Sunday, June 28, 2009
For the most part, these islands sit idly dormant in Sydney's collective consciousness and in various states of post-industrial dereliction.
A couple of the islands have been "towed" back to the mainland by land bridges. And one or two of the islands retain indigenous Sydney bushland on their sloping faces.
The harbour as calm as it ever gets.
Above and below the surface at Five Dock where this morning's journey commenced ...
Striking out towards the eastern horizon.
Starting in the west ...
... and finishing 20 kms later in the east.
There is much to explore at each of these islands - from large-scale industrial wharves, abandoned buildings and rusting machinery to the gems of native bush rock and twisted angophoras. The trip along this "archipelago" deserves much more time than we could afford today. A good reason to do it all again.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Here's a little more information ...
View in Port Jackson, 1789 by T. Prattent
"This saltwater scene in Port Jackson shows Aboriginal men, women and children in bark canoes. Women fished with handlines and 'crescent-shaped lures' that were ground and chipped from shells. Fires burning in the canoes were used to cook fresh fish and mussels, which they spat into the water to attract fish."
(State Library of New South Wales Catalogue)
Other than burning the landscape from time to time to flush out animals, these original harbour-dwellers left few marks on their physical environment.
A few traces of their existence are found in a handful of evocative rock engravings that were incised into sandstone shelves around the harbour's edge.
The images below are hand-sketches (drawn in the year 1845 by two Europeans) of rock carvings observed at South head, Middle Head, and at Point Piper depicting whales, sharks, fish, kangaroos, wallabies, hand tools, shields and people.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Optmistic of seeing this annual procession we paddled out through the Heads and into a brilliant dawn.