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90 Mile Beach - Trinculo Shipwreck

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by Andrew Burton (subscribe)
I am a Freelance Writer-Photographer and Novelist. I travel to find inspiration, wherever the distant horizons lead.
Published December 23rd 2013
Victoria's shipwreck coastline
The coastline of Victoria can be a step into The Golden Age Of Tallships, unravelling rich history and tales of horizons and The Seven Seas.

The Barque Trinculo was built in Bristol, England in 1858, it was 322 tons, being constructed of iron. It was stranded off the African coast in 1871 for quite sometime, before being refloated.

The ship was then sailed to Melbourne in 1872, and purchased by a man called James Patterson. The final voyage being from Albany, Western Australia to Newcastle, New South Wales in 1879. On board were Captains Williams, his wife and child, and a crew of nine.

Trinculo Wreck, Golden Beach
A series of gales blew the Trinculo off course near Wilsons Promentary, finally running aground along 90 Mile Beach. Thomas Lefevre, an able bodied sailor, bravely swam ashore with a light logline. That was attached to a heavier line so all the crew, the Captain and his family could be dragged safely ashore without loss of life or limb. Thomas Lefevre was awarded a silver coin from the Royal Humane Society for bravery.

The remains pictured are signposted and can be seen on Golden Beach. Head along the road to Golden Beach, then turn right when you come to the coast. It is roughly 6 km along with a signposted car park. Enjoy the solitude of one of our most famous beaches. Golden beach has a couple of general stores if you want a bite or drink. Otherwise Sale has everything from accommodation, Cafes, and general shops. Lake Gutheridge is a great leg stretch and pretty wayside stop, being found at the roundabout on Highway One, just as you enter town.

A typical Barque sailing ship
A typical Barque sailing ship
What is a Barque? The end of the18th century saw the reference to a sailing ship as a Barque (Termed Bark most often in the USA), when describing the the sail plan. A Barque comprised of three or more main masts with square cut sails, and fore- and-aft sails on the aftermost mast.

Tea Clipper Sailing Ship
A Tea Clipper or Barquetine
Artist: Jack Spurling / Wikimedia Commons

They became the workhorse of the Seven Seas at the height of the height of The Age Of The Tallships in the middle of the 19 Century.

They rivalled fully masted ships for supremacy of the oceans, and did so with less crew having less complicated, and less work intensive sail systems.

A Schooner Sailing Ship
Lukas Riebling / Wikimedia Commons

The Clippers or Fully Rigged sailing ship was a fast Runner, meaning it was fast down wind. You will notice the intensive array of sails pictured. The draw back was the sail design made it much slower upwind.

The Schooner, or Fore-and-Aft rigged vessels were the fastest upwind, and hence the sail design meant they were slower down wind.

The Barque had a sail design that involved design features of both the Clipper and Schooner, making it a fine all rounder that performed well upwind and down. It was easier to handle with less intensive rigging, and therefore required much lower numbers of crewmen to operate.
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Why? An interesting thing to do at the beach.
When: Anytime.
Where: Golden Beach south of Sale
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