Pearlers Shacks

Jedda 1 - Pearl Lugger
A pearl lugger coming into rest in Divers Creek

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The little tidal creek commonly known as Divers Creek (Nuboloon in Bardi) was the perfect natural harbour for our old wooden Luggers. It provided protection from cyclones, a convenient place to unload the valuable pearl shell and re-provision for the next adventure out to the pearling beds. This type of Lugger base was also used for the “lay-up” season when it was to dangerous to go diving and so the time was used to carry out the maintenance which was an endless task on the old wooden boats.

Diving for wild pearl shell has always been a seasonal activity and the crew of the Luggers would come and go with the seasons spending most of the time living onboard the lugger and only returning to Cygnet Bay in the Springs.

Whilst the Luggers were tied up in the creek over the spring tides the crew would camp close by and over time the camps slowly became more developed into the houses you see today.

Commuting - B9
The B9 at rest in Divers Creek at low tide

The old stack sack jetty which can still be seen in the creek was built for the first modern fiberglass pearling vessel, the “Cygnet Lass” which revolutionised the pearling industry. Designed and built by Lyndon and Bruce Brown this modern vessel brought greater speed, efficiency, safety and comfort to the diving operation and led the industry in the transition away from the old wooden Luggers to the modern vessels used today.

Cygnet Lass
The Cygnet Lass moored up at the jetty in the tidal lagoon at Divers Creek

Today the area and the old buildings are heritage listed for the significant part it all played in pioneering the Australian cultured pearling industry.

The old shacks are the result of many peoples collective effort and hard work. Starting from makeshift campsites people gradually made life more comfortable by building basic little shacks which slowly evolved over time to boast such features as concrete floors, fly screens, louvre windows, running water, and even electricity! All of which seemed to be huge advancements and cherished luxuries in a time when our remote paradise on the Kimberley coast was much harder to get to.