Sunday, June 28, 2009

Port Julia and Port Vincent streets names for the ketches

Hi. I got back on Saturday from my usual couple of days or three each month in Adelaide which is a three hour drive away. Each time I make the journey I like to stop for a break in one or other of the pretty enroute places, usually on the coast so I can enjoy a sea view up close; even a beach walk or a stroll out on a historic jetty such as Ardrossan's where I chatted yesterday with a couple of squidders - that's guys catching squid!

But I also enjoyed a first-time look at Port Julia - no "town" now, only holiday homes and the historic Red Shed by the jetty, previously an active warehousing and loading centre for the grain brokers, up until 1968 when Port Julia ceased to be a port. Then I drove by the picturesque gravel road down the coast to Port Vincent. The main road these days runs some way inland. I realised that both places name streets in tribute to the ketch trade; Lady Doris, Adonis, Esther, Osprey .. and so on. See my list further down on this page.

While in the city I caught up with some new movies - not a subject for this blog right now, though one, the AFI Award winning Samson and Delilah (dir. Warwick Thornton) is set in a fictionalised remote aboriginal community and then in Alice Springs, and therefore about as far from a sea and ships setting as is possible to get!

But wait - a slim connection comes from the on-special DVD of an audiobook I bought at the ABC Shop. Philip Pullman's The Subtle Knife is the second book of his fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials. The first book, Northern Lights, was filmed handsomely as The Golden Compass, but alas with no guarantee of a sequel. These matters are driven by box office. Anyway, having listened to the CDs on the drive home (oh, I'd read the book, and I liked the BBC4 dramatised condensation of the story) I was moved to have another look at The Golden Compass from my DVD shelf. This was far better than doing serious chores after being away for three days.

I noticed more than before just how visually attractive are the sailing vessel scenes in this movie - the ships on screen are composites of real ones plus computer generated elements such as paddle wheels. And I took in, at this viewing, the end-credit to "captain and crew of the schooner Noorderlicht (Northern Lights)". If I'm not mistaken, the other ship in the film, that of Lord Faa the "Gyptian"(gypsy) leader, is based on a Thames barge design, and thus we might claim a smidge of resonance with good old Captain Cook's Endeavour. O.K., I'm pushing my luck. 'Nuff said for now.

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