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5 corrections, most recently by danimations - Show corrections

SHARK YARNS.' From A.T. SAUNDERS:— In The' Ob- server, 2/3/89, is -the following :—   One of the. most singular shark encounters yet   to hand. While the schooner Grace Darling was at anchor in the Bight (she has recently returned from Eucla) many sharks wore seen, and come' occasionally followed the schooner's boat to and from.the shore. One day the weather was very bad, and the Grace Darling was rolling heavily. Capt. Hans Smidt, the master of the Grace Darling was standing aft resting on the main rail, when, as the vessel rolled, an enormous shark made a grab at, and caught his hand, wounding if severely. Fortu nately Capt. Smidt shook himself clear. The shark was estimated to be over 30 ft. long-, and when it was despoiled of its repast, it turned and attacked the schooner, and remained so persis tently near the schooner that it was ultimately shot, and sank to the bottom. Capt. Smidt affirms that sharks are more numerous and   ferocious about the Bight than he has before known them.     I can visualize my old acquaintance Hans Smidt telling that yarn, and not abating an inch of the shark's length. Poor old Smidt is in heaven, where the truth even of shark yarns is known. The Observer, 24/11/88, records that at Largs' two sharks were caught, one 10 ft., and the other 11 ft. long, and, 1/12/88, mentions that it is claimed that a shark 15 ft. long was caught near Port Wakefield. When the Hawks bury Bridge was partly constructed a well to-do contractor for a part of it was walk ing on the partly finished superstructure when he stumbled and fell into the river. Several sharks had been seen, and as soon as he struck the water two were observed to seize him, and he was never seen again. This occurred in December, 1888. The Register, . 9/3/85, says:— Our Port Pirie correspondent telegraphed as follows: — News has arrived here respecting the Bellona, 1,123 tons, Capt. Ben Warren, which cleared from Port Pirie, 14/184, for the U.K., wheat laden. An hour after the pilot left the ship outside the eastern shoal, the ship being under way, the captain's only daughter, aged 16, was playing with a dog and a ball on the deckhouse, and when jumping into the passage between the deckhouse and the ship's railing, fell over the rail into the sea. Her father saw her fall, but could do nothing, for he saw two sharks seize her as soon as the was in the water, and take her down, and as the ship was moving, she was never again seen. This was recently told me by an old Portonian. I had forgotten it, but as I had no note of it, and as my informant had little idea of the year or about the year, I had great trouble to find it. The Bel lona arrived at the Semaphore, 31/10/83, from the Baltic with deals, and, 17/12/83, was towed to Port Pirie, whence she sailed 14/1/84. She again arrived at Port Ade laide with the same Capt. Ben Warren in command 18/2/85 and no doubt but that some one on board; who had been on her the previous voyage, sent the news of the tragedy to Port Pirie, whence it was sent to The Register, 8/3/85 I have seen     'The toad in the hole' in bills of fare, but a more curious toad in the hole was seen in the old black diamond collier, the barque Bosphorous, which vessel every old Portonian will remember. She sprang a leak in Newcastle, N.S.W., and was pumped out, and the ease with which this was done was because a toad fish got into the hole, swelled itself out, and stopped the leak. This is recorded in The Observer, 19/3/87. From sharks and toads to gorillas. Few persons who see and talk to Mr. Walter Hutley, and .who. are not conversant with his history, would think that he had owned a young, pet gorilla in Africa, and that for about five years he was in that country, and saw the slave trade in full swing. Capt Mar- ryatt, in his 'Paths of Many Tales,' tells a somewhat similar story to the toad ''i the hole, but it was a wooden image which stopped the leak in his case.