The First Fleet - the Creation of a Nation Bestselling maritime biographer Rob Mundle is back on the ocean with a blockbuster for Christmas. Rob's FIRST FLEET tells the extraordinary story of the eighteenth century convoy of eleven ships that left England on 13 May 1787 for the 'lands beyond the seas'. Aboard were seafarers, convicts, marines, and a few good citizens - some 1300 in all - who had been consigned to a virtually unknown land on the opposite side of the world where they would establish a penal colony, and a nation. The fleet stopped at Tenerife, Rio de Janeiro and Cape Town before sailing across the notorious and challenging Southern Ocean, bound for Botany Bay. Somehow, all 11 ships arrived safely between 18 and 20 January, 1788. But, it's what happened during 252 days at sea while sailing half way around the world, and subsequently on land, that is almost beyond belief. No nation has ever been founded in such a courageous and dangerous manner. It's the basis for one hell of an adventure.