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.

A woolie mermaid

04 Aug 2015

Last week I started exploring the fascinating intersection between needlework, craft and maritime history in the museum’s collection, examining an embroidered sampler made by young British migrant Julia Donovan in 1879. Today I will be looking at the sampler’s first cousin – the sailor’s woolwork picture or embroidered ship portrait, affectionately known as a ‘woolie’.

Read more

Floating art galleries of Madura

12 Jun 2015

Recent maritime research in the big archipelagic nation next door – Indonesia – reveals an explosion of creative expression among some traditional fishing communities that are turning hard-working, everyday timber vessels into floating art galleries.

Read more

Oysters and their punts

05 Jun 2015

Oysters – a first choice on the menu for many people, and while enthusiasts have their favourite coastal spot that they swear has the best specimens, remember that someone has to do the hard work of farming them in shallow water. And for this they need a boat.

Read more

100th anniversary of the sinking of Lusitania

07 May 2015

Off the Old Head of Kinsale, within sight of the green Irish coast, Cunard’s Queen Victoria will soon pause on her Lusitania memorial cruise to mark the centenary of Lusitania‘s sinking — a maritime tragedy inextricably tangled, then as now, in the horrors and controversy of war.

Read more

MMAPSS travel to regional NSW

31 Mar 2015

Every year the museum awards various grants through its Maritime Museums of Australia Support Scheme (MMAPSS). These can take the form of financial assistance or in kind support, for which museum staff travel to the institution involved.

Read more

Making connections in Goolwa

02 Mar 2015

Goolwa, South Australia – 30 odd degrees and rising. Six of us from the museum were heading toward this wonderful town, having flown in from Sydney. After a detour to Port Adelaide to see the hull of the composite construction clipper ship City of Adelaide, we drove south.

Read more

Sydney to Hobart: a past and a present winner

22 Dec 2014

It’s another afternoon of chaotic, stormy weather as I put these words together. It reminds me of a simple thing the late Trygve Halvorsen said to me not long ago about the Sydney to Hobart race: ‘You have to finish to win it’.

Read more