Thursday 5 September 2019
6 – 8.30pm

The question we’ll be asking in this fascinating discussion is: do extreme modern day journeys match the tenacity and skills demonstrated by William Bligh and his loyal men who, in 1789, navigated 6,500 km of treacherous seas eventually reaching safety in Timor? 

Join two modern-day adventurers Michelle Lee and Alex Luther as they discuss how they conquered incredible feats of endurance on the open seas. Sydney-based adventurer Alex Luther water-skied 3,699 kms from Africa to Italy in under 10 days. Despite having never previously water-skied Alex was driven by a desire to recreate the same journey his marathon water skiing grandfather, Harry Luther, completed in 1970. Michelle Lee has just returned from completing a 2 month solo-rowing odyssey across the Atlantic Ocean covering a distance of more than 5,000 km. 

In this lively discussion, Bligh’s dramatic journey of real-life survival will be compared with the experiences of modern day ocean adventurers. 

This discussion will be hosted by maritime museum’s senior curator Daina Fletcher. 

Note: Ticket includes light refreshments and the opportunity from 5 – 6pm to view the exhibition Bligh – Hero or Villain? as well as an 80th anniversary exhibit on Oskar Speck’s 7-year journey from Germany to Australia.

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Rob Mundle Rob Mundle OAM: Australia's "voice of sailing". Rob is an international best-selling author, competitive sailor, media commentator/journalist and community leader.

Rob's most successful title is Fatal Storm, the story of the tragic 1998 Sydney-Hobart yachts. His maritime history title Bligh: Master Mariner, about the captain's legendary open-boat voyage from Tonga to Timor is the story that’s closest to his heart.

For the past 10 years Rob been Media Manager for the Sydney-to-Hobart's most successful yacht in history, the 30-metre supermaxi Wild Oats XI, and has reported on seven America's Cup matches (including the 8-hour live international television coverage of Australia's historic victory in 1983), four Olympic Games and numerous other major events.


Michelle LeeMichelle Lee is the current world record holder for the one-million-meter row and has an impressive history of athletic achievements. She has completed a 9-day trek covering 160km to the peak of the Annapurna Circuit through the Himalayas, trekked the 96km Kokoda Trail in 5 days. And for fun, she completes minitriathlons, long distance ocean swims, parasailing and white water rafting, and her weekly 40-60km cycling and 14-18 km runs. She claims she is the quintessential ordinary woman attempting to do the extraordinary – to be Australia’s first female to row solo across the Atlantic Oce an in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. In 2018, she faced her biggest challenge fuelled by passion, reinforced with determination and integrity to Row the Atlantic Ocean. Michelle loves to share her story and inspire others.


Alex LutherAlex LutherChasing Canguro is a journey about adventure and recreating a family legacy. In June 2018, after 7 years’ preparation, Alex water-skied 3,699km in 10 days, 2 hours and 17 minutes, beating his grandfather’s world record set in 1970.


Daina Fletcher Daina Fletcher is senior curator at the Australian National Maritime Museum. She has a diverse background developing and interpreting collections, with past curatorial oversight of areas including immigration, environment, industry, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experience and sport, leisure, travel and tourism.

Daina is past president of the Australian Maritime Museums Council and founding member of National Council of the Australian Register of Historic Vessels which she established. She has collaborated on many programs about community and national histories including the Australian Sailing Hall of Fame with Australian Sailing, public art pieces for the museum site, touring exhibitions, and the museum’s recent groundbreaking exhibition On Sharks & Humanity which focussed on art and activisim with Parkview Arts Action, China. 

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