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Blog post from Thursday, 5 February, 2015

On this day, 5th February 1803, Australian sea-explorer, George Bass, disappeared without trace.

George Bass, together with Matthew Flinders, explored and charted much of the coastline south of Sydney in the early days of the New South Wales colony

In 1797, George Bass sought sponsorship from Governor Hunter to determine whether a navigable strait existed between Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) and the Australian continent. On that journey George Bass discovered the strait we now call Bass Strait, named after him.

Bass left the Navy to become a South Pacific trader, and on 5 February 1803, he departed Sydney Harbour in the cargo ship ‘Venus’, bound for Tahiti. He was never heard of again, and his fate remains unknown.

This article comes from the digitised newspapers on Trove.

The State Library of New South Wales holds collections of manuscripts relating to George Bass and his family, including Journal in the whaleboat, 3 December 1797.