Home of the Dawn Service
We didn’t know anything about Albany before we arrived except for its largely enclosed bays which we thought might be quite sheltered to do some boating. We also knew there was a Department of Transport marina as the weather forecast was for very windy weather. We checked out the marina and booked in for the week. It had everything we needed. A berth alongside a walkway so we didn’t have to use the wires as we had had to do in Esperance. It was a fairly new marina with great hot showers, washing machine and dryer and it was within a short walk of the town centre.
Again, Russ got to know some of the other boat owners and was invited out for a short sail a few days after we arrived. The marina walls also yielded some good food in the form of excellent oysters and mussels.
On our first visit into town we found out that Albany was in fact a historic town with some beautiful old architecture.
As it was cold and very windy so we decided to spend the day seeing the historic sights of the town including Patrick Taylor’s Cottage, the oldest surviving dwelling in Western Australia built in 1832.
We also walked up the gangplank onto the replica of the brig ‘Amity’ which was the ship that brought the original inhabitants to Albany in 1826.
Once the wind had subsided we had a window of opportunity to take Tatui out for a look around Shoal Bay, Frenchman Bay and Oyster Bay.
Including the old whaling Station.
We had lunch at Emu Point where there are 3 free courtesy Department of Transport mooring buoys. You can stay on these for 72 hours so long as you don’t leave the boat for more than 4 hours. If the weather is good this is a good option instead of the marina as you can launch the boat nearby.
When the weather closed in again we headed up Mount Clarence into the Albany Heritage Park above Albany to take in the view of the bays and islands we had cruised the day before.
Up here we wandered around the Princess Royal Fortress, one of Australia’s best outdoor military museums which is also the location of the award-winning National Anzac Centre. We thought of the Anzac soldiers as we viewed the Desert Mounted Corps Memorial as well as the Padre White Lookout. The lookout is the site of the very first dawn service on the 25 April 1932 in memory of the Anzac (Australian and New Zealand) soldiers who never returned. It took place on Mount Clarence where many watched to see the first and largest convoy of naval ships to leave Australia waters in 1914 with 30,000 troops onboard. The dawn service is a tradition which is still kept each year around Australia and we go to one as often as we can.