Bear suggested after lunch that we climb up to the freshwater pool and sit for a while. He had been told by a chap at Cammeray Marina that we should park on the beach and take the left hand side of the little waterfall. No reason not to, it didn’t look that high after all..........., so off we went in Baby Beez.
On the beach was huge and truly beautiful rock, if rocks can be described as beautiful.
The swirls and colours were so unique.
Behind the rock was a plaque, must look the Krait and brave men up later.
To our right an enormous rock complete with hand prints.
A quick look back at Beez Neez and off we went.
The first bit wasn’t too bad.
Still smiling but it does look a tad steep up ahead.
Looking back, we must be over half way, mustn’t we.........
We managed the next bit but my flip flops baulked at the next bit......... We did attempt it, on hands and knees after a tortuous bit at a nerve jangling angle, then standing two feet up on a narrow ledge with the next step at chest height. Not without some serious climbing gear and several bits of strong rope. I think Sir Edmund would have been proud of us thus far and wouldn’t mind us giving in.
Looking down, Beez in the left of the tree. Going down was as tough as coming up, I did most of it like a crab or scuffing on my bottom. By the time I was back on the beach Bear was helpless at my porcupine look. I don’t think it wise to laugh. And here I am feeling like a perfect gentleman for not taking a picture of it. Have you ever seen a handful of sharp things freshly removed from black Lycra wielded in such a threatening fashion.......I swam back to Beez, hoping to salve my very red, sore knees. I feel the need for a loaded cappuccino after this little episode. I am sorry, I thought it may be a little steep but not like taking on the north side of the Eiger. Maybe tomorrow we’ll just have a little spuddle. Let’s hope we can still walk on the morrow and take it from there shall we..........
Later we looked up information on the plaque. Z Special Unit – also known as Special Operations Executive (SOE), Special Operations Australia (SOA) or the Services Reconnaissance Department (SRD) - was a joint Allied special forces unit formed during the Second World War to operate behind Japanese lines in South East Asia. Predominantly Australian, Z Special Unit was a specialist reconnaissance and sabotage unit that included British, Dutch, New Zealand, Timorese and Indonesian members, predominantly operating on Borneo and the islands of the former Netherlands East Indies. Much of their training was done here in Refuge Bay.
The unit carried out a total of eighty one covert operations in the South West Pacific theatre, with parties inserted by parachute or submarine to provide intelligence and conduct guerrilla warfare. The best known of these missions were Operation Jaywick and Operation Rimau, both of which involved raids on Japanese shipping in Singapore Harbour.
A picture of the Krait with some of the crew.
Operation Jaywick [mentioned on the plaque as the most daring and successful seaborne in military history] was an Inter-Allied Services Department operation to infiltrate the Japanese-occupied Singapore Harbour and destroy shipping. On the 2nd of September 1943, the Krait, with a crew of eleven Australian and four British personnel, left Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia. The group, commanded by Ivan Lyon, dyed their skin brown and hair black (the skin dye later caused many skin problems for the members of the team, including irritation and reactions in adverse amounts of sunlight). They also wore sarongs, so that they resembled Indonesian fisherman.
They arrived off Singapore on the 24th of September, that night, six men left the boat and paddled 50 kilometres (31 miles) to a small island near the harbour where a forward base was established in a cave. On the night of the 26th of September, using folboats the party paddled into the harbour and placed limpet mines on several Japanese ships, the limpet mines sank or seriously damaged four Japanese ships, amounting to over 39,000 tons. The raiders waited until the commotion had died down before returning to the Krait. On the 19th of October the Krait arrived back at Exmouth Gulf having achieved a great success.
Operation Rimau sadly resulted in the deaths of twenty three commandos either in action or by execution after capture
Although the unit was disbanded after the war, many of the training techniques and operational procedures employed were later used during the formation of other Australian Army Special Forces units and they remain a model for guerrilla operations to this day.
The Krait was named after the small but deadly Asian snake.
Incredible, selfless bravery.
A few more boats in the bay.
ALL IN ALL I HAVEN’T HAD GRAZED KNEES SINCE JUNIOR SCHOOL
MIGHT HAVE BEEN EASIER WITH PITONS AND CRAMPONS.....