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The station began as the location for a beacon for the port of Maryborough in the s, to a pilot station in the late s and a light and signal station in the early s. For more than a century the light station and pilots at Inskip were responsible for the safety of ships at sea.
It was a lonely way of life for a succession of men, often with families, as they responded to the call of people in need. If your family was there or if you have any feedback please email me: The main beach at Inskip Point where stores would be unloaded for the light station - once located 70 m inland to the left. On the right is Snout Point - so named because it looks like the snout of a dolphin. It is the landward side of the southern tip of Fraser Island.
His father was a sailor and his brother was Captain Peter Inskip b It seems George was quite prolific in naming remote coastlines and spent some time in the s in British Columbia. The census lists him as Head of the house click to view census document.
She departed 4 November. In this time Scottish-born naturalist John Macgillivray visited Moreton Island and studied aboriginal languages this was the first encounter of the Rattlesnake with aborigines and collected flora and fauna.
Brisbane had been established as a penal settlement as a part of New South Wales in after surveys by John Oxley in late The first navigation aids to assist vessels entering Moreton Bay were those placed by John Gray in to mark the outer bar and inner channels for vessels entering by the South Passage.
It was about this time that Fraser Island, and to some extent the point now known as Inskip, assumed world notoriety due to the Eliza Fraser story. In the Stirling Castle was wrecked on the Queensland Coast and two boatloads of survivors headed south to Moreton Bay. There they were watched-over by local aborigines - the Dulingbara clan. Because she was still bleeding after giving birth to a baby that only survived a few hours , Eliza Fraser was confined to living with the aboriginal women at Hook Point on the southern end of the island see map above.
Fraser Island had become world famous - more for the increasingly elaborate and dramatic stories by participants and witnesses than for the natural beauty and resources of the island. In the following years exploration and closer examination of Queensland's coast proceeded. For example, in Andrew Petrie discovered and explored what is now the Mary River and considered the land nearby suitable for grazing sheep. In the first shipment of wool from the Wide Bay district was taken to Sydney by the Schooner Sisters.
By June wharves had been built on the north side of the river and the port became known as Port of Wide Bay - later Port of Maryborough. At the time of Queensland's separation from New South Wales in ports had already developed where there was access to the hinterland and safe anchorage for ships: Government Botanist John Carne Bidwell.
Not only did he perform harbour duties but he was also Commissioner of Crown Lands, Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths and had to perform marriage ceremonies and act as a magistrate. He died in aged 38 after being lost for 8 days in the bush at the head of the Mary River. He had forgotten to take his compass. The Government of NSW, located in Sydney, was not over-generous to the northern ports, especially as separation approached.
He worked single-handed at first from a little office which later became the kitchen for the Criterion Hotel in Wharf Street, Maryborough. The first pilot he employed was Joseph Mungomery from Sydney. Note spelling of harbour when referring to the place, as distinct from the title Harbor Master. This has changed in the official Queensland literature over the years. On a personal note: I sailed around the southern end of the Great Sandy Straits in October and the recent maps of sandbanks and channels had to be read with caution.
Many of the sandbars had moved and channels were not where they were expected. We revisited the spots mentioned by Jack N. The harbour pilot and two boatmen were stationed at Maryborough, several kilometers up the Mary River. Masters of vessels frequently had to leave their vessels at anchor in the bay and go up in their boats to secure the Pilot's services.
The discovery of gold increased the trade at this port but an increase in pilot staff did not come at the same time. There was just the pilot and the coxswain of the pilot vessel. When the coxswain was engaged as the pilot, there was insufficient crew left behind to man the pilot vessel. A situation that was clearly going to get unmanageable. The Wide Bay Bar - like all bars - is a shallow area of sand deposited near the mouth of a bay or river.
When the water from the Sandy Strait slows down to meet the ocean, it deposits tons of silt and mud that it carries. The seas along the bar are usually much larger and steeper than the ocean swell or the wind waves outside the bar and certainly larger than the calmer waters in the Strait. Add together a powerful current coming down the Strait, large areas of dangerously shallow water between Inskip and Fraser, and tricky navigation with channels that shift frequently, and you have a recipe for disaster, even for large vessels.
It was about 2 hours before low tide and there was a kph head wind - thus providing the ingredients for the worst wave conditions at a bar. The extended metaphor of "crossing of bar" represents travelling serenely and securely from life through death. The Pilot is a metaphor for God. Click image to enlarge it.
The benefit of having a lightkeeper at Inskip and Hook Point is that they can signal the state of the bar so captains can get their timing right. Flags were flown from posts at Inskip Point and Hook Point: Later, signal arms were used as limp wet pennant flags are not easy to decipher.
It was considered advisable not to cross if more than three-seas were running. Wide Bay Bar conditions are strongly influenced by tides. Sometimes the current is so strong that smaller or slower vessels simply can't make headway against it, and it can quickly sweep a vessel into dangerously shallow water and breaking surf.
Often, these dangerous conditions will subside dramatically when the tide turns. Many accidents on bars are the direct result of mariners either being unaware of the tides or choosing to cross at the wrong time. The lightkeepers of Inskip Point have saved countless lives in the years they were there. An ocean-going steamer takes a pilot aboard from the smaller pilot steamer while the boatman rows the coxswain back to the Pilot Station.
This was sketched by J. Ashton in about from first-hand experience while he lived Queensland. The ships and location are unknown but, given the date and the route of Ashton's perambulations, it could be the pilot steamer Llewellyn lying off Bulwer in Moreton Bay.
Picturesque Atlas of Australia It is worth describing the various titles and functions of the pilot staff at Maryborough, and in fact this will apply to Inskip Point as well. The coxswain is the master of the pilot boat owned by the Department of Ports and Harbours.
He will take the pilot from shore station out to the steamer or other ship requiring safe passage through the straits. He steers the boat. The coxswain will have one or more deckhands to operate the sails or row the pilot boat. These deckhands are skilled operators of boats and are called boatmen. Once the pilot has boarded the ship often by Jacob's Ladder he will advise the ship's master of the course to sail. The pilot provides advice only to guide the ship through dangerous or congested waters.
He will have knowledge of the tides, swells, currents, sandbanks and shoals that may not be on nautical charts. He has local knowledge. He is not in charge as the master remains in charge legally. The pilot may give instructions such as "10 degrees to port" to the seaman on the helm who carries out his instructions with the agreement of the master. You may ask if the Pilot would ever row the pilot boat himself. An experience coxswain - Kevin Mohr - said "not bloody likely".
In other situations such as at Bulwer, off Moreton Island, the Pilots would live aboard the Pilot vessel such as the steamer Llewellyn and the Pilot vessel would lie at anchor awaiting signals from the lighthouse in the case of Bulwer Pilot Station, that was Cape Moreton Lighthouse.
When a coastal ship was spotted by the Lightkeeper at Cape Moreton, typically at 8 miles distant he would fly a particular pennant and the Pilot vessel at Bulwer - some 7 miles 11 km away - would take note.
When the ship was closer, perhaps 4 miles, the pennant would be changed and the Pilot would await a "want a pilot" signal. Pilots would be rowed ashore only when their period of duty was up - be it days or weeks. At its inception in , the new colony of Queensland adopted the laws of its parent - New South Wales. Responsibility for ports was given to the Harbor Master in Brisbane W. Geary - under the control of the Customs Department - which in turn was under the control of the Colonial Treasurer.
One of his first tasks was investigate a new harbour to the north of Brisbane which would provide shelter for vessels hindered by bad weather from crossing the Wide Bay Bar at Inskip Point, and also be suitable for vessels to load the timber which grew in Tin Can Bay and Fraser Island. Aboard the Spitfire , Heath departed Brisbane on 15 April and reported back to the Board which was delighted with his work.
In Heath was appointed to newly created position of Port Master to take overall charge of the Harbour Master's Department and and in a new Marine Board was constituted and given responsibility for the renamed Department of Ports and Harbours. Maryborough was booming; wool had already become an export commodity by and the only town in Queensland returning a trade surplus was Maryborough.
The area seemed destined for new facilities but history proved otherwise. Prior to separation there had been only four ports in the colony: More ports were slowly being added to the list as Queensland developed and by there were another four: However, most of the ports were river ports which suffered from flooding, silting-up and difficult navigation.
They were also developing somewhat haphazardly. The government set up an inquiry into the state of harbours and rivers in the colony and in it made several recommendations for improvements - none of which included the southern Wide Bay entrance to Maryborough. This was disappointing for exporters using the Maryborough port. The Sailing Directions for the port made it obvious how inaccessible it was. They warned "do not proceed to sea if there is any break across the [Wide Bay] bar, as it is attended with great risk and danger from the short abrupt sea which comes in, in the shape of rollers, with great velocity./p>
Vic MacDonald attested to the danger of landslips at Inskip when a whole chunk of beach disappeared from near him and he almost lost his horse and buggy. The family thought he had. Elliot Gorman also had one other person to entertain: Bob had been appointed there on 1st June at the age of It is not certain where Bob was before he came to Hook Point but this was his first engagement with the Department of Harbours and Marine.
Elliot would often row across to visit his brother, and vice versa. The MacDonalds recall a time - probably early - when Bob Gorman rowed across to Inskip in the moonlight while they were there. Apparently Bob was ranting and raving and Mr Christoffersen hid Elliot in the flag box and told the children to hide in the bushes. Mrs Christoffersen served Bob tea and cakes and when he calmed down he rowed back to Hook Point in the dark.
However, the Royal Australian Navy started think more about its defensive capability. He recommended several new or upgraded naval bases: He visited Port Curtis at Gladstone as a possibility and thought it suitable but did not go so far as recommending it. He was advised by Admiral Sir Reginald Henderson that "Wide Bay Harbour, at the southern end of the Great Sandy Island [Fraser Island], is a very fine anchorage, and were it not for the [Wide Bay] bar outside, would possess may of the attributes of a base".
Section 16, page Elliot Gorman and his wife Mary continued on at Inskip until about when he was transferred to Burnett Heads Lighthouse. He died from a stroke on 27th December at the age of It is not certain when his mother Johanna died but some sources say she died on 7th May at Inskip Point. During Elliott Gorman's time, a telegraph line was connected to Inskip Point in It consisted of a line from Inskip Point 8 miles that met the line from Double Island Point lighthouse 12 miles at a junction at what is today known as Rainbow Beach just north of the Rainbow Shores estate.
The line then joins the Gympie line 4 miles south of Tiaro and runs there on old poles to Maryborough. It was finally finished on September 6th and said to be "a great convenience in reporting vessels crossing the Wide Bay Bar".
M-F 9am-1pm, 2pm-5pm; Sat 9am It is understood that Thomas Gray became the keeper at Burnett Heads. MacDonald's family - Constance wife , son Charles 6 weeks and six other children ranging in age from 3 to 13 years arrived at Inskip soon after.
One of the MacDonald children - Alice - recently wrote of an experience at Inskip in - when she was 11 years old. She talked about Bob Gorman's lonely life as the lightkeeper at Hook Point: Mum was always worrying about him. The Government steamer would drop his stores off on the beach just above the high tide mark and never talk to him. Mum would see him collecting his stores and say 'that man is sick'. On the 2nd October Bob Gorman became ill. Vic MacDonald rowed across to Hook Point with year-old son Edward accompanying and left him there to look after the lights, while he brought Bob back to Inskip.
Vic called the Harbour Master and the steamer arrived take Bob to Maryborough. He was so sick he decided to resign. Two weeks later, on 16th October , while in the Maryborough Hospital, Bob died at the age of He was survived by twin brothers Francis and Edwin 52 and three sisters Margaret 66, Elizabeth 56, and Edith His parents died 25 years earlier.
His replacement at Hook Point was Joe Woodford. They eventually came back to Hook Point on Fraser Island in about to replace Joe Woodford who had been three for 3 years after the death of Robert T. Vic and Constance were at Inskip to welcome Oscar and Ada. Alice recalled the meeting quite clearly, even when I spoke to her, and her own daughter, in He was the lone passenger aboard the 59 ton ketch Lalla Rookh Capt. Nordstrum when it struck cyclone Sigma. The ship was carrying a load of timber from Townsville for the Maryborough sawmill.
Eclipse was also a victim of the cyclone. Some months later a piece of timber - 15" x 18' with a brass ring bolt - was discovered on No. All hands were lost E. The Maryborough Chronicle 23 Jan reported the incident and that "William Eli Walding, a well known Maryborough citizen was a passenger on board". Lalla Rookh was named after the ship that brought the second commandant to Brisbane in It was sold in to Matthew Rooney Rooneys Ltd who had large timber interests.
One of the Lightkeepers' Cottages on Bulwer Island. This was the standard design for lightkeepers' and pilots' housing. Oscar Robert Walding became a merchant seaman like his father and worked up-and-down the Queensland coast. He met Ada Walding, who was doing domestic service at a hostel in Ann Street, Brisbane, and were married in The lead lights at Bulwer Island consisted of two lighthouses which guided vessels in through the centre of the bar and into Brisbane.
The photo above shows one of the Lightkeepers' Cottages. In they headed off to Cairns where Oscar became a house painter but travelled up-and-down the coast for work. He was known as "Robert" in Cairns but not for long. There they had three children: Oscar Jnr , Edward and Robert.
Two of them died Oscar and Edward , so with his family, Oscar came back to Maryborough in - still working as a painter - and was given the job as Lightkeeper at Inskip Point in May at the age of He moved to Inskip with his family - wife Ada 44 , son Robert 15 and daughter Betty 6. The position was made permanent later that year.
The following story yellow background was told to me by my late father Robert Walding, son of the Inskip Lightkeeper Oscar Walding:. In those days mosquito control was unheard of. My parents decided to move south and we landed in Maryborough in where my father took up house painting. Prior to this he was a painter with the Public Works Department travelling all over Queensland, particularly in the Gulf Country.
Both he and his father were Merchant Seamen on the Queensland Coast. His father, William Eli Walding - a Maryborough local - went down on the sailing ship the Lalla Rooke somewhere off the Queensland Coast in Jan and his body was never found.
I do not know what happened to our house and land there as we shifted to Inskip Point. I feel that it may have been sold to cover unpaid debts. At 13 I worked for H. Rawlinson the local chemist and in addition, carried trays around the bungalow and Wintergarden Theatres selling sweets and ice-creams and eating many free. This was during the Great Depression of the s and as my father was unemployed like many other tradesman. The 13 shillings and 4 pence I earned from the Chemist and the six shillings from the theatre was a big help in addition to the one guinea per week my father received.
Before getting these jobs I used to bring home soup from the soup kitchens two or three times a week, carrying it two and bit miles home, barefoot. Any strangers entering Maryborough were given a food ration coupon at the local Police Station and told to move on to some other town. They used to walk to Mungar junction and 'jump the rattler' to get a free train ride to God knows where.
They were often caught and thrown off. Visit of Archbishop Timotheos of Greece to Inskip in Tin Can Bay - Lightkeeper's residence Inskip Point Lightkeeper's wife Mrs Ada walding is at the back door and Toby and Mike are fighting in the yard. Getting to Fraser Island from Inskip is now quite simple. Vehicular barges run all day.
Sandy tracks take you all over the island if you have a 4WD. Inskip Lightkeeper Oscar Walding - father of storyteller Robert Walding - standing atop one of the lead-lights. He is brandishing his single-barrelled shotgun which stayed in the family until Robert Walding, - Dufaycolor. This was commanded by Captain J. Gray, the Harbour Master at Maryborough in whose department my father worked. As the crew were from all types of jobs, most had no knowledge of the bay.
With my experience at Inskip and as a fisherman I had a good local knowledge of all the channels in the patrolled area. I was given responsibility of an advisory nature.
At that time, with the Japanese forces pushing towards Australia, it was all very necessary for early detection of a possible enemy infiltration. Brisbane Base Watercraft workshops - Aust. Corporal Robert Walding is third from the right. Robert Walding and his wife Heather arrived at Inskip for two weeks holiday on 29th April Life was surprisingly social at Inskip Point for the Walding family.
Visitors would arrive at the house just about every day; in fact they averaged 18 visitors a month for the 15 years they were there. The visitors were mostly fishermen, businessmen, family and tourists on short outings around Tin Can Bay and the Great Sandy Straits; however there were also the official visits from the Portmaster T. Roberts on his yearly visit and the Maryborough Harbourmaster J.
Gray on his regular inspections. There was also the more pleasurable visits by the QG motor launches to drop off supplies and to call in for other business; these included the Fisheries Inspectors J.
Wilson or George W. Early in their stay there the Department decided to give the house a lick of paint and J. PMG linesmen would be around often to attend to faults on the phone line.
It didn't take much for the line between Inskip, Double Island Point and Tiaro to be damaged by falling branches. But it was quite a lonely life for the children. Very rarely did younger people come to visit so there was little socialisation between the two Walding children and other families. The children had plenty of jobs helping out their parents and Betty was quite happy to help her mother with domestic chores and less happy to get on with schooling by correspondence.
Robert had finished schooling at Granville State School at the age of 12 and now - by the age of 15 - was able to visit the lightkeepers at Double Island Point and Hook Point by himself, His socialising was mostly with adults around Tin Can Bay and he learnt skills off them. In the first few months of every year the Queensland coastline is battered by wild weather in the form of cyclones of storms.
Such weather can add to the danger of crossing the Wide Bay Bar. The photo on the left above shows the flagstaff. It was used to signal ships proceeding to southern ports as to the state of the sea on the Wide Bay Bar a shallow area. The flagstaff was also used to signal ships proceeding to Northern ports so as to enable owners to engage wharf labour for unloading at correct time when ship arrived at port as labour was expensive.
Kevin handed it back to Robert Walding in after spotting the words "Inskip Point " on a house at the waterfront in Wynnum, Brisbane. The Wind Generator at Inskip Point Pelican Bay in the background.
The signals were previously lit by kerosene. The distribution board with sub-circuit, main fuses and main isolating switches were located in the house. The generator was wound to cut in at low speeds but the wind speed was rarely as low as shown in the photo above where the blades appear stationary. The usual wind path was from the SE around to NW with a clear sweep over the water of about three miles totally unobstructed, consequently the speed of the blades in a strong SE wind which usually prevailed was such that even with automatic braking, they could barely be seen.
The two blades swept out a 4' 6" diameter circle. There were just two 6V lead accumulator batteries and a cut-out located in an adjacent connected. They were connected in series to provide 12V for the house. The Inskip Lightkeepers' Log Books recorded the state of the weather daily but all of those log books were lost in the floods of when the Port Office on the Brisbane River was inundated and a century of records went under.
One story of interest concerns the steamship Bopple that traded up and down the east coast of Australia for the first half of the s. It was originally destined for the coastal timber trade but its duties widened and became one of the best known freighters on the Queensland Coast. The Bopple was a frequent visitor at Inskip Point as it's home port was Maryborough.
Every two weeks or so it would cross the Wide Bay Bar and being a sturdy ocean-going ship it crossed the bar with relative ease. Vic mentioned the Bopple and how it would always cross the Bar regardless of the weather - 3 seas, 4 seas, 5 seas - it didn't matter. The Captain of the Bopple would take no notice of the signals indicating the state of the bar; he would lash himself on to the bridge and lock his men downstairs and take his ship over the bar.
Nicholson but by it was Captain Edward Henry Griffiths - an experienced seaman known Australia-wide. There was only one occasion that the bar defeated the Bopple. On the 26th May she departed Maryborough with a load of sawn timber expecting to be in Brisbane the next day, before heading off to Sydney. A cyclonic depression had developed off Fraser Island and by the time she reached the bar it was at "5-seas" and closed.
Normally that wouldn't have stopped the Bopple but outside of Fraser Island there were mountainous seas - some said 50 ft 15 m high - and a S. For once, the Bopple desisted and anchored for the night in the deep water at Inskip, alongside other Howard Smith Ships: Moruya , Ready and Canonbar. The next morning Capt. Griffiths called in to the house at Inskip to see if all was okay. He headed off and was in Brisbane on the 28th. On his way back from Sydney, Captain Griffiths made his regular call in at Newcastle to bring back pig iron for Walkers shipbuilders at Maryborough.
The Maheno was being towed to Japan by the Oonah but the towline broke in a cyclone on Monday 8th July The lightkeepers at Inskip Point, Sandy Cape and Double Island Point kept a watch throughout the day for any signs of the ships but their vigilance was unrewarded.
The Inskip lightkeeper Oscar Walding was quoted in the newspapers as saying "It will be a miracle if a ship without engines can live in a sea like this. There is a tremendous swell, and the wind is driving the sea up in a frightful way".
He said that the visibility had been particularly bad throughout the day Tuesday and it had been impossible to see more than a couple of miles out to sea. Contact with Sand Cape lightkeeper was lost.
During the day conditions improved an aeroplane spotted the ships. A few weeks later Robert Walding found life jackets on the Inskip beach which were later identified as being from the Maheno. Early reports said that three lifeboats was ashore but this was a spelling error in the newspaper. A year-and-a-half later Joe Black from Gympie bought some lifeboats from the Maheno to use one for himself and to sell the rest. He came to Inskip Point on the 9th February to show off his newly-acquired boat.
The story he told was that a fortnight earlier - Monday 25 January - he fitted a petrol engine from from an old motor car to one of the lifeboats and with his 12 years old son he set off to the wreck on Fraser Island. He pulled out another lifeboat from the wreck and began to tow it back to Tin Can Bay. In the heavy sea the engine stalled and while he was trying to throw an anchor out his son fell overboard between the two boats.
Just as the two boats were about to smash together Joe hauled his son aboard just as the boats crashed, the gunwale of one being smashed. He went back the next day to get more. On the 25th March the senior crew of the SS Canonbar visited the lightkeeper for supplies. The crew consisted of E.
Hansen Master and H. G West 1st Mate - late of Gympie. On the 27th the crew of the Buranda landed and visited the lightkeeper for stores too. Collins 1st Mate , R. Gormley Fireman , H. Hannell 2nd Mate and A. Swan for supplies for both crews. Little did he know it but Robert would work with Harry Hammell aboard the coastal freighter Waiben John Burke in the s.
This was the fifth grounding alone the Queensland coast in about six weeks. Joe Black was often getting himself into trouble in the waters around Fraser Island.
He was a regular visitor to Inskip Point - whether for fishing, or trying to sell a Maheno lifeboat, or telling stories of his last adventure. He did visit in late and told of his recent adventure. He left Tewantin - about 74 km 46 miles to the south of Inskip - at 3.
Oscar Walding knew he was coming and kept an eye out for him crossing the bar. However, there was a strong south-westerly blowing and all efforts to reach Wide Bay bar were abortive so Joe decided to square away an run up the length of Fraser Island with a view to reaching Bundaberg via Sandy Cape. Oscar saw him clear Hook Point at 7. A sudden change in the wind direction to the south-east was encountered two hours later and not expecting such a sudden change Joe was caught by the boom swinging suddenly and striking him over the eye.
He was thrown into the water and only saved himself by being able to catch hold of the sail. The sail was so taut that he was able to pull himself back again into the boat without the main rope of the sail bending. At this stage Joe was still carrying full sail and passed his old nemesis the Maheno , less than five hours after leaving Hook Point, a distance of 60 miles away. A pod of whales made their appearance next to him, some being right ahead and others on either side.
Needless to say, not all was well with his boat. The rudder, was not functioning well and this made Joe's position all the more dangerous. Joe was thoroughly unprepared for this journey. He had no compass or charts and was relying on dead reckoning. All he had was his wristwatch that his mother gave him when he joined the Airforce in WW1. He had been informed that Breaksea Spit Lightship was 17 miles from Indian Head and so his next objective was to round this lightship and then return into Sandy Straits.
Joe allowed himself three hours to make the distance from Indian Head, but he did it in less time, and actually passed inside the lightship and across the treacherous spit, where he experienced mountainous seas - all without knowing. Seeing the Sandy Cape light, he realised he had crossed the spit and so headed off in a north-westerly direction, steering by the wind.
This was at 8 p. However, unknown to him the wind was continuously changing and, after steering by the wind for a night and a day Joe still found himself completely surrounded by water with no land in sight anywhere, having apparently continued to sail round and round in circles in Hervey Hay owing to the changing winds.
As he crossed Breaksea Spit his water barrel was capsized so that was the end of his fresh water. Realising his plight, Joe Black decided to steer in an easterly direction with the hope of again sighting Fraser Island and working out exactly where he was.
He ultimately sighted the island and ran its length again on the inside until be reached Sandy Cape, with the idea of getting another bearing and continuing his journey to Bundaberg.
Later, he regretted that he did this and had not asked for advice or assistance with food and water. Joe then decided to set off in what he considered to be a north-westerly direction in the hope of sighting some landmark which would indicate to him where he was.
Sailing all that night, he found himself in the morning still out of the sight of land und so decided to steer what he considered to be due west, thus realising he must strike Australia somewhere. Continuing on this course, he was successful in picking up the Bustard Head light and crossing the bar at about 4 p. Joe didn't know it was the Bustard Head light until after he had grounded his boat, but at this stage he was dehydrated and was determined to get ashore by any means and secure a drink.
He ran his boat ashore at Bustard Head and walked to the lighthouse to ask for help. Joe, who is a WW1 veteran, was well received by the lighthouse keepers who are returned soldiers. Joe now tells everyone of the hospitality of Mr Casey, the head lightkeeper, and his wife, and also to Mr Cousins, the assistant keeper. They helped him repair the damaged rudder and with weather conditions apparently favourable Joe got everything ready to head off for Bundaberg on the night tide on Tuesday 9th.
He crossed the Bustard Head bar at 8. Joe tells that it was a glorious moonlight night without a ripple on the water and, with the engine functioning well, he anticipated leaching Bundaberg the following forenoon Wednesday 10th.
His troubles, needless to say, were not over, for at 10 p. By midnight it was blowing strong. Sea spray caused the engines to stop on three occasions. When it stopped the third time Joe could not get the engine started again and so hoisted the sail, and managed to hold his boat into the wind until 4 a.
Realising he was making no headway he decided to turn and run back to Bustard Head. He deliberately gave the rocks off Bustard Head a wide berth and then found, after four hours tacking, that he could not make the calm water at Bustard Head and decided to run away and hope to find some inlet where he could take shelter. He next saw one of the navigating buoys leading into the Gladstone Harbour and ultimately reached Gatcomb Head, not knowing what point it actually was.
Joe anchored at Gatcomb Head on Wednesday night and learning from the pilot staff the direction of Gladstone, he proceeded to Gladstone, to the peaceful waters of Auckland Creek. He eventually made it to Bundaberg. The outbreak of the war in Europe in September went largely unnoticed at Inskip.
It wasn't until Japan entered the war in late that anything different started happening. It wasn't the bombing of Darwin on the 19th February that saw the army launch into action on the Queensland coast; things were starting to happen earlier in anticipation of further Japanese aggression. Gray, Maryborough Harbour Master.
Like many of the senior officers in the AIF, Paterson was a WW1 veteran having spent four years in the militia in Maryborough before joining the 47 Bn and heading overseas to Europe.
He fought in France and suffered multiple gunshot wounds during an attack at the Somme in September , for which he received the Military Cross in March Now he was at Inskip as part of the plans by Northern Command to set up defensive position at Hervey Bay against possible seaborne and submarine attacks by the Japanese.
The 47 Bn Voluntary Defence Corps VDC soldiers had been training around Maryborough part-time for much of the previous year and now they were being prepared for action. Most were Maryborough locals who had farming and work commitments and many in reserved occupations but, nevertheless, all leave was cancelled and they assembled in the Maryborough Showgrounds. Troops began to arrive at Inskip soon after. Soldiers visited the Lightkeeper's house where they were given scones and cups of tea by the Lightkeeper's wife Ada; and the men recorded their appreciation in the Visitors Book.
Hundreds of men visited the Lightkeeper's house during the war and were always warmly welcomed. After this a variety of army, navy and airforce people came to the Point: Row - the Control Officer for No. Benedich of Bazaar St Maryborough. But not only that, there were others of importance: Even during this time things carried on at Inskip pretty much as normal. Oscar and Ada's son Robert - my father - was to be married in Brisbane on 20th May but leave was not forthcoming for the lightkeeper.
Four days later Robert and his wife Heather nee Zalet - my mother - arrived for a short honeymoon. Oscar and Ada Walding took 14 weeks leave to Brisbane on 1st October , to visit family and spend some time with the newlyweds. They dropped in for one last time to see their good friends Oscar and Ada at Inskip Point.
Tears were shed all round. The use of the Point for training really didn't begin until In April the army sent a convoy of trucks, men and gear and set up camp and train for a month. The Lightkeeper's wife recorded on 15th May that year that: Charlie's wife Doris nee Hislop and their two daughters Joyce "Joy" aged 17 and Dorothy "Dot" aged 14, had elected to stay with their son Arthur 20 in Maryborough for the six-month duration.
They had come from lightkeeping duties at Comboyuro Point on Moreton Island. Even though they had not met before there was a strong family connection. Comboyuro Point was where the Reilly family were sent in from Inskip Point.
As the children became too old to stay they shifted to Brisbane to live with their older sisters at Paddington or board privately. Ada Reilly was there for some time before she left for Brisbane. Her father Samuel Reilly died in and Charlie Waye and his family took over but employed Harold Reilly then 16 to assist. Ada and Oscar Walding were now meeting Charlie Waye some 36 years later. Life at Comboyuro Point was certainly discussed. Norman said later that he was terrified being rowed across the passage to Hook Point in a 12 ft dinghy.
The stores for Hook Point would be dropped off by the QG supply ship at Hook Point and they'd get them up to the house on a sand sled pulled by their horse. The horse was also used by Norman to ride out to the back light to trim the wicks. He recalls carrying 2-gallon bottles kero in the saddlebags. Norm was still schoolage so he was forced to study by correspondence.
Charlie or Norman would also row over to Inskip for a visit. Norman admitted later that he like to visit when the lightkeepers' year-old daughter Betty was home. Norm said "they had a lovely daughter; she was a real darling". He was hit by a cab as he was leaving work and died in hospital that day in He arrived on 5th June and met with Oscar to discuss lightkeeping duties and to get rowed to Fraser Island.
Although lightkeepers' wives and children received no pay for their services it was considered a part of the job to maintain the cottage and look after their family stationed there. Their role is one of the great unsung contributions to the safety of mariners the world over.
Merv was born in Maryborough on 31 December and was no doubt peeved that he had to celebrate his birthday on New Year's Eve. He was discharged in July Now he is at Inskip two years later to take up lightkeeping duties. Whenever he was granted leave a temporary keeper would be sent. One was year-old Thomas John Henson who was was sent there on 18 June for a 6-month stint while Oscar Walding took leave after 10 years service.
Tom Henson arrived with his wife Olive nee Herrenberg and their youngest daughter Carmel who was not yet school-age. Their other two daughters stayed with relatives as they were attending primary school: Tom's wife Olive had visited Inskip previously on 20 January and wrote in the visitor's book "spent a lot of time here in my early days". My Grandad got along quite well with the local fisherman.
They loved the time they spent there. Fay can remember her Dad Thomas talking about his role in reporting and recording the weather. The only momento she has is a timber box made to store pictures of cloud formations that he could identify for his reports. This little timber box has been passed on to Fay's grandson. Mr Walding had been instructed to take either long service leave or the like, and that is why my Grandad took on the role.
According to my Aunt Fay Berry, nee Henson , Mr Walding was happy that Thomas was only going to do a relieving stint and not be permanent as Mr Walding loved his role at Inskip Point and was very keen to return as soon as possible. The local newspaper - the Maryborough Chronicle - reported on 14 August The visitor's book records them as arriving on 10th August On Sunday morning 26th June - over just a few hours - a section of Inskip beach the size of two football fields disappeared into the sea without any warning.
Cars and people were lucky not to disappear with it. Onlookers who watched the natural phenomenon were amazed and had to keep moving back as more and more of the beach disappeared. Queensland Parks and Wildlife Ranger Ross Belcher, who patrols the area, said the erosion was a natural event and the sand would eventually reclaim the sea again.
It could take months but may even be back in weeks. My father Robert Walding often mentioned landslips at Inskip in his time there from to He said that every five years or so the sand banks at the end of Inskip Point - "an area of four acres or so" would slip away without warning leaving the light about ft from the shore - in water ft deep.
This is not a new phenomena; it has probably been happening for thousands of years and seems to happen every 5 to10 years or so. Such an event happened on Jan 22, The Brisbane Courier of 22 Jan reported that the sea broke and undermined the ground at Inskip Point and "swept away all the boats, boat-shed, tents and provisions at the station.
The men had a narrow escape with their lives". She said she never felt safe living at Inskip Point: Rockhampton Bulletin , 15 February His neice Karenn said "I remember Gordon building the first barge on their family farm in Amamoor [20km SW of Gympie] in the early 60s.
It was like building a space ship in those days! It was made of cement and everyone said he was mad and it would sink! And he made history. They ended up moving to Rainbow Beach and settled there and made their fortune taking all matter of vehicles and people over to Fraser Island.
Drop off point Inskip point. He really did put Fraser Island back on the map for people again". Photo taken in September and annotated by Robert Walding in Note that the area labelled "Landslip Area" was exactly where the landslip occurred.
The vehicles in the position shown would have all gone under in a land-slip. The cause of the land-slip was the gradual build-up of fine sand carried by the tidal "swirl" around the point on every flood tide, assisted by the prevailing S. This would, without warning, collapse into deep water off the point. Channel 9 News report. The following map shown here in two parts was drawn by my father Robert Walding in to show the relative locations of the buildings, the beach and the leads.
The first map shows the location of Emily's Grave. Robert Walding had not seen the gravesite since he left Inskip to join the Army in He died in The heavy line on the left represents the bottom end of Fraser Island.
Robert Walding helped build this house in It was about 10 squares 90 sq m approx. The walls were of first-class 4" x 1" VJ walls and floors, galvanised iron roof and hardwood stumps "and built by real tradesmen".
Looking west from the tip of Inskip Point to Pelican Bank. Annotations by Robert Walding, In the background is an area of very soft mud and mangroves on the mainland.
The beacon lights are clearly visible in the centre of the photo. When the seas were heavy due to S. Robert Walding saw soundings here of ft 40 m. Richard Walding, , perspective compressed from using mm telephoto lens. The house was a 3-bedroom high-set chamferboard building 44' x 29' in size. It had a dining room, lounge, kitchen with wood stove, bathroom and WC.
Underneath, there was a small laundry. Again, the roof was asbestos cement "Super 6" corrugated sheeting. The white posts at the lower left are part of the fence surrounding the signal flagstaff and flagshed.
To the left of the lower part of the palm is the Lightkeeper's house and cypress pines. There was also a fig tree several yards to the south of the coconut palm and both trees were close to the kerosene shed for lights and domestic use. Green Turtles that have been stranded and die on the beach are a not uncommon sight at Inskip see photo below.
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service Rangers see about turtle standings per week on average in the area. They have a Strandnet online database to record the details. Some turtles may go to Underwater World , Mooloolaba, for more specialised rehabilitation. Green Turtles are by far the most common. They strand at all sizes, alive and deceased. You don't have to worry about sifting through fake personal ads like the ones on many of the newest apps.
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Then it could be too late. That's something to think about. FitzRoy had taken it badly, selling the ship and announcing they would go back to recheck his survey, then had resigned his command doubting his sanity, but was persuaded by his officers to withdraw his resignation and proceed.
The artist Conrad Martens left the ship and took passage to Australia. From here they saw the eruption of the volcano Osorno in the Andes. They sailed north, and Darwin wondered about the fossils he had found. The giant Mastodon s and Megatherium s were extinct, but he had found no geological signs of a " diluvial debacle " or of the changed circumstances that, in Lyell's view, led to species no longer being adapted to the position they were created to fit.
They arrived at the port of Valdivia on 8 February , then twelve days later Darwin was on shore when he experienced a severe earthquake and returned to find the port town badly damaged. They had actually experienced the gradual process of the continent emerging from the ocean as Lyell had indicated. He felt the glorious view "was like watching a thunderstorm, or hearing in the full Orchestra a Chorus of the Messiah.
On returning to Valparaiso with half a mule's load of specimens he wrote to his father that his findings, if accepted, would be crucial to the theory of the formation of the world. After another gruelling expedition in the Andes while Beagle was refitted he rejoined it and sailed to Lima , but found an armed insurrection in progress and had to stay with the ship.
Here he was writing up his notes when he realised that Lyell's idea that coral atolls were on the rims of rising extinct volcanoes made less sense than the volcanoes gradually sinking so that the coral reefs around the island kept building themselves close to sea level and became an atoll as the volcano disappeared below. This was a theory he would examine when they reached such islands.
Darwin eagerly looked forward to seeing newly formed volcanic islands, and took every opportunity to go ashore while Beagle was methodically moved round to chart the coast. He found broken black rocky volcanic lava scorching under the hot sun, and made detailed geological notes of features including volcanic cones like chimneys which reminded him of the iron foundries of industrial Staffordshire.
He found widespread "wretched-looking" thin scrub thickets of only ten species, and very few insects. Birds were remarkably unafraid of humans, and in his first field note he recorded that a mockingbird was similar to those he had seen on the continent. Beagle sailed on to Charles Island. It was said that tortoises differed in the shape of the shells from island to island, and Darwin noted Lawson's statement that on seeing a tortoise he could "pronounce with certainty from which island it has been brought".
However, he found a mockingbird and "fortunately happened to observe" that it differed from the Chatham Island specimen, so from then on carefully noted where mockingbirds had been caught. They went on to Albemarle Island , where Darwin saw a small jet of smoke from a recently active volcano.
Water pits were disappointingly inadequate for drinking, but attracted swarms of small birds and Darwin made his only note of the finches he was not bothering to label by island. After passing the northern islands of Abingdon , Tower and Bindloe , Darwin was put ashore at James Island for nine days together with the surgeon Benjamin Bynoe and their servants, and they busily collected all sorts of specimens while Beagle went back to Chatham Island for fresh water.
After further surveying, Beagle set sail for Tahiti on 20 October Darwin wrote up his notes, and to his astonishment found that all the mockingbirds caught on Charles, Albemarle, James and Chatham Islands differed from island to island.
Ayres is singular from existing as varieties or distinct species in the different Isds. They sailed on, dining on Galapagos tortoises, and passed the atoll of Honden Island on 9 November.
They passed through the Low Islands archipelago, with Darwin remarking that they had "a very uninteresting appearance; a long brilliantly white beach is capped by a low bright line of green vegetation. He saw missionaries bringing improvement in character as well as new farming practices with an exemplary "English farm" employing natives.
Richard Matthews was left here with his elder brother Joseph Matthews who was a missionary at Kaitaia. Darwin and FitzRoy were agreed that missionaries had been unfairly misrepresented in tracts, particularly one written by the artist Augustus Earle which he had left on the ship.
Darwin also noted many English residents of the most worthless character, including runaway convicts from New South Wales. By 30 December he was glad to leave New Zealand. The first sight of Australia on 12 January reminded him of Patagonia, but inland the country improved and he was soon filled with admiration at the bustling city of Sydney.
They gave him a display of spear throwing for a shilling, and he reflected sadly on how their numbers were rapidly decreasing. That evening he saw the even stranger platypus and noticed that its bill was soft, unlike the preserved specimens he had seen.
Aboriginal stories that they laid eggs were believed by few Europeans. I believe it was not possible to avoid this cruel step; although without doubt the misconduct of the Whites first led to the Necessity. Darwin was impressed by the "good disposition of the aboriginal blacks Although true Savages, it is impossible not to feel an inclination to like such quiet good-natured men.
She was refloated and got on her way. FitzRoy's instructions from the Admiralty required a detailed geological survey of a circular coral atoll to investigate how coral reefs formed, particularly whether they rose from the bottom of the sea or from the summits of extinct volcanoes, and the effects of tides measured with specially constructed gauges. He chose the Keeling Islands in the Indian Ocean , and on arrival on 1 April the entire crew set to work. There was a limited range of native plants and no land birds, but hermit crabs everywhere.
The lagoons teemed with a rich variety of invertebrates and fish, and he examined the atoll's structure in view of the theory he had developed in Lima, of encircling reefs becoming atolls as an island sank. Arriving at Mauritius on 29 April , Darwin was impressed by the civilised prosperity of the French colony which had come under British rule.
He toured the island, examining its volcanic mountains and fringing coral reefs. The Surveyor-general Captain Lloyd took him on the only elephant on the island to see an elevated coral plain.
Beagle reached the Cape of Good Hope on 31 May. In Cape Town Darwin received a letter dated 29 December from his sister Caroline telling him that his fame was spreading. On 25 December their father received a letter from Henslow which said that Darwin would become one of the premier naturalists of the time, and enclosed some copies of a book of extracts of Darwin's letters on South American geology which had been printed for private distribution.
The zoologist Andrew Smith showed him formations, and later discussed the large animals living on sparse vegetation, showing that a lack of luxuriant vegetation did not explain the extinction of the giant creatures in South America.
In his diary Darwin called this "the most memorable event which, for a long period, I have had the good fortune to enjoy. In Cape Town missionaries were being accused of causing racial tension and profiteering, and after Beagle set to sea on 18 June FitzRoy wrote an open letter to the evangelical South African Christian Recorder on the Moral State of Tahiti incorporating extracts from both his and Darwin's diaries to defend the reputation of missionaries.
This was given to a passing ship which took it to Cape Town to become FitzRoy's and Darwin's first published work. On 8 July they stopped at St. Helena for six days. Darwin took lodgings near Napoleon's tomb, and when writing to Henslow asking to be proposed for the Geological Society , mentioned his suspicions "that differently from most Volcanic Islds.
It seems strange, that this little centre of a distinct creation should, as is asserted, bear marks of recent elevation. He examined beds high on the hill which had been taken as seashells showing that St. Helena had risen from the ocean in recent times, but Darwin identified them as extinct species of land-shells. He noted that woodland had been destroyed by goats and hogs which had run wild since being introduced in ,  and native vegetation only predominated on high steep ridges, having been replaced by imported species.
At this stage Darwin had an acute interest in island biogeography , and his description of St Helena as "a little centre of creation" in his geological diary reflects Charles Lyell 's speculation in Volume 2 of Principles of Geology that the island would have acted as a "focus of creative force". These birds are closely allied in appearance to the Thenca of Chile or Callandra of la Plata. If there is the slightest foundation for these remarks the zoology of Archipelagoes — will be well worth examining; for such facts [would inserted ] undermine the stability of Species.
The term "would" before "undermine" had been added after writing what is now noted as the first expression of his doubts about species being immutable, which led to him becoming convinced about the transmutation of species and hence evolution.
Darwin had just reviewed similar inconsistencies with mainland bird genera such as Pteroptochos. Beagle reached Ascension Island on 19 July , and Darwin was delighted to receive letters from his sisters with news that Sedgwick had written "He is doing admirably in S. On 23 July they set off again longing to reach home, but FitzRoy wanted to ensure the accuracy of his longitude measurements and so took the ship across the Atlantic back to Bahia in Brazil to take check readings.
Darwin was glad to see the beauties of the jungle for a last time, but now compared "the stately Mango trees with the Horse Chesnuts of England. Beagle departed for home on 17 August.
A plaque now commemorates his arrival point in Falmouth, Cornwall. Upon his return, Darwin was quick to take the coach home, arriving late at night on 4 October at The Mount House , the family home in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.
Darwin reportedly headed straight to bed and greeted his family at breakfast. After ten days of catching up with family he went on to Cambridge and sought Henslow 's advice on organising the description and cataloguing of his collections.
Darwin's father gave him an allowance that enabled him to put aside other careers, and as a scientific celebrity with a reputation established by his fossils and Henslow's publication of his letters on South American geology, he toured London 's society institutions. By this time he was part of the "scientific establishment ", collaborating with expert naturalists to describe his specimens, and working on ideas he had been developing during the voyage.
Charles Lyell gave him enthusiastic backing. He wrote a paper proving that Chile, and the South American continent , was slowly rising, which he read to the Geological Society of London on 4 January Darwin thought of having his diary published mixed in with FitzRoy's account, but his relatives including Emma and Hensleigh Wedgwood urged that it be published separately.
On 30 December the question was settled by FitzRoy taking the advice of William Broderip that Darwin's journal should form the third volume of the Narrative. Darwin set to work reorganising and trimming his diary, and incorporating scientific material from his notes. He completed his Journal and Remarks now commonly known as The Voyage of the Beagle in August , but FitzRoy was slower and the three volumes were published in August Syms Covington stayed with Darwin as his servant, then on 25 February shortly after Darwin's marriage Covington parted on good terms and migrated to Australia.
Darwin had shown great ability as a collector and had done the best he could with the reference books he had on ship. It was now the province of recognised expert specialists to establish which specimens were unknown, and make their considered taxonomic decisions on defining and naming new species. Richard Owen had expertise in comparative anatomy and his professional judgements revealed a succession of similar species in the same locality, giving Darwin insights which he would later recall as being central to his new views.
At that time the only fully described fossil mammals from South America were three species of Mastodon and the gigantic Megatherium. The rhinoceros sized head bought for two shillings near Mercedes was not a megatherium, but "as far as they can guess, must have been a gnawing animal. Conceive a Rat or a Hare of such a size— What famous Cats they ought to have had in those days!
The fossils from Punta Alta included a nearly perfect head and three fragments of heads of the Megatherium Cuvierii , the jaw of a related species which Owen named Mylodon Darwinii , and jaws of Megalonyx Jeffersonii. The near complete skeleton was named Scelidotherium by Owen, who found it had most of its bones nearly in their proper relative positions.
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