The pier had been erected in August 1942 at the end of the Chowder Bay ‘goat track’ which looped down from the naval establishment at Middle Head. At the top of the track were the huts housing the latest wave of young men who had self-selected to ship out to New Guinea by the end of 16 weeks training. Sucking on his pipe, Geoff, one of those young men, dangled his legs over the edge.
The pier jutted out into the harbour close to where the midget sub had released the torpedo which caused so much loss of life on HMAS Kuttabul. The harbour had wreaked havoc on the pier during the intervening seventy years. Many of the supports, although fashioned from hardwood, had rotted and split. The planking had already been replaced twice, and even the bollards were rusting away.
Removing his pipe, Geoff started to whistle a tune.