W. Bede Christie

Christmas on the Briny, The Innocents Abroad

Or, A Holiday Trip to the Abrolhos Islands
Published by Good Press, 2019
goodpress@okpublishing.info
EAN 4064066150976

Table of Contents


PUBLISHER’S NOTE.
CHRISTMAS ON THE BRINY.
PIGEON AND WALLABY ISLANDS.
RAT AND WOODED ISLAND.
The Abrolhos Islands.
INFLUENCE OF OCEAN CURRENTS.
THE ZOOLOGICAL PROVINCE OF AUSTRALIA.
THEIR PHYSICAL CONDITION.
A SHRINKING WORLD.

PUBLISHER’S NOTE.

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The editor of the “Geraldton Guardian” has to acknowledge with thanks the author’s courtesy in supplying him with the following interesting account of a trip to the Abrolhos Islands for publication in that paper. It has been suggested that their re-publication in booklet form might do much to advertise these islands as a holiday resort, and Mr. Christie courteously gave his permission, hence this unpretentious booklet.


THE INNOCENTS ABROAD.


CHRISTMAS ON THE BRINY.

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(By W. B. Christie.)

“What shall we do with ourselves during the holidays?” was a question put by one to another amongst a dozen or so of the new and old residents of Geraldton a few weeks ago.

“What about the Abrolhos?” someone suggested. The idea caught on, and Mr. George Baston volunteered the use of has fishing boat the “While-away” to take a party of us for a cruise round the islands. The offer was accepted. The provisioning arrangements were left in the hands of Mr. Baston.

We were all to be aboard by midnight on Thursday, 24th December, but an hour before that time most of the party had staggered down singly or in groups of two or three to the Esplanade jetty, where the “While-away” was moored. Some were accompanied by friends to see the party safely off.

At twelve o’clock the cry of “A Merry Christmas” was reciprocated from shore to deck, and ere we had time to “blow the froth off,” the order was given to cast off the shore lines, and a few minutes later we were gliding slowly and silently through the maze of boats, which lay at their moorings, out into the expanse of still waters of Champion Bay, on whose face the gentle land breeze left scarce a ripple; out on to the mighty deep, on whose bosom some two or three of our party were to distinguish themselves as only landsmen can when they “go down to the sea in ships.”

We ought to have been in bed, but were so interested in the navigation of the Bay that our rugs were unrolled on the deck, and from the recumbent lounge of the hard boards we watched the leading lights of the Bluff as they came into line, and, the helm being put down, we stood out through the channel in the Five Fathom bank, under the fitful and intermittent glare of the revolving light of Point Moore, which shot its rays far across the bounding billows of the ocean. But they didn’t bound much; they simply rose and fell in long heavy undulations, and as our good boat climbed to the top of one, and gently slithered down, half sideways, into the trough beyond, some of our party crept softly to the side, and taking an apparent interest in the sparkling ripples as they danced past, remarked, “Ough-h-h,” while another retorted “Ach-h-h”—remarks which were quite irrelevant to the general topic of conversation—about the memorable revolt of the shipwrecked crew of the Batavia on Pelsart Island, under the bloodthirsty “Captain General” 280 years ago, when the attempt of the Dutch to colonise New Holland came to an abrupt and tragic termination.

Point Moore light faded from view—the pleiades—Aldebaran, Orion and Sirius—had passed their meridian, and were slowly sinking to the West. Achernar had dipped into the bank of clouds which lay over the southern horizon, Canopus blazed and twinkled as he swept in his majestic circle round the pole; the Cross and its attendant Centauro were clinging to their upper culmination, when the grey of the east told us that Christmas morning was about to break.

In the gathering grey the stars faded where they hung, and as the light broadened, we saw that our horizon