Monday, July 30, 2007

Saratoga views

(Saratoga walkies #9)

Saratoga, Davistown & Yattalunga map

There yer go. Now you can see what I mean when I say the Saratoga/Davistown peninsula is hammer-shaped. Saratoga is the first stop on the Saratoga and Codock II ferry runs.

(In an hour the Flickr version map & photos will be annotated. Which will save you reading all that stuff and looking for the third tree on the left.)

Gosford is off the map up past the top left corner. Woy Woy is, obviously, the one marked Woy Woy, down there at the bottom.

Rileys Island and Pelican Island and those two little ones are uninhabited. St Huberts is the canal'd one with all the seventies houses on it.

The cross halfway up the right hand edge is the Holy Cross church and St Joseph's orphanage, where the old ferries were operated from.

View to Woy Woy from Shaw Street Saratoga

View to Woy Woy from Shaw Street.

We're looking straight across to the Bowls at Woy Woy, at the end of North Burge Road.

To the left of the Bowls is the foreshore park running parallel to North Burge Road.

To the right of the Bowls is the foreshore park running parallel to Brick Wharf Road and into Bustling Downtown Woy Woy between the pubs.

The Woy Woy Channel is running back from the furtherest cluster of boats and that's the tip of Pelican Island to the right of the boats and the Veteran Hall Wharf on Henderson Street below Pelican Island.

View to St Huberts from Shaw Street Saratoga

View to St Huberts from Shaw Street. Took a while to work out what I was looking at with this one.

First is that tight grove of trees on the grassy area (between foreground trees). That is Illoura Reserve, the part at the end of Malinya Road. Passengers on the Saratoga ferry will see it as the ferry turns the corner from Lintern Channel into Cockle Channel and heads for Central Wharf.

Empire bay is beyond that and to the left of the foreground trees, and the house there is on Myler Avenue or Yaringa Parade. The hill above that house is also Empire Bay.

To the right of the left foreground tree is the ramp down to St Huberts Island.

St Huberts is hard to distinguish from the houses of Daleys Point behind it so we won't give ourselves eyestrain trying.

The hill behind St Huberts & Daleys Point is Killcare and beyond Killcare is the Tasman Sea.

On the right edge of the photo is Blackwall Mountain. Probably. It's too close to be Mt Ettalong and nothing else in that direction is high.

To the left of that, just visible in the far distance, is Barrenjoey Head and in front of that is the sandstone cliff that forms the eastern end of Lion Island and the chest of the lion.

View to Gosford from Kapala Avenue Saratoga

View to Gosford from Kapala Avenue.

That's Longnose there, Point Frederick, with the old cemetery on the end there in Pioneer Park.

Behind it is the hills of West Gosford and beyond them we're looking at the Peats Ridge/Mangrove Mountain area.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Saratoga slog

(Saratoga walkies #8)

The great lethargy has not lifted but I did manage to overcome it for a morning and drag myself round the streets of Saratoga.

It was a blue sky day. The birds were hopping and fluttering about picking up worms and rubbing their beaks together in a flirtatious manner. The sun was warm on my back and the flowers were bright. The hills were long and steep and I'd left my map at home but it was good to be out on the road again.

Henderson Road Saratoga

This shag was not hopping or fluttering. It was having a good long soak-up of sunshine. The water birds were not very active, mostly just sitting on rocks and poles sunning themselves with their eyes closed.

Henderson Road Saratoga

Mother Duck is the name half obscured on that 3rd boat back from the front.

I like this rack of boats. Technically it'll be called a mooring or summat but I like the phrase a rack of boats. This rack is on Henderson Road and that's Rileys Island, one of the uninhabited ones, in the background.

High Street Saratoga

No idea what this climber is called. It had no perfume more's the pity but it was a pleasant site draped over its grey fence.

Shaw Street Saratoga

Sandwich houses I call these ones. Don't know if there's a technical name for them, but with their flat wide shape they look giant sandwiches to me. I've seen perhaps a dozen of the 1950s ones on my travels around the Peninsula and Brisbane Water and a few in the 1970s. This one was on Shaw Street.

Commer Morrison Street Saratoga

Commer bus fitted out as a camper van, Morrison Street. Never seen a Commer bus before. Google tells me they were made in the UK between 1905 and 1979 by a UK manufacturer of commercial vehicles. Commer got bought out by the delightfully named Rootes company and they ended up in the hands of Dodge.

Google spat out a stack of images labelled Commer, including a rather eccentric bus looking like a double-decker glasshouse on wheels, but no image matching this model.

An identical wheel arch is visible on a Commer/Dodge here, bottom centre image and Commer later made the postal vans for the UK Royal Mail that look a lot like Postman Pat's van.

Best guess is this is a late 1950s model campervan. Fuck knows why I didn't look at the model when I saw the bloody van.

Comments & email

Pommy commenter Patty has not yet been flooded out. Good to hear.

Trainspotty & Michael suggest flu and lack of sun as a possible solution to the lethargy mystery.

They could be right (and Trainspotty's duckshit avoidance advice is noted) but Ron's answer is best: excessive gravity. Had a look at my Gravitex 3000 and the bloody gauge is stuck on 3G's! I'll have to get a little man in to fix it.

(BTW Ron, did you get my comment on bunging videos in posts?)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Bloody hell

Watched the news last night. First time in days. I'd heard about the floods in the UK of course, but shit, half of Pommyland is underwater! Floods receding says the Beeb and they'd bloody well want to. But the same article says it forecast to piss down in the next few days.

Have posted small jars of drought to Pommy bloggers, who can sprinkle the contents round their houses in lieu of sandbags or sell them to their damper compatriots.

Didn't go walkies this morning. Promised myself I would but couldn't do it. A great lethargy has descended upon me. When I'm not working or robotickly* forking in a microwave dinner, I'm sitting on the couch gloomily watching the telly.

Which is weird. Not the gloomily watching the telly bit. Okay, there's been all this business with emergency visits to hospital bedsides and funerals and some other offline crap, but there's also some really good offline stuff happening. So why the lethargy and the general feeling of gloom? Maybe my brain is tired and is forcing rest upon me. Though how that affects my feet I don't know.

Anyways, we'll see how I feel about walking on Friday morning.

* This doesn't look right and Google was no help.

P.S. I've been wondering when the Bay to Bay Fun Run is. Turns out it's last month.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Keeping an eye on things

(Random walkies)

Face on shipping container Railway Street Woy Woy

We don't get much good graffitti on the Peninsula so I snap it as soon as I see it. This one appeared to be keeping an eye on the new traffic lights nearby.

We're getting two more sets of traffic lights. One on the corner of Railway Street & George Street, where you come out from Deepwater and another one two blocks away at the corner of Railway Street & Ocean Beach Road, where this graffitto was.

The Dear Old Things are very excited about the George Street lights. That intersection is a menace to DOTs and even to the fleet of foot. The Ocean Beach Road intersection is mostly a menace to front fenders.

Went walkies this morning. No idea where. Started out from home brooding on things and ended up in the bottle shop (liquor store) a couple of hours later with no clear idea where I went in between. It's been a tumultuous couple of months with all this family stuff, plus there's some other crap we won't go into. But I'm enjoying the winter and so life goes on.

Former Norwegian Embassy Fremantle

Challenger TAFE Centre

Back to Freo again and one of my all-time favourite Freo buildings. Once the Royal Norwegian Consulate, now Challenger TAFE.

The style could be Federation Free Classical (circa 1890 - c. 1915) but I'm putting it down as Victorian Free Classical (circa 1840 - circa 1890). Why? Because of the whaling connection. There was a lot of stuff in the Maritime Museum about the Norwegian whaling connection to Freo.

That wee round room up the top there probably still has some sort of view over the harbour, which would once have been an uniterrupted view right across the harbour to North Freo, proably as far as the Dingo.

Friday, July 20, 2007


The funeral was my grandmother's. She was 93 and went rather quickly and quietly. She would've been rather miffed about the quickly and quietly bit, she loved a good scene. But we filled the church to the roof with bright pink roses and sang Knees Up Mother Brown and howled into our hankies. She would've enjoyed that.

I loved her as much as my Gran but she was a strange bugger. She declared herself not racist but couldn't stand "bloody foreigners". She was also utterly convinced there were None Of Those* in our family but terrified I'd was turning into One Of Them and didn't dare mention it in case she tipped me over the edge. She was also convinced Liberace and Rock Hudson were straight.

Death seems to be stalking my family. It's all been a bit much frankly. Let's look at some photos instead.

Homemade kayak Maritime Museum Fremantle Western Australia

In 1929 12 year olds Jim Dix and John Murton built two of these out of a bit of tin (galvanised iron) and launched them off Freo. They were going to paddle round from Howard Street to Fishermans Harbour.

But their boat-building skills weren't up to the job and a couple of hundred metres offshore, John's boat filled up and sank under him. He couldn't swim and when Jim tried to pull him into his boat, John panicked and nearly drowned them both. Jim got them back to shore somehow and they were found by passersby. John had swallowed a fair bit of water and spent a week in hospital and Jim got a certificate of merit from the Royal Humane Society of Australasia.

Maritime Museum at Freo Harbour.

Fish in reeds Maritime Museum Fremantle Western Australia

A rather gloomy fish. Don't know why I like it but I do.

Whaling boat Maritime Museum Fremantle Western Australia

Man versus Moby. You'd want to be bloody well paid to go out in a boat that size to poke a whale with a harpoon.

Whalers' Tunnel post

* One Of Those is DOT Speak for a queer person.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Other People's Gardens

It never rains but it pours

Off to a funeral. Not my mother's. Back Wednesday or Friday.

Blooming marvellous

(Random walkies in Woy Woy)

Golden Wattle

Golden wattle's blooming on the Peninsula.

Geranium blooming

Despite all the rain there's been enough sun this winter to keep the flowers blooming all over the Peninsula.

One thingy

This is a thingy.

Three thingies

Three thingies. May be triffids.

Banksia flower cone

Now flowering on a street tree near you. Banksia, variety unknown. The spines turn grey then fall off to reveal the seed cone.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Australia II

(Freo visit June 2007)

Australia II

"Australia II," says Wiki, "bearing sail number KA6, represented the Royal Perth Yacht Club of Australia in its September 1983 challenge for the America's Cup. The defender, the New York Yacht Club, had held the cup since 1851, dominating challengers and sustaining the longest winning streak in sport."

She was stuffed into a corner down the back of the Maritime Museum. Good display (downstairs) with all kinds of info on her and the America's Cup and even on the kind of sails they used way back in 1870.

Winged keel of the Australia II

Thar she blows. The famous winged keel.

Winged keels provide better stability for a boat, by lowering its centre of gravity.

Australia II deck

The trim on a sail refers to the amount of cloth of the sail opened up to the wind so a trimmer looks after the amount of trim. Can't find out what a sewerman is (thank fuck) or a grinder but there's three whatsits for raising and lowering sails and three crew down as "grinder" so chances are a grinder's a raiser and lowerer of sails. The bowman probably looks after the spinnaker which is the sail over the bow.

Australia II Crew, Race seven 1983 America's Cup:

John Bertrand - Skipper
Grant Simmer - Navigator
Hugh Treharne - Tactician
Colin Beashel - Mainsheet Trimmer
Skip Lissiman - Port Trimmer
Ken Judge - Starboard Trimmer
Peter Costello - Sewerman/Grinder
Brian Richardson - Grinder
Phil Smidmore - Mastman
John Longley - Grinder
Damian Fewster - Bowman

Cambria to Black Magic

From the original 1870 (left) America's Cup yacht style to the Australia II in 1983 (middle) to the 2000 NZ entry Black Magic (right).

These drawings are in proportion to each other by the way. Shows how tall the yachts got in 130 years.

Bob Hawke's America's Cup jacket

Our Prime Minister of the time, Bob Hawke, wore this jacket on TV when Australia won the America's Cup in 1983 and famously said "Any boss who sacks anyone for not turning up today is a bum."

Hawke could drink a yard of beer in one go, which is what you look for in a Prime Minister.

Orientation Day

Freo CAT map

Map of Bustling Downtown Freo.

1. Maritime Museum, where the Australia II is now.
2. Cicerello's and Success Harbour, formerly Fishermans Harbour.
3. HMAS Ovens, decommisioned submarine, outside the Maritime Museum.
4. Fremantle Town Hall.
5. Round House and Whalers' Tunnel, Arthur Head.

Boat of a different design

Pasha Bulker on Nobbys Beach Newcastle

Pasha Bulker aground on Nobbys Beach Newcastle in June 2007, taken by Michael from Stockton Beach.

To the right of her you can see the tow cables stretching away to the tugs.

Pasha Bulker on Nobbys Beach Newcastle

Pasha Bulker aground on Nobbys Beach Newcastle in June 2007, viewed from Stockton Beach. She ran aground during the June storms and was finally floated off (in one of 2007's great anti-climaxes) about a week ago.

Taken and emailed in by Michael. Ta mate.

Dark as buggery here this afternoon. Looks like it's going to piss down again. It's weird having rain in winter again after all the drought winters.

Monday, July 09, 2007


(Freo visit June 2007)

Cicerello's Fishermans Harbour Fremantle

Landmark of Freo, where the fish & chips are excellent and the seagulls plump and glossy.

Cicerello's used to be a big tin shed, a fish sorting shed with the fish&chip shop at the public side and the fish coming in the harbour side. Where the shop is now used to be a rather scruffy carpark and the shed was to the right of the photo.

Success Harbour (formerly Fishermans Harbour) Fremantle

Tourist boat coming in to dock. Working boats and pleasure boats in the background.

On the left you can see the end of one of the many jetties (green & white) and one of the statues (grey) celebrating the long history of the harbour as a working place.

Not far to the right of this photo is the shed in which the winged keel of the Australia II was made. Australia II won the 1983 America's Cup, much to the surprise and dismay of America's yachting fans. It lives in the Freo Maritime Museum now, a few hundred yards to the right of this photo. Gotta photo of it to post later this week.

Woy Woy Weather

Pissing down again all morning and yesterday as well. Not ideal walkies weather but I've hardly stirred outdoors since I got back anyways.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Old Scots Church

(Freo visit, June 2007)

Old Scots Church South Terrace Fremantle

Old Scots Church on South Terrace. The Freo Markets are on the left of this building and the footy oval (Carn the Bulldogs!) is slightly visible in the right background.

Notice the red-and-white theme similar to that of the Markets. It's seen often in Freo. This building might belong in the Victorian Free Classical style too but don't quote me on that, I'm too buggered to look it up.

Freo had a bit of wind as well. The bloke on the roof is putting a tarp over some damaged tiles.

The weird markings on the photo are grafitti on the window of the CAT bus. CAT stands for Free Bus For Keeping Cars Out Of The CBD and the CAT bus runs on a circuit round Freo from South Beach to the Freo Museum via the Round House. Very handy.

Old Scots Church South Terrace Fremantle

Taken the day before the wind. Spot what part of the church is missing from the photo above.

Right then. That's yer lot for today. I'm buggered.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Return to sender

(Freo visit June 2007)

American torpedo Fremantle Maritime Museum Fremantle Western Australia

American WWII torpedo in the the Freo Maritime Museum’s lost & found.

Nah, not really. It was laying outside the building pointing the way to HMAS Ovens. The lost & found presumanly holds a couple of jumpers, a single thong and a set of house keys for somewhere in Tokyo.

HMAS Ovens Fremantle Maritime Museum Fremntle Western Australia

Didn't do the Ovens tour. Too buggered that day and couldn’t face clambering up into a narrow sub with a pack of excited sprogs and adults and donging my head on a bulkhead.

Virtual tour of the sub

Ovens is a decommissioned sub. She lives next to the Maritime Museum on Victoria Quay. The new Maritime Museum not the old one near Cicerello's. Look for the Port Authority tower or follow the CAT bus into the carpark.

HMAS Ovens Fremantle Maritime Museum Fremntle Western Australia

Inside the museum was a video on Ovens's last journey back to HMAS Platypus,the submarine dock in Neutral Bay in Sydney Harbour. A Sydney friend spends much of his spare time on his Neutral Bay balcony watching the sailors bending over.

The video was cool. Showed you the inside of the sub and what everyone does when they play war games against the Americans. Panic slightly was the answer in some cases and there was all that cool naval repeating of orders thing they do. At the end, when she steamed up Sydney Harbour under the Coathanger and into Platypus, the captain had a little cry and so did I.

HMAS Ovens Fremantle Maritime Museum Fremntle Western Australia

Her conning tower with the flags of Australia, Pommyland and America flying over a list of subs "commemorating the sacrifices made by the Allied Submarines operating out of Fremantle...during World War II".

I swear some of those subs were named by Terry Pratchett: Croaker, Flasher, Paddle, Trout and Tapir. Isn't a tapir some sort of rubber-nosed creature of the African plains?


Another email with some interesting questions:

I found your blog This isn't Sydney and wondered if you could help.

I am moving the the Peninsula from Sydney and am keen to get a local's thoughts and insights into the area for interest.

Do you know of any blogs that give a unique insight into the area...?

Every blog gives a unique insight but This Isn't Sydney might be said to be a bit unique-er than the average.

(am not sure if you are a local - just presumed so from your blog)

I am.

... is Umina really full of troubled youths causing chaos...?

No. Most of the population is over 55. What few teenagers there are in Umina spend most of their time saying "I'm boooooored" and going up to Bloody Erina (Erina Fair). where they annoy the shopkeepers by making one hamburger last three hours and not picking up after themselves. Newspaper stories about troubled youth sell more newspapers.

is Ettalong a haven for retired couples...?


... what is the community feeling like in the area...?

Not like Sydney. Slower, nicer, far less aggro. the area progressing?

Depends on what you mean by progressing. If you mean does it now have an over-large edifice where the RSL used to be, then yes. We also have more coffee-shops than you can poke a tourist at.

It appears I'm turning into something of an agony column for prospective Woy Woyans.

I also get a lot of mail over at my Flickr page wanting to use a picture or three for non-commercial use (only if you ask nice) and so on, including one asking for some details about local churches for a fillum.

Weather report

Magnificent wind this morning and a lovely black sky came over. Then it sailed off up the coast. Look like it’s going to piss down up Newcastle way.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Floods & Bombings & Freo

(Photos from June 2007 visit to Fremantle)

Fremantle Town Hall High Street Fremantle

Freo Town Hall. Sits at the corner of St. John's Square staring silently down High Street at the Round House.

Nice bit of Victorian Free Classical (circa 1840 - c. 1890) the Freo Town hall. Built in 1885 and "a free ensemble of various Renaissance elements" according to my Name That Building book.

The little black triangle below the clock is a black swan, which is the Western Australian state emblem.

Sail& Anchor South Terrace Fremantle

Sail & Anchor. Well-known Freo pub, on South Terrace right across the road from the Freo Markets. Pop in for a gargle after yer lamb sandwich. Very handy.

Cantonment Street Fremantle

On the corner of Cantonment Street and South Terrace, opposite the railway station.

International Month of Floods & Bombings

I went away for the weekend where there were no floods or bombs or newspapers. It was restful. Coming back was not. Dear Old Things wringing their hands with worry over their UK rellies and bloody politicians running round like headless chooks.

Bit of good news though. Pasha Bulker's been dragged off Nobby's at last.