Monday, 23 January 2012

Evidence of crime comes to light after seventy years.

Yeomans Bay was empty when we arrived to take up a public mooring, but there was a problem.
In bold black was the caveat. '14 metres max. Penalty $3,300'. Heavy Metal is 16.4 M, so we moved away and dropped anchor in 11 metres in a moderate wind and tied the stern off to a rock to protect a Tupperware yacht on a mooring within swinging range.
So why am I boring you with this?

During WWII, in this area of wooded bays of deep water surrounded by high sandstone hills, ships were hidden from Japanese submarines operating off the coast. In Refuge Bay, just a few miles away, a captured Japanese fishing boat, renamed Krait after the deadly little sea snake of the same name, was prepared for her heroic journey to Singapore where this little fishing boat successfully penetrated Japanese defences and using canoes and limpet mines, her Australian crew destroyed 35,000 tons of Japanese shipping then escaped in the confusion to return untouched to Australia.

While untying the stern line I noticed an anomaly in the waterside vegetation and investigated. There I found a nest of very old beer bottles, some broken, some not and took one for closer investigation. This thick dark brown bottle is inscribed; 'This bottle is the property of'' around the neck, then around the base; 'The NSW Bottle Co Pty Ltd' followed by a crest, then; 'I.S. 89D1411971', under which is a double ring of raised lumps that would  make it a little less likely to slip.

As far as I can ascertain, these bottles were produced back when glass containers were returned to bottlers to be refilled and they paid about 6 pence each for them. The inscriptions and numbers suggest they were bought between 1930 and 1950 so considering the history of this bay, one can imagine a scenario that brought these bottles to this place.

Imagine a few dozen Australian servicemen holed up here waiting, bored and thirsty. These were young men with guts who had volunteered for very dangerous missions.

They were resourceful and bold so it is not difficult to believe some would steal a one dozen case of beer from Stores and have a little drunken soirée, leaving the tell tale bottles under the thick forest floor where they lay hidden for almost seventy years.


To read an excellent account of the Krait adventure, see.
Pic Heavy Metal in Yeomans Bay courtesy Gerhard Malan,

Magpie 101: Tenderness.

Echko Namazawa

Stage doll of Nipon
Dancing through my
Nights of magic.

Body of grace and
Exquisite face were
Beyond lust.

But while I slept,
She came once unbidden
To my room.

Waking to soft hands,
I should have, but could not
Send her away.


Many read this poem at its last outing and I pray your indulgence again. She still lives in the loveliest of my memories where beauty and wonder never fade.

This memory prompted by Tess at Magpie Tales.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Magpie-blub one-blubdred.

If dying by violence, the best
is drowning, as experts attest;
I'd rather have choice
to choose something noice,
and not put that theory to test!


If anyone presumed I had drowned, they are wrong.
My lack of blog activity is mainly due to lack of access.
Here in Yeoman's Bay there is the occasional blip, just enough to push a Magpie into Cyberspace.
But in case anyone is tempted to feel sorry for me, I include these i-camera shots of my surrounds taken a few minutes ago. The 27 fish in the bucket are tailor caught yesterday and now in my fridge! Other shots are of the bay facing north and south. Oh how I am suffering in this silence and isolation!

You can find intelligent and serious contributions at Magpie Tales.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

New Years Eve 2011.

Friday dawned calm and cool, light breeze forecast and although on the nose, it was only four hours after all, so it was go, destination Snails Bay, just upstream from the 'coathanger' where the traffic is light and the view excellent. Lisajane was aboard, first time at sea, so we dosed her up and she enjoyed the ride, particularly the second half when we were able to hoist the Genoa mainly to keep her steady against the SE swells.
Coming through Sydney Heads, with high and rugged cliffs on both sides, we could almost have been Arthur Philip, entering for the first time. Cook had sailed past unaware of the labyrinth of bays where, as Philip remarked 'could anchor three hundred ships of the line' or the river beyond that could have taken them upstream to where Parramatta now stands and relatively fertile land was available.
Since then I have felt too tired to blog, BUT we had aboard designer, photographer and blogger Cate Holst who's photos came out well, so we could do worse than refer you to her blog for some good shots.
Be strong and scroll down past her mango tart recipe, the last of which we gobbled down last night with the (almost) last of IXL's wine trifle.
We have a day of recovery today before we are overwhelmed by my youngest and her energetic brood tomorrow.