The Sydney Cove 1796-1797

The Sydney Cove 1796-1797

The Sydney Cove - Pen Sketch by Crystal Jordan

The Sydney Cove – Pen Sketch by Crystal Jordan

Len Kenna

The small ship Sydney Cove sailed from Calcutta on the 10th of November 1796 with a crew of 8 Anglo Indians crewmen and officers, an Anglo Indian passenger and his manservant and 44 Indian Lascars, with cargo for New South Wales that included Rice and Rum.  The ship floundering and in danger of sinking had to be grounded on what is now Preservation Island north of Tasmania near Bass Strait.   The long boat was fitted with a mast and 5 Anglo Indians and 12 Indians set out to sail to Port Jackson, this boat was also swamped and wrecked on Ninety Mile Beach, Victoria.  The 17 suvivors set out in March 1797 on Australia’s First Inland Expedition and attempted to walk to Port Jackson from Ninety Mile Beach, Victoria, a distance of over 600 kilometres.  Fourteen of the men died along the way and 3 were rescued 160 kilometres south of Port Jackson near Wattamolla.  These Anglo Indian and Indian men sailed across the strait between Tasmania and the mainland of Australia and were the discoverers of the Strait, not George Bass. They also made the the first inland expedition in Australia.

Source: Are Indians an Ethnic Minority? Volume 1, Discovering Victoria.  Len Kenna, Jika Publishing, 2008.