The HMS Reliance was a British Royal Navy exploration and transport vessel, mostly associated with the early days of the colony of Sydney. It was purchased by the navy in 1…793, had a burden of 394 tons, and was 90 feet (27 metres) long. It sailed for Port Jackson (Sydney) in 1795 under the command of Commander Henry Waterhouse, carrying four people of note: .
Captain John Hunter, who upon arrival at Sydney would become the 2nd Governor of New South Wales. .
Midshipman Matthew Flinders .
Naval Surgeon George Bass .
Bennelong, the first Aboriginal person to visit England, and now returning home. It was on this voyage that Bass and Flinders first met and became firm friends. When the ship stopped at the Cape of Good Hope, Bass purchased a small boat which he later named the Tom Thumb and was used in the first exploration endeavour by Flinders and Bass. In 1796 the Reliance sailed to Norfolk Island to deliver supplies and officers to the small colony there. In 1797 the Reliance (along with the Supply ) made a journey to the Cape of Good Hope to procure supplies and cattle for the Sydney colony. It also brought with it the first Merino sheep (for John Macarthur.) Flinders and Bass served on these supply runs. In his private notes, Flinders sometimes referred to the Reliance as the " Roundabout ". It was on board the Reliance at the Cape of Good Hope that Flinders adopted a hardy kitten that he named Trim. Trim sailed with Flinders on all of Flinders' subsequent voyages. In early 1800 Waterhouse used the Reliance to chart the Antipodes Islands off the coast of New Zealand. Upon her return to Sydney in March 1800, Governor Hunter decided that the ship was in such poor condition that it could no longer serve at Port Jackson and ordered Waterhouse to return it to England. It carried (the now) Lieutenant Matthew Flinders with the findings of his earlier explorations - including the circumnavigation and charting of Tasmania - in order that he could put his case to the Admiralty for a larger survey of Australia. Upon its return to England the Reliance was put into service as a harbour vessel, and was sold off in October 1815. ( Full Answer )