Monday, 31 January 2011
As if the recent floods was not enough now mother nature is sending cyclone Yasi to visit north Queensland this week. With the state still struggling to dry out we are now looking towards more rain and damaging winds.
Sunday, 30 January 2011
|Look Closely, Jack from Anthem joins in with the Aussie Day celebrations|
Here are some of the photos taken on our sail on the bay.
|Nice and close|
|It may be a social outing, buts it's still a race.|
Wednesday, 26 January 2011
Saturday, 22 January 2011
As Bristol Rose made her way up the Brisbane river in October, the crew were shocked to see all the cool new buildings and restorations along the riverfront. Apartments where industrial sites used to sprawl, the Powerhouse now a fabulous arts space, lots of cool concrete, glass, miles of boardwalks and cycling paths, and very "new" uniquely Australian landscaping.
Brisbane was putting on a great show of modernity, class, style and fun for all to see. That was just two and a half months ago, before the flood of January 2011. With loads of hard work, even more money, and typical Aussie never-say-die spirit, Brisbane will look great again when all the mud and debris is cleaned away.
Will the developers have to change the way they think, design and build? There's wisdom in the old ways of building in the Sunshine State. It's worth taking a seriously close look at how it used to be.
The typical old "Queenslander" was built on stilts - hmmm, no prizes for guessing why! While the old homes might get their feet (or stilts) wet, the living spaces could sit high above invading waters. The height allows cooling breezes to circulate, provides a place to park the car out of the burning sun. And who didn't have a clothesline under the house for hanging the washing on rainy days?
The "Queenslander" has wide verandahs to shade the windows and keep the rain at a distance. Some covered in their verandahs for extra living space but even left open, they're extremely practical and useful. The verandahs and "under the house" allowed space for kids and adults to get outdoors, under cover from the elements. And best of all, those grand old houses are charming and beautiful to look at. You've gotta love a Queenslander!
Friday, 21 January 2011
Bayside at Manly, boats in the marinas certainly saw an increased water level but the King Tide caused no real problems here. Residents in Albion were affected by some tidal flooding.
The HeraldSun.com.au has reported on the state of the Brisbane CityCat ferry service and $100 million rebuild cost estimate. Follow the link for the news and a great picture of the Sydney Street Ferry terminal.
Over the past eight days transport by bus and train has been free to assist residents and volunteers. Free public transport stops on Monday when passengers will pay an additional 15% on top of the pre-flood fares.
Thursday, 20 January 2011
NearMap, based in Perth, Western Australia, have mapped the recent Brisbane floods. Although the before images are reported to be taken January 13, it's obvious many were taken well before then. Nevermind, you get the general idea.
Here's my photo of the Moggill Ferry, service suspended, tied up to the Ipswich side on December 27.
With all the rain this summer up to Christmas Holidays, there was already flooding in the area around Mt. Crosby and Wivenhoe Dam when we toured the area with friends on Dec 27. People are asking about the operation of the dam and the ability of the existing dam to cope with all that rain.
|The Brisbane River at Colleges Crossing, Dec 27, 2010|
|Benches and barbecues under water. |
Campers hanging in there on the edges of Wivenhoe Dam on Dec 27, 2010.
Click on ABC News, move your mouse over the images to see the difference a day can make. When you look at the before and after aerial images, (Part 1 and Part 2) you get a glimpse of the magnitude of the devastation we have witnessed in Brisbane. Brisbanites and visitors alike will miss riding the ferries and cycling (and walking) the miles of river walkways.
|Beautiful Bulimba Ferry terminal in October 2010|
|One of a fleet of CityCats leave the Brisbane River for Manly, Tuesday Jan 11, 2011.|
Saturday, 15 January 2011
We are in Cyclone season in Queensland and back to that age old cruiser summer hobby of weather watch. Our first cyclone, Vania, a category one with 35 knot winds, what? So I did some research. The above table shows the rating systems for different tropical storms. Here is a surprise, different countries use different ratings for storms.
In Australia Cyclone ratings are as follows.
Category 1 Cyclones - 34 to 47 knts
Catergory 2 Cyclones - 48 to 63 knts
Category 3 Cyclones - 64 to 85 knts
Catergory 4 Cyclones - 86 knts to 106 knts
Category 5 Cyclones - greater than 107 knts
This contrasts with the US rating system
Category 1 Hurricanes - 56 to 72 knts
Category 2 Hurricanes - 73 to 85 knts
Category 3 Hurricanes - 86 to 99 knts
Category 4 Hurricanes - 100 to 119 knts
Category 5 Hurricanes - greater than 120 knts
So, in summary at the low end of the scale cyclone warnings may scare us prematurely however on the high end all severe storms are best to be avoided if possible.
Tuesday, 11 January 2011
Bristol Rose and crew are safe tonight at the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron in Manly. We have Brisbane's City Cats for company, as well as Merlin, Alexis and Whiskers.
Getting out of our slip at Dockside Marina and over to Manly was windy, wet, bumpy and cold. At least we zoomed down the river at a brisk pace, dodging debris, and doing well.
One of the deciding factors that convinced us it was time to move was seeing all the ferries and City Cats heading down the Brisbane River, and buildings in the CBD were evacuated. When Robert measured the distance between the high water mark and the top of the pylon holding our dock, he measured 7 feet, well short of expected levels.
We're thinking about our neighbours at Dockside Marina. There were so many boats in their slips when we left today, including some liveaboards. If the levels rise as suggested, the floating docks will come right over the tops of the pylons. It's too horrifying to think about. Images over the last days and weeks have been horrifying.
Aussies have earned the reputation for being tough. Here's a quote from a woman interviewed on the news, "You gotta be strong and just keep going, that's the Australian way".
Story in the NY Times: Staying Afloat Down Under
Eight dead, 72 missing. Families separated, many people stranded and isolated. Gatton, Qld evacuated overnight. Flash floods, Toowoomba devastated by a wall of water. Houses washed away with people in them. One spokesperson calls the wall of water that swept through Toowoomba yesterday, "An inland instant tsunami".
Queensland government calls an all agencies briefing. Suburbs at risk today or tomorrow include: Albion, Auchenflower, Bowen Hills, Brisbane City, Bulimba, Chelmer, Coorparoo, East Brisbane, Fortitude Valley, Kangaroo Point, New Farm, South Brisbane, Windsor, Wacol. The equivalent of two Sydney Harbours are flowing into the Wivenhoe Dam.
We are holding tight to our floating dock at Dockside Marina while considering our options. The marina is protected a little by the curve of the river, with the other side experiencing fast flowing water (we estimate about 10 knots), and our lines not straining at all.
Moving out from our little eddy would present some difficulties with the flow of the water, and all the debris making its way to the sea, plus our prop is not performing well for us. We are expecting a three meter tide, which these docks could sustain. No evacuations have been called for Brisbane city and we're trying to get more information.
Noon. We are preparing to leave the dock and take our chances getting down the river, out through Moreton Bay and to the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron marina at Manly.
Monday, 10 January 2011
|Brisbane River looking south from our slip at Dockside Marina, Kangaroo Point|
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horions,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror -
The wide brown land for me!"
Dorothea Mackellar (1885-1968), wrote the poem "Core of My Heart" at age 19, expressing her for Australia. She captured it all, the uniqueness of Australia, the feelings Aussies have for their country and the poem became known widely as "My Country". When I was at school, everyone could recite by heart, the refrain, at the very least.
|The Brisbane River flooding at Colleges Crossing, 27th Dec 2010|
Australia is a land of contrasts and extremes.
"Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When sick at heart, around us,
We see the cattle die -
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady, soaking rain."
The flooding is causing problems not just for those on the land, but for yachts both local and international. In Australia we have the insane situation where the Volunteer Marine Rescue are prevented from "salvaging".
|Wivenhoe Dam, 27th Dec. All five flood gates are now open.|
When looking at news stories about the flooding, we found a story about cruising mates, Jim and Kent of Sea Level, participants in the Port 2 Port Rally from Port Vila to Bundaberg. Jim is one of Robert's surfing buddies. It looks like he's also something of a hero! Their story is at Bundaberg News Mail, 28th Oct 2010.
"An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land -
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand -
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly."
|Rain is keeping the ducks happy.|
Click here for the poem My Country (Core of My Heart).