Thursday, December 20, 2007
Nobbys Lighthouse, one of our special sites, could be developed as a tourist venue with restaurant and all the rest. Some argue against such developments as unnecessary and just seek access for the lovely views.
The MV Cape Don once sailed far and wide to service manned lighthouses and navigational aids.
The Cape Don was one of a trio, purpose built as lighthouse tenders in 1963 by our Newcastle dockyards.
By 1980 Australian lighthouses had been automated and the ship was retired. In the photo she is moored in the Clarence River following a series of misadventures. After several colourful attempts, she finally sailed for Sydney with a crew of hopefuls. She remains in Sydney and a group has formed to save this example of our maritime heritage by undertaking a great deal of restoration.
MV Cape Don was built as a mini liner, round 70 metes long, with good accommodation for technicians, relief crews and families and officials for quite prolonged periods. It was equipped with a Larc amphibious vehicle and has cargo space and a workshop (ref MV Cape Don Society).
It sailed mainly around the West Australian Coast and is named after the cape on a penisular in the far north near Darwin. The sister ships, MVs Cape Moreton and Cape Pillar and are no longer around.