- A week before the ship sails, Elizabeth Fry, the famous Quaker preacher and prison reformer goes aboard to offer the women words of comfort. Many are brought to tears. As she gets in the bosun’s chair to disembark, however, one of the hardened convicts sneers: “Let’s hope the bloody bitch falls off and drowns.”
- On Sunday 25 August, the day of departure from Woolwich, the convicts dress up in their best finery and dance for the pleasure of the Forresters, celebrating their sixth anniversary. The mood is soon ruined when spectator boats crowd around, with drunken young louts jeering and shouting abuse at the “damned whores.”
- After the grounding, with precious minutes slipping away, the ship’s longboat becomes the focal point of intense human conflict. The convicts and even some of the crew are desperate to have it launched. Hunter is sure the ship can weather the storm. Still, it’s Forrester’s decision –he has a duty of care for the women and children. He orders the launch but his wife states flatly: "I will not go in the boat with the convicts." They quarrel briefly but in the end he says: "Neither the boat or any person should go on shore tonight." That’s how it was reported but a film script could well tap into other intriguing possibilities.
- At 9:15 pm on Saturday, 31 August, those on the beach at Boulogne-sur-Mer hear what could only be described as the crack of doom – the moment the vessel’s spine is broken by a powerful wave. Women huddling near the poop deck are immediately swept away. French customs officers, bayonets at the ready, have been assembled along the beach to prevent looters. In their slavish adherence to the rules, they actually end up preventing scores of volunteers from aiding those washed up on shore alive. One woman on the edge of the surf reaches out her exhausted hand to two kindly fishermen but they are promptly ordered to leave the scene.
- Political but still intriguing: a bubbling scandal arises in maritime circles over how the tiny Amphitrite - then owned by a leading Tory politician - won its government contract. To qualify, a sizable poop deck had to be added at the last moment, a major and possibly destabilising alteration to such a small, sleek ship. Her previous long-time Captain suddenly quits. Was it because of this?