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SIRIUS on Sydney Harbour in the 1930s or 1940s

Harold Nossiter Senior

1875 - 1956

Harold Nossiter (senior) was a noted Sydney sailor in the 1920s and 1930s who became the first Australian to skipper a yacht around the world under an Australian flag from 1935 - 1937. Nossiter worked for Corio whisky, a Sydney company marketing Australian whisky. Just before retirement, Harold ordered the construction of a 53 foot (metres) staysail schooner in order to fulfil a lifelong dream of sailing around the globe. He named his new schooner SIRIUS and on 14 July 1935, two days after his retirement, left Sydney Harbour with the two eldest of his four sons, Harold Junior and Richard (Dick). Clive Russell, the son of a friend, also sailed on the voyage for part of the way, leaving the schooner in New Guinea. Harold Senior was skipper, Harold Junior the cook and Dick was the navigator, having undertaken a course in ocean navigation in preparation for the trip.

The voyage took them to New Guinea, Bali, Singapore, Langkawi, Colombo, through the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean and thence to Plymouth, England on 2 June 1936. During their three month stint in the UK, Harold Nossiter wrote his first book documenting the voyage Northward Ho, completing his second book, Southward Ho on the voyage home. The crew sailed out of Cowes, England on 17 September 1936 for the return voyage to Australia. This voyage took them through the North Atlantic and the Panama Canal into the Pacific Ocean. They sailed to Cocos, the Galapagos Archipelago, the Marquesas, the Tuamotu Archipelago, Tahiti, Bora Bora, the Cook and Tongan Islands before arriving back in Sydney on 20 May 1937. They had spent nearly two years away, and the most of it at sea.