Back in the bad old days, when the pea 'n' beans processor let their by-product flow straight into the channel, we'd string up a piece of bamboo with some nylon and a hook and go looking for herring.
We stood on wet black rocks with the conveyor belt ladies (the ones who picked out the rotten peas) and men whom we thought then were old - wrinkled knees and Stubbie shorts, fingers flattened and strong with manual work. No bait required, thanks to those rotten peas and bean shells. The herring were nuts. We'd get a bucketful in half an hour.
Around the corner from the creaking, rusting factory, there lies a pristine little cove, secreted away from roads or tracks. It's a funny little spot on the south shore of the channel into Princess Royal Harbour, damp, often hidden from the sun, clad in paper bark trees that grow right down to the briny. Things arrive here, flotsam from the Sound and beyond.
It's a good place to play, catch whiting, and watch the schools of salmon trout meander by.
To get the massive Cape iron ore ships into Princess Royal Harbour, the Albany Port Authority and Grange Resources will dredge a channel from the harbour, straight through the middle of King George Sound.
The seagrass beds in the channel and the Sound are able to look after themselves, apparently. They still haven't recovered from the best efforts of the fertiliser plant to destroy them on the western shores in the 1970s, but the EPA and the Port Authority are confidant that seagrass beds can adapt to any mining boom.
As for The Cove, the spoils from some of the dredging will be used to fill it in, to create a berth for the iron ore ships. The Cove, the last piece of natural coastline (apart from Pelican Point) on the north side of the harbour, will be gone. I was asked recently what will happen to The Cove after the Albany Port Authority and Grange Resources have taken residency.
It's a no-brainer really. It just won't exist any more.
The Cove will be replaced with this:
These last three photographs were taken right next to The Cove. Already the old fishing goat tracks have been covered over to prevent public access. The dredging is due to start next year. Sorry to let such a bucolic tale turn so nasty ... but it is the tale for this little corner of the world.