Reflections of the Jetty

 
9780646451787: Reflections of the Jetty
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Busselton Jetty is the longest wooden jetty (pier) in the southern hemisphere,[1] stretching almost 2 km out to sea from the town of Busselton, Western Australia. Because the shallow waters of Geographe Bay restricted ship movement, a long jetty was required so that cut timber could be transported to ships. In 1839 Governor Hutt appointed "the place in Geographe Bay opposite the Settlement at The Vasse to be the legal place for the loading and unloading of goods". Construction of the jetty - originally known as the Vasse Jetty[2][3] - commenced in 1853 after persistent pressure by settlers. In 1865 the first section, approximately 176 metres,[2][3] of the jetty became available for ships to moor.[4] In 1875 an additional 143 metres[2][3] was added to the original structure, as over 10 years' accumulation of drift sands had made the water too shallow for mooring. The jetty was continually extended until the 1960s when it reached its current length of 1841 metres. Fires on the jetty were commonplace,[5][6][7] with some attributed to fishermen carelessly disposing of burning cigarettes,[8][9][10] dropping lit matches or to sparks falling from the train's fire box. The jetty construction commenced in 1853 and the first section was opened in 1865. The jetty was extended numerous times until the 1960s, ultimately reaching a length of 1841 m. The last commercial vessel called at the jetty in 1971 and the jetty was closed the following year. It passed into the control of Busselton Shire and has been gradually restored and improved since. The jetty has survived Cyclone Alby in 1978, borers, weathering, several fires, and the threat of demolition to become a major regional tourist attraction. Incredibly, the jetty features a rail line along its length, a relic of the railway line into Busselton from Bunbury. The line now carries tourists along the jetty to an underwater observatory which opened to the public in 2003.

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