Commanders of Sail
by Geoffrey D Stephenson

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Commanders of Sail by Geoffrey D Stephenson

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Hardback: 580 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9923683-0-2
Trim size: 200 x 280 mm
COMMANDERS OF SAIL is an authentic account of the great sailing ship Sobraon and the role she and her long-time commander, Captain James Elmslie played in the transformation of a clutch of exuberant colonies into the new nation of Australia.
The ship Sobraon served Australia for 75 years. From 1866 to 1891 she was arguably the greatest square-rigged sailing ship trading between England and Australia. For the following 50 years she was moored in Sydney Harbour, operated by the NSW Government as a reformatory school ship for disadvantaged boys from 1891 to 1911 then, from 1911 to 1927 under the name HMAS Tingira, she was the training establishment for young men seeking a career in the fledgling Royal Australian Navy.

Captain James Elmslie commanded the ship on 24 voyages out of London – 5 to Sydney followed by 19 to Melbourne. For thousands of passengers and for the merchants whose cargoes were entrusted to them, the great ship and her popular commander were inseparable.
In addition to recording the triumphant story of the Sobraon and her Captain the book reveals much about the life of mariners and their families. It also tells of the ever-present dangers of going to sea, and the frequent tragedies.

While the text of the book is drawn largely from original Elmslie family journals, letters and diaries, the story is also told visually. Artists produced countless sketches, engravings, paintings and photographs depicting the heydays of tall-masted ships, including the Sobraon. A number of those images are reproduced in large format in the book.
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