Mahabub, a friend of our eldest son Shahriar visited us on his weekend from his work place in Queensland along with his recently married wife Koli. Mahabub is like our son and his wife is very much liked by Rozy. Rozy had her major post heart surgery tests completed by well reputed Professor Christofer Godds on 12th September. It was a great relief for the family that she was declared safe and clear from all effects of major open heart surgery. The family was in joyous mood. Mahabub is among those who regularly giving mental support to Rozy and us in our difficult time. The visit could not be at a better time when spring in Melbourne has just started setting in. Mahabub and Koli reached our Melbourne residence by midnight of Friday.
We planned a very compacted schedule for the three days the family stayed with us. We had to also be also careful that Rozy is not too much stressed. But it is her habit that she always wants to treat her guest and visitors to the best of her ability. She cooked different kinds of curry with halal meat brought from Dandenong market and Bangladeshi fish from a shop in Huntingdale till early Saturday making it a bit difficult for her to join us for the scheduled visit of the day. But as always her strong will and mental relief after months of anxiety before, during and after heart surgery made her get ready along with all of us. She was in great mood, dressed in her favorite attire and had her DSLR camera fully charged.
Shuvro planned to visit French Island. It was to be reached by ferry from Stoney point along Mornington Peninsula about an hours drive from our place. When we reached there we found we had to wait for an hour for the next ferry as the ferry traverses all the way to Phillip Island after touching French Island on the way. The hours stay at Stone point was exciting as we found fishing boats returning with their big catches. They were cleaning their fishes and sea gulls and other birds were crowding around to eat the thrown away parts of the fishes left after making fish fillets.
The ferry finally arrived and we had a marvelous 15 minutes ride to French Island. Here is a brief on French Island.
French Island is the largest coastal island of Victoria, Australia, located in Western Port, 61 km (38 mi) southeast of Melbourne. In 1997 about 70 per cent of the island was declared the French Island National Park, and is listed in the register of the National Estate. The island is an unincorporated area and declared locality of Victoria. The population of the island in 2011 was 116 persons, of which about 60 are permanent residents.
French Island is relatively isolated and undeveloped. There is no mains water, mains electricity, or medical services on the island. There is one small general store and post office located on Tankerton Road about 3 km (1.9 mi) from Tankerton Jetty. Many of the locals actively promote environmental tourism. Visitor accommodation includes camping, bed and breakfast, guesthouse and farm stay.
According to Aboriginal tribal songs, the Bunarong Tribe lived and hunted on French Island, until they were massacred by a warring Gippsland tribe.
In April 1802, a French expedition ship Le Naturaliste under Jacques Hamelin explored the area, as part of the Baudin expedition to Australia. It named the island Ile des Français, since Anglicized as French Island. The first European settlers on the island were William and John Gardiner in 1847. They had the first pastoral lease and grazed 8,000 sheep. The first land subdivision was in 1867 when 4733 acres were divided into 14 allotments. The first land sales took place in 1873 with the minimum price £1 per acre.
In the 1880s, koalas were introduced to the island. The Phillip Island chicory industry started in 1878 and John Ratford spent a season there in 1895 to learn about it. He then introduced it to French Island where it became the main source of income for over 70 years.
In 1967, the State Electricity Commission of Victoria proposed the island as the site of the first nuclear power plant in Australia, but the plans were abandoned.
In July 1997, 11,050 hectares (27,300 acres) (about 70%) of the island was declared French Island National Park, and in May 2002 the waters directly north of French Island were declared the French Island Marine National Park.
Our Time at French Island:
As ill luck would have it the lone bus operator who takes visitors around for a personal reason suddenly was not available on the day .We walked around a little bit and were advised by the locals to return another day making prior arrangement with the bus operator or bring Bicycles for rides. Shuvro was a bit upset as he thought he could see wild coals, native birds and other faunas in the relatively untouched island. Nevertheless the trip there was memorable for us. Shuvro in desperate search found another place Cape Schanck in the Peninsula which he thought would be an equally beautiful place to visit. So we waited for the return of the Ferry and got back to Stoney point when it arrived.
Visit to Cape Schanck
It took us about an hour and a half to reach Cape Schanck. We had two choices either to walk all the way down to the bottom to reach near the waves striking the cape or to look at the enchanting view from the Light house. Everyone ventured walking all the way down and climbed back. The wooden walkway was very scientifically built and also the sea and the cliff had majestic views. Let us have a brief of Cape Shank.
Cape Schanck is the southernmost tip of the Mornington Peninsula and separates the wild ocean waters of Bass Strait from the slightly calmer waters of Port. The most recognizable symbol of Cape Schanck is the Cape Schanck Lighthouse. The lighthouse was built in 1859 and was the second lighthouse built in Victoria. A prominent rock outcrop is Pulpit Rock and stands out at the very tip of the cape. British-Australian artist Georgiana McCrae produced many of her paintings at Cape Schanck.
The location was named in 1800 after Captain John Schank, R.N. by Lieutenant James Grant sailing on the Lady Nelson. Shanck had designed the raised keel (or centreboard) on the Lady Nelson. Nicolas Baudin called it Cap Richelieu when he sailed past on the Géographe on 30 March 1802. Cape Schanck Post Office opened around March 1879 and closed in 1962. In 1893 a steamship, the SS Alert, sank off the coast at Cape Schanck during a storm. It was rediscovered after 113 years on the ocean floor in June 2007.
Our Time at Cape Schanck:
I visited a similar place in Bali with Rozy in June and with Rozy, Mahabub and Shuvro at Stanley Beach in Tasmania in 2011 but Cape Schanck definitely appeared more fascinating. The massive waves hitting the cape, the majestic views around, setting sun on the back drop made it a heavenly stay for us. Rozy, Mahabub and Shuvra had their photography paradise there. The day being week end and weather being marvelous the place had lots of visitors from all over Australia and rest of the world. We found a newly married Australian couple found it a place to take some post marriage photographs. We all will definitely remember the one and half our time that we spent on the afternoon of 14th September 2014 at Cape Schanck.
I had to almost drag all out of the place considering about 2klometer climb back. But the spot was so pleasing to the eyes that all forgot the difficulties. We had enough time to visit Rose Bud .But the beautiful garden had no roses. We were told it will about 3-4 weeks for roses to bloom when the garden becomes a popular place for even bridal parties. By the time Shuvro drove us back home all were hell tired.
BDST: 1512 HRS, SEP 22, 2014