The extraordinary story of the 18th century convoy of eleven ships that left England on 13 May 1787 for 'lands beyond the seas'
Aboard were seafarers, convicts, marines, and a few good citizens – some 1300 in all – who had been consigned to a virtually unknown land on the opposite side of the world where they would establish a penal colony, and a nation.
The fleet stopped at Tenerife, Rio de Janeiro and Cape Town before sailing across the notorious and challenging Southern Ocean, bound for Botany Bay. Somehow, all 11 ships arrived safely between 18 and 20 January, 1788.
But, it’s what happened during 252 days at sea while sailing half way around the world, and subsequently on land, that is almost beyond belief. No nation has ever been founded in such a courageous and dangerous manner.
It’s the basis for one hell of an adventure.
Rob Mundle O.A.M. is a bestselling author, journalist and competitive sailor whose family heritage is with the sea, dating back to his great-great-grandfather, who was the master of square-riggers. Rob has spent a lifetime combining his passions for sailing and writing. He has written thirteen books - including the international bestseller Fatal Storm - reported on more than forty Sydney-to-Hobart yacht races (and competed in three), and covered seven America's Cups, four Olympics and numerous international events. He is the winner of many sailing championships, has been a competitor in local and international contests, and has sailed everything from sailboards and 18-foot skiffs through to supermaxi yachts and offshore multihulls. He was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in the Queen's Birthday Honours List 2013 for services to sailing and journalism. He is the only Australian member of the America's Cup Hall of Fame Selection Committee, an ambassador for the Cure Cancer Australia Foundation, a director of the Australian National Maritime Museum's Maritime Foundation and a past commodore of Southport Yacht Club. Before The First Fleet, his most recent book was Cook - From Sailor to Legend.