Monday, March 03, 2008


Here's the photo we received from our associate yesterday: the 7 News chopper hovering over Thompson. We assumed it was to do with the shark sighting, but in fact that probably wasn't right: there was a fire on board a 26 Bertram in Thompson. By the time our operatives walked from the army jetty (they'd seen thick black smoke) it was well alight. It was being hosed with sea water, and when it seemed out it would be towed a bit further away from the main jetty...but then the flames would leap up again, so more sea the time the foam was applied it was gutted.

We were down at the beach near Scarborough this morning. The beautiful island seemed 500m away. For some reason the boat fire and today's view reminded us of the sorry tale of the Vergulde Draak.

That was wrecked on 28 April 1656 a bit further north from Rottnest, of course. The Dutch sent several rescue missions. During the last, the Wakende Boei sighted Rotto aon 23 February 1658 and charted it (see the cute map here). "On 18 March the ship anchored on the north coast of Rottnest, the island was explored and it is recorded that the ship was scraped below the waterline."

The boat with the Wakende Boei seeking the Vergulde Draak was the Emmeloord: "On 8 March at about 30° 25' a fire was seen on land which, on firing signal guns, was answered by another fire." Probably indigenous residents. But later, on 28 March, another fire was seen, and it was almost certainly lit by survivors of the Vergulde Draak.

1 comment:

  1. Cookster5:45 PM

    David - we arrived at the island on a day trip... yes I know, it's hardly adequate... and saw the chopper from the ferry.

    We saw the boat owners unloading charred remains as we were on our way back to the mainland - a complete mess.

    Fyi, twas a luverly day floating around Little Parakeet... * sigh *