Mr Cunningham returns to Port Jackson at the end of Phillip Parker King’s third coastal survey

19th December 1820

On this day, 19th December 1820, Allan Cunningham arrived back in Port Jackson having sailed from Port Nelson, bringing to an end the third marine survey voyage with Phillip Parker King on HMS The Mermaid.

Notwithstanding the repairs the cutter had undergone, it was discovered that she was unfortunately not in a condition to stand any very rough weather, and from the quantity of water she made, and the near approach of the change of the monsoon, Captain King was reluctantly compelled to give up any further investigation of the north-west coast at this period. In consequence of this determination, they took leave of the coast on the 14th October, and on the 19th of December, they once more dropped anchor in Sydney Cove, having a very narrow escape from shipwreck in a violent gale that compelled them to take shelter in Botany Bay, after an almost miraculous deliverance from being driven on the rocks (which were only discovered by flashes of lightning), at Cape Banks, its northern head. ((Source: Robert Heward’s Biographical Sketch of Allan Cunningham, page 265