Old Maps of Stradbroke Island (under construction)
One of Captain Cook's Maps drawn as he sailed by Stradbroke in 1770. He moored somewhere between Point Lookout and Cape Morton for the night, that's why the distance between Point Lookout and Cape Morton looks a little 'out' on this map.
Note the correct spelling of Morton Bay and Cape Morton and Morton Island has no "e" .
The Mortons were all named after Lord Morton who was the President of the British Royal Society when Cook went a sailing. Later Cook's good mate Joseph Banks took that position.
It is believed the incorrect spelling of Morton Bay came as a result of either Flinder's maps (which were in all other ways very accurate) or from a popular publication of Cook's voyage published after his untimely death at the hands of cannibals.
In Cook's journals and log books he also spells Morton Bay etc without an "e".
This map was made by the Department of Harbors and Marine in the 1880's. The Map shows the shape of Swan Bay and maps the narrow line of sand that was Tuleen or Jumpinpin.
Note the obvious conection between Freshwater Creek and Never Never Creek.
The map shows the depth of Swan Bay. Consider how Swan Bay was formed and how the creek was cut in half??
Hmmm this map of Swan Bay should tell you how the ship ended up in the swamp!!!
If you really think about it.
The map of Jumpinpin below was drawn up about 10 years after the Jumpinpin breakthrough.
Note that there were stockyards constructed at the southern tip of the Jumpinpin sand spit.
Also note the comment that seas wash across the sand bar into swan bay at high tide.
Jumpinpin sealed over again completely in about 1934 after a drought but broke through again when the drought broke. The map shows the entrance into Swan Bay.
More old maps to come ( or get the "e" book of the Stradbroke Galleon for a complete high resolution collection)
This is a section of the most detailed early map of Stradbroke Island. Created by the Brisbane Water Board it was made as part of an investigation of the water resources on Stradbroke Island.
It is very accurate.
One of the handy things about this map is that it notes minor variations in the Swamp's vegetation and also all the little lagoons in the Swamp and around Stradbroke.
Again one can see that the sand spit between Swan Bay and the Pacific Ocean was very narrow and there fore (we can assume) quite recent.
Most maps made in the late 19th century through to the middle of the 20th century showed the Aboriginal Bora Ground or Bora Ring that is on the main island of Straddie west of Swan Bay.
The fact that it appears so prominently would indicate that it was a significant and obvious feature.
I have high lighted it here but if you look closely you will see it is on the original as well (this map is nearly 1500mm (5 feet) long.
Several old people have told me that the bora ring was a very obvious feature up until the late 1960's when it is reported to have been destroyed by bulldozers.
Cliff, Brad and I spent a number of days searching for the bora ring but only found the sign shown on the "about us" page.
Extensive shell middens have been exposed in this area by machine activity which shows it was a vast camping ground for the Aborigines. Interestingly the types of shells in the middens give important indications of the Swamp's many changes over the last 3,000 to 5,000 years.
Cook's map of 1770 which show Stradbroke and Morton Islands.This map is important because it shows Swan Bay and much of the 18 Mile Swamp OPEN to the ocean
Where Cook was mapping on the move, though still doing an excellent job, Flinders had more time up his sleeve. Flinders.decided to investigate and thoroughly map Morton Island, Morton Bay and much of Stradbroke Island (below).
Though thirty years later his work confirms the accuracy of most of Cook's mapping. Though Flinders did not spend a lot of time on the east coast of Stradbroke Island he did so with Morton Island and the inside of Stradbroke.
Importantly he noted breakers at the mouth of Swan Bay which shows that Swan Bay was still open at the time of his sailing by. When it closed over we do not know exactly but and expedition in the 1820's seems to imply that Jumpinpin was closed at that point and when the Surveyor Warner surveyed the east coast of Stradbroke Island down to Point Danger Jumpinpin was certainly closed though only by about 30 or so meters of sand.
Recent Geological studies have shown that there was a minor sea level rise about 500 years ago which probably coincided with the climatic changes which occurred in Europe at that time when its is speculated that the Gulf Stream ceased flowing for some years.
Whatever is the case the evidence seems to indicate that the ocean entered into the 18 Mile Swamp and broke against the main island of Stradbroke in a number of places including around what is now Swan Bay.
This breaching of the sand dune barrier that isolates the 18 Mile Swamp from the Ocean would explain how a ship or ships would come to be now within the swamp as the dunal system reformed when the sea levels returned to their "normal" levels.
Morton Island (below).
Note that the clean sweep of the sandy beach which is a feature of Bother Stradbroke and Morton Islands today is not there, rather it is a ragged line of ocean eroded dune faces that Flinders saw. Keeping in mind that he landed on Cylinder Beach on the north east corner of Stradbroke Island.
Note the breakers at the mouth of Swan Bay shown distinctly on the map of Stradbroke Island below and also directly east of the North tip of McCleay Island (Flinders map shows this as joined to Stradbroke and Russel Islands). The map shows breakers or shoals as a collection of x's. Compare this map of the Stradbroke and Gold Coast with one made 60 years later below.
This map is a copy of Captain Cook's map of Stradbroke and Moreton Islands. Map made in 1770
This map is a photocopy of the map of Stradbroke Island used by a group of Rover Scouts in their search for the "Stradbroke galleon" in 1970.
The map shows Swan Bay and also the south end of the 18 Mile Swamp.
I have added to the map the dotted line going out from Stradbroke toward Swan Bay to map Eric Reye's 1940 journey as this map is likely to be the same military map used by Doctor Reye on his trip to Slipping Sands and Swan Bay
Flinders' map to the left shows the highly eroded beach line of Moreton Island. This map of Moreton clearly shows us that the moreton Island beaches were serverely eroded at the time Flinders sailed past mapping the Queensland coast.
Flinders' maps were reknown for their high level of accuracy and Flinders' reputation as a map maker was highly respected.
The map to the left was made about 70 years after Captain Cook's maps of Stradbroke Island and what is now the Gold Coast. Note how the map shows the clean sweep of the beaches of Stradbroke Island, not evident in Captain Cook's maps or Mathew Flinders' maps. Both men sailed close to the coast in broad daylight so it can not be claimed that their maps are the result of poor vision