Coral Sea - Search for the Duroc - 90 minute video -
Available in DVD and HD Blu-ray at Australian Adventure Videos by sail, kayak, on foot
Discovery starts search for French Frigate lost in 1856
In 1982, Jack and Jude led an amateur radio expedition to Herald’s Beacon, a small sand cay atop Mellish Reef, five hundred miles east of Cairns, Australia’s furthest territory in the Coral Sea. A month before our landing, a cyclone tracked across this low narrow island and huge seas swept over it, leaving its surface flat and unbroken except for masses of half-buried seabirds that had their necks broken.
The cyclone’s powerful forces reshaped the island and exposed a long buried coral shelf where Jack found an embedded bronze eye bolt.
Our research revealed heroic efforts by the 75 souls stranded after the French Frigate Duroc ran aground on an uncharted reef in 1856. Suffering terrible deprivation, through great courage every soul was saved by their own efforts.
Our research did not pinpoint the exact position of the steam driven Duroc, but it did offer clues. In their homemade yacht, they set off for the furthest reaches of the Coral Sea to begin a search for whatever remained of the wooden warship. Their journey, discoveries, and rich wildlife were recorded in HD, and a 90 minute video and Coral Sea Cruising Guide resulted from that 2000 mile, 6 week voyage.