Saturday, November 7, 2009
Novelty, 36749 Barque 375.77 tons. 140 x 27.6 x 14.9 ft., Built at Mechanics Bay, Aukland, in 1862, by H. Niccol.
A Captain John Austen sailed the Novelty on the Auckland to Sydney run several times during 1864 and 1865. There is some confusion as Captain Austen was also sailing the Aquila between the Port of Onehunga and the Port of Waikato. This may be inaccurate reporting and other masters were sailing his cutter. Or maybe there was more than one Captain J. Austen. Of course he could have just been very busy!!!
The Novelty was a very smart ship and the largest vessel built in New Zealand at the time. She was part of the Circular Saw Line and carried both cargo and passengers. Sadly she met her end in 1877 when she stranded on Peton Point, north end of Formosa Island [Taiwan], and became a total wreck.