There is never a dull moment here! I woke early this morning to much traffic noise as an unusual number of vehicles assembled at the wharf but, being a polite person, I merely assumed it was none of my business and went back to sleep. When I did eventually emerge, however, I discovered great consternation and many conflicting rumours.
Boats had been loosed from their moorings overnight. Five, or three, or . . . two or three had been recovered; one or two had not. Boat owners were rushing to secure their dinghies. They were getting them out of the water and taking them home so nobody could get out to the fishing boats moored further out. I could verify none of this. What was quite certain, however, was that a fishing boat, which the previous evening had been tied up at the jetty, was now stuck securely on the rocks close to Devil's Gap.
It didn't look too bad to a landlubber like me, but I'm sure those rocks weren't doing it any good. As I walked back along the beach a new rumour was circulating among the sunbathers – the boat was a complete write-off. It was taking on water faster than it could be pumped out and all they could do was cut it up. As the very polite young policeman who chased me away when I got too close had told me they were about to close off the area because they were bringing in heavy equipment, I hoped this rumour, at least, was unfounded.
And they did indeed bring in heavy equipment.
Later, I walked out onto the breakwater to see how they were getting on. They had graded a track down to the foreshore and were busy with a couple of excavators.
First thing tomorrow morning I shall take my morning stroll along the beach and inspect progress. It could keep me amused for several days. It is very strange being able to watch a salvage operation, albeit at some distance, while sitting at the table eating one's dinner.
Seriously, however, it is extremely distressing for the local community. This just isn’t the sort of behaviour expected on King Island where people seldom bother locking their houses, and leave their cars parked at the airport unlocked, with the keys under the mat, while they fly off to the Mainland for a few days.
This is the photo posted by the local newspaper – plus comments.