"First Fleet" Sydney Ferries Series: Friendship

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Comments (4)

Ian Stehbens on February 10, 2008

To establish territorial ownership of the east coast of the Great South Land, the British Government assembled 11 vessels which sailed out of Plymouth with around 1350 personnel on board together with stores. The Commodore of this First Fleet, Captain Arthur Phillip was to be the Governor of this first European settlement in Australia which it was proposed would be created at Botany Bay in New South Wales.

On arrival in Botany Bay, there were two major surprises. A French vessel was already there preening and repairing, and there was no supply of fresh water. It was the latter that compelled Phillip to seek another location, which was found in the next inlet northward, Port Jackson, which has become known as Sydney Harbour. In a cove, now Circular Quay, the 11 vessels anchored or tied up to trees on the shore, with the HMS Sirius and HMS Supply taking up their defence positions at the entrance to the cove.

The First Fleet anchored and Governor Phillip went ashore on January 26, 1788.

The 11 vessels in that First Fleet are now commemorated by a class of ferries that ply Sydney Harbour and its Parramatta River. I have photographed the currently operating First Fleet class ferries.

The First Fleet included Naval Flagship and 20 guns warship HMS Sirius, Naval Tender and 8 guns Brig HMS Supply, Convict Transport Alexander, Convict Transport Scarborough, Convict Transport Prince of Wales, Convict Transport Charlotte, Convict Transport Lady Penrhyn, Convict Transport Friendship, Storeship Fishburn, Storeship Golden Grove, and Storeship Borrowdale.

As a footnote: It was at this location that the "Scarborough" was tied to trees on the shore, and its human cargo disembarked. Among them was Robert Forrester, an ancestor of my wife and children.

Ian Stehbens on August 6, 2009

Thanks for letting me know, Minh Tom, that you have added my images to your website. Be careful with copyright for I notice you have other people's images on your website as well. Panoramio provides a process for you through their API link {http://www.panoramio.com/api/}. I would encourage you to use that method in future.

Best wishes.


marianosolovey on November 12, 2009


Ian Stehbens on November 12, 2009

I am pleased that you like it, Marianosolovey. Thanks for letting me know. Sydney is a special city.


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  • Uploaded on February 9, 2008
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Ian Stehbens