The brig Aurora was American owned and its home port was Boston, Massachusetts. It was owned and sometimes commanded by Owen Folger Smith and he was an
active particpant in the lucrative seal and whale oil trade in the Southern Oceans. The Gazette records the Aurora's visits to Sydney Town (including the day it ran
aground on Bennelong's Point in July 1810) from April 1806 until March 1811 when it sailed for Calcutta and apparently never returned to Australian waters.
In 1806 the brig sailed from Peru and arrived in Sydney Town with 25 tons of sperm whale oil, "procured off the coast of New Zealand" (6). Later in May 1806, the brig
sailed for the Penantipodes Islands (now called the Antipodes Islands) which are to the south-east of the South Island of New Zealand. Fur seals were the target catch
and it must have been a very successful hunting ground for the Aurora and numerous other whalers. One voyage by several ships in 1806 saw 80,000 seal skins shipped
to Canton for sale. By the end of 1807 the seals of the Antipodes Islands were all but exterminated (7).
In August 1810 the Commander of the Aurora advertised for "Ten able-bodied Seamen; also a Cooper and Ten Men to proceed on a sealing voyage; they must be free
from Debts" (8). This must have been the advertisement that William Hubbard read and responded to, which lead to his name being announced as a crew member in the
Gazette a month later (9). There is one more possible reference to William's whaling adventure; in the Gazette of 22 September 1810 (10) it is reported that "An infamous
plot to seize piratically upon the the American brig Aurora having been detected, a number of the persons charged with being concerned therein were on Sunday night
last apprehended and lodged in custody for Examination, which took place this day before a full Bench of Magistrates. The evidence that appeared was that of several
of the implicated parties, one of whom, a principal, being yet out of custody, the prisoners were remanded for further Examination" .
Despite a careful perusal of the Gazette from 22 September until the end of 1810, there is no record of the outcome of these charges. William Hubbard must have been
on board the Aurora when this alleged mutiny or piracy took place but as he later became a police constable, it is assumed he was not among the wrong-doers.