Thursday, December 20, 2007

Palm Beach again

(Palm Beach again)

Fantasea Crystal at Ettalong Wharf Ettalong

Our trusty steed Fantasea Crystal at Ettalong Wharf. She is a 25 metre aluminium catamaran and takes a max of 192 passengers.

Lion Island, looking south from the Palm Beach ferry

Lion Island, looking south from the Palm Beach ferry. Notice the cliff at the head end, facing out therough the heads of Broken Bay, and the lion-ish shape of the whole thing.

Lion Island from the Pam Beach ferry

Lion Island from the Palm Beach ferry.

Lion Island head on from the Palm Beach ferry

Head on of Lion Island. Rock climbers can occasionally be spotted inching their way up its face.

The island is on a couple of my old maps as Elliott Island, named in 1789 by Governor Phillip after another Island where his mate General Elliott gave the Spanish and French a kicking. It's 8 hectares and was made into Lion Island Nature Reserve in 1956. There's quite a few beasties living on it, mostly birds though of course.

White-bellied Sea-Eagle
Grey Teal
Fork-tailed Swift
White-throated Needletail
Pied Currawong
Australian Raven
Mistletoe bird
Nankeen Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon
Silver Gull
Crested Tern
Yellow-faced Honeyeater
White-cheeked Honeyeater
Great Cormorant
Little Pied Cormorant
Little Black Cormorant
Tawny Frogmouth
Blue Petrel
Fluttering Shearwater
Sooty Shearwater
Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Short-tailed Shearwater
Eastern Rosella
Little Penguin
Southern Boobook

House mouse

Eastern Water Dragon
Robust Ctenotus
Copper-tailed Skink
Eastern Water-skink
Three-toed Skink
Lace Monitor

Proper names at NSW National Parks

Sydney Climbing

Barrenjoey Head from the Palm Beach ferry

Barrenjoey Head from Pittwater. Note the flat strip of land on the right hand side of the Head. That's the golf course, with Palm Beach itself on the other side of it and Barrenjoey Beach on the Pittwater side, which is this side.

Myra leaving Palm Beach Wharf

Myra leaving Palm Beach wharf. She does the bays and wharves of Pittwater. She's too small to go across the mouth of Broken Bay to Ettalong. She'd be all over the place in a decent swell.

She is a 15 metre woodern ferry and "the pride of Palm Beach Ferry Service". She takes a max of 130 passengers.

Sister ship Crystal Spirit at Wagstaffe wharf

Palm Beach ferry fleet

Ettalong to Palm Beach map

More Broken ferries & boats

Islands of Broken Bay

And that's yer lot for the year. I'm on me holidays now and will be laying on the beach and having barbies for a couple of weeks, storms permitting. Have a good Chrissy and come back on the 15th of January.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Palm Beach

Coupla days of blue sky sandwiched between storms so I shot out with the camera while the light was good. Felt like a ferry ride so I dragged a couple of mates over to Palm Beach.

Crystal Spirit coming in to Palm Beach Wharf

Crystal Spirit coming in to Palm Beach wharf in Pittwater. Just over that hill is the Pacific Ocean.

Palm Beach is near the top of a narrow peninsula known unofficially as the Insular Peninsula. Money lives there and visiting movie stars often hang out there. It looks onto the Pacific Ocean on its east side and onto Pittwater on its western side. Pittwater is the southern arm of Broken Bay, the Hawkesbury River is the western arm and Brisbane Water (where Woy Woy is) is the northern arm. Map.

Looking south down Pittwater from Barrenjoey Road Palm Beach

Looking south down Pittwater from Barrenjoey Road. In the background across the water is Ku-ring-gai National Park.

Looking north to Lion Island & Woy Woy Peninsula from Waratah Road Palm Beach

Looking north to Lion Island & Woy Woy Peninsula from Waratah Road. The Pacific was a bit rough but Pittwater was lovely and calm. Here we're looking from Pittwater, across the mouth of Broken Bay, to the mouth of Brisbane Water, just beyond Lion Island. That faint bit of beach you can see just to the left of Lion Island is Pearl Beach. If I hadn't deliberately excluded the bastard, you'd be able to see the fungoid blob of the Excrescence at Ettalong.

Looking north from Palm Beach to Barrenjoey Head & the Bouddi Peninsula

Looking north from Palm Beach to Barrenjoey Head & the Bouddi Peninsula. The closer hill with the lighthouse on it is Barrenjoey Head. The further land is Gerrin Point or thereabouts.

As we stood there gawking a Hercules or summat cruised silent and low up the beach and turned inland at Barrenjoey Head. We couldn't hear it over the surf and it probably couldn't hear us strike up a chorus of It's raining men in the vain hope it would drop sexy paratroopers.

View from the corner of Palm Beach Road & Pacific Road Palm Beach

Pacific Ocean from the corner of Palm Beach Road & Sunrise Place. That's a cargo ship there on the horizon, waiting to come into Sydney Harbour.

Woy Woy to Palm Beach

Woy Woy to Palm Beach by ferry. Note ferry pilot not plastered by avoiding sandbars.

Back to top

A wee bit of seasonal humour

When four of Santa's elves got sick, and the trainee elves did not produce the toys as fast as the regular ones, Santa was beginning to feel the pressure of being behind schedule.

At this time, Mrs. Claus thought it appropriate to tell Santa that her Mum was coming to visit, this stressed Santa even more.

When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two had jumped the fence and were out, who knows where. This stressed poor Santa even more.

Then when he began to load the sleigh one of the boards cracked, and the toy bag fell to the ground and scattered the toys.

So, frustrated, Santa went into the house for a cup of apple cider and a shot of rum. When he went to the cupboard, he discovered that the elves had hidden the liquor, and there was nothing to drink. In his frustration, he accidentally dropped the cider pot, and it broke into hundreds of little pieces all over the kitchen floor. He went to get the broom and found that mice had eaten the straw end of the broom.

Just then the doorbell rang, and irritable Santa trudged to the door. He opened the door, and there was a little angel with a great big Christmas tree. The angel said, very cheerfully, "Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn't it a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?"

And so began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ye Olde Woy Woy

Woy Woy Station & Postal Receiving Office
Annotated & embiggened versions

Woy Woy's first railway station. It was just opposite where the Railway Street/Charlton Street roundabout is now.

George Fletcher, who wrote for the Gosford Times under the name Perong, wrote in 1928 that the station master delivered the post by emptying the mail bag out onto a bench and reading out the names on the envelopes.

Woy Woy Station, Jack West store, Bayview Hotel prior to 1910
Annotated & embiggened versions

Woy Woy's first railway station with train pulled in (middle), the beautiful old Bay View Hotel (the original one, right) and a bit more of Woy Woy on the left edge, prior to 1910.

The water is Woy Woy Inlet. The current railway station is about where that long jetty is.

The Boulevard Woy Woy early 1900's
Annotated & embiggened versions

The Boulevard Woy Woy early 1900's. Looking north-north-west round the curve of The Boulevard towards the railway and the hill of Parks Bay/Koolewong across Woy Woy Inlet.

The pub on the left is still there, minus it's upper veranda. The buildings of the right hand side of the road have been replaced by other shops, a factory-now-motel and the 1929 Bay View pub.

The amount of people you can see on The Boulevard in this picture (a dozen) is not much changed.

The Boulevard Woy Woy early 1900s
Annotated & embiggened versions

The Boulevard Woy Woy early 1900s. Looking from what is now the Bay View pub corner north-north-east along The Boulevard (then called main Street).

The distant hill visible behind the trees is Saratoga/Davistown.

On the right hand edge of the photo is "Gilan's Woy Woy" which looks like a shop of some kind. To its immediate left is the old Post Office, built in 1906 to house the post when Postmistress Minard Crommelin came in 1906.

On the left hand side of the picture is another shop with "COX" and some unreadable words on its awning, then another smaller shop, then a butcher. The open ground next to the butcher is where the fish and chip shop and the Woy Woy Memorial Park (Soldiers' Park) are now. Huck Finn's, which was once a butcher shop, is still standing in about the same spot as this butcher shop.

The second Bay View Hotel is not yet built but its site is just out of frame on the left bottom. The camera is standing on the corner of The Boulevard and Brisbane Water Drive.

Bustling Downtown Woy Woy
Annotated & embiggened versions

Bustling Downtown Woy Woy


Thanks to Michael for the links.

Railpage - trainspotter talk.

Steam train to Gosford & OSCAR trials - YouTube, shot at Tascott & Hawkesbury River/Brooklyn.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Golden knobs

(Random walkies)

Bloody light's still no bloody good for photos and I'm still working my arse off. Dug these up from the archives.

Very weird banksia cobs

Very weird banksia cobs seen in Picnic Parade Ettalong last month.

They look deformed. Lovely golden colour though.

Banksia flower cone

Normal cone. Not the very same variety of Banksia but close enough.

Very Weird banksia cobs close-up

The deformed ones again. The brown one is the seed cob. It's got some knobs and some normal pods on it.

This afternoon storms every day thing has been going on for a couple of weeks now. But it can't last forever. Will be enough light for photos again soon.

8 4 random things about me

Got tagged by Device dear.

1. Somewhere around the 12th drink I talk like a chipmunk for 10 minutes then pop outside for a spew and a little lie down.

2. I like aeroplane jelly.

3. But not vegemite. Yeah, I know, I have to give my Stralyan Card back now.

4. I have a mole in a conversation-halting place.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Lightning & overtime


Some poor tourist copped it up at Terrigal the other night. Struck by lightning. Terrigal's 20 minutes up the road from here. Popular tourist spot, what with the lagoon and the beach. Anyways, it was storms and strikes galore, as it has been all week, and not the ideal time for fishing.

The Herald says she was "standing in ankle-deep water watching her boyfriend fish" and says she was "walking between her boyfriend and a friend, who were holding fishing rods". They're both sure she was at Terrigal Beach.

Cool lightning photos


Had to pop into the supermarket at lunchtime. Argh. Forgot it was pension day. All the Dear Old Things were out in force and the stress of Christmas makes the rate of Senior Moments about 4 per hundred yards. I weaved and dodged and shifted their trolleys for them when they forgot where they were, removed some blasted sprog's sticky hand from where it latched onto my trousers, grabbed an armful of frozen pizzas and buggered off out of there.

No,wait, the sub-heading of this bit is Overtime not Trolley Rage. My brain is fried from doing overtime. Walkies tomorrow. Providing it's not pissing down or lightning striking.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Sydney to Gosford ferries

(Letting my fingers do the walking)

Hawkesbury River railway bridge opening May 1st 1889

Hawkesbury River railway bridge opening May 1st 1889

Brisbane Water got busier after the railway came. More day-trippers up from Sydney, more people buying land and moving up here from Sydney or down here from further up the Coast.

Before the railway you got here from Sydney by slow boat round the back of Sydney and up the Hawkesbury or up the coast on a small ferry from Circular Quay or Darling Harbour. Must've been a long queasy trip on rough days.

"The SS Woy Woy runs every Tuesday and Friday at 8am from the foot of Erskine St for Gosford and Woy Woy, calling at Merritt's Wharf(Cockle Creek), Blackwall, Green Point, and New Brighton, or elsewhere as required; fares, 2s 6d single, 4s return.
The SS Erina also leaves Russell's Wharf, at the foot of Bathurst St, at 7.45am on Thursday, picking up passengers at Dawes' Point, if signalled, at 8am; fare 2s 6d return." (1909 tourist handbook)

The foot of Eskine Street is at Darling Harbour in Sydney, just round the corner from Circular Quay. Bathurst Street ends at Darling Harbour as well, right up in Cockle Bay. Dawes Point is at the southern foot of Sydney Harbour Bridge, the CBD side.

2s 6d should be two shillings and sixpence and 4s four shillings. That's Australian currency pre-1966.

The handbook twitters on a bit about the scenery:

"The matchless beauty of the landscape in this portion of the State, the charm of swelling hill and sylvan valley, of precipitous cliff and rocky gorge, of grassy upland and impenetrable masses of forest, is enhanced by the presence of picturesque creeks, romantic bays, and broad sheets of glittering water, the whole presenting a series of magnificent spectacles."

Dunno about "matchless", there's heaps of beautiful places in the world, but otherwise I'd agree with that. Bloody lovely place to live is Brisbane Water.

In 1915 the Gosford Times said "Card-sharpers continue to ply their nefarious calling on trains between Sydney and Gosford. One of their latest victims was relieved of 17 pounds in a very short space of time." Nowadays it's on yer mobile phone.

Sydney to Woy Woy map

Sydney to Woy Woy map showing Hawkesbury River (left) and railway line completed in 1889 (middle) and the coast up which ferries came from Sydney Harbour.

The Sydney ferry dropped you off at Gosford usually but might go down to Woy Woy after or you could get a local ferry from Gosford.

Woy Woy wharves Phegan's Great Northern Guide 1924

When you got to Woy Woy it looked like this photo from Phegan's 1924 Great Northern Guide. That wharf's in the same spot as the current wharf.

"Goldenia" that building in the middle says. A quick Google suggests Goldenia was either a brand of tea or a race horse.

The closest building, the shed, is about where the commercial wharf is now. The foreground in the lower right of the photo is now Anderson Park, where the annual Fun Run starts. The creek is gone but until about 18 months ago there was a fountain over it.

Wagstaff Point 1900-1910

Wagstaff Point sometime between 1900 and 1910. Manly House stands where the progress hall stands now and the wharf hasn't shifted.

Two launches running, including the latest, largest, and fastest motor launch on the river - The Conqueror - seating accommodation for 150 passengers.
Passengers landed anywhere along the River.
Don't miss a trip to Ettalong Beach, Wagstaff Point, Pretty Beach, Broken Bay, Lion Island etc.. Lovely sandy beaches, surf bathing, good fishing. Hot and cold water free. Return fare 1s. Take the White Ferry. J Murphy, Proprietor." (Peninsula News history article)

What "the Bar" is I can't find out. At a guess I'd say it's the name of the wharf or pub in Sydney where the ferry left from.

Some of the ferries

S.S. Woy Woy was a 24 ton cargo and passenger ferry launched in 1901. In 1905 her fares from Circular Quay to Gosford were 2/6d and 4/- return (two shillings and sixpence, four shillings) Tuesdays and Fridays.

History of Woy Woy - scroll down for photo of the ferry and 1905 land sale in Woy Woy township.

SS Gosford did the Sydney run and also went up to Port Stephens up past Newcastle.

S.S. General Gordon operated a regular passenger and cargo run between Gosford and Sydney. It was a stern-wheel paddle-steamer of 164 tons and carried passengers across the Hawkesbury before the bridge was opened (top photo).

On a charity fund-raiser trip in 1926, says the book, "she was loaded with excited passengers bound for Wisemans Ferry ... The trip was not without incident. The ship broke down and rolled alarmingly in Broken Bay. Gosford band master Dick Wells struck up the tune, '... and he played his ukelele when the ship went down!'" Possibly not the best idea a band master ever had.

The ferry was fixed but then the male passengers spent some time in the pub at Wisemans steadying their nerves and the ferry finally got back to Gosford after 10PM that night, where the passengers' families were getting toe-y on the wharf.

S.S. Erina was damaged by fire in 1911 while she was moored down at Balmain wharf in Sydney. The ship's fireman (stoker) was asleep on board but managed to get off without being roasted alive and the fire brigade came. The ferry survived and was sold in 1934 to an R.W. Miller for use on Sydney Harbour. She was replaced by the Erina II, which was a 77 ton diesel powered vessel built at Empire Bay by Arthur Davis and sons.


Koolewong level crossing & trains - local trainspotting from Trent "Raichase" Nicholson

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Purple penis plant

Fucking horrible day for walkies today. Plenty of sun but flat light and the weather's as muggy as buggery. I had a bit of a wander then sought refuge in the cool of the pub.

Ocean Beach SLSC Trafalgar Avenue Umina

Ocean Beach SLSC Trafalgar Avenue Umina

Finished at last. The outside anyways. The inside looks semi-finished.

T'other one, Umina Beach SLSC down the road a bit, is still being landscaped and having tiles done downstairs.

Dellwyn Elizabeth Mardell Ocean Beach SLSC Umina

Second memorial seat at Ocean Beach SLSC. The other one is dedicated to the memory of Bob da Silva.

Dunnies (left) and playground of the SLSC in the background.

This one says:

"In loving memory of
Dellwyn Elizabeth Mardell
1943 - 2001".

Box Head from Ocean Beach SLSC

Box Head from Ocean Beach SLSC

Box Head was on the telly the other night, on that surf rescue programme. It was filmed a while back and the bit at Box Head was an overturned dingy or summat.

Nice shots of the area from the rescue chopper and, after the campers cleared their tents off the camping ground, the chopper put down and picked up the peeps from the boat.

Barrenjoey Head & Lion Island from Ocean Beach SLSC

Barrenjoey Head & Lion Island from Ocean Beach SLSC

Storm clouds building up out to sea and a raft of small cumulus floating up from Sydney.

Purple penis bush

Purple penis bush. Large firm pannicles with a faint perfume reminiscent of soap.


Bernie Banton's dead. The mesothelioma got him in the end. He'd had asbestosis and asbestos-related pleural disease for yonks, hence the oxygen tube he wore.

Asbestos is a fibrous mineral. You might know it as the brown and yellow-striped gem stone tiger's eye. The industrial grade is a dull grey. It was used in World War 2 as fire insulation in warships, heaps of houses have been built from sheets of it (in NSW it's called fibro).

It's deadly stuff. The fibres get in your lungs and cells built up round them and pretty soon there's a whacking great lump in your chest using up more and more of the space you need to breathe. It can take years to show you and there's a group of diseases you can get from it, mesothelioma being one of them and the one that can take twenty years to develop.

You can get asbestos diseases from mining it, from manufacturing it like Banton did when he worked for Hardies, from installing it and from uninstalling it or just from being in the same room as the fibres. Men who worked for Hardies died of it and are still dying of it, wives who washed their work clothes have died from it, builders have died from it, home renovators have died from it. Stay away from the shit.

Hardies fucked around with their workers' lives then tried to wriggle out of the consequences. Banton and the rest of the crew that fought Hardies worked bloody hard to get them to cough up workers' comp. Tell you what, I wouldn't be able to sit across the table from a guy who had to cart a tank of oxygen round to live and say he couldn't have any compo. Takes a real lack of guts to do that.

Onya, Bern. Even those who didn't know you will miss you.

ABC article with picutre

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Old villages

Old villages of the Woy Woy Peninsula

The line of red dots in the centre is not an old village but the WWII emergency airstrip. It was gravel and its remains are occasionally dug up in someone's backyard.

The other isolated and grouped red dots are the old villages of the Woy Woy Peninsula:

Woy Woy (uppermost group)
Umina/West Street (lowest group)
Booker Bay (3 dots on right)
Pearl Beach (2 dots at bottom)

Woy Woy village:

Railway Street, Woy Woy

Railway Street from the railway station

Masonic Hall Railway Street Woy Woy

Masonic Hall Railway Street from the railway station

CWA Woy Woy

CWA Anderson Park, opposite the (current) ferry wharf. CWA stands for Country Womens' Association. The equivalent of the W.I. in the UK, not sure what it's American equivalent is.

Woy Woy Hotel

Old Woy Woy Hotel, the one reputed to be built from bricks nicked from the construction of the railway tunnel.

Woy Woy Library

Woy Woy Library, corner of Oval Avenue. Used to be the old Council Chambers in the 1930s but now the Peninsula's part of Gosford City Council and is administered from Mann Street Gosford.

Woy Woy Memorial Park

Soldiers' Park, now known as Woy Woy War Memorial Park. On the water right next to the fish and chip shop.

Woy Woy Oval in Oval Avenue Woy Woy

Woy Woy Football Oval in Oval Avenue, next to the Library.

Woy Woy Public Wharf

Woy Woy Wharf. Central part of the village then and now. Within 100 yards of the railway station, the shops and both pubs.

More photos of Woy Woy village at Bustling Downtown Woy Woy

Umina village (West Street):

Weird Green Thing

West Street in 2005. West Street is not substantially changed in the last 2 years.
(Ignore the red circle, it marks a gas thingy up on the ridge.)

217-225 West Street Umina

Shop down the quiet end of the shops, past the pub.

Ocean Beach Hotel Umina

The pub, on the corner of Trafalgar Avenue. I have no front view of this pub. A glaring omission possibly caused by propping up the bar.

Shell petrol station West Street Umina

This servo (petrol station) stands where a cinema did in the 1950s, at the Ocean Beach Road roundabout at the south end of West Street.

West Street Umina

The West Street anomaly.

Night safe West Street Umina

Night safe on the former bank. Now the bike shop and now painted blue.

Catholic church West Street Umina

The Catholic church. Rumour has it this place is scheduled for demolition. I saw the drawings for the units to go up in their place but I was drunk at the time and may have imagined them.

Purple People Eater West Street Umina

Purple people eater, a recent addition to the old village of Umina.

Ettalong village:

The Excrescence Ettalong

The Excrescence. Where the carpark of this thing is there was the Ettalong Memorial Club, a three-storey lump in pebble-crete from whose open windows could be heard the aerobics instructor exhorting her ladies to lift! and lift! and lift!

Drop your trousers

Drop your pants/ A soul is wasted when there is no aim". Thus quoth the sign at the drycleaners opposite The Excrescence.

That's it for my Ettalong village photos. Hadn't realised it before but I've got bugger all from there. Must remedy!

Booker Bay village:

King's Store & Booker Bay General Store Booker Bay Road Booker Bay

King's Store & Booker Bay General Store Booker Bay Road Booker Bay.

Old Brick Shop opposite King's Store Booker Bay

Old Brick Shop opposite King's Store Booker Bay

This post is about the villages of the Peninsula but it's also revealed some serious gaps in my photo collection. Mostly in Ettalong. So we all learnt summat today. Bless.


I don't pass on chain email but this one is amusing.

For those of you who watch what you eat,
here's the final word on nutrition and health.
It's a relief to know the truth
after all those conflicting
nutritional studies.

1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Australians.

2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Australians.

3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Australians.

4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Australians.

5. The Germans drink a lot of beers and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Australians.

So eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you!