vale premises. A new planked
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Solveig was designed and built by members of the famous Halvorsen family in Sydney in 1950 at their yard Lars Halvorsen Sons, and represents their first offshore yacht in which the design combined speed with safety, and is a double-ended hull form. It was also Trygve Halvorsen’s first solo offshore racing yacht design. In 1954 Solveig became the first Halvorsen yacht to win the Sydney to Hobart yacht race, and participated in many other ocean races, helping to cement the offshore racing career of both Trygve and his brother Magnus. Another well-known name around Sydney is the builder Charles Larson. Larson is best known for building Kathleen Gillett (HV000042), and Mil from 1950 is another strong, seaworthy craft, once again with a Scandinavian double-ended hull shape but heavier displacement than Solveig. Mil shares a number of characteristics and details with Kathleen, and helps confirm the typical basic design of the structure Larson used for many of his craft. Representing a resourceful and successful adaptation that has helped a vessel to remain in use, Cygnet was originally built in 1925 by members of the famous Wilson Bros in Cygnet, Tasmania, to the requirements of the 21 Foot Restricted Class. This was one of Australia’s most important yacht racing classes, which had its heyday from the 1920s through to the early 1950s.
Cygnet is one of only two extant boats of the four built in Tasmania to this rule, but has since been modified to become a cruising yacht, with the main elements of the original hull still incorporated in the revised structure. Another local adaptation is Frustration, an example of the International Sailfish that remains one of the world’s most popular and numerous sailing dinghies. When the class was introduced locally, in typical Australian fashion the plans for the plywood version were changed to suit local ideas. Frustration was the first of this popular international class to be constructed in Queensland, and among the material that came with the boat to the Queensland Maritime Museum is a letter from the builder, Colin Guy, suggesting further changes and tips on how the craft could be built. The local Stella class is an adaptation of the Scandinavian Folkboat design that was very popular internationally and in Australia during the 1960s and 70s. Alana was built in Sydney by Hal Venables in 1964 and its original condition shows the higher topsides and cabin and new rig plan that was used on the local craft. Macquarie Innovation is an extraordinary composite construction sailing vessel built in Victoria in 1994. In 2009 it set a new world sailing speed record when it became the first yacht to break the barrier of 50 knots (92.6 km/h). The proa-like yacht and the Melbourne-based team behind it are further testament to Australian determination, and another example of Australians setting speed records on the water on a limited budget. This story is told in detail in Signals 88 (Sep–Nov 2009), written soon after the barrier was broken.
Search the complete Australian Register of Historic Vessels at anmm.gov.au/arhv Name
deck, cockpit and cabin house are going onto the hull, which is being repaired where required. The cabin house will be slightly raised to improve headroom and a new fractional rig sail plan similar to the original height is being installed. This work has been undertaken by Sydney Wooden Boats partners Simon Sadubin, Roy Wilkins and Tom Coventry in consultation with myself, keeping the Payne connection with Questing going.
Speed record proa
Lars Halvorsen Sons
07 AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM 67
COLLECTIONS WINTER 2016
Captain Cook , whisky and smallpox
01 On one of the bottles, Captain Cook
is depicted with smallpox, a disease that devastated the Aboriginal population of Sydney in 1789. ANMM Collection 02 The nips are getting bigger / I’d better go and get somethin’ harder (detail) by Karla Dickens, 2014, ceramic and mixed media. The artist notes, ‘The feathers, bones and other detritus attached to the bottles represent various aspects of the original inhabitants of the land’. ANMM Collection. All photographs Andrew Frolows/ANMM
a comment On COLONISATION
A recently acquired artwork reflects on the destructive impact of colonisation on Indigenous Australians, writes curator Dr Stephen Gapps. 01
IN LATE 2015 the museum acquired an important artwork by Indigenous artist Karla Dickens. Titled The nips are getting bigger / I’d better go and get somethin’ harder, this collection of Captain-Cookshaped whisky bottles has been usurped and turned into a commentary on the devastating influences of alcohol and disease on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples since the arrival of Europeans in Australia. The title of the work comes from the well-known pop song of the same name by Mental as Anything. Karla found it an appropriate expression of her understanding of the famous early colonial figure Bungaree. The first Australian to circumnavigate the continent with Matthew Flinders in 1803, Bungaree later became known for his alcoholism. As Karla says, he was ‘probably one of the first of his race to succumb to the perils of drunkenness’. The Cook figurines are accompanied by brown beer bottles topped with naval caps that recount ‘many Aboriginal people’s inclination to wear a white-fella hat’, the artist notes, and, like Bungaree, to mimic the newcomers to their land. Karla highlights the irony of a limited edition Captain Cook RN whisky bottle. For Indigenous people, Cook has become a symbol of the beginning of the invasion of Australia, and in this case, he also represents two of the most devastating effects of colonisation besides the warfare that lasted for 100 years – alcohol and disease. 68 SIGNALS 115 june–august 2016
One of the most powerful tropes of contemporary Indigenous art has been the juxtaposition of colonial and Indigenous histories, which brings into play alternative narratives, rather than simply seeing the past as an inexorable progression towards European dominance. Much of Karla’s work brings together natural materials and junk-shop artefacts. It is often highly politicised, commenting on the catastrophe of colonisation and the ongoing inter-generational trauma among Indigenous communities. It is also very personal; her art became a way of overcoming substance abuse in her own life. Here, Captain Cook’s faces – like the ‘too many’ versions of Captain Cook in Aboriginal stories – are disturbingly painted with different complexions and meanings. One is a black Captain Cook, an unsettling proposition. Another has a pock-marked face, the hallmark of one of the most devastating of all European influences on Indigenous Australia – smallpox. By the 19th century Europeans had long been affected by smallpox outbreaks and had a level of immunity, but the Aboriginal people of Sydney had never been exposed to smallpox. They died in droves when the disease found its way into the local population. One year after the First Fleet arrived in Sydney on 26 January 1788, the foreshores of Sydney Harbour were a scene of devastation and death.
Hundreds of Sydney Aboriginal people lay dying in the coves and rock shelters all around. Of the estimated 1,500 people who lived in the area before the British arrived, at least half and possibly up to 80 per cent died from smallpox in April and May 1789.1
One of the most devastating European influences on Indigenous Australians was smallpox The acquisition of this work by an important contemporary Indigenous artist adds to the significant collection of maritime-related Indigenous art in the National Maritime Collection. The recent ANMM travelling exhibition East Coast Encounters and the display of shellwork at the Taba Naba exhibition at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco (see Signals 114) also highlight the increasing importance of Indigenous maritime-related art and history at the museum. 1 Grace Karskens, The Colony, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 2009, page 377. References Yiorgos Zafiriou, ‘Karla Dickens – It’s not bloody art, it’s work!’ Artlink 35:2 June 2015 pp 70–72 Karla Dickens: karladickens.com.au Andrew Baker Gallery: andrew-baker.com/kd.html AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM 69 02
WELCOME WALL WINTER 2016
In one of history’s great migrations, more than six million people have crossed the seas to settle in Australia. The museum’s tribute to all of them, The Welcome Wall, encourages people to recall and record their stories of coming to live in Australia
War child A NEW LIFE IN AN ALIEN LAND
In November 1949, 24-year-old Leni Janic left her German homeland with her husband and baby son, hoping a new life in Australia would help to heal the scars of a childhood plagued by poverty, hardship and the devastating legacy of war. Curator Kim Tao relates her story. MAGDALENA (LENI) JANIC (1925–2008) was born in July 1925 to a single mother, Auguste Quaschigroch, in the Upper Silesian town of Katscher (now Kietrz, Poland), centre of the textile industry in eastern Germany. Auguste’s father Josef, a staunch Catholic, had forbidden her from marrying the child’s father Andreas Bialon, who was a Protestant. At school Leni was bullied and ostracised by her classmates for being illegitimate, which sparked a lifelong search for acceptance. In the early 1930s Auguste had two sons, Paul (Sohni) and Franz (Manni), with communist sympathiser Paul Schatke, as Nazi Germany marched into war under Adolf Hitler. In 1935 Leni, like most German children between the ages of 10 and 18, joined the Hitler Youth, the juvenile wing of the Nazi Party. In 1939, as she approached the legal working age of 15, she commenced a tailoring apprenticeship with Paul Bannert, a leading member of the Nazi Party in Katscher, who subjected her to systematic sexual abuse for the next five years as the Second World War unfolded. In January 1945, with the Nazi regime on the verge of collapse, the residents of Katscher were instructed to flee their homes or otherwise risk being captured by the rapidly advancing Red Army. Given just 24 hours to prepare for evacuation, Leni, her mother and two
half-brothers assembled with other refugees at Katscher railway station. They were eventually transported to a small farming village on the outskirts of Prague, where they would remain for an indefinite period. Faced with insufficient food supplies, Leni and several others made a number of daring forays into the Sudetenland (the mainly German-speaking border regions of Czechoslovakia), to buy bread and eggs from a thriving black market. Following an altercation with a Volksdeutscher (ethnic German) guard and the ensuing threat of being sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp, Leni and her family had little option but to escape to the only address they knew – Passau, Bavaria – where tailor Paul Bannert had sought refuge with his brother. Tailor Bannert procured Leni a job at the local hospital, converting soldiers’ uniforms into civilian clothing. With a newfound strength forged through her struggle for survival, Leni determined that she would no longer be his victim. She registered with the homeless counter at the Passau council chambers, and they promptly located accommodation for her family in the dying days of the war. By May 1945, the city had become a battle zone, lying directly in the path of the advancing US Army. In the space of a few days, Hitler was dead, Passau fell and Germany surrendered to the Allies. The war in Europe was over.
Having married a foreigner, Leni automatically lost her German nationality and was now classified as stateless AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM 71
WELCOME WALL WINTER 2016
For her wedding in April 1948, Leni wore a jacket and skirt she had made from an old grey-green army blanket
01 Page 70: Magdalena (Leni) Janic,
aged 15, Katscher, Germany, 1940. All images reproduced courtesy Annette Janic Page 71: Leni and baby Bo, Passau, Germany, 1948. Leni, aged 14, with her mother Auguste and half-brothers Sohni (left) and Manni (right), Katscher, Germany, 1939. Family photograph taken in Passau just before Leni, Ratko and Bo migrated to Australia, 1949. Left to right: Manni, Ratko, Leni, Bo, Auguste, Paul Schatke and Sohni. Leni, with baby Bo, on her way to work at Philips Electrical Industries, Adelaide, early 1950s. Leni, Ratko and Bo during an early family outing to the Adelaide Botanic Garden, South Australia, 1952.
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With the hospital now closed, Leni took a job in a shoe factory, where she met her future husband Ratko Janic, a Serbian ex-prisoner of war. Ratko was employed as a truck driver for the US Army, and one of his duties was to collect boots from the factory and deliver them to the American soldiers. The couple married in a registry office in April 1948, Leni wearing a jacket and skirt she had made from an old greygreen army blanket. After the wedding Ratko continued to live in the Ilzstadt displaced persons’ camp in the American zone. Leni stayed with her mother, brothers and stepfather Paul Schatke (who had returned to the family after being taken as a prisoner of war in Russia) until she gave birth to her son, Boris (Bo), in September 1948. Having married a foreigner, Leni automatically lost her German nationality and was now classified as stateless. This caused her significant distress as she had always been a proud German citizen, particularly in the days of the Hitler Youth. With the prospects in postwar Europe appearing futile, and the news that Ratko’s hometown of Razboj had been absorbed into the communist Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia, Leni and her husband decided to apply for assisted migration to Australia. They had heard that Australia was a young country with good employment opportunities, ample land for housing and, most importantly, the promise of a future for their son. In exchange for
their assisted passage, they would have to work wherever the Australian government sent them, but could return to Europe after two years. In November 1949, with the first stage of their application successful, Leni bade a heartbreaking farewell to her mother and brothers as she, Ratko and Bo boarded a train for the Bavarian town of Landshut. They were taken to the Pinder Kaserne transit camp to undergo further assessment and medical screening. Aware that the Australian government refused entry to those who had suffered from tuberculosis, Leni managed to bribe a medical officer to swap her lung x-ray with that of another applicant. She duly passed her examination and the family was transferred to the Bagnoli transit camp in Naples, Italy, to await their embarkation for Australia. At Bagnoli the standards of hygiene were extremely poor, and although Leni tried her best to protect Bo’s health, he was hospitalised for five weeks with diphtheria. This delayed the family’s departure from Naples, and their December 1949 berth was rescheduled to January 1950. As Leni boarded the former American troopship General W G Haan, she opened the envelope that her mother had slipped into her coat pocket at the railway station in Passau. Inside was a photograph of Auguste, with a handwritten message on the back in Sütterlin (historical German script) that read, ‘A memory from your dear Mummy aged 53. Keep it safe’.
As General W G Haan made its way through Port Said, the Suez Canal and Colombo towards Fremantle, Leni spent the entire four-week voyage below deck in the medical centre with Bo, who had contracted a severe case of gastroenteritis. When they finally docked in Port Melbourne in February 1950, Leni’s small bag of camomile tea was confiscated by customs officials as an ‘unknown substance’. Without any understanding of the English language, she had been powerless to explain that she used the tea to soothe her baby.
Leni suffered from debilitating homesickness and the enormous demands of assimilating into a foreign culture From Melbourne the family travelled by train through the hot, dry Victorian bush, to the Bonegilla Migrant Reception and Training Centre near Wodonga. Leni began to question whether she had made the right decision, as Bonegilla did not bear any resemblance to the idyllic country scene in the ‘Australia, land of tomorrow’ poster she had received from the Red Cross in Passau. Ratko was sent to Adelaide, where he worked in a glass factory at Kilkenny and lived at the Gawler migrant camp.
Leni and Bo joined him two months later and, through a friend from Ilzstadt, they found temporary accommodation in Adelaide’s west. Leni worked as a domestic before securing a job at the Dutch-owned Philips Electrical Industries, which manufactured electric shavers, infrared ray lamps and radio components. Every morning she would strap Bo into a baby seat on the back of her bicycle, and drop him off to a Polish woman who looked after him during the day. Leni and Ratko worked hard to save enough money to return to Europe once their compulsory two years in Australia had expired. When they had nearly reached the two-year mark, Ratko announced that he wanted to buy a block of land in Adelaide to build a house. Leni was devastated as she was expecting to reunite with her mother and brothers. However, like many German women at the time, she had been taught that it was a woman’s duty to support her husband. Ratko purchased a small block and the family moved into a tin shed on the property while their home was built. Life was difficult, and some weeks there was so little money left over that Leni could not even afford a stamp to send a letter to her mother. Leni suffered from debilitating homesickness and the enormous demands of assimilating into a culture in which the language, food and social customs were completely
alien to her. It was her son that kept her going. In 1957 Leni, Ratko and Bo became naturalised Australians. Ratko shortened his name to Ray and some of Leni’s neighbours started to call her Madelaine. She regarded this as a welcome sign of the acceptance she had always longed for, now realised among new Australian friends who knew little about her past life in Europe. Leni’s daughter Annette (born in Adelaide in 1959), who recently published her mother’s story in War Child (Big Sky Publishing, 2016), registered Leni’s name on the Welcome Wall as a small show of appreciation for the migrants who overcame alienation, isolation and deep-seated trauma to help shape our nation. As she says, their names should not be forgotten. With thanks to Annette Janic, Catherine McCullagh and Sharon Evans for their assistance.
The Welcome Wall It costs just $150, or $290 for a couple, to register a name and honour your family’s arrival in this great country. We’d love to add your family’s name to The Welcome Wall, cast in bronze, and place your story on the online database at anmm.gov.au/ww. Please call our staff during business hours with any enquiries on 02 9298 3777.
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM 73
READINGS WINTER 2016
CURRENTS WINTER 2016
Through the lens of history AUSTRALIA’S REFUGEE POLICY 1901–1977 ‘SOMETIMES THE PAST seems to be a foreign country and eerily familiar at the same time’, writes historian Klaus Neumann in the first comprehensive study of Australia’s response to refugees and asylum seekers since Federation. Neumann’s largely chronological account highlights the continuities and incongruities in government policy from the passing of the Immigration Restriction Act (White Australia Policy) in 1901 up to the 1977 federal election. It was during the 1977 campaign that concerns about economic refugees, queue jumpers and boat turn-backs were first manifested, foreshadowing much of the rhetoric that has dominated the asylum seeker discourse in Australia since the infamous Tampa affair of 2001.
Across the seas: Australia’s response to refugees – a history By Klaus Neumann, published by Black Inc, Collingwood, 2015. Paperback, 358 pages, notes, index. ISBN 9781863957359. RRP $36.95, Members $33.25. Available at The Store or online at store.anmm.gov.au
At a time when there are an estimated 50 million refugees worldwide, Neumann asserts that Australian debates about forced migration are remarkably parochial and ahistorical, making little reference to international experiences or historical precedents. His aim with Across the seas, therefore, is to locate Australia’s political and public responses to refugees in a wider global and temporal framework. This is achieved by focusing on a range of individual case studies in a transnational context, to give a human face to the complex events that trigger global refugee movements. It also provides a much-needed historical perspective that creates the basis for informed debate. Across the seas is divided into five chapters that correspond with distinct policy approaches throughout Australia’s history: Federation to the beginning of the Pacific War (1901–1941); Labor governments and post-World War II mass migration under the nation’s first immigration minister, Arthur Calwell (1941–1949); the government
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of Australia’s longest-serving Prime Minister, Robert Menzies (1949–1966); the conservative prime ministers and Gough Whitlam (1966–1975); and finally the first and second governments of Malcolm Fraser (1975–1977), whose legacy included the resettlement of tens of thousands of Indochinese refugees. The book culminates with the arrival in Darwin of six Vietnamese refugee boats carrying 218 people on 20–21 November 1977, in the midst of Fraser’s campaign for the 10 December federal election. Among these boats was the fishing vessel VNKG1062ADC, also known as Tu Do (meaning ‘freedom’ in Vietnamese), which is now restored and displayed on the water at the Australian National Maritime Museum. Neumann presents a detailed analysis of the events of 1977, demonstrating how Fraser, Immigration Minister Michael MacKellar and Foreign Minister Andrew Peacock invoked the language of humanitarianism and regional responsibility to mark a turning point in Australia’s refugee policy. Neumann draws together an extensive array of historical resources, resulting in a thorough, informative and timely work that will appeal to readers with an interest in refugee policy and practice. The subject is made more accessible through the successful balancing of broader political narratives with personal lived experience. While the book does not offer any simple conclusions or solutions to the contemporary challenges of refugee policy, it does leave the reader with the compelling notion that the lens of history may inspire more enlightened attitudes in the future. Kim Tao Reviewer Kim Tao is the museum’s Curator of Post-Federation Immigration.
Visitors at the 2015 expo. This year’s expo will again feature highly detailed models, including radio-controlled examples, demonstrations, and a chance to talk to the modellers about their projects. Photograph courtesy Sydney Model Shipbuilders Club
Model Ship Expo 2016
The art of maritime miniatures
THE SYDNEY MODEL SHIPBUILDERS Club will host the fourth annual Model Ship Expo in August, partnering with other clubs to present more than 100 model ships ranging from miniatures 4 centimetres long to 3-metre-long radio controlled vessels. There will be models of clipper ships, contemporary warships and 18thcentury ships of the line, paddle steamers, hydroplanes and racing yachts. The club has a longstanding connection with the Australian National Maritime Museum and some of its members regularly demonstrate their skills in the museum. The museum has been a generous supporter of the club and is the principal sponsor of the exhibition. The members of the Sydney Model Shipbuilders Club generally make models of sailing ships. Popular subjects include Endeavour, Cutty Sark and the small trading schooners that used to ply the east coast of Australia. One member specialises in miniatures; another carves figureheads and the elaborate decoration that adorned 17th-century warships, each sculpted out of boxwood and perfectly representing the original item. All members will be there to explain their projects.
Some of the models are built from kits that can be purchased online or from hobby shops. Others are built directly from drawings of the original ship (these are called ‘scratch built’ because the modeller starts from scratch). Visitors will be able to see partially completed projects, talk to their builders and ask questions about how they are constructed. The models built by the Sydney Model Shipbuilders Club are generally for display in glass cases or on shelves or tables. Those of the Maritime Modeller’s Club, the St George Model Boat Club and the Hubertus Club are accurate models of real ships, but they are radio controlled and sail under their own power. Last year they brought Manly ferries, tug boats, ocean liners and modern warships to the expo. The venue is right on the edge of Botany Bay at the mouth of the Georges River, enabling the ‘A class’ radio control yachts of the Carrs Park Club to race again this year. These models are based on the designs of the 12 Metre yachts that used to race for the America’s Cup. Last year three buoys were set up for them to race around, and impromptu races were staged for
all to watch. Some of the younger spectators were even allowed operate the remote controls. Hopefully, the weather will permit the same this year. During the day there will be demonstrations of modelling techniques to help both beginner and more experienced modellers, a raffle with prizes of starter kits suitable for beginners, and talks on subjects of maritime interest. The expo runs from 10 am to 5 pm Saturday 20 August and from 10 am to 4 pm Sunday 21 August at the Georges River 16-Foot Sailing Club, Sanoni Avenue, Sandringham. Admission is free and all ages are welcome. All club facilities, including three food outlets, will be available to those visiting the expo. The club meets bimonthly in the evenings at the Australian National Maritime Museum and everybody, especially beginners, is welcome. Members enjoy helping people with their first models. If you would like more information on the expo or the club, please contact Michael Bennett on 0411 545 770 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM 75
CURRENTS WINTER 2016
01 Indigenous art in Monaco In March,
04 Women in Science Symposium The Hon
Museum Director and CEO Kevin Sumption and Donna Carstens, Manager Indigenous Programs, travelled to Monaco, where intricate and beautiful Western Australian and Tasmanian shell work from the museum’s collection went on show at the Oceanographic Museum, as part of the exhibition Taba Naba: Australia, Oceania, Arts of the Sea People (see Signals 114).
Pru Goward mp, NSW Minister for Women, joined hundreds of high school students, teachers, leading female scientists and industry representatives for the second Women in Science Symposium at the museum on Tuesday 8 March to mark International Women’s Day. The symposium was presented in conjunction with the University of New South Wales and demonstrated the exciting opportunities for girls who study science.
For this exhibition of contemporary Indigenous Australian and Pacific Islander art, Donna (pictured) played a major curatorial role in bringing together collections from around Australia for exhibit in the Living Waters section, which contained more than 100 contemporary art pieces by 60 artists. Donna also gave talks at the museum. Monaco is one of three overseas countries in which the museum currently has exhibitions, the others being the United Kingdom and Indonesia. Story Jude Timms; photograph Sue Frost/ANMM
02 Classic & Wooden Boat Festival
27 April the museum unveiled its new bronze sculpture, Windjammer Sailors, outside the Wharf 7 Maritime Heritage Centre. Special guest was Rear Admiral Andrew Robertson ao dsc ran (Rtd), who generously funded the sculpture with a gift to the museum’s Foundation. He was joined by Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer csc & Bar, Commander of the Australian Fleet, who also spoke during the ceremony.
03 76 SIGNALS 115 june–august 2016
This year, for the first time, the festival expanded into nearby Cockle Bay, where it was a great success. The 2016 festival is the first in a six-year festival plan which will culminate in a major on-water festival in 2018 marking the 250th anniversary of Captain James Cook charting the east coast of Australia. Story Jude Timms; photograph Andrew Frolows/ANMM
03 Windjammer Sailors On Wednesday
05 Ships, Clocks & Stars opening On 4 May,
around 200 stakeholders and guests attended the opening of our major new exhibition Ships, Clocks & Stars: the Quest for Longitude. The MC for the evening was Dr Amanda Bauer, Research Astronomer from the Australian Astronomical Observatory. Speakers included Dr Kevin Fewster, Director, Royal Museums Greenwich and Dr David Parekh, of United Technologies Corporation, sponsors of the exhibition tour.
More than 16,000 visitors enjoyed the revamped Classic and Wooden Boat Festival in the middle week of the April school holidays. The festival was officially opened by NSW Treasurer the Hon Gladys Berejiklian (pictured, right), who was joined by the muchtravelled sailors Jessica Watson am (centre) and Lin Pardey as well as MC, ANMM Councillor the Hon Peter Collins am qc (left). Over the weekend visitors enjoyed more than 120 boats, entertainment, maritime skills demonstrations, children’s activities, a maritime symposium and a vintage swimwear fashion show in which museum staff were among the models.
In the afternoon students had the opportunity to talk to the speakers, attend a careers fair with industry representatives and meet science communicators. They were also treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the museum’s conservation laboratories, exhibitions and the new $12 million navythemed Action Stations experience. The symposium was also live-streamed to students in schools across the country. Pictured, students try an activity in light refraction in one of the workshops. Story Jude Timms; photograph Andrew Frolows/ANMM
Guests were mesmerised by the intricate, unique and hugely significant timekeepers on show, including replicas of John Harrison’s H1, H2 and H3, plus the original H4, all built in the race to determine longitude. Guests also heard from ANMM curator Dr James Hunter (far left) about the importance to Australia of ships’ clocks K1, which was used by James Cook on his second and third voyages of discovery, and K2, used by William Bligh. Story Jude Timms; photograph Andrew Frolows/ANMM
06 Battle of the Coral Sea Commemoration
It is 74 years since the navies of Australia and the USA combined their fire power to deliver a swift and sharp setback to the advance of Japanese forces through the Pacific. The Battle of the Coral Sea (4–8 May 1942) was a significant contributing factor to Japan’s ultimate defeat in World War II.
The sculpture pays homage to sailors in the 19th and early 20th centuries, who risked their lives aboard tall ships (windjammers) carrying cargoes to and from Australia. It is based on a sketch by Australian artist Dennis Adams (1914–2001) and was cast at Australian Bronze, a fine-art casting foundry on Sydney’s North Head, and modelled by prominent figurative sculptor Brett Garling. Pictured are ANMM Chairman Peter Dexter am, Admiral Andrew Robertson, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer and museum Director and CEO Kevin Sumption. Story Jude Timms; photograph Andrew Frolows/ANMM
This year the ANMM marked the occasion with a commemorative ceremony, featuring an RAN catafalque party from HMAS Waterhen, supported by the navy band. US Ambassador to Australia, His Excellency Mr John Berry (second from left) and museum Chairman, Peter Dexter am (far left) were among those who laid wreaths, and Mr Berry delivered a proclamation from American President Barack Obama. The colourful spectacle was followed by lunch for members of the museum and the Naval Officers’ Club and a keynote address by Rear Admiral James Goldrick ao csc ranr. Story and photograph Andrew Markwell/ANMM
Thanks to readers who wrote in to fine-tune our vague caption to the image of the P&O cruise ship Strathnaver in Sydney Harbour (Signals 114, page 25). This can be dated precisely to 12 November 1931.
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM 77
TRANSMISSIONS WINTER 2016
Instagram photo competition winners Our Instagram photo competition, run in conjunction with the Classic & Wooden Boat Festival, attracted more than 250 entries. Thanks to all those who entered, and congratulations to the winners, whose images are reproduced here.
The scale and complexity of the H3 replica have been captured in a 90-second time-lapse video
01 Overall winner: Pure shore, Ricardo Ruiz de Gamboa. The last glimpse of a Sydney glow in its glory. 02 Over 16, first prize: Junk jetty, Scott Southwell. Sunrise over an oyster farm boat shed at Koolewong on Brisbane Water, the New South Wales Central Coast. 03 Over 16, second prize: Autumn reflection, Kylie Devlin. Moored rowboats patiently await patrons on a beautiful autumn day at Lane Cove National Park, Sydney. 04 Over 16, third prize: Midnight, Jay Taylor-Ziane. The play of light against waves at Bronte Beach, Sydney, at night. 05 Under 16, first prize: Just hangin’, James Pinnington. Nobody knows who made it, where it was from or when it last saw the sea – all we know is that it is waiting for its master. Note: due to a lack of eligible entries, no second and third prizes were awarded in the Under 16 category.
Time in motion Capturing the clockmaker’s art HOW MANY PEOPLE does it take to assemble a clock? For the replica of John Harrison’s H3, currently on display as part of Ships, Clocks & Stars: the Quest for Longitude, the answer is two master clockmakers. David Higgon and Sean Martin, from Charles Frodsham & Co, London, spent four days reassembling a thousand pieces to create the working model. H3 was John Harrison’s third marine timekeeper. Harrison spent 19 years working on the design and in 1749 was awarded the Copley Medal by the Royal Society in recognition of his efforts. H3 never went to sea, but contains two great inventions: the bimetallic strip to compensate for changes in temperature (widely used today in thermostats) and anti-friction caged roller bearings (forerunner of the common caged ball bearing). This is the first time the H3 replica has travelled to Australia and such travel required the clock to be disassembled in Mystic Seaport, Connecticut, USA, the exhibition’s previous touring location. 78 SIGNALS 115 june–august 2016
Each of the thousand pieces was carefully packed into padded crates for the journey to the southern hemisphere. Many of the parts are small and exceedingly delicate, requiring additional tissue wrappings to protect them during transport. The scale and complexity of the H3 replica have been captured by the digital team and filmmaker Reuben Field in a 90-second time-lapse video. During the installation of the timekeeper in the exhibition, a camera was set up to capture a photo every 10 seconds of David and Sean going about their intricate work. This camera was attached to an automated moving rig, or dolly, allowing the film to appear as if it were slowly panning across the workbench while the clockmakers bustled about. The aim of the video was to reflect the detail and precision of the marine timekeepers. The filming of the time-lapse echoes the nature of the clocks: many small parts moving together to create a precise whole. A single second of film requires 24 frames – meaning every four minutes of David and Sean’s work in real time appears as only a second in the final video.
The film and two shorter trailers offer a quick and curious insight to the hundreds of hours of work that went into developing the seafearing clocks as well as creating the modern replica. Without the scientific and technological innovations in H3, the quest to find longitude would have stalled. Accurate modern atomic clocks and even the standard GPS on your phone are descendants of the inner workings of H3. Ships, Clocks & Stars follows the waves of technological and intellectual revolution that enabled the accurate measurement of longitude. Harrison’s inventions are still informing our understanding of timekeeping, albeit in the rather modern form of a 90-second time-lapse video on YouTube.
Kate Pentecost, Digital Curator To see the video, go to youtu.be/5zlbK0Fr71g
01 Master clockmakers Sean Martin and David
Higgon travelled from London to assemble the H3 replica for the exhibition Ships, Clocks & Stars: the Quest for Longitude. Photograph Kate Pentecost/ANMM
Finding Longitude The catalogue to our exhibition Ships, Clocks & Stars tells of one of the great achievements of the Georgian age, and how it changed our understanding of the world.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year This powerful collection of images features all the winning photographs from competition.
DVD – Longitude Rural clockmaker John Harrison (Michael Gambon) begins an obsessive, 40-year struggle to claim the Longitude prize with his ingenious marine clock.
Endeavouring Banks The story behind artefacts, specimens and drawings collected by Joseph Banks and his team of naturalists during James Cook’s ground-breaking first Pacific voyage.
$55.00 / $49.50 Members
$39.95 / $35.95 Members
Map scarf Elegant, hand screen-printed cotton scarf featuring John Senex’s exquisite 1720 map of London. Exclusively created for Ships, Clocks & Stars: the Quest for Longitude.
H4 cufflinks Elegant gold cufflinks based on John Harrison’s famous H4 timekeeper.
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Shop online at anmm.gov.au/thestore 9.30 am–5 pm 7 days a week | 02 9298 3698 store.anmm.gov.au | Members’ discounts
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H4 Bone china mug Gilded and hand decorated with the intricate illustrations relating to John Harrison’s fourth marine timekeeper.
$59.95 / $53.96 Members
Our new Australian website is filled with articles, pictures and videos about the curious history, quirky culture and little-known events that make this Great Southern Land the amazing place it is.
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Chrome pocket watch Quality chrome-plated timepiece inspired by John Harrison’s famous chronometer H4. Double-opening hunter-style case and skeleton feature displaying the beautifully complex movement.
$79.95 / $71.95 Members
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Ships, Clocks & Stars: the Quest for Longitude Produced by
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Exhibition produced by the National Maritime Museum, London
Ships, Clocks & Stars was supported by the Australian Government International Exhibitions Insurance (AGIEI) Program. This program provides funding for the purchase of insurance for significant cultural exhibitions. Without AGIEI, the high cost of insuring significant cultural items would prohibit this major exhibition from touring to Australia.
War at Sea: The Navy in WWI travelling exhibition
Australian National Maritime Museum Partners 2015
June 1 2016 Wildlife Photographer of the Year - coming to ANMM | Ships, clocks & stars - the quest for longitude | Samuel Wright - digging u...