Matthew Flinders was returning to England aboard the PORPOISE to present the results of his survey work when it was wrecked in 1803. He entrusted his charts and journals to some of the people left stranded on the reef.
Flinders, with a small crew, set out for Sydney in a CUTTER, built from the wreckage of the PORPOISE. They named this CUTTER, HOPE. As they approached Mooloomba, they were running low on water. A group of people ‘amusing us with dances in imitation of the kangaroo’ directed them to a WELL-spring of drinking water, enabling Flinders and the crew to survive the journey to Sydney.
In Sydney, Flinders boarded the CUMBERLAND, set off to retrieve his charts from the castaways, and then onward to England. Being a small vessel, CUMBERLAND needed to stop frequently. Unlike at Mooloomba, where he was enabled to replenish, Flinders was arrested by the French at Mauritius, when he stopped for supplies and repairs. He did not reach England until 1810. Flinders’ General Chart of Terra Australis or Australia was first published in 1814, the year he died