Friday, December 25, 2009

Signal Station

Last weekend we stayed close to home, largely so that I could stay close to indoor plumbing.  I have eaten street food in countries all over the world and never gotten sick, but what happens when I come to Australia?  Food poisoning.  We’re talking six solid hours of vomiting and liquid diarrhea…I have never been so sick in my life.  We have no clue what the culprit was (David was fine, thankfully), but the whole experience left my body suspicious of food for days to come.

On Sunday I was feeling good enough for a hike, so we headed up to the Signal Station on Mt. Nelson (another hump, but not so grandly talked-up that it deserves to be humbled).  You get a great view of Hobart, the Derwent River and its outlet to the sea from Mt. Nelson, and the peak was used to communicate with boats at sea in a variety of ways throughout the 1800s.  For me the most fascinating was the sephamore, which is a tall pole with a series of arms that could be mounted a different angles.  Each arrangement was linked to a number that was subsequently linked to a phrase in a giant book of phrases.  Things like “shall we put on some tea?” and “there is a flu going around”.  Every boat that was any boat would have had one of these books, as did all of the similar signal stations.  It must have been a simultaneously sad and happy day when Mt. Nelson got its first telephone.

Signal Station

Sephamore in Action


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1 comment:

AareneX said...

Cool! I want one for my front yard.

I hope you feel better soon.