Name/TitlePhotograph, "Eileen Sylvia"
About this object‘‘Eileen Sylvia’’ was built at Sandy Point by Nelson and Alf Mitchell and used in the fishing and prawning industry.
The vessel had a spare seine (fishing) net which hung over the rail and an 8hp Lister diesel drove the seine winch and rope coiler, made by Holmes in Sydney. The mast was a ships derrick (crane) which had washed up in Boulder Bay, towed into the Port and later reduced to a 9 inch diameter by Alf and Nelson Mitchell. Likewise, the boom was found washed up on Kingsley Beach by Mr Blanch who was paid 5 boxes of salmon in return for the boom. (It is conjectured that the old mast and derek may well have come off the “Pappinbarra”, a 518-ton steam ship which sank off the gantry on the northern side of Fingal Island in 1929).
‘‘Eileen Sylvia’’ often worked in conjunction with another vessel, “Girl Pat” a trawler owned by Nelson Mitchell’s son, Colin. “Girl Pat” having no cooking facilities relied on “Eileen Sylvia” to cook the prawns for resale in Newcastle Harbour. A dinghy was rowed to ‘‘Eileen Sylvia’’ from “Girl Pat” with 5 or 6 six baskets of raw prawns to be cooked.
The fishing trawler also participated in the Annual Picnic Day taking children and parents from the Co-op, Nelson Bay to Banks’ Farm (Taylors Beach) and the annual Prawners Picnic running from Stockton up the Hunter River (image attached). Also, together with another boat “Girl Pat” she rescued a yacht that was beached on the Fingal Spit only to find some time later that the sailor, Sam Luxford, an alias, was wanted for bank robbery. He was eventually arrested but never forgot the assistance given to him by the fisherman of Port Stephens, writing to them from his cell in “B” Division, Pentridge, Coburg “When you are sailing past the light house will you kindly think of me”.
Eventually sold to a Vietnamese crew and renamed ‘’Harvest Moon’’ she was unfortunately run down by a ship in Princess Charlotte Bay, Far North Queensland.
Place MadeOceania, Australia, New South Wales, Port Stephens, Corlette
MakerMitchell, Nelson and Alf
Maker RoleBoat Builder
PeriodMid 20th century
Object TypeFishing Vessel
Subject and Association KeywordsBoat building
Subject and Association KeywordsBoats
Subject and Association KeywordsFishing - commercial
Subject and Association KeywordsFishing Recreational
Subject and Association KeywordsPrawning
Subject and Association KeywordsRecreation