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underwater view of a coral

Sydney Harbour may be the city’s sparkling centre piece but its sandy bottom reveals its darker side. The city’s coast and harbour have claimed more than 140 ships and hundreds of lives since the First Fleet arrived in 1788. For example, when you sail over the Middle Head stretch of Sydney Harbour, you may not know that there are two anchors somewhere below. These silent reminders are all that remains of the Edward Lombe, a three-masted barque that was smashed on to the rocks at Middle Head during a gale in 1834. Twelve people were killed. The disaster horrified Sydneysiders. Locals saw passengers and crew desperately clinging to the shattered stern, they helped to rescue survivors, and the city grieved for the dead. The first legacy of this disaster was that authorities responded by improving navigational aids in the harbour. The second are the ghostly anchors that lie beneath the waters of Middle Head.

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PHOTO CREDIT: David Nutley 2006