Saumarez Reefs - History


On 27 February 1823, Lieutenant John Lihou, then Master of Zenobia, saw Sir JAMES SAUMAREZ' SHOAL (now Saumarez Reefs) and named the reef system after Saumarez. Lihou recorded the find as “it is in latitude 21 degrees 40 minutes, and longitude 153 degrees 46 minutes by chronometer, which was found correct on making Sandy Cape a day or two afterwards. There is reason to suppose that many other reefs exist to the North-West of this position.”

Lihou had just previously discovered Lihou Reef and Cays on 23 February 1823. Zenobia, (built and launched 1807 with an armament 18 guns and retired from service in 1835), was on passage from Manila to South America and Lihou had chosen a route through Torres Strait. This was the first occasion a ship was navigated through Torres Strait from west to east. It was also the first occasion a ship was navigated through the Coral Sea from Torres Strait, south-eastward to the southward of New Caledonia.

The Zenobia entered Endeavour Strait in January 1823 and discovered a shallow port on the south coast of Prince of Wales Island, subsequently named Port Lihou. After a hazardous passage through the reef the ship departed the Great Barrier Reef via an opening near Murray Islands. On 23 February, Lihou Reefs were sighted and on the 27th of that month, other reefs were discovered and these Lihou named Sir James Saumarez Shoals (now Reef).

There is some thought that Saumarez Reefs could in fact be Midway Reef which had been sighted prior to the sailing of the Zenobia and described in an extract of a letter from Captain Carns, or the ship Neptune, to the Secretary of the Marine Board, describing the reef discovered between New Holland and New Guinea.

Thinking it a duty I owe for the benefit of Navigators, I beg leave to acquaint you of the discovery I made between New Holland and New Guinea. On the 20th day of June last (1818), I took a good departure from Sandy Cape, New Holland, and steered a course to keep in mid-way, between the Great Barrier and Wreck Reefs On the following day at noon, saw sandbanks and small rocks- a-head, stretching as far to the Eastward as we could see from the masthead, and about five miles to the Westward, I immediately wore and run down to the Western extremity, and passed it within two miles longitude, by good timekeepers, 154° 20’ East, and latitude 21° 58’ South, and as the Western End of Wreck Reef is laid down in 155° 28’ East, I concluded it mull be a new discovery and called it Midway Reef; as it renders the navigation between the Great Barrier and Wreck Reefs very critical, I submit it to your consideration to give it such publicity as you may deem necessary I have, etc. R. CARNS

This is approximately the same latitude as Saumarez South East Elbow with a difference in the longitude of approximately 70 km (which for the time was still reasonably close to the mark) and seen almost five years prior to sighting by the Zenobia.

Read more about this topic:  Saumarez Reefs

Other articles related to "history":

Casino - History of Gambling Houses
... gambling in some form or another has been seen in almost every society in history ... Napoleon's France and Elizabethan England, much of history is filled with stories of entertainment based on games of chance ... In American history, early gambling establishments were known as saloons ...
History of Computing
... The history of computing is longer than the history of computing hardware and modern computing technology and includes the history of methods intended for pen and paper or for chalk and ...
Spain - History - Fall of Muslim Rule and Unification
... The breakup of Al-Andalus into the competing taifa kingdoms helped the long embattled Iberian Christian kingdoms gain the initiative ... The capture of the strategically central city of Toledo in 1085 marked a significant shift in the balance of power in favour of the Christian kingdoms ...
Voltaire - Works - Historical
... History of Charles XII, King of Sweden (1731) The Age of Louis XIV (1751) The Age of Louis XV (1746–1752) Annals of the Empire – Charlemagne, A.D ... (1754) Essay on the Manners of Nations (or 'Universal History') (1756) History of the Russian Empire Under Peter the Great (Vol ... II 1763) History of the Parliament of Paris (1769) ...
Xia Dynasty - Modern Skepticism
... The Skeptical School of early Chinese history, started by Gu Jiegang in the 1920s, was the first group of scholars within China to seriously question the traditional story of its early ... early Chinese history is a tale told and retold for generations, during which new elements were added to the front end" ...

Famous quotes containing the word history:

    You that would judge me do not judge alone
    This book or that, come to this hallowed place
    Where my friends’ portraits hang and look thereon;
    Ireland’s history in their lineaments trace;
    Think where man’s glory most begins and ends
    And say my glory was I had such friends.
    William Butler Yeats (1865–1939)

    To history therefore I must refer for answer, in which it would be an unhappy passage indeed, which should shew by what fatal indulgence of subordinate views and passions, a contest for an atom had defeated well founded prospects of giving liberty to half the globe.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826)

    It is true that this man was nothing but an elemental force in motion, directed and rendered more effective by extreme cunning and by a relentless tactical clairvoyance .... Hitler was history in its purest form.
    Albert Camus (1913–1960)