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Sometimes I can conspire to combine my day job as a journalist with my penchant for maritime history and here's the result featuring bravery, disaster, battles, tsunami, and treasure hunting. 


A feature on the wreck of Royal navy storeship HMS Buffalo in Mercury Bay New Zealand. 


The event was 175 years ago this month and there's a number of events on where it happened to mark the anniversary.


Writing this yarn threw up some really interesting characters, a tale of drama at sea and the almost forgotten history of an area I have spent summer holidays in since I was a boy. It's a good read, but then I'm biased!


A highlight was talking to maritime painter Paul Deacon whose wonderful renditions of the buffalo were used in the illustrations, with an example below. 

Links to Paul's facebook page with more examples of his great work are at the bottom of the story if you follow the link to it. 


Also Ken Hindmarsh mentioned in the story has a reproduction of his ancestor's naval service medal ( a cousin holds the original) and it's one of only two ever issued with seven clasps. His battles included the Nile (aboard Bellerophon where he was the only uninjured man on the quarterdeck and ordered the ship away from L'Orient just before she exploded), Trafalgar and others.



Image: Paul Deacon

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A very interesting read. I've a lot of respect for the captain - he showed good judgment in a very difficult situation, and though it proved impossible to save the ship, all but two of the crew escaped with their lives due to his wise leadership.



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Indeed. A court martial (standard practice when a ship is lost) cleared the captain of any blame.

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