Monday, August 24, 2009

Timor Sea oil slick

I watched part of the football match between the Eagles and the Crows on Saturday and our home team was crushed. The psychology of sport is very complex. Anyway after the defeat of our lads the victorious Crows’ Hymn (?) was belted out in the stadium. Oi, I thought, they have pinched the Marines Hymn! And they had. It seems that most of the AFL teams cannot write an original song and have filched traditional music (out of copyright) from somewhere. Looking into it a bit further it seems that even the marines acquired their Hymn from France

U.S.Marine Corp Hymn

The song has an obscure origin-the words date from the 19th century, but no one knows the author. The music is from the Gendarmes' Duet from the opera Geneviève de Brabant by Jacques Offenbach, which had its début in Paris in 1859. The Marine Corps secured a copyright on the song on August 19, 1919, but it is now in the public domain.

So there you go. I am now working on a new version to be sung at my funeral service: Kev's Hymn. The words will include such as… Nature’s Gentleman; respected by all, pillar of society etc.

There is a major oil spill from an oil drilling rig in the Timor Sea. It is unknown how the leak has occurred, but the crew has been evacuated and an aircraft is spraying a dispersant on the slick. It is estimated to take about seven weeks before it is under control. Apparently it is not a biggy as the leak is a mixture of gas and oil and evaporation is helping somewhat.

Although I was only a wee kid during WW2, I have read much on naval battles and convoy sinkings , but strangely nothing about oil slicks. The amount of shipping sunk in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans was huge. What happened to all that oil? Similarly when I was a youth, Fremantle Harbour had few restriction on dumping of wastes from ships into the harbour and subsequently the Swan River. When swimming in the river near the harbour entrance we had to look out for blind mullets set loose from ship toilets. Strangely with all the garbage from ships heading up river with the incoming tide, fish were abundant, mussels and crabs everywhere. One of the fish species in the river was the Trumpeter..commonly referred to as shitfish. The crabs were large and delicious. I recall one huge crab after being tossed into the pot on the stove reaching out with its claw and turning the gas off.


Anonymous said...

A lot of sunken ships from WW2 still have a substantial quantity oil in them. It's a big environmental worry in some battle areas of the SW Pacific because the ships are steadily corroding.

Jenny said...

I also remember the poop on Palm Beach from the Navy ships - Don't remember any globs of oil though!