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.

24 July 2017

Wreck Bay

The infamous bay south of Jervis Bay named after the great number of wrecks associated with this section of the NSW coast.
A remarkable stretch of coast, both beautiful and dangerous to the unweary captains and crews of the early sailing ships and steamers that strayed too close, or were caught out by an easterly gale. 

Navigation in the early days required the captains of sailing vessels to stay as close to shore as possible. The shore and its natural features were the only points of reference captains had of knowing where they were.    Some suffered after being caught in severy weather, as many went ashore in calm conditions during the night or when heavy fog hung low over the water.

Early steamers used the same tactics to navigate, and even though they were not affected as much as sailing ships by adverse winds, and could steam further from shore, they tended to stay as close as possible for commercial benefit.  Fuel for the steamers amounted to money lost,  the closer they steamed to the coast the more direct the route and the fewer resources they would consume,  because of this tactic steamers also found themselves upon the shore in wreck bay.

The construction of the
Cape St George lighthouse in 1860 was supposed to make travelling this part of the coast safer, but because the light was built on the wrong headland,  ships still ran into trouble after it's construction.



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