Saturday, January 14, 2006

Garden Island

Went to an island in Sydney Harbour today. Garden Island is a naval thingy with docks and shit and a museum as well. Doesn't look like an island now what with all the docks and shit built up from it into Woolloomooloo Bay.

(Big version) It's been a naval thingy since the First Fleet came in 1788 and Governor Phillip told the Sirius crew to set up a garden there. A couple of them left their initials (I.R. and J.M.) and the date on a rock. The plaque says "Probably the oldest marks extant of white settlement initials F.M. and I.R. with the date 1788. F.M. believed to be Frederick Meredith, a member of the crew of H.M.S. Sirius. I.R. not known." The plaque is out of date. The tour guide said the initials are I.R. and J.M..

Midget Sub
(Big version) In WWII the Kuttabul was sunk at the Garden Island dock by Japanese midget submarines. This is part of one of them. From one side to the other, the sub is no wider than my outstretched arms. Even with the remainder of the sub, that's fucking small.

HMAS Kanimbla
(Big version) The Kanimbla docked at Garden Island with the Woolloomooloo Bay docks behind it. Kanimbla's the ship we sent to Iraq.

The Coathanger & the House
(Big version)
It was another hot hazy summer day. There's a viewing platform up on top of the "ex-Main Signal Building which once controlled the movement of naval vessels in and out of the harbour". The views of the Harbour and Sydney are great. You can see right out to the Macquarie Lighthouse and over the CBD and to the Coathanger (the Harbour Bridge) and down into the naval dockyards. That's the Opera House on the left. It's on one side of Circular Quay and the Coathanger's on the other. The smudge in the middle of the bridge is the heart thingy they bunged up for New Year's Eve.

(Big version) "Hammerhead Crane. This huge crane is still the largest in Australia.--Even though it was built nearly 50 years ago. It stands 62 metres above its foundations (which extend a further 32 metres into the sea bed) and it has a lifting capacity of 275 tonnes. Construction of the Hammerhead Crane (so called because its outline looks like a household hammer) began in 1948. It involved the use of 1400 tonnes of structural steel and 250,000 rivets. It incorporates 200 tonnes of machinery and 11 kilometres of electrical cable. The crane is listed in the National Estate Register."

Museum Building
(Big version) Haven't got a date for this building yet. If it's the Gun Mounting Workshop mentioned in the brochure it's 1922. The style of arched windows is similar to the Hyde Park Barracks (1818-19) and to the Everleigh Workshops at Redfern. It's obvious something's been added onto the front of the building at some point and taken off again. No idea what.

Didn't see much of the place. There wasn't enough time before the last ferry back. There's no other way back, apart from swimming, and the Navy gets quite cross if you overstay. Probably hang you from the yardarm or summat. I'll get the early ferry next time and have a proper explore. They've got some neat shit there.

Wondabyne fire
(Big version) Taken from the train. Aftermath of the Wondabyne fire. There was a lot more burnt bits. This bit is in Mullet Creek which is between Woy Woy and Brooklyn (Hawkesbury) stations. It started New Year's Day as well as the Woy Woy fires and it was still burning the day after.


jax said...

Nice photos!

Suzanne said...

Midget sub horrifying to contemplate - trapped in a metal tube not much bigger than a coffin, hundreds of feet under surface and no one can hear you scream...

Spike said...

TY, Jax.

Suzanne, I had a peer inside and even a Japanese guy would have trouble standing up in there. The rest of the sub was engine and propeller. I saw a whole midget sub in another Sydney museum.

One of those plaques tells of the sub that got caught in the sub net in the Harbour. There were two guys on board. After two hours of trying to get free they detonated their load of explosives. Don't know that I'd have the guts to do that.