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Published: June 23rd 2017
Geo: -33.8671, 151.207
The cruise has had a series of educational lectures in the theatre covering topics related to the locations and their history prior to our arrival in each port, so I have taken the opportunity to include some of the notes as this is a bit of a travel diary for Bonnie and I. I feel I am channeling my father (a little bit), as he was a massive history buff, particularly as it related to the British Empire and Scotland, so hopefully he is grinning above.
Australia was circumnavigated by many early explorers including the Dutch (Janzsoon 1605-06), the Spanish, Vas de Torres (1770) and the Dutchman Tasman (1642) who discovered Tasmania or as named then - Anthoonij van Diemenslandt (Van Diemen's Land), who was the Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies and sent Tasman on his voyage. In general, the lands were seen to be barren deserts and the natives were seen as neither friendly or rich, so it was not until 1770 that Cook claimed Australia for the British when he charted the eastern coast.
At the beginning of the18th Century there were no jobs, the cities were overcrowded and crime was rising rapidly. Overzealous legislation, later referred to
as The Bloody Code, was created around 1688 and in effect until 1815, during which the offences punishable by death increased from 50 to 220. Grand larceny was one of those crimes, defined as theft of goods worth more than 12 pence (one-twentieth of the weekly wage at the time), so jurors often deliberately under-assessed the value of stolen goods to avoid making a sentence of death mandatory and the courts later substituted transportation to the colonies and enforced labour instead of death.
At the time of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 approximately 1,000 convicts were being sent to the US (74% of MD and VA at the time were convicts), but obviously the Americans halted such practice and the British in 1787 sent the First Fleet, led by Phillip to colonize Australia. Twelve ships carrying 1,494 passengers arrived in Botany Bay in 1788, which proved to be unsuitable and Captain Phillip sailed north from Botany Bay (as the French arrived) into Port Jackson/Sydney Cove (Lord Sydney, British Secretary of State) on January 26 (now celebrated as Australia Day) and claimed the territory for the British.
After disembarking, we were transported to Darling Harbour where we boarded a small ship to
take in the sights of Sydney Harbour. We travelled out under the Bridge, past the Opera House and along the southern shores past Darling Point, Clark Island and Point Piper before rounding Shark Island and heading back along the northern shores past Bradley's Head and Fort Denison. The drizzle and clouds of the early morning sail in had evaporated and the harbour sparkled!
After the cruise, we met Sarah (an associate from the Class Software days) and her husband Duncan, who emigrated to the place of her birth 11 years ago for lunch at the King Street Brewhouse. We were blessed that Duncan and Sarah could take time from the work day, as we had a great time catching up and hearing about their careers, new house and young family, while enjoying come great craft beers from Red Tape and James Squire.
In the afternoon, we walked up to The Rocks historic area under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, down to the Cruise Ship terminal, where the Radiance of the Seas was docked, and then around to the Opera House. We missed the Lord Nelson Brewery and Hotel, which Duncan recommended, along with one of his favourite pints Three Sheets. We will
just have to return again to sample Three Sheets as well as BUGS (cross between a lobster and crayfish)!!
The area is very rocky and during the early days starvation was common, until 30 years after settlement the Blue Mountains were crossed and access to expansive grazing lands were gained. Many British loyalists also left the US following independence in 1776. The population tripled in 1850 when gold was discovered. Today, Sydney is home to some 4.5M people, extremely vibrant and experiencing major harbour development, as well as a new expanded convention centre construction. The media age is 36 and they know how to have a great time!
Tot: 2.635s; Tpl: 0.062s; cc: 7; qc: 45; dbt: 0.0397s; 2; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 3;
; mem: 1.4mb