Fellows camping or going to camp would hear that Fred Martin, Jim and Frank Hammill were in camp with us and it was nothing to see a car pull up and people from far and wide get out and stay perhaps for a day and perhaps for more. However, let's get on the track again — we arrived all safe and sound at Corney and met Mr. Jack Barclay who by the way drove a couple of miles after we'd pitched camp to bring us a couple of very big crays and arranged about the boat and drinking water.
Rain water is scarce down that way and although one can get plenty of water by digging down about four or five feet this well water we found to be unpalatable. That night we set off to try and spear some fish and by way of an introduction to the sport Fred Martin showed us a scar in his foot where a sting'ray had got him. He'd had the barb in his foot for six months; then it worked its way out about three inches lower down. He said it was just as well to steer clear of all such animals and to walk round the sharks — it did not do to tackle them.
We were well supplied with long fish spears and kerosene flares and there was only the slightest ripple on top of the water, which was pretty cold. To get the fish one walks in with the flare well alight, held aloft in the left hand and the spear poised in the right. The depth of the water is only above one's knees and with the aid of the flare it is possible to clearly see the bottom. Now and again a toad fish would come and have a look at us and if he was touched with a spear would puff himself up like a baloon. Then again there was the cat-fish — a fellow with a very poisonous sting — another one to be aware of.
However, we did not have any luck the first night and to add insult to injury a big wave came along, douched the light and drenched us to the skin. Other nights we had more luck and brought home butterfish weighing anything up to If there was ever a sport to put the wind up a man for the start it is spear-fishing. One walks perhaps yards out to sea and then wonders where the dickens the shore has got to all sense of direction seems to go. Then come the thoughts of sharks and such like and then the flare begins to burn low and one feels in a nice mess with no lights, well and truly bushed, up to one's knees in water, sharks and stingrays swimming about and deep holes for the novice to fall into.
However it's all in the game and one gets hardened. One particular night a person, from another party, with the aid of his flare, saw two big eyes coming towards him — being experienced he knew it was a tiger shark and if he did not do a yards in even time, through the water, we did not go to Corney. Corney is noted for the tremendous size of its crayfish. One day Mr. Goode, a farmer down that way, let his crops look after themselves and we all went out after crays. He knows the sea floor like the back of his hand and proved he knew the exact locality of every hole amongst the rocks.
How he knew where these underwater retreats of the crays were beat the band.
Such a place might not be more than 12 ft all over. To get crays one ties a piece of fish or meat on a fish line and lets it down over the side of the boat then Mr. Cray grabs hold of it and the fisherman gently pulls the line in. When he gets it up far enough with the cray still hanging on he quickly grabs the strong part of the Cray's feeler and slings him into the boat.
There's a knack in the game and one must look out he does not get a crack with that dangerous tail. During the trip we got quite a number of crayfish and ate so many that we got tired of them. One of the most interesting parts of this kind of sport is that a seascope a funnel like arrangements with glass at one end is taken in the boat. The end with the glass in it is placed well into the water and on looking through it a good view of the sea floor is obtained. Ledges of rock of all shapes, varied colored weeds with fish of different colors can be seen swimming about to say nothing of the huge crays which can be seen crawling over the rocks looking for a feed.
The view underneath the water is certainly very interesting and beautiful. We had heard many things about the wonderful schnapper fishing at Corney Point. However, in this section of the sport we did not have any luck at all. All we got were rock cods— a fish varying in color and having a peculiarly shaped mouth with prominent teeth sticking out the front.
We certainly had a thrill on one or two occasions when a big dog-shark was pulled up. Perhaps one of the best parts of the holiday was going out in that 40ft. Drifting after whiting is not much of a game if one is at all inclined to be seasick. The boat rolls and pitches in all directions and it is impossible to stand on the decks without support. On two occasions we were driven in owing to the roughness of the weather.
It was a grand sight to see some of the boats scurrying before the wind to home and mother to say nothing of the bigger boats which would put into the bay for shelter. The biggest thrill of the lot was this race home.
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The wind would be very strong and slightly abeam moored about half a mile out The fisherman, a Swede by the name of Andresen, ran the boat and slept aboard. On arrival we'd wake him up and after all sails were set the and the nose of the boat pointed to our destination, he would lash the tiller and we'd partake of a very substantial breakfast in the combined cabin and galley. By the time everything was cleaned up again the whiting grounds would have been reached and the business of the day would start; First of all the live octopus, a big fellow, would be dragged out of his box and one of his feelers would be taken off and used for bait.
The tiller would again be lashed, sails reefed and the boat let drift. If the fish were on the bite they'd be pulled up as fast as the line could be dropped overboard. They'd then be thrown into the well our last issue. One would be up bright and early in the morning and then row to the cutter, which was side on , the sails would not be reefed in at all and then the boat would heel over until half the decks were awash, with spray flying everywhere.
Talk about a thrill and the sensation of speed, an aeroplane is not in it. It is difficult too to pick up the exact mooring position from six or more miles away especially for the novice. Then came dinner, after the boat had been moored and all decks washed and everything in its proper place. After that other fishermen would row over in their dingys, sprawl on the bunks and swap yarns about the sea and experiences. Andresen, or Andy as we got to know him, was widely travelled and would regale us with stories of cod, fishing in the, Berring Sea which is up near the North Pole, and Chuna fishing off California to say nothing of having been torpedoed by U- boats during the war whilst running contraband in neutral boats.
He said it was the English trawlers own faults that they got sunk without warning. On one occasion the U boat skipper told a trawler captain that he had five minutes to get off the boat, the trawler skipper said "You've five seconds to get to hades'' and dropped a false hatch, revealed a gun, and blew the submarine where he mentioned.
Many such stories by these old salts enabled us to spend many a happy hour. When we finished or instalment of telling you the story of the above trip in our last issue we were well in camp at Corney Point. Naturally the usual camp jokes were played and the three tents were fitted up in 'luxurious' style. One evening a sprightly young fellow of 80 years rode up on a young horse and instead of dismounting In the orthodox style of octogenarians jumped to the ground as if he was about twenty.
He'd hardly landed when he asked us if we had heard the latest Test Cricket scores in Melbourne.
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Of course, we had not so he reeled off the batting score of each player on the Australian side and then told us how the Australians were getting the Englishmen out so cheaply. Thinking to take a bit of a rise out of him, one of the party asked if the Australians were bowling 'the body-line stuff. With that he had a look to see if the windmill close by, was working all right and then literally hopped on his horse and cantered away.
On New Year's Day we reluctantly packed up camp, loaded it on the trailer which was now known as the 'Faithful Hound,' because it followed us wherever we went and started for home. We took a parting look at the sea, bade a sad farewell to our camp cobbers and set off for Warooka and passed over Geiter's Hill, so called because a man of that name had a row with another fellow, on top of it and chased him down to the bottom lashing him with a stock-whip all the way. The argument, was about some land in the early days and the victim who was a bit of a humourist said 'Oh well, Geiter can have his bloomin' hill' and since then it has always been called 'Geiter's Hill' At Warooka We had dinner in a baker's shop and found out that the proprietor's niece, Miss Sonnenberg, was going to teach the school at Emmaus.
From Warooka we took the main road to Yorketown. On the way we saw one of the famous salt lakes and nothing would do but to stop the car and go and have a walk on its gleaming white surface.
Circumnavigation of the Delmarva Peninsula in an old wooden sail boat
The 'gleaming white surface' was very pretty to look at, from a distance. We got into the middle of the lake before we realised that the 'gleam' was so strong that we could hardly see — it was dazzling. Needless to say we got off that lake in a hurry. The salt is only about an inch deep and to collect it the men working use wide pronged forks and load it on to miniature railway trucks and it is run to heaps on the shore. Yorketown was duly reached and we took a look at the place.
It seems to be prosperous enough, but is not quite so spic and span as its sister towns. The reasons being that it seems to be somewhat older. From there we made down the coast to Edithburg, which seems to be one of the main shipping ports. Edithburg is not a large town but it has plenty of big buildings mostly in the wheat and barley trade.
We were literally astounded at the size of the wheat and barley stacks in the locality — acres of them. It would be a very busy place during the wheat season. From Edithburg we made down the coast towards Port Vincent and it was along this track that we called into a farm house to ask the way. An old 'Cousin Jack' owned the place and wanted to talk in a broad accent.
So after we had discussed land, crops, rainfall and Test Cricket we noticed that he had a peculiar name stuck up on the gate. One of us had been trying to pronounce it and in desperation asked the owner what it stood for. The drive down the coast was exceedingly pretty and sometimes the track ran along the top of towering cliffs with little jetties snuggled at the foot. The sea was as blue, as it could be and was visible practically all the time and now and again one would see a little sailing boat with its snow white sail scudding through the water.
At every small town we passed through the usual stacks of wheat and barley were in existence and sometimes one could see where a crop had been sown nearly to the edge of the cliff. We arrived at Pt. Vincent without mishap and this place was certainly a pleasant surprise to us. It is prettily situated on a snug little bay which was full of all kinds of pleasure and fishing boats and it also has a splendid beach. Hundreds-of Sunday promenaders were walking up and down the esplanade which gave it a gay appearance.
We pitched, camp alongside other campers in the reserve allotted for the purpose and curious campers came up and asked how we had done it so quickly. Nothing would do but for them to see our facilities for pitching and striking camp in a hurry. After a good night's spell were up bright and early in the morning and had a swim before breakfast and another one afterwards before we left. We were informed that Pt Vincent is the Victor Harbor of the Peninsula and visitors come from all roads to this delightful little spot. We were certainty reluctant to leave it after our short stay and fully intend to go there for a few, days sometime in the future.
The tolls of war
The journey was continued now towards Ardrossan and for the first few miles after leaving Port Vincent the coastal scenery continued to be beautiful and then we struch a particulariy bad bit of road over which we had travelled on the outward journey and one of the party said 'Home again' and from thereon we travelled over the route which we have already described through Pine Point, Ardrossan the swamps, Wakefield and Balaklava and then home.
The further north we travelled, the hotter the weather got and we are not sure If the crossing of those swamps before Wakefield was not worse than it was coming. This time there was no wind blowing but the sun wes beating down unmercifully and it was a wonder the tyres of the car did not start to sizzle. However ee got through it alright and home safely.
Right through the journey the car never gave one ounce of trouble. The trip was well worth taking and was extremely interesting. It as easy enough to find one's way about the Peninsula as the place is well serviced with finger posts, although some of them have been sadly mutilated by "sportsmen. After leaving Stenhouse Bay we continued along the coast and passed a point known as Rhino Head because of its peculiar shape, close to this spot we could see the wreck of the collier 'Willyania.
Next we went on to Marion Bay and here we saw the remains of a settlement now deserted as a result of amalgamation of the Gypsum Companies. As a result a splendid jetty over half a mile long is now not used and the houses which were there have been transferred to Stenhouse Bay, whilst quite a lot of machinery and several miles of railway line are decaying because of idleness. This we thought an ideal spot for a family to camp, with its nice sandy beach for bathing and the good fishing to be had from the jetty with good shooting shore as kangaroos are numerous there.
From Marion Bay we went inland for about a mile, the road leaving the coast, and passed through a number of sheep runs, the best part of which were the excellent ramps which saved much gate opening. In parts there was splendid feed as this portion of the country having recorded quite a lot of rain, looked green where cleared.
Another feature being the excellent water that is available almost everywhere in shallow wells, quite a number of these being only two or three feet deep and the water almost as good as rainwater as one. We found them wonderfully hospitable and one is made very welcome and feels that he is in no way an intruder and always finds the dinkum Australian cup of tea quickly made ready for him. From here en we continued toward Cape Yorke and again came into rough, scrubby country with the trees in many places brushing the sides of the car, the track also being very stony.
After several miles of this we took a turn towards the coast and found ourselves again overlooking the sea at Cape York and after walking over a sandy ridge came on to a small strip of sandy beach, on both sides were many boulders. Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege.
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