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Bulk Carrier Wreck

June 7, 2007

A few posts ago I commented on the number of bulk carriers anchored off the coast of coal city Newcastle, just a couple of hours north of here. The sheer number makes for an impressive sight. I read in the papers a few weeks ago the number had swelled to 60+ .

Tonight, with storms lashing the coast here and further north all but two of those have put to sea. At last check one is dragging its anchors in an effort to stay off the beach. Another has rather dramatically ended up on the beach. Perhaps not a wreck just yet but the seas are pounding it hard and prospects don’t look good for it.

The photo is courtesy of the Sydney Morning Herald where you can see some pretty interesting images. You don’t wish this sort of thing on anyone, or on any business but there is something fascinating about this sort of incident. What is that? A childish intrigue with wrecks, smuggling, and adventure? An equally childish intrigue at seeing something break up and open – seeing its innards? Secretly I suspect the latter – it was part of the wonder of seeing the ship breaking in Bangladesh.

Lentil Burger Eating Surfers

March 11, 2007

If the number of ships lurking off the Newcastle harbour is one sign of our times (previous post refers) then what I experienced at this little slapstick eatery in Newcastle is another. Newcastle, and specifically Nobby’s Head is famous for it surfers. Last week I stopped for lunch here. It is a block from the beach. While reading the papers and then eating our meal (on our own, it was quiet for a moment but soon livened up) a handful of bare chested, blond headed young men walked in. Sand between their toes and on the tops of their feet, laced in bracelets around their wrists and salted across their shoulders. Hair still damp. And without a moment of hesitation, while gazing up at the menu board above the counter, ordered lentil burgers. Thirty years ago I surfed, very badly, at Bells Beach. Let me assure you that at that time no surfer then would be heard ordering a lentil burger, let alone be caught eating one. Another sign of our times.

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