Doris Graces Us With Her Presence

“Doris” arrived from Sydney yesterday. At this morning’s high tide, the pilot steered the 182m vessel up the river aided by the tugs “Ballina” and “Wilga”.

In the Burnett River - left to right "Tharion", "Wilga", "Doris" and "Ballina" 11 Dec 2011 ©2011 JoWo12

 Now some of my blog followers may be asking about shipspotting in Bundaberg and how to find out the information of arriving and departing ships. My main source of ship schedules are various pages from the Port of Gladstone website. Remember that the Port of Bundaberg is under the control of the Port of Gladstone.

So for the longer forecast, the shipping companies nominate approx when the ship might be due – up to 3 weeks in advance   Remember that there are two berths in Bundy and sometimes they sneak in a molasses ship at the other berth.

Closer to the estimated arrival time, I check qships for finer information selecting the port of Bundaberg in the top right corner

When 2 days out from estimated arrival, I check the Duty Pilot Vessel Movements, looking for notations “BDB” or “sugar” – sometimes it is not obvious!!!

So there you have it – all you would be shipspotters, come on down and see it happen. The best viewing area is between the Bundaberg Port Marina and Wallace Creek – the ship channel is closest to the bank at that point.

One last thing – to find out about a ship that is coming into port, or anywhere else in the word goto . Here is a link to the page on “Doris”

See you there next time.


Road Safety in Bundaberg – Poor training, or couldn’t care less

Whilst driving around Bundaberg in the rain yesterday, I again concluded what a useless, ignorant lot of drivers we have here. It’s drizzling rain, overcast skies and people are driving around in silver and other hard to see coloured cars with no lights on. They are almost invisible. Surely if you look down the road and say to yourself “Gee, that oncoming car is hard to see”, you would immediately turn on your headlights (NOT your parklights which are intended to show where your car is when it is PARKED).

 Then we have the drivers, not knowing or not caring about any other drivers on the road, who at the last minute, indicate to turn. IF YOU HAVE PUT YOUR FOOT ON THE BRAKE PEDAL, YOU SHOULD HAVE ALREADY INDICATED. I’m not sure how some people got their licences. The next bunch of drivers we have to contend with are those who were brought up driving old cars with really heavy steering. Now driving modern cars with light and/or power assisted steering, they still swing to the right to turn left, or swing to the left to turn right. A lot of these people just should not be driving if they do not have the ability to negotiate an intersection without endangering other drivers.

This situation is not helped by our local council who persist with continuous white lines right up to the point of the intersection. Most Bundaberg drivers do not use these as a guide as they are normally positioned on the road right beside the centre line, as they have no idea how wide their vehicle is, or where that lefthand white line is.

Now saying all this is fine, but unfortunately there is no way currently of enlightening these ill-educated or un-educated drivers. The problem is that not only are they endangering the lives of themselves and their passengers, often small children, but they unknowingly could cause a following car to run off the road or hit another car, while they drive on in ignorance of the carnage they have caused.

If you agree with me, please write a comment. If you disagree, tell me also.


Bundy Port Happenings 6 Dec 2011

While waiting for the re-scheduled departure of the “Ocean Victory” today, I decided to have a look at the conditions in the open sea. It was very windy with quite a swell running.

But the best part of the detour occurred when I spotted a loggerhead turtle coming ashore at Oaks Beach at Burnett Heads.  She struggled for a metre or so, then rested, and repeated this routine many times.

Turtle coming ashore at Oaks Beach (Burnett Heads) 06 Dec 2011 ©2011 WoJo12

 With a group of people watching from a distance, she eventually got to the wooden steps up to the road. After nearly getting stuck under the railing, she gave up and returned to the sea. Hopefully she’ll be back later tonight.

Almost stuck at the steps, Oaks Beach 06 Dec 2011


Now, back to the original reason for this post. Laden with sugar and consequently much lower in the water, the “Ocean Victory” left the Port of Bundaberg, assisted by the tug “Ballina” late this afternoon.


"Ocean Victory" sailing down the Burnett River 06 Dec 2011 ©2011 WoJo12

NEWSFLASH – Doris is coming to Bundaberg

Watch this space, and remember, you read it here first!!!!!!!!

Innes Park Corner Store

After being vacant for some months now, the store will be re-opening later this month – hooray!!!!

More info as it comes to hand.

Ocean Victory Stranded in Bundaberg

Well, my post about the sugar ship “Ocean Victory” yesterday has proven to be not accurate, but not my doing. The ship is all loaded up and ready to go, but, alas, there is no pilot available to take the ship back out to sea.

Because of the infrequent visits of ships to our port, the pilot who navigates the ship into the river and to the sugar terminal drives down from Gladstone for the occasion. The Port of Bundaberg is controlled by the Gladstone Ports Corporation. The Harbour-Master for the Port of Bundaberg is also in Gladstone.

So we have the “Ocean Victory” in port until the scheduled departure on 7 Dec 2011, weather permitting.

In the meantime, here is another photo of the ship, swinging off the port anchor.

“Ocean Victory” arrives in port

  Well, after the strong winds in the Wide Bay have subsided sufficiently, today finally saw the arrival in port of the “Ocean Victory” from Yokohama. Scheduled originally to dock on Friday’s daylight high tide, the 169m ship was escorted up the Burnett River by the tug “Wilga” from Brisbane, and locally-based tug “Ballina”.

The "Ocean Victory" entering the Burnett River 04 Dec 2011 ©2011 WoJo12

  The most technical part of the docking is turning the ship around in the confines of the river. At the swing basin, the ship dropped its port anchor, and then the tugs begin the job of swinging the ship about the anchor.

The "Ocean Victory" almost about, while the line boat awaits the mooring lines 04 Dec 2011 ©2011 WOJO12


 The final step is to ease the vessel to the Bulk Sugar Terminal, gently pushed by the assisting tugs.

Tug "Ballina" pushing the "Ocean Victory" to the dock, pilot vessel "Kareela" already tied up 04 Dec 2011 ©2011 WoJo12

                    If everything goes according to plan, loading should be finished in time for the ship to leave on tomorrow’s daylight high tide.

Fishing for Feelings on Fishing


Kayak fishing at the mouth of the Kolan River                                       ©2008 Wojo12

Now let me say from the outset that I am not a fisherman, I am not a “greenie” nor am I an anti-cruelty activist. From my perspective, it seems that there are basically three type of fishing – fishing for food for personal consumption, fishing for fish for sale both as they are, or processed, and then there’s the so-called “sport-fishing”.

Now for the sake of the debate, let’s assume that the birds of the air were wonderful to eat. Can you picture a man in his backyard or in the bush somewhere, with a rod and reel with a hook and a worm, trying to capture a particular species for dinner. His first catch for the day happened to be a sparrow, hardly a good size for one man. He rips the hook out of the poor bird’s mouth and encourages it to fly away. He baits his hook again and dangles it in the breeze, awaiting a larger species. This time he reels in a honey-eater, which as you can imagine, put up a bigger fight than the sparrow. The man says to himself “caught one of those last week, didn’t taste too good” and again removes the hook from the stricken bird and sets it free, not knowing or caring if it survives. Undaunted, the man goes to the beach – “seagulls are biting this time of year, and they taste better as well” he says as he loads his hook with a tasty morsel. This time success, after 3 attempts he finally catches his lunch.

If this were really happening – can you imagine the outcry from the RSPCA, Greenpeace and Earth-Watch, from Bob Brown, the CWA and the Animal Liberation groups? I have no qualms about anyone fishing for food, but can we continue to allow sport fishing where marlin angling is the equivalent of the now-outlawed foxhunt. The stress to the marlin or any other fish is unknown, the damage to the health of the fish is not known, but we continue to allow this cruel “sport”. Does anyone have any research on the survival of big game fish after being hooked, hauled aboard, and severely stressed and then being thrown back into the water and forgotten? That’s it for me – let me have your views by writing a comment below.

Snippets of Bundaberg History #01b

In an earlier post, I have referred to my discovery of various objects currently emerging out of the sand at Dr May’s Point. Well, this week the low tide has been at a better time to again walk the 6km round trip from Coonarr Beach.

With an easterly wind blowing, it was amazing what was on the normally quite clean beach – among the leaves littering the shoreline, were quite a few jellyfish, commonly known as bluebottles (or Portuguese man-o’-war, Pacific man-o’-war). This species is a partially beautiful blue, but that is where the beauty finishes – contact with them can be quite dangerous. Just for variety, there were also half a dozen or so dead fish, believed to have been rejects from a trawler operating off the coast this week.

As I arrived at Dr May’s Point, I could see that this time I had timed the tides correctly and the bus chassis was clearly visible. I removed various sticks that had been caught in the wreck. I did not attempt to move the 100mm diameter steel pipe lying diagonally across the chassis. The front tyre as well as the two rear tyres are now quite visible.

The bus chassis at low tide – 25 Nov 2011

Now on further exploration of the area I found several concrete objects as well as a very vertical post. In one of Neville Rackemann’s several good books on Bundaberg, I found reference to a sighting of the steps to Dr May’s house as well as part of the septic tank. The book, “A Century of Progress”, published by the then Woongarra Shire Council, talks about an inspection in 1985 of the erosion around the mouth of the Elliott River where the two relics of the former house were then found.

Believed to be the upside-down steps from Dr May’s house – 25 Nov 2011
A very vertical post, possibly stump from Dr May’s home – 25 Nov 2011
Another concrete relic in the sands – 25 Nov 2011

Here endeth the story, but who knows what history remains under the sands at Dr May’s Point.

NEWSFLASH – African Puma seen in Bundaberg

This morning, just after first light, I was driving in Burnett Heads when I first sighted it. A slender svelte sinewy shape it was not – alas it was much larger than I had anticipated. 

Enough of this – now that I have your attention, the “African Puma” finally sailed/steamed/motored up the Burnett River to the Port. After several false starts due to engine problems and the prevailing winds, at this morning’s high tide the conditions were good.

"African Puma", aided by the tug "Ballina" 23 Nov 2011 © JoWo12

 The most dramatic part of the arrival of any ship in a port is turning the ship around. In Bundaberg, with most ships with a bow thruster, this can be achieved with just one tug when conditions are right (depth of water, wind etc). As this is the longest ship for some time, today two tugs were used – the “SMIT Leopard” came down to Bundy from Gladstone earlier in the week for the occasion.

Swinging the "African Puma" 24 Nov 2011 © JoWo12

In an earlier post I described the situation with the former “HMAS Aware”. By crikey, I just got those first photos in the nick of time – have a look at this ………………… 

The former HMAS Aware 22 Nov 2011 ©JoWo12

 That’s it from me – you have a great day