|Bust of Governor Arthur Phillip, in front of the MCA at CQ|
He HAD to have sailed up this stretch of coastline along South Head, saw a likely opening and nipped in for a look-see. Maybe there have been imperceptible changes to these cliffs. 'Here's a go lads. Let's have a captain-cook in there.'
Ahh, changes to the plateau, but not necessarily to the cliffs. Up on that plateau, both Phillip and Macquarie, and the governors in between, stationed lookouts. They were looking out for supply vessels for food and for word from 'home'. Run a flag up a pole or light a fire, and pretty soon those folk down at the cove would see the signal. The signal station and the lighthouse are in the spots of the originals. There is a coastal walk right along these cliffs.
See the CBD and the bridge way off there in the distance? The signal from South Head got there fairly quickly. As the crow flies, it is about 8 miles. But try to remove all the man-made structures. This is a massive drowned valley, as deep and as wide as the Grosse Valley in the Blue Mountains. It was heavily wooded, mainly with Terpentines which are a variety of eucalypt (gum).
So Phillip in his row boat with his soldiers straining like banshees at the oars, rowed around the tip of South Head. Around where the Hornby Light now stands in all its barber-shop gaudiness. Do a mental Photoshop and take the layer out that contains anything manmade. But but but ... be careful with the colour green that you use to replace that layer.
|Lycett's aquatint the property of the Dixon Library, State Library of NSW|
It was a gutsy call by Phillip.