Table of Contents
The Sydney Bushwalker
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, Box 4476, G.P.O. Sydney, N.S.W. 2001. Club meetings are held every Wednesday evening from 7.30 p.m. at the Wireless Institute building, 14 Atchison Street, St. Leonards. Enquiries concerning the Club should be referred to Mrs. Marcia Shappert - telephone 30-2028.
|Helen Gray, 209 Malton Road, Epping 2121. Tel. 86-6263.
|Bill Burke, 3 Coral Tree Drive, Carlingford, 2118. Tel. 871-1207
|Margaret Stichter. Tel. 635-5808.
|Bob Duncan, Tel. 869-2691.
|2 & 3
|Katoomba Shale Mining Exploratory
|June General Meeting
|Up in the Air
|7, 8, 9 & 10
|Poem - “Theme & Variation”
|In Search of Jervis Bay
|13, 14 & 15
|Walk Notes for August
|17 & 18
|Stop Press - Coolana Working Bee
|Mountain Equipment Ad
by George Gray
Further data substantiating the above law was gained on a one day li-lo trip on the Grose River. Murphy's law states “If anything can go wrong it will”..
In late March a group of workmates decided to make use of a “flexiday” and together with other friends began assembling at Ryde at 9.00 a.m. At last after a delay until 10.40 the eleven of us departed in four cars. We were to meet Paul at Yarramundi much earlier; he had left his name on the roadside (outlined in empty drink cans) and gone, but we met him further along. At the end of Mountain Road on a track by the river we left two cars together with dry clothes and spare gear.
Twelve of us now in three V.W.'s were off at last to the starting point and up the mountain towards Springwood, turning off at White Cross Road which soon turned into a fire trail, first sandy, then rocky and steep. Next there were mud slides then loose stone with many impacts under the car on the rocks. John had his number plate knocked off and several times we had to leap out and assist the car by pushing when we lost traction.
The three cars finally reached the end of the track on a sandstone plateau high above the river. While we admired the view someone noticed oil flowing from under a V.W. A fair quantity of this very hot oil was saved in a plastic bag; it seems that only one of the usual six bolts was in tact after the rough trip. Two bolts removed from the other cars made a temporary repair. At this point Leo remembered his li-lo; it was in the boot of his car at Ryde. Fortunately, he was able to borrow a spare.
The next problem was to find a way off the cliff and down to the river. This took well over an hour of scrambling down a rocky dry creek bed. One of the party was already very tired and slow.
It was in a side creek of the Grose by a large pool that we had a rather late lunch and a cool-off swim. During the half mile of rock hopping to the Grose, Leo managed to rip his borrowed li-lo. This was patched while most of the group repeatedly tried to shoot the rather long rapid nearby. Quite a bit of skin was lost here.
Mid-afternoon now, and the river is mostly in the shade of cliffs. Easier rapids, long pools, but with a large group, slow progress. Getting fairly cold now, especially for those people in wet jeans and pullovers. I prefer swimming costume only, as skin dries off quickly and once the evaporation stops the heat loss is much less than in wet clothes.
The group was well spread out now and I decided to push on and light a big fire. We all had a warm up and a brew. Two more li-los were unrepairable and it was nearly dark. We were near the old gauging station and four of the party decided to walk out via the track to the downstream cars.
Eight rafted on in the dark along the quiet stretch of river that is near Wood's Creek. We called to each other frequently now as we had nearly lost one of the party. This bit of river has been much altered by recent floods; many trees have fallen into the river and there are deep pools and lots of quicksand. Rodger had poor night vision and decided to try walking along the bank. It was much worse and he was soon back re-inflating his li-lo. The moon had just set and starlight was all we had left; the sand banks were just visible against the black of the water. Terrible quicksand all over the place, people sinking, falling, crawling, swimming and all the time on the look out for the power lines crossing the river that would indicate our cars were nearby.
At last we arrived at the cars, cold and wet, but the walking group with the keys to the car containing our dry clothes had not arrived! We lit a fire and waited and discussed our problems. We left two people at this spot, two others up by the track from the gauging station and four of us in Paul's Mazda went off to Springwood to get a torch and some oil for the V.W. We could get neither. We sent the most decently dressed of us into a shop to buy some food, then to the police station to borrow a torch or lantern. He got neither. The rest of us hovered in the bushes outside in our underpants to avoid getting arrested.
On our way back we made phone calls to our homes. Paul saw a bushfire brigade truck parked and in a flash of inspiration was able to borrow an electric lantern torch from the local fire captain. Unfortunately, it had a green lens and wouldn't work without it, but was nonetheless a great help. We drove back to the V.W.'s on the mountain top and brought them back to the pick up point.
Well past midnight and the four walkers hadn't arrived, so Brian and I, with the borrowed torch, started up the disused track towards the place where they had left the river. The track was very feint, but we got there. Our calls were as yet unanswered.
Eventually we heard a feint reply, well downstream. Much calling later we found the lost friends, preparing to spend the night against a small cliff with a fire going. They had been unable to go on in the dark as they had lost the track. With the torch we six could make it back to the cars.
Meanwhile, John had gone to Vale Lookout to try to see a fire or to call to the missing group. Somehow my rucksack had gone with him.
Neil was fumbling with his keys at the door of his car, “Can I have a light please” he said, “I can't open this door”. The key was no longer on his key wallet, nor in his pocket or rucksack and a search of the nearby grass yielded nothing. His car contained various things such as most people's dry clothes, money, keys to homes, keys to a car back at Ryde.
After a sorting of new destinations, we left Neil's van where it was (to be collected another day) and departed for Kingsford, Ryde & Asquith via Springwood, to return the torch. It was 2.30 a.m. as we started out for home.
Katoomba Shale Mining Exploratory.
by Wal Liddle
5 males turned up for this walk, 4 of us having come by train and one by Land Rover, meeting at Katoomba Station about 1.00 a.m. Saturday morning. The “blue boiler” suit guy with the Land Rover kindly drove us to the top of Scenic Railway from whence we descended by ex shale oil (“coal”) car to the bottom of the valley.
On the way to our lunch spot we explored the entrances to a number of the shale oil (keresene) tunnels carved out of the mountainside. We used candles to light our way and test for “foul air” but did not enter too deeply because of numerous past “roof falls”.
The path through the valley to the Ruined Castle track junction and beyond follows the built up horse drawn tram (slip) way, used in the past to transport the shale from different parts of the valley.
Using the book “Shale Oil Railways of N.S.W.” (an historical publication available from the Railways Institute) we were able to trace the tramway and became acquainted with the location of the aerial ropeway that had previously run from the Scenic Railway to the Ruined Castle. (40 tons of wire rope had been used to construct the aerial ropeway). Apparently, where the “landslide” is now located was once the spot where the tramway had been elevated on a bush timber trestle. Also we found that a tunnel had been carved through Narrow Neck to connect the tramway to a mine on the other side in Nellies Glen.
We found the remains of a coal slip at the walking track junction to the Ruined Castle and sections of tram lines. At other spots in the valley we found the foundations of a number of sheds used to house men and machines.
A depression in the valley filled with stagnant water was the spot used by the miners to draw water for the cooling of the stationary winding engine.
This mining operation was only one of many in this valley and other valleys nearby in the 1890 to 1920 era when kerosene was in high demand. Other mining areas were at Newnes and near Mittagong.
The mines were eventually closed because the cost of the operation became too exorbitant. For further historical details contact the owner of the “Scenic Railway” who is the local historian.
That night we camped at Chinaman's Cave in glorious balmy weather and returned to Katoomba via the Ruined Castle.
Many thanks to John Fox and to the guy in the “blue boiler suit” for a glorious weekend.
The June General Meeting.
by Jim Brown
With political roundsman Barry Wallace temporarily away from the Sydney environment, a superannuated reporter was brought out of retirement to record events at the June meeting, which we can fairly say was attended by about forty people, and got under way at 8.28 p.m.
It was a Ladies Night for welcoming new members, with Vivienne Shaffer, Susan Stuart and Pearl Champion all appearing, while early in correspondence we were told that Carol Gibbons and Adrienne Shilling had been re-admitted to full membership after a period on the non-active list; however, there was one departure - a resignation from Jean Debelle.
In correspondence, too, were acknowledgements from the Premier of Tasmania and the State Minister for Mines and Energy, on two topics which had been raised by the Conservation Secretary, Alex Colley. In the reply on the question of mining leases in the Ettrema area we were advised that a Warden's Court would assemble shortly to consider the conflicting representations. There was a little further news regarding the death of member Jack Perry and the enquiries being made by Bill Hall from the trustees dealing with his affairs. Outward mailings included the letter of thanks to Bert Whinier for his work on the fireplace at Coolana.
The Treasurer's report showed a gratifying increase in ready cash, which stood at just under $1,686 at the end of May. Paul Mawhinney gave a brief account of doings at the last Federation meeting - the matters are covered in greater detail in the newsletter which accompanied the June magazine.
We had now advanced to the Walks Report, commencing at the weekend of 12th - 14th May, when Helen Gray had conducted another Coolana working bee. At its close the floor of the hut had been partially placed in position; about 20 members attended. A test walk over Mount Solitary, under the managership of Barbara Evans attracted about 17 people, and conditions at Kedumba Creek were reported as distinctly icy on Saturday night. A glorious late autumn day followed for the traverse of Solitary itself. Ann Morgan's day walk was inherited by Neil Brown and reported as uneventful, the new track to Uloola Falls being used. Pushing on to the following weekend, there was David Rostron's trip on the plateau between Wolgan and Capertee rivers; a successful ascent was made near Cape York (or Cape Horn if you use the other map of the area), and a windy night spent camped in Wolgan Gap; with a reward of some excellent scenery throughout. Gordon Lee took over the Mount Solitary journey originally listed by Hans Beck and spent the same draughty night in the cave on the western end of the mountain. Because of possible flooding in Kedumba Creek, the return was made to Katoomba. There were two day walks; one led by Gladys Roberts in the Kuring-gai Chase area and the other by your temporary reporter in the hills east of Helensburgh. Eight people and 18 came out on those two trips, both of which were said to be without incident and went successfully.
For the last weekend of Autumn (26-28 May) the Austins out from Kanangra assailed Guouogang, but passed up the optional ascent of Mt. Paralyser. It was frustrating to pass some very attractive camp sites along Kanangra River and finally have to stop in one that was much less appealing. John Fox's exploration around some of the shale mining shafts below Katoomba re-discovered some old tunnels, but it was deemed discreet not to attempt to get through them. What with other parties on Mt. Solitary on the Sunday, it was quite crowded, said David Rutherford in reporting on John's trip. Joe Marton's group of 13 was part of this crowd and the trip was said to be uneventful. Similarly, Meryl Watman had no special comment on her Waterfall - Uloola - Engadine walk (21 starters).
Over the June holiday weekend, Brian Hart conducted Fazeley's Widdin Brook jaunt, which had the goodly tally of 21 people. All went successfully so far as the walking was concerned, but a rather aggressive property owner at the head of Razorback Creek made his dislike of visitors known. At the same time Bob Younger took a team of six into the Yerranderie territory and succeeded in covering all their objectives, including climbing Chiddy's Obelisk and Mount Colong. Nineteen turned up for Barry Zeiren's Sunday walk, which went as intended, even if the place names on the programme were not quite as planned.
The final weekend covered by the Walks Report was 9 - 11 June; with Bob Hodgson's Colo trip as the big Friday event. Roads beyond Mount Sootie were in very poor shape, but even with some extra walking to do the party got into Wollongambe Creek and down to the Colo River for lunch on Saturday. A way up was found in a gully near Mount Darcy and after a deal of scrubby going, the cars were reached about dusk on Sunday. The programmed “Wine Making” event was cancelled, and Peter Miller's day walk near Blackheath brought out 22 folk, but two judged it would be too severe for them and pulled out early in the day. Govett's Leap Creek was reported to have been severely scoured out by recent flooding. The remaining day led by Gordon Lee had 13 people plus one child, and apart from one sprained ankle and a little navigational trouble, went off as planned.
This brought us to General Business, which was occupied mainly by some discussions in which Colin Broad gave his counsel on several issues affecting Club policy and intentions. As a result a motion which had previously been foreshadowed was not in fact placed before the meeting. On a motion by Phil Butt, the Club's appreciation of Colin Broad's attendance was both recorded and carried by acclamation and we were at last free to decamp. It is a measure of the fact that it had been quite an interesting meeting that your reporter missed recording the time of closure, but it was quite late enough.
Coolana Working Bee.
29th-30th July - although this is very short notice, we hope that a large group will turn up to help lay the next section of floor, saw logs, paint or a dozen other jobs - or just come along for a relaxing weekend.
Contact George and Helen Gray - 86-6263 (if you need transport or more information).
Subs are now due and the Treasurer would appreciate their payment before September (crossing-off time!).
Lightweight bushwalking and camping gear.
Don't be lumbered with a winter bag in summer.
Our new 'Superlight' summer weight bags are nearly half the packed size and weight (2 lbs) of our regular sleeping bags. Nylon covering, superdown filled. Packs into 9“ length x 5 1/2” dia. Can also be used during winter as an “inner-bag”.
Pillow flap, hooded bag. Well filled. Compact, warm and lightweight. Excellent for warmer summer nights and times when carrying weight can be reduced. Approx 3 3/4 lbs.
Superwarm hooded bag made for cold sleepers and high altitudes. 'Box quilted' with no 'through' stitching. All bags can be fitted with zippers and draught resisting overlaps. Weight 4 1/2 lbs.
This 'shaped' rucksack is excellent for children. Usefull day pack. Weight 14 ozs.
A single pocket, shaped rucksack. Suitable for overnight camping. Weight 1 1/2 lbs.
Has sewn-in curved bottom for extra comfort in carrying. Will hold 30 lbs. 2 pocket model 1 1/4 lbs. 3 pocket model 1 1/2 lbs.
Extra large bag with four external pockets and will carry about 40 lbs of camp gear. Weight 2 1/4 lbs.
One, two or three man. From 2 1/2 to 3 3/4 lbs. Choice of three cloths. Supplied with nylon cords and overlapped doors. No walls.
Two, three or four man. From 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 lbs. Choice of three cloths. Supplied with nylon cords and overlapped doors.
Everything for the bushwalker, from blankets and air mattresses, stretchers, boots, compasses, maps, books, stoves and lamps to cooking ware and freeze dried and dehydrated foods.
69 Liverpool St. Sydney. 26-2686 61-7215
Up In The Air.
by Marion Lloyd
Here I am up in the air for an hour and still in a euphoric daze, maybe it was that extra sleeping tablet I had taken to knock myself out for sure. What was I doing up here with the clouds scudding by and the dazzling expanse of blue stretching away to eternity.
The last few weeks seemed to be blacked out. The frantic rush on Embassies, tourist offices, the long chat-ins at the Indian tourist office and the hot lines to Mark's, Gray's and Taeker camps. Then the Arabs threw a spanner in the works by hiking their oil prices, which for some unfathomable reason threw the airlines into chaos, changing their passenger loads, schedules and prices.
We were all off to India on different flights and destinations, Helen and Frank to Delhi, Owen and George to Madras and I to follow a day behind to catch up in Madras.
Now in a sedated stupor, previous plane flights seemed to flash through my mind in a jumble of experiences. Waddling down the paddock with an occasional leap and bound comes the Auster. It had been acquired by 3 friends, all apprentices in a joint venture. Pooling their accumulating knowledge and resources they spent hours fixing up the old timer and learning to fly it. I was allowed on some these training sessions. The first lot of landings and take offs were too terrifying to behold. The plane rose and fell with intermittent sickening bumps as it trundled down the field, any moment the old wooden frame must surely disintegrate from such trauma. Once airborne it tottered and rolled like a sick duck. Up it went, 2,000', 3,000' and still it rocked and rolled as the boys practised with the levers. Nothing quite equalled the old timer.
Then there were the joy rides with Geoff Mattingley. They were always a source of excitement as we buzzed over favourite walking grounds, trying to pick out well-known landmarks. The trips I remember most were the excursions up to Broken Bay and winging in over Sydney Harbour at sunset and the run over Megalong and Kanangra.
Out of these jumbled up images comes the face of an old college crony, who lures me to Camden airfield. Fay was ex-RAAF, no-nonsense type and learnt parachuting, packing of, gliding and flying whilst doing her time. Fay and I would arrive at college on Monday mornings walking like stiffies suffering from sprains, scratches and multiple bruising to all parts of our bodies. We tried to outdo each other with terrible stories on how we acquired our injuries as we agonisingly tried to help each other up the stairs to lectures. She would have crashed into a tree, run into a fence or land in a dam whilst I tried to out-rate her by falling down a waterfall (Danae Brook), swept away by rapids (Shoalhaven lilo trip) or bashed through scrub thicker than any Malaysian jungle (up the Colo). Fay eventually persuaded me to go up with her to dump some parachutists. I was made to put on heavy boots, a helmet and a parachute with a safety line, (called static line which pulls the chute open and attached to the pilots seat).
The plane's doors had been taken off. On this flight there were 4 jumpers. At about 3,000' a streamer was let go to test wind direction and speed, then a lot of jargon between Fay and the jumpers. The novices went out at about 3,000' on static line, all they had to do was to climb out onto the wheel and jump on the count of five! With all the counting, tension began to build up which had a hypnotic effect, but a warning look from Fay dispelled any such notions of following on. What an exhilarating sensation it must be to be falling through space, I seemed to be dreaming.
“Excuse me”, a euphonic voice miles away seemed to be penetrating my sub-consciousness. It took several seconds to perceive through foggy veils of slumber a lovely Singaporean air hostess asking if I would care for lunch.
The service on Singapore Airlines is quite remarkable. I managed to obtain multi-coloured pens, numerous post cards (planes) - all of which were to be handed out to Indian kids, always asking for pens, coins, stamps - real pests.
Remembering the terrible television programme on the starving masses of Calcutta, (my parents gave me a huge farewell baked dinner) I began hoarding the second and third helpings of everything. I had a free overnight stay in Singapore and I over-ate and hoarded until my tum and overnight bags were bulging. Loo paper and Kleenex were hoarded as well, not knowing when I would see such luxuries again.
From Singapore I flew Air India to Madras, during this flight I was introduced to Indian tea which at first I thought was ghastly as it was milk tea with what seemed 6 teaspoons of sugar. About 1/2 hour out of Madras, customs free liquor was being sold. The previously passive Indian men rushed the counter pushing and shouting as though they were at one of their political rallies. In 5 minutes flat all grog went. In Madras Owen, George and I were going to flog whisky we bought in Sydney to the locals at exorbitant prices. It seemed that when we wanted to unload the previously “dry” state of Madras was now quite “wet”, so we had to drink the wretched stuff ourselves, instead of sterilised water.
Arriving at Madras airport was an abrupt cultural shock. The airport workers were on strike (on any one day one could witness 2 or more simultaneous strikes). The officers and high brass had to man the desks and obviously the task to many was distasteful and degrading. One officer's attitude was to pass the mass through like a shearing shed, stamping passports like a beserk printing press and no questions asked, so consequently there was much jostling to get onto his express line. Several desks away was a cantankerous air force officer, who made a difficult situation unbearable. He bailed up one family with numerous kids and distressed everyone by his rudeness and needling questions. The atmosphere was explosive. A little kid began to bawl without abating and when the officer ordered him to stop he howled to the heavens. The officer couldn't stand the noise and ordered the family to move on to get rid of the pest. The kid was the hero of the day.
Meanwhile, George and Owen were on the other side of the barrier. Owen disappeared frequently; he was doing some deal or giving away his St. Vincent de Paul shirts to the porters. Once I was through the barriers we decided to seek out the tea rooms, but first I had to find the loo. It could be discovered by following the nose. Once there, you find your way into a cubicle which has a hole in the floor, with a cement replica of a foot on either side, where, of course, you are supposed to plant your feet. Nearby, if in luck, there would be a tub of water and a jam tin. No loo paper. I looked at the jam tin and the tub of water and decided I couldn't handle it, at least not yet. I began to sweat. I did what was necessary then went through my day pack looking for that elusive tissue. How do people get along without it? All this finished, I had to pass the Loo Lady, she insists on washing my hands for me, then dry them. She holds out her hand muttering “rupee, rupee”. It seems you can never give enough, one can give a 100 rupee note and still they infuriatingly keep waggling their heads - it's known as the Indian nod, which seems to mean yes, no I don't know, more or thank you.
The tea rooms were painted government green and were built and furnished in the British colonial style. One tends to find all through India that nothing very much seems to have changed since the British Raj. Our waiter wears sandshoes, no socks, what seems to be dinner pants rejects, a white jacket that has not been Omo white for ages. Not one, but a stream of such stereotypes wait on us. One brings the milk, another the sugar and the third the tea. The tea is good. We go into conference to formulate our strategy. A guard slouches by the door, a scarf wrapped round his head, dressed in brown shirt and brown “Bombay bloomer” type shorts. He must be of very low rank as he wears no socks or boots, just sandshoes and holds an ancient gun. The fans turn lazily and this hypnotic atmosphere begins to affect me. Owen abruptly disturbs this tranquility by leaping up and gives the order to march. Outside a hoarde of porters await us to carry our bags. If we must put them down and they pick them up they demand a fee. The golden rule - always carry your pack, never let it touch the ground or let the porters pick it up or you'll be hounded. Once past these you have to get through the rickshaw drivers and the hotel touts, who can take you to the “best hotel in town Memsahib for only a few rupees”.
We made our way to the Railway Station. I was agoggled by everything and by the time we went up the station steps, skirting the recumbent bodies, it came as no surprise when buying my ticket that I had to watch my feet as a body lay at the foot of the counter. No one seemed to mind or care.
These were the opening scenes of a hilarious action packed four weeks in South India and Sri Lanka with Gray, Marks, Taeker and myself.
The next episode was our antics at Colombo airport. As an exercise I decided to put the bulk of my U.S. dollars and left over Rupee notes into my shoes, as we heard. At Colombo airport one was scrutinised for black market money. (It turned out the Banks gave same or better rate than black market for this reason.) I declared all my travellers cheques slowly one by one. The official asked if I had any other money. He began to get extremely agitated as I went through my day pack, whilst the soles of my feet felt hot, so that I would occasionally look down to check for wisps of smoke that might start curling out of my shoes. The guy spewed out the contents of my day pack (very personal), then told me to scram. My brother who came in a few days earlier, also wears a hearing aid, simply played deaf and dumb by looking blank and pretending he couldn't understand whilst the officials shouted and waved at him. He sailed through quite unruffled in half the time. I must remember that one.
When the time came for the gang to depart it just had to end in an uproar. To this day I am not quite sure of all that took place. We arrived at the airport stinking, because of a 2 day water shortage (also we were staying at a hostel with mixed dormitories and shared bathrooms). Helen and I would get up as early as 4.30 a.m. or 5.00 a.m. to have a shower, as at least once we were caught under a shower when a Sri Lankan man came in (no doors or privacy). I preferred to stink rather than be espied on by the locals. Anyway, 2 seats had been booked, instead of four. Helen and George were the lucky recipients, but George was told he was not allowed on the plane and an argument began. Elsewhere oblivious to all this, I was transferring clothes from one pack to another for George to take back to Sydney. George got a clearance to go through immigration, but not through the plane barrier because the gear that I was transferring had not been cleared. An Officer dragged George by the arm, but he couldn't go because he didn't have my pack. They then sent unsuccessfully an urgent message over the p.a. system trying to contact me and I was eventually tracked down by an Official. Helen tore up like a polo-cross player, scooped up my pack and did a Betty Cuthbert dash to the plane.
Meanwhile, Owen bribed or bartered for two more seats and was trying to do a last minute deal for a topaz stone “as big as a hen's egg and worth $3,000”, but he didn't buy it.
The last thing I remember was Helen streaking past, grabbing George from an Official and Owen from the duty free jewel shop and all tearing across the now empty tarmac into the revving-up and ready-to-taxi plane. Dazed by all this hyper-activity I made my way to the lounge to wait for a city bus. Some minutes went by and a well-dressed, well spoken Sri Lankan asked me if I would join him for tea. We chatted for some time on the merits of tea drinking and I congratulated him on the quality of Ceylonese tea. It transpired that he was a top notch in the Tea Trade.
The Himalayan venture has already been narrated.
Who needs Antartic flights for fun in planes?
Have you led a walk lately?
The Walk's Secretary is already looking for walks for the September - October - November programme. Please send your walks announcements to Spiro Hajinakitas c/- the Club.
Theme and Variation.
by “Sweetie Appleyard”
Coleridge caused his wife unrest,
Liking other company best;
Dickens, never quite enthralled,
Sent his packing when she palled;
Gauguin broke the marriage vow,
In quest of Paradise enow,
These things attest in monochrome
Genius is the scourge of home.
Lady Nelson made the best of
What another got the rest of;
Wagner had, in middle life,
Three children by another's wife;
Whitman liked to play the dastard
Leaving here and there a bastard.
Lives of great men all remind us
Not to let their labours blind us.
Each helped to give an age its tone,
Though never acting quite his own.
Will of neither wax nor iron
Could have made a go with Byron.
Flaubert, to prove he was above
Bourgois criteria of love,
Once took a courtesan to bed
Keeping his hat upon his head.
But mine is off to Johann Bach
For whom my sentiment is “Ach!”.
Not once, but twice, a model spouse,
With twenty children in the house,
Some fathers would have walked away
In what they call a fugue today.
But he left no one in the lurch,
And played the stuff he wrote in Church.
(As written by Sweetie Appleyard in Peter de Vries book “The Tents of Wickedness” - and discovered for this magazine by Tina Matthews.)
In Search Of Jervis Bay.
(Last month, Peter Levander, Barry Wallace and Phil Butt set out for Jervis Bay in Peter's sloop. After the trip Barry's comment was “It wasn't what I expected.” Here's the story from one of the crew - helped here and there by Lewis Carroll. Ed.)
The crew was complete: it included a Pete -
a maker of boats and gear -
an engineer, brought to fix what he could -
and a mate, to help where he should.
On a recent extended weekend a party of three - “the skipper”, “an engineer” and “a mate” - set forth from Roseville in a beautiful pea blue boat. It had been arranged beforehand to have the Spit Bridge open at the out-of-hours time of 0015 (15 minutes past midnight on a Friday morning). Having arrived some 20 minutes premature (i.e. 2355) the motor was cut and at approximately 0010 an attempt was made to start the engine, it being illegal to proceed through the bridge unless one be under motor. Unfortunately and rather embarrassingly the starter motor decided it was time to pack it in! Well, the lights went green, amber, red; the gates across the road (to stop the cars joining the boats in the water) went up, as did the lifting span. But sad to relate the engine would still not start and so it came to pass that a number of car drivers abused this not so happy trinity for slowing their homeward journey somewhat and in due course after a number of “Are you going through tonight (sic)?”, “Say agains” and “Nos” the bridge span dropped and the even less happy trio decided, in rather heavy rain, that a number of actions should occur:
First, that the mate should throw the anchor out to stop the ship running aground,
Secondly, that the skipper should pull the starter motor out and the engineer then examine it, and
Thirdly, that the engineer should be the official hand-starter of the engine.
We later see the trinity at 0300 consuming a considerable quantity of a recently generously donated stew with some of the mate's wine, (obviously the mate is a sot) and retiring to bed at 0400. Up at 0730 with the skipper off to have a friendly chat with the suppliers of his motor. No substitute starter available but they did give some helpful information for the engineer so he might more easily start the engine. At 0915 the skipper returned, the engineer started the engine and the 1030 Spit Bridge was made with appropriate low flying (it is accomplished at 4 knots) and we find by midday Friday the trinity and the ship are at sea.
The skipper bought a large map representing the sea
Without the least vestige of land
And the crew were much pleased when they found it to be
A map they could all understand
What's the good of Mercator's North Poles and Equators
Tropics, zones and meridian lines?
So the Captain would cry; and the crew would reply
“They are merely conventional signs!
Other maps are such shapes, with their islands and capes!
But we've our brave Captain to thank
(So the crew would protest) “that he's bought us the best -
A perfect and absolute blank!”
Off South Head there is sufficient wind to propel the ship at reasonable speed straight into the Cronulla Doldrums in which some four hours were spent proceeding nowhere with much effort.
Then the bowsprit got mixed with the rudder sometimes
A thing, as the Captain explained,
That frequently happens in temperate climes
When a vessel's, so to speak, becalmed
At approximately 1800 (still Friday) the action started with a gesture of wind from the North-west and in due course the sail area was reduced from genoa to jib and two reefs in the main sail - and so off into the night with the not so happy three suffering mal de mer, severally, separately and jointly for periods ranging up to 36 hours.
He was thoughtful and grave - but the orders he gave
Were enough to bewilder a crew
When he cried, “Star to starboard, but keep her head to larboard!”
What on earth was the helmsman to do?
At approximately 0500 the loom of Point Persperdiala lighthouse is seen, from some 30 miles to the east, but due to divers diverse reasons it was decided to head north-west towards Kiama in lieu of south-west into the now south-west wind (20-25 knots) with a swell of 2 to 3 metres and so it came to pass at approximately 1600 the happy three were approaching Wollongong Harbour. You didn't realise Wollongong had a harbour? Well, that is what it's called.
Everyone is becoming rather jolly with comments such as, “Please pass me a half glass of water” and “Would you like some dry bread?” and other indications of the passing of the recent ailments and the beginnings of a gastronomical feast.
Next event was the realisation that the “day” anchor was dragging and while the mate was organising the next heaviest anchor to be connected to the anchor chain, the engineer and skipper had the engine going and thereupon a “helpful” skipper of a trawler - which was berthed in the Belmore Basin (the inner harbour) - invited the skipper to tie up next to his trawler in the quays where the water would be less rough (purely relative you understand) and of course anchors would not be needed.
Hardly had the partly rejuvenated happy three started into the next course of dinner (“I do not know what I wish for the next course, but another half cup of water might be great though. My diaphragm is still a trifle sensitive”), when it was realised that there was much activity in the air. To assist the uninitiated the trawlers are owned by either Australians or others. Each group is very jealous of each's independence and would do absolutely nothing whatsoever to assist his fellow trawler-man. As it had been decided, unilaterally, that all the trawlers should be pulled away from the quay-side to which they were moored, so they would not ride up upon the swell, the trawlers put mooring lines across to the other side of the quay.
Now, between the open sea and the trinity three, there were numerous mooring lines placed. We were trapped like a fly in a cobweb. Not to worry was the thought; the trawlers will be wishing to get out there and rip into the fish and prawns as soon as the waves ceased breaking across the entrance to the harbour.
Owing to the peculiar and unique slope of the southern breakwater, a fantastic and incredible breaking of the sea occurred regardless whether a minor swell or heavy breaking sea happened. This activity appeared to be the major entertainment of the Wollongongites as some came to view the cracking waves and others came to ride the “tube” as the waves crashed over the breakwater.
Off to bed, Sunday comes and goes very slowly. No action on the trawlers parts. Monday comes and goes very slowly. No action again on the trawlers parts. The skipper on Monday night tries to converse to the trawler people, but as his Italian was not up to scratch, no action was the outcome.
Tuesday morning was showdown time - well so the trinity thought - so the skipper and mate decided to have another try and proceeded to have a rather unforgettable chat with the Wollongong branch of the Mafia - one must understand that none of the three wished to leave the harbour by axing through the mooring lines and ending up with a knife inserted into his rib cage!
So, after a chat with the trawler fellows the words received from the “Boss” were “It will be o.k.”
At 0745 the engineer started the engine - as was his duty and want - lines were passed around the vessel and finally the ship motored off to sea - the sea was so calm - in spite of the trawler men saying “It's rough outside - how will youse (sic) be able to cope?” - “Why don't you wait to Friday or Saturday?” - “It will be better then”, and the wind so insipid that the motor was required all the way home. Fifty miles at four knots!
We'll get you yet Jervis!
To Magdy Hammad, who has just announced his engagement.
Social Notes - August.
by Christine Austin
August 17 - I thought it was about time for another Members' Own Slide Night, as I know people have slides from several of the long weekend trips this year. Please limit your slides to a reasonable number, so that everybody has time to show their slides.
August 23 - Last year we made a fair profit and had a great deal of fun at the Club Auction. If you have recently bought some new gear and have no room for the old, bring it to the Club Auction and we will sell it for you.
August 30 - We all know how difficult it is to keep up with the latest in First Aid. Judith Rostron and Barry Wallace have volunteered to conduct an open forum this night to discuss bush first aid. The official title is “Everything you have always wanted to know about BUSH First Aid and were afraid to ask” OR “How to Stop Worrying and Stay Alive”. Sounds interesting, doesn't it?
These are now due and payable, and are as follows:-
- Ordinary member $10.00
- Married couple $12.00
- Full-time student member $6.00
- Non-active member $2.00
Subscription includes the magazine, posted free to all full members. Magazine subscription for others (posted) $4.00.
Otto Stichter and Angela Finnigan were married at Windsor on Saturday 15th July, 1978.
Walk Notes For August.
by Spiro Hajinakitas
|Blue Breaks: Kanangra Walls - Cambage Spire - Bulga Cone, Axehead Range, Green Wattle Creek - Kowmung River - Gingra - Kanangra. 68 km. medium. A 3 day (Bank Holiday) harder than pattern test walk led by Barry Wallace, contact in Club rooms. A 3/4 hour or so drive past Jenolan Caves to Kanangra and an hours walk by torch light to the coal seam cave. A fair amount of climbing, with breathtaking views as a reward; from the Axehead Range it's possible to see the whole route covered. Good camp sites; beautiful bushland, no scrub bashing.
|Wood Hill Base Camp: George & Helen Gray will be leading a 2 day walk and 2 one day walks starting from their shack at Wood Hill (near Kangaroo Valley). The overnight walk from Wood Hill - Brogers Creek - Budoroo Plateau - Kangaroo Valley - Wood Hill. The Saturday walk from Wood Hill - Barren Grounds - Cooks Nose - Wood Hill and the Sunday walk from Wood Hill - Brogers Creek - Wood Hill. Choose either the 2 day walk or 1 or both of the day walks. Phone 86-6263.
|August 6 (*)
|Mt. Hay: The Pinnacles - Mt. Spead - Lockley's Pylon - Du Faur Head - Upper Walford Walls - Rocky Points Ravine - Lycon Rill Creek - The Pinnacles - Mt. Hay. 18 km medium. A good day test walk, glorious views of the Grose Valley. Phone: 50-4096, leader Victor Lewin.
|McCarthur's Flat: Base Camp, surrounded by high sandstone cliffs. Leave cars at top of Starlights Trail, half an hour or so past Picton. Interesting easy walks along the sparkling Nattai River. Leader Belinda McKenzie, 646-8520 (B).
|Boyd Range: Lannigan's Range - Mt. Colong - Mt. Armour - Church Creek - Bull Head Range - Kanangra. 50 km. medium/hard. One or two cars to be left at Kanangra. The walk entails a long ridge track down to the Kowmung River for lunch, up a very pleasant ridge and a short climb on a bauxite slope to camp on Mt. Colong. A long lunch is planned either at Church Creek flat or on the Kowmung at Christies Creek. A fair amount of climbing with glorious river and mountain views. Leader Spiro Hajinakitas, phones 681-2000 (B), 357-1381(H).
|Bobbin Head: Wahroonga - Cockle Creek - Bobbin Head - Old Road - Turramurra. 13 km. easy. A pleasant scenic day walk. Leader Gladys Roberts, phone 92-5574 (H). Train 8.40 a.m. Electric.
|Leura: Valley of the Waters - Wentworth Falls. 10 km. easy. Leader: Denise Brown, phone 642-6448.
|North Budawangs: Yadboro Flat - Kaliana Ridge - Monolith Valley - Mt. Owen - Corang Peak - Cockpit Swamp - Wog Wog Track - Yadboro River. 45 km. medium. Book early with leader for this walk as it has a limit of 20 people. A 3 hour or so drive south to Yadboro Flat on the Clyde River. (30 km. inland from Milton). Mostly track walking through a variety of country, open plateaus, gentle ridges and an occasional unspoilt patch of rain forest. No tents required Saturday night as party will be camping in a cave. Leader: Charlie Brown, phone 827-3237 (H).
|Wolgan: Clarence - Glow Worm Tunnel - Newnes - Wolgan River and return. 20 km. Easy. An 1 1/2 hour drive from Sydney near Lithgow. Interesting rock formations, good track, ridge and river walking. Excellent scenery and a special bonus - see the Glow Worms sparkling like a thousand diamonds in the Glow Worm Tunnel. Leader: Bob Younger, phone 57-1158 (H).
|Mt. Hay Road: Pinnacles - Mt. Stead - Lockley's Pylon - Walford Walls - RockyPoint - Rill Creek - The Pinnacles. 14 km. medium. Just north of , glorious Blue mountains scenery, an exhilerating walk. Leader: Victor Lewin, phone 50-4096 (H).
|Berowra: Cowan Creek - Bobbin Head - The Sphinx. Train to Berowra. Contact Leader: Gordon Lee in Club rooms for details.
|August 20 (*)
|Royal National Park: Waterfall - Couranga Track - Causeway - Bola Heights - Burning Palms - Palm Jungle - Otford. 18 km. medium. Train 8.46 © tickets to Otford. A most scenic day test walk with coastal and bush views. Leader: Peter Christian - in Club rooms.
|August 25,26,27 (++)
|Narrow Neck: Splendour Rock - Yellow Dog - Cox's River - Jenolan River - Galong Creek - Carlons Farm - Megalong Valley Fire Trail - Steel Ladder. 60 km. medium/hard. A long interesting walk in the Wild Dog Mountains covering a variety of country, expansive views from Splendour Rock and possibly enjoying a 1 1/2 hour walk out on Narrow Neck on Friday night. Leader: Wayne Steel, phone 290-3951 (B),439-8945 (H).
|Carlon's Farm: Tinpot Hill - Cox's River - Breakfast Creek - Carlon Farm. 20km. Medium. Loads of time to enjoy the beautiful Cox's River and Megalong Valley, (turn off at Blackheath). Leader: Hans Stichter, phone 635-5808 (H), 20648 ext. 5344(B).
|August 27 (*)
|Colo: Culoul Range - Hollow Rock - Crawford Lookout - Wollemi River - Colo River - Boorai Ridge - Hollow Rock. 25 km. medium. A wonderful day test walk in the unique Colo area, breathtaking views, high riverside sandstone cliffs, white sparkling sandy river banks. Leader: Oliver Crawford, phone 44-1685 (H).
|Cronulla: Ferry to Bundeena - Bonnie Vale - Cabbage Tree Creek - Deer Pool - Marley Beach - Bundeena. 17 km medium. Train 8.50 a.m. (E). Leader: David Ingram.
|Mt. Hay: to Blue Gum via Du Faur Head. A day test walk, Leader: Peter Scandrett, Phone: 848-0045 (H).
|August 27 (*)
|Govett's Leap: Grose River - Victoria Falls. 18 km. medium/hard test walk along the beautiful Grose River. Leader: Joe Marton, phone 638-7353 (H).