Leaving Hobart for Australian Antarctic service

Black and white shot of the ship by the dock.
Departure of Mawson's Aurora from Hobart, 2 December 1911 (Photo: Unknown)
Gentlemen and ladies in suits on the dock looking at the ship ready for departure.Lots of people on the dock with the River Derwent in the background behind the ship.Red ship by the dock with cars and onlookers.Streamers hanging from the ship with expeditioners on deck waving goodbye.

One of the major experiences of all expeditioners heading south is leaving the final port. It marks the beginning of the great adventure and an emotional final farewell to family and friends.
For separating Australian expeditioners and their families, little had changed in the farewell ceremonies for well over a century. From the departure of Mawson's Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE) in Aurora, on 2nd December 1911, to the resupply voyages of Aurora Australis in the 2005/06 season, wandering along the docks, touching the ships and smelling the smells that go with them.

It was then that new dockside security, access measures and required identification passes were required in line with the Australian Government adopting 'International Port and Ship Security Code' legislation.

This meant that gone were the days of wandering along the docks and actually touching the ships and smelling the smells that go with them, or even getting aboard, as this writer did on many occasions, such as watching television in a crowded cabin aboard the Russian resupply ship OB in 1974.

Jonothan Davis
Image Library Coordinator

This page was last modified on 9 October 2009.