On a calm morning you can find unexpected beauty on the surface.
Interesting patterns on a smooth Swan River.
I looked up and realised it was a reflection of the walkway railing on the Windan Bridge.
You can float like a Hot Cross Jellyfish
These are non-stinging but quite visible. There is another, almost transparent species, again non-stinging, which was often used in “jelly-fish fights” by teen aged boys to the squeals of teen aged girls. Back in the days when swimming in the Swan was a compulsory part of growing up in Perth.
I make no comment about how I know this fact.
You can leave old jetties to decay.
A hundred years ago this was a private jetty for a farmer with a river frontage to his property. With few roads, the river route was the easiest way to travel to Perth.
In another hundred years, there will be no sign of human interference.
The Swan River regenerates year by year.
You can build river walls beside it.
Along the bank beside the Ascot Race Course, a new river wall is being built.
Adding to the many kilometres of river walls already beside the Swan.
Yet when I went to take some photos of the original river all, now more than a hundred metres back from the current river position, all remnants had been built over! Back in the 1980′s, as a part of my genealogical research, I found a number of remnant stretches of river wall. All built over now
I know there are many Hot Air Balloons flying over Canberra every morning.
I know there are a couple of Hot Air Balloons flying over Northam in WA’s Wheatbelt.
I don’t think I have ever seen one flying over Perth.
Until the other morning when I woke to see this on my skyline.
It was, naturally, not for pleasure but an advertisement for Circe De Soleil’s “Ovo”
You can build in it.
These are the footings, some 50 metres deep, for a new riverbank development opposite Heirisson Island.
This used to be called vandalism until it became a Governmental habit!
Pt Arthur was once an actual point but became simply a corner in a sculpted riverbank.
For many years it was Perth’s first landfill rubbish tip until it caught fire in the early 1930′s and burnt underground for most of a decade. Covered in 3 metres of sand and lawned it became the eastern end of the Esplanade. The Ozone Hotel, with its ironic name, was nearby.
For half a century it has been a quiet corner of Perth where people could relax, for free. Could do nothing much, for free. Could just wander as the spirit led them, for free. Now there will be changes.
All that was once free is being harnessed into profit!
At least until the water levels rise. There is a major “build-on-the-floodplain” move in Perth. Have they learned nothing from the Brisbane floods of the past three years?
I’ll get off my soapbox now and stop ranting – for a while!
The Swan is a a quiet river, with low banks and sandy or wetlands as its banks.
There is just one major exception. The highest cliffs at the deepest part of the river.
And here, you can jump into it!
As foolish teenaged boys do!
I have no idea if I can find 101 uses for my favourite river but I will have a go at it. About two or three times a week seems about right and most of the photos will be taken from my kayak, the “Orange Pearl”.
Use No. ONE – Paddling
Here is a group of hire kayaks paddling upstream and framed in one of the segments of the Causeway.
Back in the Olden Days
A fleet of ferries on the Swan were operated by Jack Olsen and Claes Sutton who operated as “Swan River Ferries Ltd”. Their vessels’ names all began with “V”. The Valfreda, Valkyrie I and II, Valhalla and the Valdhana ran along the southern shore of the Swan, between jetties at Point Belches (now the Southern end of the Narrows Bridge), Mends Street and Coode Street. This was before there was a bus service along the stretch of land between the Swan and Canning Rivers. The Government ferries ran from Barrack St across the river to Mends St.
After the war finished the long awaited bus service began and the Valhalla was sold to the Government.
It was during that time that I remember travelling across the river to the Zoo in the Valhalla. Pre-war my father had been a 14 year old crew member on the old “Duchess” which was the other ferry I remember travelling on back then. Back then? Late 1940′s and early 1950′s.
When the Narrows Bridge was opened in 1959 the bus service to South Perth was opened up and the ferry service declined. Amongst other changes, the Valhalla went out of service and disappeared.
So much for history.
Instead of travelling downstream, I headed upstream. Up past the Maylands Boat Yard. And I saw it.
I had to double check, blink several times to ensure it wasn’t a mirage But it was real.
Old and almost derelict but being restored.
I wonder when I shall see it back on the river.