Author(s): Alan Powell
The maritime history of Australia's monsoon coast, stretching from Broome to Thursday Island, has a known story that is far older, more complex and more redolent of men against the sea than any other coast of the continent. Here came the earliest explorers of Australia, the greatest of her hydrographic surveyors, the whole of her pearling fleets, the trepang and trochus-shell gatherers of the East Indies, the seaborne missionaries of Cape York, Arnhem Land and the Kimberley shore, the bold entrepreneurs who forged and kept open the thin line of sea transport that alone enabled European settlement to survive on that long and lonely coast. Here, too, was fought the only real naval war in Australia's history and here the Royal Australian Navy still holds the front line in the country's defence.This book blends the multiple threads of north coast history into a single concise and colourful story.
Alan Powell, Emeritus Professor of History and former Arts Faculty Dean at Charles Darwin University, has published extensively in north Australian history , has sailed yachts to the Arnhem Land shore and has taken four-wheel drive vehicles to nearly every remotely-accessible beach and headland on the monsoon coast.