Discover stories behind the latest exhibitions, fascinating explorations into maritime science and archaeology, and the surprising details of what happens inside (and outside) a modern working museum.

The opulent ship with a royal connection

27 Jul 2013

With plenty of attention focused on the British royal family at the moment, I was delighted to discover a royal connection in a recent addition to the museum’s collection – a framed 1900 print of the Orient liner Ophir in the Suez Canal by British artist Sir Frank Brangwyn.

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A tale of self-rescue

10 Jul 2013

Sometimes when it all goes pear-shaped you have to find a way to extract yourself from the situation. The gaff rigged 28 foot long Maluka and its crew got into and out of desperate circumstances late in 1935, helped a Christmas pudding, a lucky unplanned arrival onshore and their practical, bushman’s can-do resolve.

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Rescue - the Australian surf boats

09 Jul 2013

Famous throughout Australia as a symbol of the surf, surf clubs and the surf lifesaving movement, the surf lifesaving boat is an Australian class of boat evolved to suit the coastal beaches.

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Alone on the wide, wide sea : The voyage of the SPRAY

05 Jul 2013

In the midwinter of 1892, a sailor by the name of Joshua Slocum arrived in the seaside town of Fairhaven, New Bedford, to view a ship. Heading away from the water, he set out to a nearby field where, propped up and under a cover of canvas, was an antiquated sloop called Spray.

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Rescue - early Australian Lifeboats

01 Jul 2013

The coastline of Australia has some particularly exposed and dangerous areas, and a notable graveyard of accidents is the southwest coastline of Victoria and across to South Australia.

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Around the world in the 1800s : The voyage of the SUNBEAM

18 Jun 2013

On Monday 4 July 1887, an elegant steam yacht glided into the waters of Sydney Harbour, having left England the year before. The harbour was alive. Its breezes filled the sails of hundreds of yachts that had turned out in welcome and rustled along the shoreline where a lively atmosphere sprang from the large crowds who had been anticipating the yacht’s arrival for days.

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Sailing and Song: The Albert story continued

24 May 2013

On 15 October 1904, a ‘young skipper’ with a ‘bright future’ brimming with promise was born. Alexis François Albert took to sailing as if it was in his blood. In conjunction with the success his father Frank enjoyed with Rawhiti, Alexis skippered the 21-foot yacht Boomerang.

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Frank Albert: Boomerangs, yachting and the colour green

23 May 2013

It was a clear and crisp autumn afternoon in 1925 when ‘one of Sydney’s show yachts’ sailed up to the Man-o’-war steps in Farm Cove, Sydney. Father and son, Frank and Alexis Albert, were about to host an afternoon with the Governor and his daughter on board their 54-foot cutter, Rawhiti.

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Billy Barnett, Master Shipwright of Sydney Harbour

26 Apr 2013

It seems that some skills take more than a lifetime to gain – they have to be inherited, in the blood. This is certainly the case with many boat builders and none more so than Bill Barnett, one of Sydney Harbour’s finest wooden boat builders and the man who designed, built and raced his 18-footer Myra Too to glory in 1951.

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