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.'