Monday, 10 January 2011

Of Droughts and Flooding Rains, and Runaway Yachts in Bundaberg

Brisbane River looking south from our slip at Dockside Marina, Kangaroo Point
 "I love a sunburnt country,
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
 Since we arrived in Brisbane we have experienced 28 fine days and 49 days of rain.  This all follows 10 years of drought.  At the peak of the drought 70% of Queensland had been in drought conditions for 6 years!  Still living aboard Bristol Rose in Brisbane city, we are xperiencing exceptionally heavy rainfalls, torrential rains.  Today much of southern and central QLD is in flood.

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.
 Red tape has tied the hands of willing VMR volunteers so they must watch from their launches as runaway boats crash towards their destruction and even down the rivers and out to sea.  You can read the story at Sail-World and at ABC.

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).

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