In 1802, Matthew Flinders explored and charted the coastline of Terra Australis in the leaking and rotten-timbered sailing ship the Investigator.

In March of that year, Flinders and the French explorer Nicholas Baudin almost literally bumped into each other in Encounter Bay, South Australia.

Flinders and Baudin’s chance meeting in early 1802 gave the name to a historical re-enactment and program of festivities in that very bay exactly 200 years later, aptly named Encounter 2002.

Early in 2002, as a volunteer crew on Melbourne’s tall ship Enterprize, I was an active participant in the re-enactment of Flinders’ exploration of the coast of South Australia. This was my first foray into crewing on a tall ship for fourteen continuous days, at times out of sight of land, as we planned to follow faithfully in Flinders’ footsteps.

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