HEMA Map reference 76/H4
30 30' 09" S 115 03' 54" E
Pinnacles, Fishing, Kangaroo Point, Hangover Bay, Lake Thetis.
Buildings of note
April: Dawn service. October: Triathalon. December: Windsurfing carnival.
A fishing town north of Perth that was named after an American whaling ship wrecked off the coast in 1844. The survivors of the wreck then had to face a long walk, some 160km south, to Fremantle. The name Cervantes also has a connection with the author of Don Quixote (Miguel Cervantes) and many street names are derived from the book.
The Cervantes was captained by Sylvanus Gibson. The Inquirer & Commercial News reported the incident on July 10th 1844 as follows:
Saturday evening between eight and nine o'clock, three seamen belonging to
the American whale ship Cervantes, of New Bedford, arrived at Fremantle in
an exhausted state, and reported the wreck of that vessel upon an island in
Jurien Bay, about 100 miles northward of this. Yesterday, the master,
Captain Gibson, and some more of the crew arrived and stated that the vessel
was wrecked on the 29th June and that one man had been left about 30 miles
beyond the Moore River unable to proceed further, and that six others, after
walking some distance with them, had returned to the wreck, with the
intention of making their way here in a boat. The vessel was but a short
time from America and had only about 10 barrels of oil. The master reports
that the vessel is but very little damaged, and likely to remain in a
perfect state for a long time. He has applied to the government to send the
Champion in search of the missing men, and to bring the effects of himself
and crew - an application which will doubtless be complied with. The poor
fellows, who are of course, in a destitute state, have been provided for by
R.M.B Brown Esq., the Resident Magistrate.'
Although the ship was only slightly damaged it was too far away to be a good prospect for recovery. Captain Gibson decided to put it up for auction and was purchased by Mr. Wickstead for 155 pounds. Everything removable was taken off the ship and the remains were re-discovered in 1969. A number of pearl shells were found in the remains of the ship, shells that are not found near Jurien, so had the Americans been collecting shell with a view to selling it? It is interesting to contemplate what might have been if they had kicked off the pearling industry at a much earlier date.
The town was only established in 1962 when 505 Ha of land was excised from
the national park and the townsite was gazetted in 1963.
Wind farms are appearing all along the coast of W.A. and while they may be more environmentally friendly than coal fired power they are not the most attractive things to look at. This wind farm was established in 2006 and thankfully has been situated inland away from the beautiful coastline. The farm produces 80 megawatts of power and reduces greenhouse gasses by over 200,000 tons a year.