Saturday, February 14, 2009

Albatross

When we were in Sydney town recently, I visited the National Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour. It had an exhibition of photographs and text from the diary of a young American fellow who prior to attending university, decided to take a sea journey on a whaling ship from the U.S. east coast to Fremantle in 1905. It was a wonderful exhibition on loan from the Smithsonian in Washington and I will see if the Fremantle Maritime Museum is going to show it in Freo. They should, as the ship's voyage ends in Fremantle harbour.
The whaler in Fremantle Harbour.

One interesting story was the capture and killing of an albatross. Yes, I know, sailors don't kill albatross as they bring bad luck. The story describes how the albatross was lured onto the deck of the ship, probably with fish. The albatross couldn't fly off the ship because it relied on water and its webbed feet to get airborne again. Trinkets were made from the claws and the beak.

Back in Sydney: the Pyrmont Bridge in Darling Harbour is a very nice example of an old (opened to traffic in 1902) swing bridge. The opening swung around to let ships through. I am unsure where the ships were going to as there is now nothing much beyond the bridge. I imagine that before infill, the water went much further upstream. The monorail service runs over the bridge, but I believe the swing span could still be opened.
The swing span showing the Monorail pylon just outside the swing span.
The lovely bridge controller's cabin

1 comment:

fremantlebiz said...

I suppose there were men the olden days who spent a working-lifetime in the controller's cabin.