Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Spinning 'round the Bay

We are continuing to enjoy Moreton Bay and the Broadwater both for boating and exploring. We've visited markets, walked the edges of parts of the bay, watched powerboat races (yuk!) and seen Redcliffe locals re-enact the landing of Europeans in the area. Redcliffe is a suburb and a peninsular which encompasses many suburbs...confusing ain't it.

Redcliffe jetty and beach

The settlement of Redcliffe (yep it's got red cliffs) by the early Europeans, was for the purpose of establishing another penal settlement. The brig Amity set sail for Redcliffe from Sydney in 1824 carrying settlement commandant Lieutenant Miller, explorer John Oxley, a crew and convicts. They landed at Redcliffe on September 13, 1824.
The re-enactment took place on the beach, with lots of canon firing which scared the dogs and hand shaking with Aboriginal's (I don't think so) which scared me, but lots of locals were too busy enjoying the water or watching the power boat races which surprisingly were on the same day. There has been a lot of controversy about power boats on the bay, with dugongs and turtles washing up injured or dead on the shore. During one of our walks (not long after the power boat race) we came across locals waiting with an injured turtle for Australia Zoo staff to attend. The turtle was magnificent-her shell was almost 1M long-and we hope she survived.
power boat under tow

a 'replica' of Amity (shucks it's a steelie!)

A better location was found for the new settlement on the banks of the Brisbane River in 1825, so Redcliffe was deserted by the Europeans until the 1860s when the area was again taken over and declared an agricultural reserve. The land was used for dairying, sugarcane, wheat, cotton, beef, honey, cattle feed, oranges and potatoes.
Oxley had thought Deception Bay (Redcliffe Peninsular forms part of this bay) was a river as it is so shallow. We explored this bay by dinghy and still grounded!

exploring in dinghy June
Redcliffe underwent a significant land boom in the 1880s and was quickly gaining a reputation as a seaside resort - offering a seaside experience similar to many of the holiday destinations in England. A growing number of people were lured to Redcliffe to enjoy its safe, sheltered sandy beaches. The Redcliffe Peninsular is still a popular holiday destination and Moreton Bay Council has established fantastic walkways/bikeways.

Walkway near Cleveland Point
Day bathers travelled to the peninsula by steamer - the most celebrated being the Koopa. The Koopa delivered its first passengers to the Redcliffe Jetty in 1911 and continued to transport tourists to the city until World War II - when it was requisitioned by the Royal Australian Navy.
South of Redcliffe is Woody Point and the pub has bits of Koopa displayed.

View of the bay from the pub at Woody Point (just for Vic)

In this photo the suburb of Brighton is opposite. Prior to steamers working the bay, a couple from the area made a living by rowing people across the bay. Potential customers would flash a mirror at the couple's house and one of them would dutifully row across. Needless to say, Florence lived to around 100!

Jetty at Woody Point
General aviation is booming up here with a number of airports active. It's great sitting on deck watching aerobatics. NSW is behind in this regard, with the bastardisation of Bankstown Airport, the closing of Hoxton Park and the exodus of flight training to Camden. What a shame.

The northern end of Moreton Bay is a breeding ground for dugongs, alas we have not seen one.

the closest we have come to a dugong

During the recent dust storms we stayed put rather than continuing our exploration, others however didn't. Glad we weren't out there.
Spot the yacht...hmm maybe their nav lights don't work
This area of Moreton Bay has lots of sandbanks, and close to shore lots of rocks. Recently a yacht was holed by a rock near the jetty that wasn't (they said) marked on a chart - and they were locals.
Lots of sand banks (brown water)
The swell can reach 3M and the storms are reportedly ferocious - gee that's something to look forward to! A bloke we met tried to encourage his wife into the cruising life by taking her out into the safe enclosed waters of Moreton Bay (in a trailer sailor) only to frighten her with a large swell. Years later he is still trying to convince her!
We've also done trips down south. Bum's Bay (Marine Stadium) at the Gold Coast is chockers this time of year but Jacobs Well (where we waited out storms months ago) is peaceful and very pretty. Miles of waterways, what bliss!
Pretty Jacobs Well
Now that the economy is picking up (thanks Kev) I can hopefully pick up some work. Marg was injured recently (not on Manatee) and is undergoing physio. The girls are all well and still enjoying boat life.

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