LOTS OF PHOTOS THIS WEEK.
Monday 8th May
Woke on time to get away early and – you guessed it – got away from Port Macquarie an hour later than planned.
Still, we managed to arrive in Wollongong by 3.30 pm and managed to avoid all the school traffic as we passed through Sydney.
That was a bonus.
We joined Nicole, Merrilyn, Amelia and Hannah for $5 chicken schnitzel dinner at the Corrimal RSL Club. Hmmm! The dining room was busy. Wonder why?
Tuesday 9th May.
Today Hannah turned FIVE.
She had a birthday party and invited children from school and from around the neighbourhood.
It was fun to watch the personalities of the children shine through or sometimes push through. There were the shy ones and the painfully shy ones and the ones who listened and were polite and there were the ones who are little Cyclone Debbies leaving a trail of destruction behind them. They are the ones who hijack the games and draw howls of protest from others.
Hmmm! Sounds like adult life!
The only time when they all paid attention at the same time was when a local teenager (the babysitter) brought out her guitar and played and sang. Very accomplished she was too.
Hannah enjoyed herself immensely.
Wednesday 10th May
Today Donnis and I drove\, with Hannah, to Sandon Point where I surfed once upon a time.
In those days there were the remains of a coal loading wharf and a dozen or so old timber and corrugated iron fishing boat sheds.
Those sheds are still there today. In fact they have been standing for over 120 years as the following story tells.
By MICK ROBERTS ©
FOR over 120 years the boat sheds at Sandon Point, Bulli have provided a place for anglers to store their vessels.
This is the story of fishing at Sandon Point and the boat sheds that have remarkably survived countless storms, fires, and government regulations.
The Sandon Point sheds are all that remain of the corrugated iron and timber structures that were once common on the northern beaches of Wollongong. The sheds sat on the sheltered northern side of headlands at Stanwell Park, Coledale, Austinmer, Waniora Point (Bulli), Woonona and Bellambi.
The Sydney Evening News reported on Monday August 9 1897 that “a few residents” have formed fishing clubs, and “possess their own boats”.
From about this time the first boat sheds were constructed in the shadow of the Bulli Colliery’s sea jetty. They, like now, were always at the mercy of Mother Nature.
When Bulli’s main employer, the colliery, was idle as a result of industrial disputes, or simply because of an over production of coal, the miners often fed their families from the ocean.
From three sheds in 1899, the number grew to 20 sheds in 1947, to over 30 in the 1960s. Today, in 2016, there are less than 10 of the heritage listed structures remaining.
The few remaining sheds have become a much-loved feature of Sandon Point, often photographed, and a treasured part of Bulli’s history.
© Copyright Mick Roberts 2016.
Thursday 11th May
I drove to Avondale in the lea of the Illawarra Escarpment to visit friends Wayne & Narelle M, whom I have known since the early 70’s and with whom we visit / they visit from time to time. The three of us all worked at The IMB (Illawarra Mutual Building Society) with Wayne becoming CEO leading the IMB from strength to strength during his tenure. The IMB is now The IMB Bank.
Saturday 13th May
Donnis, Nicole, Amelia, Hannah and I piled into the car and drove to Killalea State Park for The Farm Markets. Alas the markets are only on one Sunday per month and this months market was last Sunday.
This State Park with spectacular views and arguably the best surfing beach, if not Australia then certainly in NSW was once known as “The Farm”. (It is still called The Farm as an alternate name to Killalea)
Local surfers and surfers in the know would visit this dairy farm to gain access to fabulous surfing beach on the property.
I was one of those surfers in the know way back in the early 60’s when we paid 2 bob (20 cents) entry fee to the farmers daughter. In those days parking was anywhere along the steep hill which the car handbrake was capable of holding. Then it was a trek across cow manicured and cow manured pasture to the beach below. To us it was always The Farm.
Gradually the location became so popular with such perfect waves and clear water that it was
given the honour of National Surfing Reserve in June 2009.
“As our country and the rest of the world becomes more focused on the coastal lifestyle we must ensure we preserve and protect our unique beaches so that future generations may have the pleasure we enjoy now. The Farm is one such unique place, and deserves to be preserved as it is for our children and grandchildren.”
Mark Richards: 4 x World Surfing Champion
(As an aside, Maroubra Beach – my home beach – was named the first National Surfing Reserve in March 2006)
Today we spoke with a man preparing several boards for a surf. He has three girls and a boy all under the age of 12 and all except the youngest, are surfing with him.
After leaving The Farm we drove to Bass Point to visit Bushranger Bay a popular diving and snorkelling location in an Eco Zone.
Although the sun was shining, it was quite chilly in the shadows and the breeze. Only one brave snorkeller was in the water. All forms of fishing or gathering or collecting shellfish, even bodies of dead fish is prohibited in this Eco Zone.
Sunday 14th May
I was up early – before sunrise – stumbling around in the dark looking for a photo opportunity at Bellambi Beach when the glowing ball of the sun brings light to the world and an exceptional backdrop to landscape type photographs.
Several shadowy figures stood in the inky darkness of the carpark, waiting for enough light to see the rocks before they launch themselves for an early morning surf. Gradually it got light enough to see and the boardriders got their wish. On the other hand the sun did not make an appearance being hidden by thick rain threatening cloud.
I saw a number of people walking, jogging, pushing prams and riding bicycles. However only a few people compared with those on the Gold Coast. What I thought was curious were the red lights they wore on the backs of their hats.
In the afternoon Donnis and I took a drive to Mt Kembla for a brief vist to the Moto Cross Track where practise was being held. This was once my home motorcycle location where I rode in Observed Trials – not Moto Cross. From there we continued across the escarpment to Mt Kiera with views across the Wollongong suburbs. It was too chilly to stay out of the car for more than a few minutes.
We will be in Wollongong for another two days then it is off to Sydney for two weeks where we have some adventures planned.