Of shipwrecks and hooped skirts

| Total Words: 524

Ships have been linked to Australian history through an umbilical cord. And so have been shipwrecks. Sail by the coasts of Australia, and you are sure to find one or two submerged hulks peeping out of the ocean surface. Sail by the North East coast, and chances are you will join the host of submerged hulks in the Great Barrier Reef, a magical stretch of ocean that has brought down many. There are many enchanting and romantic tales of such bravado, ill-fate, or sheer pig-headedness around such wrecks. This is one such.

Early in 20th century, 1911 to be precise, Magnetic Island was a rising centre of commerce. Doctor McCabe had a lavish paradise, aptly named Arcadia, where his rich female friends and acquaintances could visit. It was also the high time for bloomers and hooped skirts. The windy bay was precarious to the womens modesty and Doctor McCabe, a dentist by profession, wanted to indulge the dignity of the women. He decided to install a breakwater, thus softening the windy ambience so threatening to his female friends. The idea was to tug along Moltke, an 827 ton vessel that had seen better days, which had ran aground on a reef at the northern end of Flinders...

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