In 1857 an intrepid young dutchman, Ari Vandenberg, took to the high seas as a merchant sailor in search of fortune and adventure. There was never any intention of staying in Australia, but after delivering 397 Chinese passengers safely to shore on their way to the goldfields, the King Willem II found itself weathering a storm off South Australia’s Limestone Coast.
Twist Of Fate
And then a terrible nor’westerly gale parted the 800-tonne vessel from her anchor and dashed her against the rocks. Huge seas swept over the ship making it a total wreck with no hope of recovery.
Of the 23-strong crew still aboard only nine made it ashore with their lives. Among them was Ari, a man of uncommon courage and mettle. He was soaked and chilled to the bone; everything he owned now lost, and with no way of returning home. But, instead of buckling to adversity, Ari turned from the ocean to face the stunning landscape and decided that fate had a hand in this turn of events. He vowed to make a new and better life for himself in this place.