A six night sail was shortened to four thanks to a Brisbane COVID lock-down. Science Under Sail departed Manly and moored five nights at the Moreton Bay Research Station mooring at One Mile. Gathering data concerning the health and status of sea grass from the ocean floor, we chartered waters of the Rainbow and Rous Channels, Lazaret Gutter behind Peel Island, the Amity and Maroon Banks.

Rainbow Channel was named after the HMS Rainbow arriving in the Bay in 1827, under command of Henry John Rous. Whist Captain Cook sailed past Cape Moreton in 1770, naming the bay between Cape Morton and the mainland Glass House Bay, it was Matthew Flinders whom 20 years later in 1799 re/naming Moreton Island and Moreton Bay. Cape Morton was named after the Scottish Earl of Morton a patron of Cook’s voyage. During a 1793 translation of Cook’s journals the name Morton after was misspelt as Moreton and has remained thus. Another large island existed south of Moreton Island which Captain Rous named Stradbroke Island after his father, the Earl of Stradbroke.

Science under sail provides experience based education from its research sailing vessel ‘Velella’, with a focus on understanding marine ecosystems particularly sea grasses. Science Under Sail is a partnership between James and Nicola Udy. Our goal is to enhance education, management and research of Australia’s marine environments.