Month of shipwrecks
Patrick Baker standing at a photography exhibition

9 Sep 2014

Patrick Baker: The Evolution of Underwater Photography

Today, underwater photography is an important aspect of any shipwreck recovery. It allows us to discover the sites without physically going there, records the intimate details of the site for future generations when the wreck may have been moved or suffered further deterioration, and allows scientific study away from the wreck site using high-resolution images.

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Video
Western Australian Museum

Dr Wendy Van Duivenvoorde standing in front of the Batavia wreck

8 Jul 2013

The Mysteries of the Batavia

The Batavia is housed at the Western Australian Museum’s Shipwreck Galleries, and can tell us a lot about seafaring and shipbuilding in the 17th Century.

The Batavia is unique. It sank in 1629, right off the Western Australian coast in the Houtman-Abrolhos archipelago. It was the first Dutch East India ship to be lost along this rugged coastline.

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Western Australian Museum

A young scientist, Coral, being interviewed

11 Jul 2013

Apothecary Jars from the Batavia and Gilt Dragon

The Batavia wreck site produced a large collection of medical supplies used by the ship’s surgeon – one of the largest ever found from this period. Coral, an aquatic archaeology student from Texas A&M. University came to Western Australia to study the medical supplies of the Dutch wrecks Batavia and Gilt Dragon (Vergulde Draeck). Her study focused on shipboard medicine from large trading companies of the 17th and 18th centuries.

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Video
Western Australian Museum

Document found in the shipwreck of the Sepia being held by white gloves

1 Jul 2013

Corioli: The Shipwrecked Sepia

The Sepia was a three-masted iron sailing barque that wrecked en route to Fremantle, 3km west of Carnac Island. It was carrying general supplies needed for the growing colony.  Corioli has carried out excavations on the site and has found items that reveal information about consumer goods for early colonists, which gives us great insight into their needs and wants.

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Video
Western Australian Museum

Jeremy green sitting in his office

16 Jul 2013

Jeremy Green: The Deep-Water Graveyard

The settlement of Western Australia meant that an increasing number of ships were sailing into port. Some of these ships were incapable of carrying on due to factors like age and storm damage, and so were being abandoned on pristine beaches. This caused unrest within the local community as it ‘didn’t look good’ to have wrecked ships lining the coast.

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Video
Western Australian Museum

Patrick Baker standing at a photography exhibition

5 Jul 2013

Patrick Baker: Exploring the James Matthews

The James Matthews was a colonial ship that was wrecked in 1841, about 8 or 9 km from the Fremantle Maritime Museum, at Woodman Point.

The ship was carrying a group of settlers coming out from the United Kingdom. They were, quite literally, as Patrick Baker points out, ‘on the doorstep of their new home’ when the ship sank.

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Video
Western Australian Museum

Shaatered cannon ball from the Museum's collection