HOME OF THE LADY DENMAN - Local history isn't always about the big story - the everyday story of life in the early development of the region can be a fascinating, entertaining and educational journey.

21 February 2018

Ships in the bay.

February 21 2018.
Adelaide Class Guided Missile Frigate, HMAS Newcastle (06) is in the bay at the moment, seen here this morning moored east of HMAS Creswell.


Continue reading about HMAS Newcastle.


19 February 2018

Sea Horse Horizon - end of an era.

sea horse horizon - paul newman feb 2018

A piece of Jervis Bays maritime history slipped by relatively un-noticed recently when the Sea Horse Horizon untied from her moorings at HMAS Creswell and slowly and quietly left the bay for the last time.

Words by Paul Newman who worked on the vessel over many years.

"We threw the ropes off the old girl for the last time this morning, after 20 yrs in our contract it’s time for retirement.  Previously named Blue Nabilla, built in 1984 in WA for the defunct safety council of Victoria.  She came to Platypus in 1987, then commissioned as HMAS Protector, then handed over to DMS in 1998 and renamed MV Seahorse Horizon for use and abuse, a great work boat very capable, some good and bad memories."

Operated by Defence Marine Services (DMS) located at HMAS Creswell the Sea Horse Horizon has supported the RAN over the last 20 years with mine warfare, torpedo recovery, boarding team practice, navy exercises, mooring work, diving operations. NEOC sea familiarity training, also working with special forces aiding training, helicopter fast too training, salvage work and target towing.

During her military career as HMAS Protector she supported the trials of the Collins-class submarines, and was involved in a search for the shipwreck of the World War II cruiser HMAS Sydney.

sea horse horizon - paul newman feb 2018 orange colour scheme
Her HMAS Protractor colour scheme.

Photo's Paul Newman.


16 February 2018

Hole in the Wall

One of the iconic locations in Jervis Bay which still evoke feelings of romance and mystery.
Yesterday afternoon a young couple were enjoying having their picture taken with this beautiful sandstone structure steeped in history...

Continue reading some interesting facts about The Hole in the Wall



Ships in the bay

Feb 16 2018.
There has been quite a bit of Navy activity in the bay since the school holidays finished...
All this week MV Sycamore has been moored near Vincentia, leaving the bay this morning heading north.

HMAS Newcastle has been in the bay as well,.  She is one of four Adelaide Class Guided Missile Frigates (FFG) in service with the Royal Australian Navy.


HMAS Newscastle leaving the bay in a heavy haze being created by the a strong north-east wind late yesterday afternoon.


HMAS Huon was also moored near HMAS Creswell, she is the first of six Huon class minehunters built for the Royal Australian Navy. Other Huon class minesweepers have visited the bay in the past.

The bay was very hazy, hence the soft photographs.

Continue reading about HMAS Huon and MV Sycamore


13 February 2018

Drama at sea, two barques collide and make for Jervis Bay.


Most ships at this time used oil lamps to indicate their position at night to other ships who may be in close proximity, but not always, and in this case the lack of lights nearly ended in disaster.

Tuesday 20, 1874 - The barque Naramissia from Newcastle bound for Melbourne was sailing 40 miles south of Cape St George, it was 3 am in the morning when without warning she was struck by the whaling barque, Sapphire.   The Sapphire carried no side lights and struck her with her flying jib-boom on her mizzen chains.  Five of the Naramissia's crew, thinking she was about to sink jumped on board the Sapphire leaving the master and three men onboard.  Fortunately, the ship remained afloat, the master took her into Jervis Bay where the Sapphire joined her the next day. The Naramissia stayed in Jervis Bay for four weeks wind bound, during which time they carried out repairs

The Sapphire lost one boat and spritsail yard. The Naramissia had her stanchions and gaff carried away, and her covering board and spritsail damaged.

1872 - The Sapphire had been to Jervis Bay before, she often hunted whales along the coast near the bay. In 1872 she put into the bay to recruit, She had been at sea for 10 months and had taken 25 tons of sperm oil.
1875 -  She put into Jervis Bay to try out 9 tons of whale oil. The total take of oil for the voyage was 21 tons.

1885 image
1885 Long hard dangerous months at sea with small rewards meant finding experience crew was becoming harder,  ship captains and owners were forced to take anyone who was willing to come aboard, most were scoundrels with no experience of working aboard a ship, this led to conflicts. 
In 1885 some of the newly recruited crew of the Sapphire, as was customery were paid some of their wages in advance, absconded,  and after a merry chase for four days were caught and
forced back aboard the boat by the police. They mutinied and refused to go to sea throwing essential equipment overboard in an attempt to stop the ship leaving port.  The police were called again arresting the two ringleaders removing them from the ship.  New equipment was loaded and the ship finally sailed.

Ref: https://stors.tas.gov.au/AUTAS001131820946

Meaning - mizzen-chains: Plates of iron bolted to a ship's sides abreast the mizzen-mast for securing the shrouds and backstays of that mast.


8 February 2018

Pasadina Launch 1937.

"Ah, well! those were the good old days - or the bad old days - which? depends on what point of view you look at it."

The Pasadina after launching.

The trawler Pasadina, built by AWM Settree for Mr Ward of Sydney was launched into Currambene Creek on the high tide at 7 a.m Thursday, November 18, 1937, without incident

She is still to have her Canadian built, 120 hp "Vioian diesel engines and other machinery installed. She wasn't as large as some of the other boats Mr Settree had built in his shipyard on the banks of the Currambene,  but she stood out because of her unusual design also Canadian.  Her bows somewhat resembled a yacht, she looked like she was built for speed.

Measuring 65ft in length, 15ft beam,  and draws 7ft, 6in of water, and can carry fuel for a 4000-mile cruise.

She was built from all local timber, except the decking, which is of Beech from Wauchope.  She has insulated boxes for storing fish.

At the time of the launching, one of the old identities of Huskisson remarked:- It brought fourth reminiscences of launchings 50 years ago. The festivities continued for two or three days.  Mr Parnell, at that time landlord of the Tomerong Hotel - there being no hotel in Huskisson - was commissioned to supply the good cheer, which would arrive in barrels by bullock waggon
and when the festivities went over a lengthy period,  necessitated a return trip.  Foot racing and other sports were indulged in,  and of course, dances every night.  Ah, well! those were the good old days - or the bad old days - which?,  depends on what point of view you look at it."


6 February 2018

The Missing Schooner Rainbow

Stories like this are stark reminders on just how dangerous sea travel was in the early 1900's.

The Rainbow of Whangaroa, owned by Messrs. Lane and Brown of Auckland, was a new three-masted schooner on her maiden voyage along the Australian eastern seaboard.
Leaving Melbourne in ballast on the 28th of November 1890 for the Clarence River, to bring down a cargo of hardwood for the Melbourne Harbour Trust.  She was under the command of the well known Melbourne Captain, Kenneth M'Donald, and carried a crew of 9 men.
Built in Auckland from Kauri and described as a handsome vessel of 297 tons register.


24th December 1890 - Reports started to appear expressing concern about the overdue Schooner. A correspondent writes to the Clarence River paper as follows:-

"something must have happened to the Rainbow. She left Melbourne before the Examiner, and, being light, might have turned turtle. She must have been in the same gale as the examiner. "

Life Buoy found off Beecroft Head.

March 25, 1891 - The Marine Board received a telegram from Jervis Bay:- "Captain Brooks, of the Schooner Samoa, reports finding a life buoy, painted white, with the words 'Rainbow of Auckland.' in black letters five miles east of Beecroft Head."


March 26, 1891
-  After the finding, melancholy reports started to appear in newspapers saying all hope was lost and it was presumed and almost certain the vessel had foundered in the stormy weather along the coast in late November taking her Captain and crew beneath the waves.


Nothing more was found from the vessel or her crew, they were never seen again.

The Crew
C.G Hollnen, John Blackie, D Ensken, H, Montgomery, W.H. Thomas, Thos. Batman, W.C. Pierkard, W. M'Neill and J. Ward.


Ships in the Bay

Today we have three ships in the bay.
Appearing over the horizon silhouetted against the red glow of the sunrise the Adelaide class guided missile frigate HMAS Melbourne (111) can be seen entering the bay.


she moved across the bay coming to rest near HMAS Creswell.

Not far from the Melbourne was the lead ship of the Anzac-class frigates, HMAS Anzac.


Melbourne passing astern of Anzac heading out of the bay.

MV Sycamore the new multi-role aviation training vessel, photographed during the sun rise anchored near Collinwood Beach.


HMAS Melbourne leaving the bay.


1 February 2018

Ships in the bay

Today we have two ships in the bay the HMAS Hobart  and the training ship MV Sycamore.


HMAS Hobart is the first of three ships of the Hobart Class guided missile destroyers. Hobart will provide air defence for accompanying ships in addition to land forces and infrastructure in coastal areas, and for self-protection against missiles and aircraft.


MV Sycamore, The Royal Australian Navy's new multi-role aviation training vessel (MATV), MV Sycamore was launched in Vietnam in August 2016.

The ship’s primary role is to support maritime aviation training of Defence helicopter flight crews. The 94-metre civilian ship is a flight deck equipped sea-going training vessel for most types of helicopters used by the Australian Defence Force.

They were doing some close quarter sailing this afternoon.




Continue to other closer, interesting pictures of Sycamore – from her last visit.


Porthole built in 1952

Today I climbed on board the decks of one of the Settree built trawlers which is located within the grounds of the Maritime Museum.
Originally named Antoinette, she was built as a snapper fishing boat for Rocco Musumici by Alfred Raymond (Alf) Settree in 1952. Later becoming a recreational fishing boat.  She was a fine vessel in her time,  timber framed and planked, the top deck at a later stage has been overlayed with fibreglass which is deteriorating badly and will need plenty of work.

There are still plenty of local people who remember her plying across the bay on her regular fishing trips.


Below decks the old timber frame looks in pretty good condition, since the vessel arrived at the museum not much work has been done to her. Looking below you can see she was a working boat which did many hours at sea.

Click on images to enlarge.


Bow detail.


Her unique stern shape is known as a canoo stern, she was driven by twin engines, which have been removed.

Vessel Dimensions: 8.23 m × 3.66 m (27 ft × 12 ft
Owners - Rocco Musumeci, Lance Hanley, Ken Norford, Claudio and Katrina Zarella, Wayne Walker, Bob Seery, Kevin Polley


Looking from her decks across the museum grounds you can see the main building of the museum to the left, the Alf Settree Boat shed on the right, with the fish pond in the foreground, well worth a visit.


31 January 2018

Young Endeavour–Currarong


Today the Young Endeavour was anchored in the Bight at Currarong seeking shelter from the large swell pushed by a strong southerly gale.   Currarong offers protection to vessels in this situation.

Currarong township can be seen on the right.



Framed by part of what remains of the wreck of the luxury ship the S.S Merimbula, wrecked on Whale Point in 1928.


Continue reading about the historic shipwreck...S.S.Merimbula.

Continue reading about the Young Endeavour from a previous trip to Jervis Bay including some beautiful night shots of the vessel.


30 January 2018

Schooner Platina – a lucky escape.

On this day 30th January 1832.

Like all ships in the coastal trade, the Platina tried to stay as close to the coast as possible, this was done for two main reasons, the first was to locate reference points along her journey, lighthouses, and prominent headlands and features were the only way of knowing exactly where the vessel was positioned.  The second, which is still relevant today,  was to cut costs by shortening the length of the journey, these two factors alone put many ships in danger of disaster,  the Platina was one of the lucky ones, the coast is littered with ships remains and lost souls who weren't so lucky

184 years ago today the Schooner Platina from Hobart Town was sailing north along the coast in the grip of a squall and very hazy weather, she approached the land trying to secure her position, she soon found herself in mortal danger, coming ashore near Jervis Bay.

After frantic work she was eventually refloated suffering damage, she continued her journey north  arriving safely in port where she underwent a survey to ascertain the extent of the damage.