"First Fleet" Sydney Ferries Series: Anchor of the original Sirius, wrecked by Captain John Hunter on a reef at Sydney Town, Norfolk Island, 1790.

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Comments (7)

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, my wife's ancestors include a "passenger" on the Transport "Alexander" and another passenger on the Transport "Scarborough". These First Fleet convicts were Thomas Hilton Tennant alias Philip Devine and Robert Forrester, respectively.

Both Devine and Forrester were sent to the next First Settlement on Norfolk Island. Forrester was one of the original group, and Devine was in the second contingent sent. It was after landing the 2nd contingent of convicts on Norfolk Island at Cascade Bay, that the 2 vessels went around to the site of the embryonic settlement to unload, but before the weather would permit this, Captain John Hunter blundered and ran HMS Sirius aground on a reef, where it subsequently was not only wrecked but burnt as well. The anchor has been recovered and is now displayed in the Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney.

EVA_L on February 11, 2008

Absolutely great, Yan! Many thanks for sharing. Eva

May Margrit B. (Swis… on February 11, 2008

Thanks for all these historical facts, Ian! It has always been of great interest to me and I appreciate it very much to hear from you directly about these things.

I think we could have three or more stories running at the same time. The stories how people were persecuted and deported, and others just adventurous to find new horizons. Incredible how Europeans more than any other populated far continents. What a destiny in those times to leave by own will or forced to go to the antipodes.

Dear greetings, May

Ian Stehbens on February 12, 2008

To my special sisters in Europe, May and Eva,

As you two go about with your camera, either "wherever you go" or on special assignment to share with your Panoramio friends you have certainly infected me with that virulent virus!!

My camera is with me more often, I look at things differently in order to see a special image, or I am thinking of the themes or places that I can share with you all.

As I out with my English & Culture Immersion course students from Korea over the last month, I either had moments to myself while they were photographing or I was teaching them to observe something and how to use their cameras better. This was giving me an excuse most days to have you in mind. I am pleased that you enjoy the images, the information and my love of story and conversation.

The migrations of history are all loaded with deep and passionate feelings, a wealth of layers of story, and are charged with significance. In the background I keep thinking reading and researching a variety of migrations stories, especially those that are embedded in the family history belonging to me and my wife, or relate to the cultures and peoples among whom I work.

Certainly would love to converse with you. But May your taxation must come first just now.

Sincere greetings and blessings, and thankyou both for your constant encouragement.

Ian / Yan

EVA_L on February 12, 2008

Dear Yan! Thanks for such kind attitude! I so regret, that I do not know English sufficiently, what is high-grade to communicate, but I shall try, because dialogue with you and all friends in Раnоrаmiо is very valuably. Best wishes. Eva

Ian Stehbens on February 12, 2008

Dear Eva, Your communications in English are clear and appreciated, and your communication with your camera is excellent. But it is the unspoken communication that has been most wonderful - for you have gone out with your camera just to show us something special. And this revealed love, intent and friendship is special for all of us who are networked together through Panoramio conversations.

Even May, who is completely proficient in English and other languages, commented recently about expressing herself in English (which is not her first language). But, as in your case, her photography doesn't even need a word to accompany it for magic, love, joy, creativity, character, invitation, values and ethics are all communicated through her images.

That is the joy of art.

Be assured your written conversations are understood and valued.

Sincerest appreciation,


EVA_L on February 13, 2008

Dear Yan! I think, that many things we can tell by means of our photos. Carefully choosing the staff, reflecting what will be interestingly to my friends, such far on distance and such relatives on spirit. I feel, that my emotions and impressions which I try to transfer by language of photos find the response in your hearts and improve your mood. Owing to you I have made walks across Kiev of what were not done many years, have looked at the native city other eyes. Also I has understood, how much I did not notice and did not appreciate! Best wishes. Eva

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  • Uploaded on February 9, 2008
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    by Ian Stehbens