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8 October 2017

On this day

Wreck of the Summercloud – 10th October 1870

When you visit Booderie National Park you could find yourself in an area called Summercloud Bay
The area nestles on the northern reaches of what is known as Wreck Bay.  Summercloud is a small south facing  bay with crystal clear blue water fringed with a white sandy beach. When a northerly offshore wind blows you will find the area calm and peaceful.  This calm belies its past history.   The Wreck Bay area is a graveyard for ships, hence the name.   The topography which affords protection in northerly winds is the very reason so many ships have met with disaster withing Wreck Bay,  following is the story of one of those ships.



5th October 1870  -  The Barque Summer Cloud
, with 60 tons of salt on board, left Melbourne, and experienced fine weather on her journey north,

7th  - The wind freshened from the E.N.E, with thick dirty weather setting in..

8th - During the evening the wind veered to the N.W.

9th - The wind turned back to the N.E., and blew in strong gusts, the weather still being very thick, no land having been sighted since clearing the Kent Group.

10th - The wind turned to the S.S.E., They sighted land on the weather bow, which afterwards proved to be the east side of Wreck Bay,  the vessel at the time was steering N by E., and being unable to get an offing, Captain Anthony at once squared away, and ran her ashore on the beach, about 5 miles to the northward of where the ill-fated ship Walter Hood was wrecked, but before she took the beach she grazed on a reef;  the fore and mainmasts were afterwards cut away to prevent her rolling, and it being the top of high water, the crew, with the Captain's wife and owners, soon managed to reach the shore after a deal of difficulty.

13th - Mr Parnell junior discovered the wreck and conveyed the crew and passengers to the Cape St George Lighthouse where they were kindly treated by the lighthouse keeper Mr Lee, from there the sad news was telegraphed to the owners.

Captain Anthony states that when he left her on the 21st she was lying high and dry at low water, apparently uninjured, with about two feet of water in her.  She is the property of Mr Thomas Trelevean of Newcastle and is insured in the National Marine Insurance Company, of Adelaide, for the sum of £1500.

She became a total wreck and today the vessel's ballast and anchor chain cable can be observed northeast of the Summer Cloud Cove boat ramp

A wooden barquentine of 336 tons gross, 39.28m, built in Miramichi, New Brunswick, Canada in 1855.

The wreck was purchased by Craig Brothers, of Sydney for 301 pounds.


Meaning: Barque - a sailing ship, typically with three masts, in which the foremast and mainmast are square-rigged and the mizzenmast is rigged fore and aft.

imageExample of a wooden barquentine

Continue reading about the Walter Hood which became a total wreck in Wreck Bay.
Continue reading about the Barque Italy which ran aground in Wreck Bay.
Continue reading about the Corangamite which became a total wreck in Wreck Bay.
Continue reading about the Hive and the Blackbird which became total wrecks in Wreck bay.
Continue reading about the Mokau which became a total wreck in Wreck Bay.


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