Know the Ropes

Leeuwin Ropes

If you go to Fremantle harbour to see the tall ships that are visiting at present, take a moment to check out the fancy rope work. It ranges from dizzying rigging on the masts to amazingly intricate knots. Both these photos show ropes on STS Leeuwin II.

Leeuwin Knot


Sea Fever

Europa Fremantle 3

We were in Perth’s port city of Fremantle yesterday to get a close up view of the visiting sailing ships – along with about half the population of Perth. Europa (above) drew a lot of attention from photographers, especially the striking figurehead beneath the long bowsprit. The lady is Europa, who according to Greek mythology was … er, abducted … by a bull.

Europa Fremantle 4

For the Trees

Tree Parable

Today is National Tree Day in Australia – an appropriate day to feature this mural in the Perth Suburb of Subiaco. We stopped to admire it when we were there recently. It’s called “The Parable of the Tree” and is the work of artist Bee Keng-Chiew Tan. It was unveiled last year, features real people from the local area, and refers to the New Testament parable about the way a large tree grows from a tiny seed.

Nuts about Gumnuts 3

Slender Banksia 1

The “big bad banksia men” in May Gibbs’ stories about the Gumnut Babies are also based on real plants. It is believed that she got the idea for these characters from the Slender Banksia (Banksia attenuata, shown in these photos), which grows in the southwest of Western Australia. But the drawings in her books are of a different, though similar looking, species.

Slender Banksia 2


Tecla Fremantle

After spotting the Dutch bark Europa this morning (previous blog entry), we saw two more sailing ships later today. The small Dutch ship Tecla (above) was already in Fremantle harbour, and then we saw the Dutch galleon Oosterschelde getting ready to sail in as well. It’s all part of Fremantle welcoming a visit by the tall ships.

Oosterschelde Fremantle