Sunday was our second day in Fremantle Port. We started the day by rising at 5:30 AM, breakfast at 6:30 and we left the ship at 7:20 for a 15 minute walk to the train station to catch the 8:00 AM train to Perth. We arrived in Perth at 8:30 and then had 1:15 hours to make our way from the train depot in the city center to the Barrack Street Jetty to catch our Ferry back to Fremantle. This was more than enough time.
I love the way the Aussies word their signs. At the train stations there are signs which say “You must have a valid ticket to travel”, clear enough. This is followed up with “Proof of concession entitlement must be provided on request”. I believe this refers to having to provide confirmation that you are a student or a senior if you are travelling on a discounted ticket, but I’m not sure…
We boarded the ferry at 9:45 and began our 90 minute trip down the Swan River back to Fremantle.
Our guide told us that Perth has the largest proportion of watercraft to population in the world. It is easy to understand why. With an annual average of 8 hours of sunshine per day, only 2 or 3 days of rainfall during the summer and the coldest winter night never dropping below 32 degrees you can see why Perth is named one of the tops best places in the world to live.
During our cruise down the Swan River we saw multi-million dollar homes.
And multi-million dollar boats. This yacht even had a water slide.
On our return we passed the Amsterdam. I was finally able to get a photo of the aft deck with the “World Voyage” logo. Before today I had never been at the correct height or angle to get this shot.
After debarking the ferry, we found the Fremantle HOHO bus where exchanged vouchers for HOHO tickets, admission to the Fremont Prison and a coupon for lunch at the famed Cicerello’s Café at the marina.
Front entrance of the Fremantle Prison. This was a visit we were all looking forward to. We had a guided tour which lasted 90 minutes. There have been books written about this prison and a great deal of history is located here. This prison was in operation from 1850, only about 25 years after Fremantle was established and was in service until 1991, when it was still Western Australia’s main penitentiary holding just under 500 prisoners.
The British had already ceased transport of British prisoners to Australia by 1850. The people of Fremantle with many misgivings, petitioned the Imperial Government in England, asking for the introduction of convicts in order to give an economic injection to the small western settlement. 75 convicts arrived on June 1, 1850. Nine thousand six hundred and one were to follow.
The newly arrived convicts now provided Fremantle with its biggest business. Their coming created such a demand for food, materials and services that the local economy immediately improved. Convicts were put to work building the warder’s quarters, the Prison itself and many other public works.
This is James our local guide. James was very good and had a very dry sense of humor.
One of the many myths of the Prison is about the hanging of Martha Rendell the only woman hung out of a total of 44. Supposedly the center piece of glass in the bottom row of the upper window shown appeared with her likeness the day after the hanging. The photo is not too good, but it really did favor her photograph.
This is a toilet used by the prisoners up until it closed in 1991. In 1970 they tried to introduce “chemical toilets”, but it didn’t work out because the prisoners either broke the toilets or drank the chemicals….. As a result they went back to the time proven technique.
A typical cell room
The kitchen. All that remains are some steamers and a deep fryer.
Toilets in the exercise yard. After breakfast, if you were not assigned a job, you spent the entire day in the courtyard. Summer, winter, fall, spring, rain, or cold, this was where you spent your day.
Captain Edmund Henderson, the first superintend of the prison envisioned that the Church of England Chapel would be a stark contrast to the tiny claustrophobic cells in which the convicts spent half their day. He created this illusion of light and space with large windows and high ceilings. Attendance was voluntary but everyone went if just to have an hour a week of relative freedom.
The prison had always forbid the inmates from painting or marking their walls until 1990 when the closing of the prison was decided. At this time they actually provided the inmates with paint and materials and some were very creative and talented.
Art painted on the court wall in 1991.
Holding cell for solitary confinement. Cell #1 was for the individual sentenced to be hanged.
Lashing post for those sentenced to receive lashes by whip.
This is the gruesome hanging platform. There was a drop of about 10 feet which was actuated by the lever in front. Note the chair. Doomed prisoners were offered brandy the morning of their execution. If they had partaken of so much they were unable to stand properly they were allowed to sit to be hanged.
This is an actual hanging rope. It is “new”. Ropes were burned after use. Note the brass ferrule spliced into the rope. This allowed for a quicker and more humane execution than that using the traditional hangman’s knot.
Following our prison tour, we didn’t have time to catch the HOHO bus to make it back to the marina for lunch. We decided to walk and it took much less time than we expected. We arrived at the Cicerello’s and were astounded at the size and crowd!
We got the famous fish and chips. They were delicious but delivery and consumption was a little unconventional. The fish and chips were wrapped in heavy paper. We found a table outside. The wind was so strong it would almost blow away your food and drink, but we were lucky to find a table at all. Kay and I had an Australian beer “Carlton Mid”. It was quite nice.
Carl found this cute lady to have his photo taken with, but he said she didn’t talk very much….
As we were leaving the port, we passed this ship.
Can anyone identify this cruise ship? It seems to be all veranda suites…. It is actually a sheep transporter!
Here you see the sheep being loaded from trucks by the thousands.
A close up of their accommodations…
After we were out of the harbor, I realized that we could actually see the skyline of Perth, at this point probably 25 miles away.
As soon as we were in the open ocean the swells were 9 to 15 feet. The captain was not encouraging about our ability to tender at Geraldton tomorrow. We will see.