HMS Leopard in Patric O'Brian's "Desolation Island"

HMS Leopard plays a major part in one of Patric O'Brians books of his Aubrey-Maturin series. No need to tell about people which already know the series, to all other never heard about: strongly recommended if you are interested in naval history of the 17th/18th century or just enjoy excellent literature. An overview of the series can be found here:

Aubrey Maturin Series

This map shows my interpretation of the Leopard's trip to Desolation Island (large file)

The Leopards struck of the iceberg is like most events in the series based on a real event. Read here the story of Capt. Riou and HMS Guardian

(Photo taken from

If you want to know more about the real Desolation Island follow this link: Kerguelen Islands

Kerguelen Island is named after the french Admiral Kerguelen who sighted the Island first in 1772. Known as Desolation Island because the barren landscape without trees.

from "Desolation Island":

" Stephen bent low to see the ship as she would appear from the waterline. The figurehead, a lady in a flowing gown, mysteriously opening a covered dish, or perhaps playing cymbals, was vaguely familiar, but he could not put a name to her until his eye caught a bulbous yellow spotted dog in the sweep of the head just behind. 'The horrible old - that is to say, the Leopard,' he said.  "

HMS Leopard. Another sketch from Geoff Hunt, the illustrator of the Aubrey-Maturin series. More Geoff Hunt pictures here at Framing Fox: