Familiar Names in a far away place
Trip Start Mar 14, 2006
241Trip End Mar 15, 2007
I started out my afternoon by having a look at the ship the Amity. Information I obtained there indicates that this ship sailed from Sydney on 9th November 1826, carrying a party under the command of Major Edmund Lockyer, who had orders to form a settlement at King George Sound. After a difficult voyage, the first half battling through heavy weather in Bass Strait and the second enduring the summer heat of the westward run, the brig reached Princess Royal Harbour on Christmas Day
A project to build a replica of the brig Amity commenced in 1972. After much discussion and research, construction started in 1975, with a local boat builder as project supervisor and another man as leading shipwright. Other local craftsmen joined the team, with the aim of making the replica the focal point of celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the brig's arrival. We were encouraged, when visiting this full-size replica, to try and imagine more than 50 men, together with stores, sheep and pigs, sharing this small vessel in a difficult journey taking over six weeks. It was a forbidding journey to be sure and jam packed.
I then drove out towards Frenchman's Bay. On the drive back I ran into a lot of things related to Captain George Vancouver
I stopped at "Vancouver Lookout" just above the spring and over looking Frenchman's Bay. At this point I was driving along "Vancouver Road". Running off that road was "St. George's Crescent. I could not get much in the way of views from that road but continued down to a beach where I took photos looking back. It reminded me rather of the views from Ballenas where my brother and family live. I rather enjoyed running into such familiar names reflecting the area of the world I am from when I was so far away.
I then spent some time at "Whale World" and was alternately grossed out by the places where whales were killed and taken from the most marvelous creatures in the ocean to be rendered to oil, and amazed the 3D renditions (had to wear 3D glasses) of whales.),
On the way back I passed through Torandirrup National Park and stopped at some lovely beaches and bays on one side and rocky outcroppings (Stony Hill, Blowholes, Gap and Natural Bridge) on the other
At "The Gap and Natural Bridge" I found a note telling me "Welcome to the edge of Antarctica". "The continents of Australia and Antarctica were bound together along this rugged coastline for more then one billion years, forming the super continent of Gondwana. The ancient continents were formed mainly of gneiss a rock created deep in the Earth's crust (look for bands and folds of dark rock). Pressure and friction at the base of the two fused continents caused rock to melt and slowly rise up through the gneiss (think of a lava lamp). This molten rock slowly cooled, hardened into granite and helping to cement the continents together.
Australia and Antarctica separated about 45 million years ago when the last sections of the super-continent broke apart. The rocks where you now stand were left behind when the continents parted. Today rock formations on Australia's southern coast can still be matched to identical rocks on the northern coast of Antarctica near Windmill Islands. Still drifting north, Australia is 5 centimeters further away from Antarctica than it was a year ago.
The granite which forms the Gap and Natural Bridge was created when molten rock rose from deep in the earth's crust
The note also reminded us of the danger that this is a coastal risk area. We should stay on the pathways and keep back from the cliff edges as well as be wary of strong winds and slippery rocks. The wind certainly was extremely strong when I was there and I had to hang on tight to had, camera and footing. ON the way out to the rock I noted a plaque to the whale chaser Cheynes II and an aircraft pilot and their outstanding courage. They saved a man in 1978 from certain death in the waters off this spot.
Later that evening I typed a long letter to Aeroplan which the Backpackers will run off for me and had another lovely dinner at the Earl of Spencer again.