October 28, 2003


An absolutely stunning dutch-british weather (read rain all over the place) this morning. Plan was somewhat to go to Mount Frankland, but considering the weather the view would have been a stunning 100m-viz at most. I made my way through the forrest made of Karri and Tingle trees to find the Giant Tingle Tree, then stopped at the Valley of the Giants (A$6). The Valley of the Giants is a nice piece of engineering that allow you to walk on the treetops, 40m above the ground. Honestly it is more interesting for the engineering part than the thrills of walking on the treetops as it is not especially dense and the view has nothing extraordinary.

After that I made my way to Albany where I secured a bed at Albany Backpackers (A$20). I was starting to get angry about the useless road signs all over the place when I found myself in the right area by pure luck. I then went to Frenchman Bay to visit Whale World (A$15). It is a 'museum' located on a disused whaling station and I would say it is a very good exemple of business recycling as it features an interesting history of the station and the whaling operation until it was ceased in 1978. It is not exceptionnaly dense from a purely scientific or historical point of view, but it provides a reasonable introduction about it.

On the way back to Albany, I stopped at Blowholes, The Gap and Natural Bridge. Blowholes supposedly has water and air being ejected at high pressure through cracks in the rocks but rough swell and wind need to be well aligned so you need to have some luck to get there. No water was ejected as the swell was not high enough but the sound is sometimes freaky. The Gap and Natural Bridge are worth the stop (and it is not a big detour anyway). This area supposedly claimed several lives due to king waves that well up imperceptibly onto the shore.

Back to Albany Backpackers I bumped again into Sarah (dutch) and Susie (english). We keep stopping in the same place since Margaret River.

As for the good news, Ikelite sent me a new DS-50 strobe with the controller. It is waiting for me in Perth at Billabong Resort. Kudos to Ike for the quick support and lemon prize to DEPP for the crappy insurance claiming process that starts to look like this one.

Supposedly they are waiting for a reply from Olympus to on the parts availability for the possible repair of the damaged housing piece. It has been more than a month and they are still waiting ? I have explained reasonably that the process started to be ridiculous when we are talking about a $150 housing as of today. More than anything this probably mean that they just put it under a pile of claims and they don't give a damn about it. I spent 4 times that money in Singapore just by waiting their feedback and hanging around while I could have been in Indonesia roaming around.

Giant Tingle Tree Giant Tingle Tree Valley of the Giants Valley of the Giants Whale World. The head saw was firstly used to remove the lower jaw and then to reduce the head to pieces small enough to fit through the holes in the deck to the cookers. The Sperm Whale's head is very dense and impossible to cut by hand Whale World.  Cooker hole Whale World -  Flensing deck. It was where the whales were hauled up and stripped of their blubber with extremely sharp flensing knives. The flensers were extremely hardworking men, up before daybreak and working under dangerous conditions. The blubber and whale carcass was stripped from the whale and taken to the upper part of the Cutting Up deck Whale World - Processing Factory Cookers. With the exception of the lower jaw and teeth, the whole whale was placed in these cookers and cooked under pressure for 3 hours. A perforated liner inside the cooker rotated to grind the meat and bone to a paste. This reduced the whole whale to a thick liquid that could then be pumped into settling tanks. Solids were then transferred to the dryer. Whale World - Processing Factory dryer Whale World - Whale skull Whale World - Oil tank transformed into movie theatre Whale World - Cheynes IV whaler Salom holes. During season, salmons come close to the reef to protect themselves from predators Jimmy Newells Harbour Blowholes - Not blowing today Blowholes - Not blowing today The Gap View from The Gap Natural Bridge View from Natural Bridge

Posted by stephane at October 28, 2003 11:15 AM

You should write next to the photos what the photos are of.

Posted by: Katerina Packer on May 30, 2004 07:17 AM