Story and images
Copyright 2003 Garry Searle




Page 3

 

At just after 4pm we got the news we wanted. Mark was sufficiently happy that the wind had dropped enough and the whitecaps at almost all gone. After parking our cars to the National Park compound at Stenhouse Bay, the park ranger drove us back to the boat. We all climbed in and Mark reversed the boat into the water. What service, we didn't even get our feet wet. We were on our way!

In the last years of lightkeeping. Keepers and their families, supplies and equipment were all transferred to the island by plane. The short grass landing strip has since fallen into disrepair and was de-commissioned not long after the keepers were withdrawn in 1991. We would do it the hard way.

As we passed Rhino Head, Althorpe Island came into view. On our right, I spotted Cape Spencer Lighthouse the southern tip of Yorke Peninsula. We were now in open water and 15 minutes later Mark cut the engine back and we drifted in toward the jetty. The approach to Althorpe island is a beautiful sight. Beautiful but at the same time, the ever present dangers were visible in the grave just off the beach on the west of the jetty. The steamer "Pereora" had been wrecked on the northwest corner of the island at 4am on 18 September 1919. Seven men were saved, 11 drowned including the master Captain MacFarlane. 3 bodies were found on the beach and buried in the small fenced site. The keeper's report on the incident ... " the light was burning brightly and the machinery working correctly. I remain your obedient servant, N Garrison." Another small white cross on the eastern side of the jetty is a XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Click on images for a larger version
Althorpe Island from Cape Spencer Dave winches the rowboat into the water Gravesite - Loss of the "Pereora"
Nearing Althorpe in the boat The beautiful water of the bay