HM Troopship QUEEN MARY in Sydney Harbour, May 1940 von Australian National Maritime Museum on The Commons
Über Flickr:
The Cunard Line’s RMS MAURETANIA and QUEEN MARY had sailed from New York to Sydney in March 1940 to carry troops overseas for war. In May 1940, both vessels left Sydney Harbour bound for the United Kingdom with 2,000 Australian troops. This photo is part of the Australian National Maritime Museum’s Samuel J. Hood Studio Collection. Sam Hood (1872-1953) was a Sydney photographer with a passion for ships. His 72-year career spanned the romantic age of sail and two world wars. The photos in the collection were taken mainly in Sydney and Newcastle during the first half of the 20th century. Photographer: Samuel J. Hood Studio Collection Object no. 00020473

Meanwhile, in my degree:

Today I did some site visits which I couldn’t do earlier because up until very lately I didn’t have the ankle strength and stability to be aboard an actively rocking vessel (lol my thesis is due in six days and only now have I got some real world info pray for me), and along with some information which has forced me to tweak the focus of my thesis YET AGAIN, I got some great quotes on the nature of ship maintenance, and life in general. 

I had already been collecting such bon mots and nuggets of wisdom, and so in honour of the end of my degree finally approaching, I will be posting a quote a day until I submit.

Today’s is something said to me by the fleet manager at the Australian National Maritime Museum as he showed me around HMAS Advance, the last of the Attack class patrol boats. When discussing how she was managed while she was underway, he shrugged and said:

“While you’re within the harbour, as long as you have a chart, you’re basically driving a big cabin cruiser.”

Which…. like…. I guess? But equally, the exact same thing could be said of most sheltered waters operations, so?? I don’t even know how I feel about that.

In other news, the ANMM is unlikely to be able to maintain Advance for much longer due to budget constraints, so unless another organisation takes possession of her, she is likely to be scrapped in the nearish future. If you’re in Sydney, I cannot recommend visiting her strongly enough. Advance isn’t one of the ANMM’s big earners like their Destroyer or Submarine. You don’t need to purchase a full ticket to see her. For a gold coin donation, you get a tour guide all to yourself who will show you all the nooks and crannies and fun quirks of what is a charming little vessel. She’s just sitting around Pyrmont, and I thoroughly recommend taking a look if you’re in the area.

And for those of you who have stayed with me for a post this long, here’s a fun quirk: at the entrance to the galley, the crew laid a linoleum panda holding a tiny can of VB. More fun quirks to come as the week progresses, and if you’re in Sydney, give her a visit.

Man and woman kissing across two vessels, 1920-1939

From the Australian National Maritime Museum, with the following caption: This photograph depicts a man and a woman kissing, with the woman possibly on board the tug CHAMPION. The CHAMPION was built for J & A Brown of Newcastle, New South Wales in 1895 and has been described as Australia’s foremost tug of its time. It was used for difficult and deep sea towing and salvage jobs. It went as far afield as New Zealand, Fiji, and New Caledonia in its career from 1895 to 1954.

In this vintage photo from 1983, we see crew members of the HMAS Onslow barbecuing a healthy amount of sausages on top of the submarine while it is still moving! The photo was scanned and posted to reddit by shanbuscus, whose father took the photo.

HMAS Onslow was one of six Oberon-class submarines operated by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The submarine was named after the town of Onslow, Western Australia, and Sir Alexander Onslow. Onslow was laid down at the end of 1967 by Scotts Shipbuilding and Engineering Company in Scotland, launched almost a year later, and commissioned into the RAN at the end of 1968. She was decommissioned in 1999, and was presented to the Australian National Maritime Museum, where she is preserved as a museum ship.


I’ve been a bit slow updating the blog lately - have been busy with the Classic & Wooden Boat Show here in Sydney (yes, my job sometimes involves things like dressing up in a 1920s swimsuit, robe and Ebena necklace for promotional purposes and the Festival’s “Swimswear through the ages” parade). My colleague here is wearing one of the Annette Kellerman labelled suits in my collection. We had such a blast - I brought out both swimsuits and 1930s beach pajamas for the 1920s - 30s sections of the parade. 

The gorgeous vessel in these photos is the Steam Yacht Ena, built 1900 and still breathtakingly beautiful.  


@ ladygrayluvs and @wah-pah noted that Ena was used for the yacht party in the Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries Season 3 episode “Game, Set and Murder”…here are a few more photos taken with vintage swimsuits alongside and on board when she was at the Australian National Maritime Museum for the Classic & Wooden Boat Festival (Top photo is of Director Daina Reid and from the ABC site, last one of me in the red 1920s swimsuit is copyright the Australian National Maritime Museum, the rest are my photos).