2020 Aus Filling the Gap On the Tordirrup
Filling the Gap
Along Frenchman Bay Road
Now we had wheels kindly on loan from Malcolm and Christine there was nothing stopping us from exploring a little, after the day’s work was done of course.
On the other side of Princess Harbour is an enticing peninsula, Torndirrup and around it numerous bays, salmon holes, rocks, points, heads, beaches, gaps and harbours. Two places were of particular interest to us, the Whaling Museum which we were indecisive about after the uniqueness and quality of the one at Eden we thought was unbeatable, and ‘The Gap’ a skywalk type stainless steel structure of the same ilk as the granite skywalk at Porongurup, but as always happens many other unexpected sights appear to please the eyes and mind like the beach wedding, in half a gale.
The wedding guests, soggy footed and windblown, made their way up the ragged wooden steps as we made our way down to the sun drenched beach where the bride and groom chatted with their friends and family beside the portable white painted wedding arch.
I sat on the loo in the whale museum deciding just how high a price I would accept for the entry and when it came to exactly double my allowance, at $32 each, $20 dollars each more than the Eden Killer Whale Museum, I decided a photo of the whaling ship would suffice and we bought ice creams instead and sat in the car chatting with Richard and the boys over a video call.
We have learned that when we set off in Zoonie again in September we are highly likely to see lots of Southern Right Whales and maybe humpbacks too, whereas now the SRWs are in Antarctica for the summer, so that is something to look forward to, I think! I’d rather see live versions having already learned much about the whaling history.
Our next stop was ‘The Gap’ and although a levy of $15 had to be paid for parking we thought the concept, design and execution of this unique attraction was well worth it. Right next door to the overhanging outlook above the natural gap and crashing sea 25 metres below is the natural bridge. I will let the photos tell the story but for us on this windy day the whole place was spectacular and an expansive view over what will be our first few hours of sailing westwards across Torbay towards Cape Leeuwin.
The second file of photos shows our return journey around Princess Royal Harbour, through Albany back to Emu Point. The photos across to the headland show the area we have just visited and at the forefront tip the rocks on the left, just in the water are Possession Point. Matthew Flinders’ men anchored investigator there while another team of his men were in tents across the other side of the headland to the south of the Sound on flat granite rock. The two separate groups made calculations on the Variation (the angular distance measured in degrees between true and magnetic North) in their separate locations and when Matthew put the two together and took the mean as 7 degrees West he was satisfied. By adding this to Investigator’s True (Chart) course he would get a magnetic course to steer.
Today the Variation is 1 degree 21 minutes West, factoring in an annual decrease of 4’ east since 1999, just for the navigators amongst you.