We are even now heading toward Melbourne Harbor! We took a day and a half to cross the Tasman Sea from the South Island of New Zealand. It was a bit choppy, with some yaw and pitch, but veterans of the journey say it was the calmest Tasman crossing they have ever experienced!
Since we entered the protected inner area between Victoria and Tasmania, things have been very calm, and it is warming up, and promises to be 23 C in Melbourne today.
My sea legs have gotten a little better on this voyage, but I am way out of practice from the days when my family would go deep sea fishing in the Gulf of California, usually off Rocky Point (Puerto Peñasco) or Guymas.
Recently on House Hunters International, I saw a family looking for a place in Rocky Point. My goodness, the sleepy little fishing village has changed into a major tourist destination!
Located on the coast of the Gulf of California in Baja California, Rocky Point used to be a small city, with its aging and compact urbanization centered on the Church, where Mass was celebrated perhaps once a month.
We always stayed in a “cabana” on the beach, living like the local fishermen. We’d go out each day in one of the outboard motor fishing boats my father built, and fish for Marlin, etc.
We would bring out catch to the little restaurant on the beach each night, and they would fix it, with all the delicious trimmings, for free, and then use the rest of the catch to sell to their other patrons. A good deal all around!
I’ll reminisce about life on the Gulf of California at another time: today, its half-way around the world, in Melbourne!
Today, Melbourne is booming, and is known as Australia’s most European city, with trams, Victorian Architecture and a very dedicated Arts Community.
Humans have lived here for some 31,000-40,000 years. Originally this was the home of the Kulin Peoples, an alliance of several language groups. By the time of European settlement, there were about 20,000 Kulin from the
the Wurundjeri, Boonwurrung and Wathaurong tribes.
From 1797 to 1835, the area was used for whaling and other purposes by the Europeans (Brittons), In 1835 John Batman and his entrepreneurs traveled from the already settled Tasmania and brokered a “deal” with the native peoples similar to that of Peter Stuyvesant in New York. Typically of colonialism, the “annual payments” were later forgotten.
In 1837 a fateful decision was made regarding the name of the settlement. Originally intended to be Batmania in honor of the Tasmanian founder. Think of the Batman merchandising that could have taken place! Thankfully, the voters chose to honor Wm. Lamb, 2nd British PM.
The architecture of Melbourne followed the contemporary British scene, but the arrangement of the city also reflects an Asian sense of Feng Shui. Victoria became a State in 1851, but economic reverses stymied growth until after WWII.
Those are the facts, tomorrow I’ll have reports on what the experience is “on the ground!”
… Sorry for the brevity and typos: Sent from remote on the phone.