...may there be no moaning of the bar,When I put out to sea...Lord Alfred Tennyson The pin............
...............no, not that pin; this Pin....
Jumpinpin, possibly the most notorious bar in Australia.
On the whole Australian history is rather on the dull side. Convicts, mostly bog Irish, Mad Englishmen barbecuing themselves in the Interior, failed crops & failed colonies & shanties following fool's gold.
Lots of people would berate me for not being more enamoured of my own country's history but things of genuine interest are few & far between...or unless you're possibly male. I happen to think the explorers were stupid as well as boring but that's just my personal think. I just don't happen to think there's anything particularly heroic about heading into a desert or the great Divide as ill prepared as most of these men were. They paid dearly for their arrogance.
Which is beside the point. The point being that there are occasional sparks of interest. The history of the Pin is one of those because up until 1898 there was no Pin. South Stradbroke & North Stradbroke were one long island, the biggest sand island in the world.
Now I could give you the prosaic version but that is nowhere near as interesting as the *Romantic* version so you must take this version with a large grain of salt. I recommend salt with any version of history as a matter of course.
Stradbroke hugs the coast between south Brisbane & the Gold Coast. It has some of the best beaches & the best surf in the world. On September 3rd, 1894 the Cambus Wallace was plying her trade when she ran aground in heavy seas on the sand spit at Tulbeen. Five lives were lost & her cargo was washed ashore on the spit. The locals swarmed to the wreck to salvage what they could to find the cargo consisted of barrels of rum & a load of dynamite. The rum was drunk & then the dynamite collected in a heap & set of. The resulting explosion separated north Stradbroke from the south. Big storms throughout the 1890's completed the separation leaving a gap that has claimed more boats that any other bar in Australia ~ or so I'm told.
Jumpinpin has a tidal flow of 4.5k across a stretch of shallow sand making the wave sets erratic & unpredictable. Even good sailors & locals have come to grief on the Pin. The sands are constantly shifting. Stradbroke is moving slowly northwards as the sands shift but Jumpinpin is still the shortest route to the open sea with some of the best fishing around: bream, flathead, mangrove jacks. It is also a big reason for not eating seafood ~ ever! 'Cause guess what the seafood's eating? Gross!