Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Scandal on the Cliffs

On our way to see the 12 Apostles we stopped at the Gorge and Razorback lookout.  This is the site of a shipwreck dating back to the late 1800s.  In fact this whole section of coast was the site of at least 80 known shipwrecks around this time.  The jagged coastline mixed with shallow reefs and swift currents led to this area being nicknamed the "shipwreck coast."  The particular wreck that happened here was aboard the Loch Ard boat. 

site of the shipwreck

Lead by a young captain, the ship ran into a reef and has swung onto the rocks.  It was believed the ship completely sank within minutes killing the entire crew save for two survivors, an 18 year old deck hand named Tom and an 18 year old fancy passenger named Eva.  Eva's entire family died in the crash. 

The family was on voyage from England to visit their disgraceful little brother, Michael.  While in England, Michael had found an innovative way to creep on naked ladies...He would climb into the ceiling of his apartment and crawl around until he found the neighbor's bathroom and drill a peephole in to get his spy on.  Well, one day on one of his secret expeditions the ceiling fell through.  He was apprehended and subsequently shipped off to Australia will all the rest of the disgraceful Brits.  Causing heartache to his family once, he again was the reason that his family was on that boat in the first place, and the reason his entire family except his one sister is dead...

While in her night gown Eva managed to pull herself from the water and climb onto a rock.  She screamed for help until Tom heard her and rescued her to a cave on the beach. 

the cave

They spent the night in the cave and in the morning, Tom climbed up the cliffs and walked 4-5 miles to the nearest town to get help. 
the brush Tom walked through for help

They came back and rescued Eva.  Afterwards Tom proposed to Eva and she accepted and they lived happily ever after....

Just kidding.  Tom did indeed propose to Eva because chatty gossip and rumors spread like wildfire about what the two unmarried teenagers may or may not have done while in that cave overnight.  Social norms of the times deemed it disgraceful for a woman to spend a night with an unmarried man whatever the circumstances.  Tom, being the new town hero and an all-around good guy, meant to relieve Eva of that reputation.  He asked her to marry her.  She said no...and went back to England.

lady bugs!

wonder how Tom scaled the cliffs?

A little further down the coastline from Tom and Eva's cave is another cliff structure called the London bridge:
This bridge was once connected to the mainland until fairly recently when the middle of it fell into the sea.  At the time it fell in, hikers were walking out on it.  Five of them went out walking, and only 3 returned safely.  The other two didn't fall in, but they were now stranded on the newly formed island.  Luckily their friends made it out safe and called  the authorities the nearest town.  The police dispatched a helicopter to rescue the couple.  In the small town of Port Campbell, news of the drama spread fast and reporters swarmed the cliffs in order to interview and get a picture of the stranded couple.....  The couple however, refused to have their photos taken and did not want to give their real names. 

As it turns out the stranded couple were married, but just not to each other.... Rough way to get caught, bet they weren't expecting that one


Post a Comment