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All About Captain James Cook
Holbourn Island @ Bowen Sunrise
Coral Seas Bermuda Triangle
WORTH A READ :--)) an item by Daniel Bateman from the Townsville Bulletin with their permission
June 6th, 2009
THE sinking of the Yongala, the disappearance of the Kaz II crew – is an island off the coast of Bowen to blame for these and many more of the North's maritime mysteries?
Holbourne Island is a popular fishing spot, about 35km off Bowen.
It could almost be known as the `Bermuda Triangle' of North Queensland.
The island was named by Captain James Cook after a naval officer who commanded the North American fleet in 1757.
It consists mostly of granite and is surrounded by coral reef. It was dedicated as a national park in 1982.
From the late 19th century to the present day, the island has been implicated in a series of unfortunate maritime incidents, including some very famous shipwrecks.
The SS Gothenburg, a steamship that operated along Australia's coastline, left Darwin in February 1875 on its way to Adelaide. About 100 crew members were killed when it strayed into a cyclone and became wrecked on reef northwest of Holbourne Island.
Twenty-two of the crew survived the disaster, and managed to reach the island where they were rescued several days later.
There was nothing particularly mysterious about that disaster, but the really strange stuff started when the SS Yongala went missing, 36 years later.
The Yongala left Mackay on March 23, 1911 at 1.30pm but never reached port in Townsville.
It steamed into a cyclone and sank without a trace. However, the cause of the sinking remains a mystery.
All 122 passengers and crew on board perished. The wreck was not discovered until 1958, about 48 nautical miles southeast of Townsville, and it has since become one of the world's best dive sites.
However, in 1923, 12 years after the Yongala vanished, a group of fishers from Bowen were angling off Holbourne in a small boat, near the main shipping channel the Yongala would have used.
Much to their surprise, a large steam ship appeared from the south. The fishermen recognised her instantly. It was the Yongala, and the anglers watched – mouths agape – as the vessel steamed off behind the island, failing to appear on the other side.
Then there's the strange case of Kaz II, the North's own modern-day Mary Celeste.
The 10.6m catamaran was discovered empty and drifting off Townsville on April 18, 2007.
The three men on board the Western Australia-bound yacht – Des Batten, 56, neighbour Peter Tunstead, 69, and his brother Jim, 63 – were officially declared dead following a week-long coronial inquest in Townsville last August.
State Coroner Michael Barnes came to the conclusion the men fell into the sea while attempting to rescue each other.
When Kaz II's GPS log was recovered, the investigators found the computer had overridden entries of the first day, due to a limited memory.
The first entry on the log? None other than Holbourne Island.
Fast forward to January 21, 2008, when the fishing boat Allena was sailing off
About 9pm, the radar mysteriously stopped working. Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigators were told the Allena's skipper attempted to turn it off and on several times, but it failed to restart.
The unit was left switched off, and the boat was left to rely on its skipper as a lookout, who unfortunately became distracted by tallying up the evening's catch.
An hour later, merchant ship Northern Fortune swiped the Allena, pulverising its bow in the process.
Fortunately, the small boat was able to limp home to Bowen harbour, safely depositing all five crew members.
The location of the incident? Southeast of Holbourne Island.
Townsville Maritime Museum curator Vivianne Moran said the island's association with so many maritime incidents was
"It's like the Bermuda Triangle," Ms Moran said.
"Ships come to that spot, or that general location, and things happen. Holbourne Island would be the only witness."
She said the island was a reminder of just how much mystery there was out at sea.
Glasshouse Mountains can be seen from Caloundra
On May 17, 1770 Captain James Cook (a rather perceptive fellow) wrote the following in his journal:
These hills lie but a little way inland, and not far from each other: they are remarkable for the singular form of their elevation, which very much resembles a glass house, and for this reason I called them Glass Houses.
The Glasshouse Mountains are a series of steep-sided volcanic plugs which dominate the landscape of the Sunshine coast Hinterland. According to science, they were formed of rhylite and trachtyte, lavas which hardened inside the vents of teritiary volcanoes that have been greatly reduced by about 25 million years of erosion. The real locals have a different story to tell (see history).
Anytime of the year is a great time to bushwalk or picnic in the beautiful Glasshouse Mountain National Park. The mountains are located 31 kilometres from Brisbane and are approximately 30 minute drive North. The population of permanent residents is 715.
According to Aboriginal legend, Tibrogargan (364 m high), the father and Beerwah (555 m highest peak) the mother, had a number of children. Coonowrin (377 m high narrowest and most dramatic of all the volcanic plugs) was the eldest, Tunbubudla were the twins (293 m and 312 m), Coochin (235 m), Ngungun (253 m), Tibberoowuccum (220 m), Miketeebumulgrai (199 m) and Elimbah (129 m).
The legend tells of Tibrogargan noticing that the sea was rising and calling out to Coonowrin to help his pregnant mother gather the young children together so that the family could flee from the rising sea. Coonowrin ran away in fear and Tibrogargan, incensed by his son's cowardice, followed and hit him so hard with a club that his neck was dislocated. When the seas retreated the family returned to the plains. Conowrin, teased about his crooked neck and ashamed of his behaviour, went to Tibrogargan and asked for forgiveness but the father just wept with shame. Conowrin then approached his brothers and sisters to ask forgiveness but they too could only weep with shame, thus explaining the area's many small streams. Tibrogargan then called Conowrin and asked why he had failed to help Beerwah. He explained that he felt she was big enough to look after herself, though he did not know she was pregnant. Tibrogargan then turned his back on his son and still gazes out to sea today, refusing to look at his son who forever hangs his crooked neck and cries. Beerwah, the mother, is still pregnant, as it takes time to give birth to a mountain.
Captain James Cook was the first European to see the mountains. On May 17, 1770 he wrote in his journal These hills lie but a little way inland, and not far from each other: they are remarkable for the singular form of their elevation, which very much resembles a glass house, and for this reason I called them Glass Houses. Matthew Flinders was the next European to visit the area in 1799. During his explorations he came ashore and climbed Mount Beerburrum from which he surveyed the whole of Moreton Bay.
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