Friday, July 10, 2009

Fabbo Friday - THE GAP

Mention the Gap to most Sydneysiders and one word will most likely come to mind. Suicide. The Gap is Sydney's notorious cliff where every year roughly about fifty people choose to terminate their life.

Yet when you walk around this spectacular ocean cliff, as we did last weekend to attend a friend's birthday party in nearby Vaucluse, it seems impossible to believe such a tranquil spot could have such a dark taint to its beauty.

In 1857, the Dunbar, a spectacular three-masted Blackwall frigate, had left England with many locals from the colony on board returning to Sydney. The ship had the great misfortune of wrecking at the Gap; all but one on board drowned. 121 people died on that doomed journey.

It's easy to imagine the horror of the crowds that gathered the following morning to witness the terrible sight of the corpses, many naked and mutilated by sharks, piling up on the rocks and shore.

The victims of this tragic shipwreck are buried in St Stephens graveyard near where we live in the inner-city. The Dunbar anchor is still on permanent display near the Gap itself.

Aside from historical tragedy, the Gap was also in the headlines in 2007, when Charmaine Dragun, a young TV newsreader, threw herself from the cliff top after her depression medication had been changed.

And in 1995, beautiful model Caroline Byrne was cruelly murdered by being thrown off the Gap. This case had a cast of characters that was jaw-dropping in its flamboyance and notoriety - indeed an instance of true life being far more outrageous than any fiction.

Standing in the Sydney winter sunshine, watching joggers, tourists and dogs being walked, it's still easy to feel chilled by what these people went through in their final few minutes.

As beautiful as Watsons Bay is, I'm not sure I’d want to live too near the Gap. There's something about the energy of the place that makes you feel slightly wary.

I hope your weekend is fabbo. We've got a painter coming on Saturday for a quote for our cottage, ballet class and hopefully some time to read the weekend papers. xxx

Our elders used to tell us that all holy sites are endowed with ancient wisdom. These centres have innate powers.

Joseph Bael


  1. Thanks for this post - very informative. There is a place in Chile that is quite similar - the locals call it "The Lovers' Cliff" (leave it to the Latinos to romanticize it). The place is also very beautiful, and very tranquil, and there are names carved into the face of the cliff.

    All the best for the coming weekend,

  2. I love history and learning things. Thank you for taking the time to write this and share with us. (I love the 3rd photo down!)

    Have a great weekend! :)

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  4. oh I do love reading Austraian history and this was wonderful to read thank you. I was just being tooooo slack to not explain Pay It Forward! It's where you say you will make a handmade gift for the first 3 people who comment, then they have to then do the same on their blog, it's a lovely concept but I just should not of committed to doing it!!

  5. Good morning. Hope you are having a nice weekend!


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