Saturday, September 27, 2008

This Tempestuous Sea. Creative Challenge 20

From the high limestone cliffs I photographed the area where this evening, a small squall was driving the white waters towards the beach.

My thoughts deviate as I survey the area before me, positioning my camera to take the best advantage I can for a photo of the beach below. The scene has rekindled my memories of the skeleton of a ship which lies beneath those wind driven waves, as I am angling the camera for a photo.

It was the thirteenth of July 1888  when a tempestuous storm drove the Belfast built, iron, three masted sailing ship, The Star of Greece to shore. She was carrying a cargo of wheat when the ferocity of a storm drove her towards the beach causing her to come to grief  by splitting her mid section in half. She now rests in a watery grave on the sea floor just below where I stand and midway towards the point in the distance. All that is left is her iron frame.

The image above is courtesy of a Google search and is the figurehead rescued from the Irish Star Clipper owned, Star of Greece.

A tragedy as the ship was only two hundred metres from shore when she broke apart under the forces of natures power. Gale force winds and roaring surf were no match for this beautiful sailing ship of yore and eighteen of her crew perished to a watery grave. Sadly, the ship went down at 2am in the morning and the alarm was raised at seven twenty am by a small boy out walking, probably near to where I am now standing and taking photographs.

The rescue operations were unfortunately a fiasco. Deemed to be too slow and inadequate by the departments in charge at the time. There was a subsequent coronial inquest into the Marine Board's handling of this disaster. The survivors were thankful for the support given to them by the local community who did all in their power to save the lives of the remaining crew.

Another image from a Google search and this one is a painting of that fateful night when the clipper was wrecked. The picture hangs in a public collection.

All my photos now taken for this evening as the darkness ensues and I walk towards my car, my thoughts at this time, are to return on a day when the sun shines brightly and the sea shimmers calmly in the myriad hues of beautiful blue.

I will see on a low tide the very top of the mast of The Star of Greece protruding ever so slightly out of the water and reminding me of how easily this serene and beautiful sea can at times become tempestuous and unrelenting. Nature has the last say as even today I am reminded myself of that old saying 'The calm before the storm.'

Milli 08.

 

Follow the Creative Challenge Tour from Here.

42 comments:

  1. great story....the power of the sea has always been ignored till too late

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  2. Wonderfully told Milli. You took us right there to that time.

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  3. Thanks Dana so true and you have a great ride out this weekend.

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  4. I am glad it fell into place for you Rita. Have a wonderful weekend there.

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  5. this is my favorite part...the pictures are awesome, especially the last one...

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  6. OMGosh Milli. That bottom photo. I have one almost exactly the same taken by a professional photographer. I bought it for my son when in Adelaide. This is all totally awesome.

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  7. Ronnie I took this photo last January when the tour down-under was on here. I am glad that you appreciate it. I am so privileged to have such beauty around me here. Makes my hobby so rewarding.

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  8. Thanks Danette I am so glad that you have enjoyed the photos and the story.

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  9. Fantastic but sad story Millie. Really enjoyed your history story. Great pictures of the sea and beach. Thanks for letting me know of this posting.

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  10. You are more than welcome John and yes the story is sad however this actual place for the ships watery grave is awesome. Those lost are buried at a the old church and they are well remembered by the locals. This was a tragic tale..
    God Rest Their Souls.

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  11. I remember reading that sad news, how tragic....we really never know when some tempestuous storms come our way...have a nice weekend...

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  12. With any huge body of water, things can change in a wink of the eye, seeing the signs, knowing the signs are another matter for those on the beach. For those on a vessel they are at the mercy of luck, for they have the knowledge. The mrs is sometimes forgiving and sometimes not.

    You know her well. This one what can I say... words cannot describe what a fantastic job you've done here.

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  13. Beautiful presentation. Reading this was like listening to a film critic giving rave reviews for an oscar winning film. At certain points, I could almost "see" the ship slip under, hear its mainsail snap, hear its hull splinter, and listen to echoing voices of those that went down into the sea.

    http://danceinsilence.multiply.com/journal/item/525/Creative_Challenge_you_are

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  14. It was good to read your comment Laurie lol because at this time when the clipper set sail from Port Adelaide, it was not realised what the sailing boat was to encounter, just hours ahead down the coast. Radar was not even thought of at that time I am sure.

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  15. Your own eloquent comment Bill brings my story further life. Thank You.

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  16. It was good to read your comment crazy because...

    that does not sound good

    you may call me Laurie when it fits lolololol and crazy when it suits ya

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  17. Thanks for clearing that up Laurie and now I know LOL.

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  18. Hi milli thanks for excellent snaps they hav come out beautiful, i like the serene envoirnment in the snaps n feel u r lucky to stay on thatr part of earth.Nice story n congrats fro picture perfect snaps

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  19. Ah! The place where things take twice as long and mistakes easily made.
    In those days the number of life boats allocated were inadequate too.
    Looks as if there is a sand bar there.

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  20. The story reminded me very much of that song.

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  21. Milli, your entry deserves enough time to read and think...I will come back later..
    In the meantime, if you do not care to visit mine, you are welcome!

    http://belita747.multiply.com/journal/item/508/CRAETIVE_CHALLENGE_TEMPESTUOUS

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  22. thank you for that memory of the past. I really enjoyed reading it. Such things should never be forgotten.
    http://tabbynera.multiply.com/journal/item/783/Creative_Challenge_20_The_Tempest

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  23. Wow, great pictures, and wonderful story of real life mis-adventure, and a reminder of how easily it can come about....

    http://vickiecollins.multiply.com/journal/item/484/creative_challenge_20_and_pic_to_words_reflection_6

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  24. Very very interesting story, beautifully written... If the bottom of the ocean could speak, how many stories it would tell us...
    Thanks, Milli, for your visit and comment dropped. May you have been enjoying the weekend. Hugs from Lisbon, Belita

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  25. A tranquil mind :
    something to be
    ripped off

    -plat0

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  26. awesome post ... really enjoyed it. Pictures are superb.

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  27. Beautiful photos Milli and an interesting story - amazing really how many ships have been wrecked around the coastline of Australia

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  28. Hey there Shiv so good of you to come over for a visit here.

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  29. There is a reef going across the water basically out from where I stood and there is a small rip in the water there. The weather though Bill was the reason for mishaps. The weather that blows through from the south west can be very very hazardous for sailors. I am sure that life boats back then were not sufficient many a time.

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  30. Thanks and after playing the video I understood exactly what you meant.

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  31. Hello Pat I am so glad that you read and enjoyed and correct never to be forgotten.

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  32. Thanks Vickie it was a misadventure with much cost involved for that time. Human cost.

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  33. Very, Very true Belita there are so many treasures lost to the depths of the oceans and seas.
    Thank You for your return visit too.

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  34. Hi Pla and an interesting little Haiku?

    A tranquil mind :
    something to be
    ripped off

    Shipped off
    A tranquil sea
    Soon deadly

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  35. Thanks so much for the visit and the enthusiasm. You are always welcome anytime.

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  36. Hi there sweet aussielady. Yes you have the wonderful museums there in Canberra to really get a better look at the artifacts and the displays from al those wrecks too. I hope that you have the chance to check them out?

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  37. Very creative contribution to CC. The pics are amazing. I enjoyed hearing the story of the fate of the Star of Greece.

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  38. What a beautiful area you live in, Milli. Thank you for sharing this bit of history; it's well written.

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