1813: Destination Australia How do we decide what risks to take?
First we listed what the risks were on a ship in that time period. Then we chose one decision that involved taking risks and looked more closely at the reasoning that was involved. Decision: The captain had to decide which route the ship should take. Next we looked at HOW he made his decision, what factors he considered and why. Finally we applied what we learned to decisions involving risks that we might have to make in our lives. How we will answer this question.
There were risks involving many factors: The weather - they relied upon wind power- decisions had to be made about how much sail to use. Human error - they had to take measurements to know where they were. Unsafe food and not enough supplies. Personalities - people on a crowded ship would get bored and argue or fight and sometimes challenge those in authority. Teamwork was essential - everyone relied on the specialised skills of other people. Crew members who didnt cooperate could jeopardise the safety of all on board. What were the types of risks on ships?
More about the risks on ships! In the early 19 th century, once a ship left for sea the crew were usually on their own. There was no way of communicating so they could not call for help. They had to rely completely upon each other. Everyone had to do their job well or lives could be lost. The weather could blow a ship off course or not blow at all. This could affect the length of the journey. Would they have enough food and water to last? Ships could become unhealthy places. The ship had to be kept clean from human excrement and vomit (which was a problem) to prevent disease. Keeping food safe to eat was a big problem.
The risk of deciding which route to take. How do we decide what risks to take? – Factors influencing this decision: In the early 19 th century ships were powered by wind. Travel by sea was slow and how long it took depended on the wind. It took the First Fleet 8 months to travel from England to Australia, but it could be less or more. The ship had to have many supplies. No refrigeration meant that keeping food fresh and safe was a problem. The longer the journey, the risks of running out of supplies increased. Convict ships were very crowded. Life onboard was unhealthy and boring. Convicts didnt have TVs or play stations. Sometimes the crew got angry because of the conditions and would take over the ship. This was called mutiny. Too long on a ship increased the risks of rebellion.
Choosing the route involved risks! The Captain had to decide the best way to go. The best decision was the one that got them there as quickly as possible with the BEST OUTCOME that involved the minimum risk. Map of Captain Cooks Journeys – He had several choices available
What Route involved the least risk? This is the way we thought would be best because when the ship gets below Africa there are very strong winds (the Roaring Forties) that blow all the way to Australia. This was the fastest way so it involved the least risk. If the journey took longer than expected then they could run out of food, or even more seriously, they could run out of water. Also the journey would cost more in pay for the men and food and supplies that were used by those on board. The navigator advised the captain who then decided which route to take.
What Route involved the least risk? (continued) The Roaring Forties that blow all year from Africa to Australia is a longer route than going down towards Antarctica. Our ship would go fast once we got to the bottom of Africa. We didnt have to go close to Antarctica which has bad storms and icebergs that might wreck the ship This involved the least weather risk.
A short journey was the least risky journey financially! If the journey took more time the Captain would have to give the crew more pay and he would have to spend more food for the convicts. A longer trip put more wear and tear on the ship so repairs would cost more. So the quickest route is cheapest and this would have been an important factor in the decision.
Food was a big problem, another reason to keep the journey as short as possible In England the Captain would have to make sure there was plenty of food on board. They had no fridge so food like milk and vegetables did not last long. The Captain would have to bring cows and sheep and chickens for fresh food but these would not last for the whole trip. They stopped at places like Cape Town in South Africa to get more fresh food and animals. They also needed to get water.
How did the Captain decide what risks to take? Travel at sea in 1813 was risky. How did the Captain decide what risks to take? He had to base his decision upon many factors. In deciding what route the captain had consider.: Cost of the journey compared to a short more risky route close to Antarctica or a longer but safer route using the Roaring Forties winds. The risk of running out of supplies which is increased by taking a longer route. The risk of a rebellion which is increased by a longer journey. The risk of food going bad or disease breaking out which increases with time. The risk of the ship being wrecked in bad weather by sailing closer to Antarctica. He had to weigh each of the risks against the benefits of taking that risk. Commercial vessels took the more dangerous route as it increased their profits. Convict vessels took the slightly longer, but safer route.
How do we decide what risks to take? While this investigation was about the risks and deciding what route to take on a journey, a lot of what has been discussed applies to deciding what risks to take in our own life. As the captain of ourselves, we have to ask ourselves similar questions as the captain did. For example: Should I take drugs? First it is wise to think about what might be the risks? What might happen to my health? Would I be risking my relationships with my friends or with my family? Would I be able to keep myself safe? Do the people who sell drugs care about me? How would my future be affected if I got a criminal record for using drugs?
So how do we decide what risks to take? First we have to identify what the risks are. Second we have to think about how the risk will benefit us and what will happen if we lose. Only then can we decide whether to take the risk or not.
My multimedia presentation Self-Evaluation (Colour the faces green for your assessment) I cited all my pictures and information 1 or none How many different risks did I find? I applied my reasoning to decisions I might have to make. I answered the question thoroughly and realistically I have identified many of the risks of the journey My presentation is easy to read My presentation works 23 or more