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Rollicking tales brought to life in Peter's coastal tour guide

For Peter Cook, there's nothing more exciting than a good map and a lively tale.
For Peter Cook, there's nothing more exciting than a good map and a lively tale. Amy Marshall

SHIPWRECKS and scoundrels, cyclones and survival.

A tour of the Capricorn Coast through the eyes of Peter Cook makes Yeppoon look like a dramatic movie set.

Who knew that if you stood at the top of Wreck Point 164 years ago, you could have seen a ship called the Selina, heavy with a cargo of cedar logs, sink to the ocean floor?

But that's not the half of the story.

The washed up schooner was found by another ship in October, 1848, refloated by another crew in 1849.

The crew left one man, Evan Owens, at the deserted coastal point. Left with enough supplies to last him six weeks and a promise of a return, Owens was tasked with the job of pumping water out of Selina's hull to keep her afloat.

But the crew never returned.

In an amazing tale of survival, Owens lasted five months before he gave up and abandoned the Selina, fortunately rescued soon after by the crew of the Secret.

These are the stories and more you can find in Peter Cook's latest publication Mudmaps and Memories: An Introduction to The Capricorn Coast and its History.

 

For Peter Cook, Yeppoon's Wreck Point is not just a lookout. It's a place of shipwreck and survival against all odds.
For Peter Cook, Yeppoon's Wreck Point is not just a lookout. It's a place of shipwreck and survival against all odds. Amy Marshall

 

The Capricorn Coast Historical Society member's face goes to another world as he stops by the grave site of the Ross brothers.

"There was one brother Robert Ross and he was a bit of a scoundrel," Mr Cook said.

According to Mr Cook, Ross "found" gold on his Taranganba property at a time when gold fever had gripped the population.

Between 1886 and 1889 he managed to convince friends, business associates and a "sophisticated Sydney syndicate" to invest in his gold mining company.

"As far as we know, the only gold ever found on that site was from Mount Morgan and shot into the rocks," Mr Cook said.

"It was all hushed up because of the number of high profile investors who lost their money in the swindle."

Peter Cook knows all the places to go in to dig up the historical secrets of the Capricorn Coast.
Peter Cook knows all the places to go in to dig up the historical secrets of the Capricorn Coast. Amy Marshall

Mr Cook says he loves collecting and recording history because of the privilege of hearing other people's stories.

"The only thing that's really constant is change," he said.

"And the people who have grown up here have so many stories and they enjoy being able to share them.

"So unless we record them, they disappear."

Mudmaps and Memories takes the reader on driving tours through the region.

The book is available at the Yeppoon Showground markets, the historical society, Keppel Bay Plaza newsagency in Yeppoon and the Kern Arcade newsagency in Rockhampton.


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