The whaling barque Maria Orr of 288 ton, was built by William Orr at the Domain Hobart.  She was named in honour of his wife and was launched in 1838 at Macquarie Point. She was the first ship-rigged vessel built in Australia. The ship became a part of the whaling fleet out of Hobart. Although not a large ship she travelled as far afield as Kodiak Island in the Gulf of Alaska. The Maria Orr would call in to Hobart with her cargoes of oil and whalebone en route to England.  On the 4th February 1846 she sailed from Hobart and on the 10th February was anchored at Recherche Bay sheltering from the northerly winds, which developed as the weather deteriorated into a southerly gale. On the 11th February after 4.30 pm the Maria Orr was hit by a heavy squall and quickly drifted onto a reef east of Kelly’s Point and soon began to break up. One life was lost and the remaining crew were rescued by the whaling ship Abeona.

 

Broxam, G. & Nash, M (2012). Tasmanian Shipwrecks 1797-1899, Nararine Publishing, Hobart

O’May, B (1985) Wrecks in Tasmanian Waters 1797-1950, AB Caudell, Government Printing, Hobart

The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), Saturday 10 August 1946, page 4

This painting is of the English whaling barque the Samuel Enderby made famous in Herman Melvilles' book about Captain Ahab and the white whale. This would be a similar style to the "Maria Orr".

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