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as much as you please…

The Falls of Halladale

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The sea was calm. The sails on the Falls of Halladale were full and billowing, anticipating a speedy last leg of their voyage from New York to Melbourne.

But a heavy mist hung in the air on this day in 1908.

When the peasouper lifted, the Captain’s blood ran cold; the ship was only a few hundred meters from shore and heading for rocks. As she hit, The Falls of Halladale lifted from the water and then fell back down with an almighty thud jamming fast between two reefs.

‘Save your lives,’ yelled the Captain, and two lifeboats swung clear of the ship. These were dangerous waters off Peterborough, on Victoria’s treacherous Shipwreck Coast, and the crew rowed four and a half miles before finding a safe beach on which to land. Mercifully all were saved.

The Falls of Halladale sat for two months jammed between the reefs, becoming an instant attraction, drawing crowds of onlookers. She was impressive, with her even keel, high masts and canvas swelling in the breeze.

Even the dynamite set by the salvage company couldn’t move her. Then finally, in rough seas, she broke apart, spilling her cargo, including a load of kerosine, causing Victoria’s first oil spill.

In 1909, an early diver inspecting the wreck found an iron tank beneath her broken hull. It appeared to be from a different ship and earlier time, perhaps the Skipjack, which went down in 1845.

Speculation abounds; it’s estimated fewer than half the wrecks along the Victorian coast have been found.

I love this photo and the girl who turns toward us ‒ reaching through time, excited to tell us about the wreck of the Falls of Halladale.

Author: jenniferteh1

I am Jennifer Walker Teh, a garden lover, gentle traveller and occasional writer. I'm also a retired hospital pharmacist, and the Latin term Quantum Vis sometimes appears on prescriptions. It means to take or apply 'as much as you like' and so is an appropriate name for my website. Please drop in as much as you like. Jennifer

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