Ghost galleon

TALES about a mysterious ship stuck in the swamp on North Stradbroke Island prompted retired Redlands teacher Errol Bishop to put pen to paper.

His paperback book, Ghost Galleon, tells the tale of The Andorinha, a Portuguese battle ship believed to have sunk off the Queensland coast about 400 years ago.

Retired Macleay Island principal Errol Bishop was inspired to write his historical fiction after hearing tales of a mysterious Portuguese galleon stuck in the swamp at Straddie.

Retired Macleay Island principal Errol Bishop was inspired to write his historical fiction after hearing tales of a mysterious Portuguese galleon stuck in the swamp at Straddie.

Mr Bishop's historical fiction, published by Brisbane's Boolarong Press, was inspired when he was hte principal at Macleay Island State School.

It was there that he first heard the legend of the 17th-century shipwreck known locally as the Stradbroke Island Galleon.

The last recorded sighting of Stradbroke’s ship in the swamp (the Galleon Legend) occurred in 1934 when a sailor’s dirk was removed from the hold of the wreck. 

"Have the dunes reclaimed the ship. That is entirely possible," Mr Bishop said.

"It is possible the galleon was pushed on to Stradbroke by an extreme weather event during the 16th century. 

"Given that the Portuguese were in Timor as early as 1505 it is reasonable to assume they explored parts of Australia.

"I was motivated to write Ghost Galleon after reading about archaeologist Greg Jeffries’ search for the ship. 

"At that time I lived and worked on Macleay Island. There I heard many stories, some dating back to the 1890s, about the mysterious ship in the swamp."

The Ghost Galleon will be officially launched at Clevleand Library, Middle Street, on Wednesday, October 14 from 6pm.

The book costs $24.99. 

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