Raine and Horne

The Surry’s payload of 200 convicts were suffering typhus, and as a ‘plague ship’, the Surry was forced to anchor opposite the main settlement in Sydney Cove. Tom Raine was the ship’s only surviving officer. Less than a year later however, the Surry was once again ready to set sail, and Tom, having earned his stripes, was commissioned by Governor Lachlan Macquarie to captain the Surry back to England. The now Captain Thomas Raine charted a northward course. In 1815, the journey through the Great Barrier Reef was no pleasure cruise. Unpredictable waters and a labyrinth of coral reefs made the far north coast of Queensland a hot spot for shipwrecks. Even today the narrow passage between land and open ocean remains poorly charted, and Captain Raine inched his way through the reef, continually testing the ocean’s depth using nothing more than a sounding line – a length of rope tied with a piece of lead. Slowly and carefully, he navigated past what is known today as Raine Island – one of the reef’s most remote islands located 620 kilometres north-west of Cairns. Significantly, Captain Thomas Raine was the first European to set foot on Raine Island’s shores, now famous for its endangered turtle population (for more on Raine Island see Chapter 7 Building a foundation of community giving). Tireless navigator seeking new markets and discoveries It would be the first of many voyages for the Surry with Captain Raine at the helm, but unlike many of his contemporaries, Thomas Raine was a leader driven by liberal and humanitarian principles. History has it that the convict 23