Auckland Island

Posted by on February 1, 2018

One of the most forbidding and unforgiving islands in the Southern Hemisphere is Auckland Island. Situated South of New Zealand, it has long been an island known for its dangers, during the whale hunting decades. Many boats were shipwrecked on its rocky shores. Perhaps more than any other, this island has seen unbelievable stories of survival and death from the crews of boats who were stranded on this island for many months or years.

One such story is “Island of the Lost: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World”, by beloved shipwreck “specialist” Joan Druett. In 1864, Captain Thomas Musgrave hits the rocks of this island and is stranded with his crew on the island. During their long stay, they will withstand the unforgiving elements, and manage to survive together to finally escape the island, after nearly 2 years.

The Grafton, after its shiprweck. Picture from 1905

Amazingly, during their stay on Auckland Island, another ship will be wrecked at the other end of the island. The crews will never meet each other, but that other story is not one of survival and cooperation, but of dissentions, cannibalism, and ultimately death.

It is hard for us to imagine today what it was like to live in such a world for 2 years. Here are a few pictures of Auckland Island:

View from Auckland Island

One Response to Auckland Island

  1. Michael Jamison

    Thank you for mentioning Auckland Island, one of my favorite islands, it is very wild there :)

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