KatieKat 2001 Cruise Chapter Eight

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October 2001KatieKat 2001 Cruise Chapter Nine
26 September 2001 Kathy in Alice Springs
25 September 2001Port Douglas
15 September 2001Horrified
10 September 2001Lizard Island
Late-August 2001KatieKat 2001 Cruise Chapter Seven

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This is the eighth webpage of our cruise covering the year 2001. The purpose of the cruise webpages is to let family and friends know what is going on in our lives. The "Interest" column identifies the target audience, and is intended to spare you baby-picture slide-show agony. This is one long continuous page, and clicking on any of the underlined dates above should jump your screen to the appropriate section on this page (or you can use the scrollbar on the right to navigate up and down this page). Joe Siudzinski

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26 September, 2001 -- Kathy in Alice Springs

While we were holed up in Port Douglas, Kathy took the opportunity to make a one-week trip to central Australia, travelling on back roads to Alice Springs and then a camping trip to fabled Ayers Rock, Kings Canyon, and the Olgas. She returned exhausted but happy, having seen zillions of desert flowers, colorful birds, and a very poisonous Brown snake. In addition to the singing dingo at a roadhouse outside Alice Springs, the, uh, "culling" of the energetic and fast-moving snake at the Tobermory Station by the stockman was the highlight of her trip (go figure...) - no photo of that action.

[Grand Hotel] Kathy stayed at the 100-year-old Grand Hotel in Hughenden, a classic hotel/pub.

[Windmill] A great sunset shot of the windmill in Boulia. Boulia is where the huge high-stakes annual (?) camel races are held.

[Truck] You've heard of four-wheel-drive: this is an eight-wheel-drive truck, typical of the rugged vehicles in the Australian Outback.

[Ayers Rock] [Ayers Rock Kathy] [Ayers Rock]

Kathy visited Ayers Rock, an aboriginal sacred ground and central to their religion. Unfortunately, one of the aboriginal Elders had recently died, and thus the rock climb was closed out of respect for him.

[Kathy Camel] At the campground at Kings Creek Station, Kathy ventured out on a dromedary, pursued by Aussie blokes.

[Kings Canyon LookDown] Kathy joined her fellow campers for the traditional photo at Kings Canyon, tentatively peering over the edge. She's back there somewhere, cowering. I'm sure glad I missed that one!

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25 September, 2001 -- Port Douglas

Strong southeast winds interrupted our progress down the coast, so we're spending a couple of weeks in Port Douglas. Mike and Hania went on a few diving trips with the various charter boats operating from here, whereas I took the opportunity to tidy up the boat and do some preventive maintenance and a few more boat upgrades. Reactivated the bicycles (they left some ugly stains on the cabintop) and have been wandering around the countryside on them. Despite its somewhat higher cost, Port Douglas is a great place to stay for boaters, as almost all of the town's amenities are closeby - especially the huge supermarket (but the hardware store is a 20-minute bikeride away). TV reception is good, so we've been intently watching events unfold both at home and around the world (the live US Today show is on at 2:00am).

[Cooktown Bowls Club] An evening out on the town in Cooktown, with friends Ray and Sally Roth from the catamaran "Raptor". From left to right are Mike, Ray, Sally, Kathy, Joe, and Hania.

[KatieKat Sailing] Sailing from Cooktown to Port Douglas, with Cape Bedford in the background. Photo by Ray Roth off catamaran "Raptor". Mike and Hania are visible standing in the cockpit.

[Grounded Keelboat] A moment's inattention by this singlehander leaving reef-strewn Hope Island resulted in an unfortunate grounding. He sat fully exposed as the tide went out - this photo was taken when he was close to being back afloat on an incoming tide. Luckily, only a few scratches and a bruised ego.

[Port Douglas Marina] Proudly flying our larger American flag off the topping lift at the Marina Mirage in Port Douglas.

[Port Douglas View] [Port Douglas Mike View]

View of Port Douglas from Island Point up above the town. The marina on Dickson Inlet is in the first photo, whereas Mike is looking over Four-Mile Beach on the windward side of town.

[Kathy Orchids] Kathy checking out the orchids at the local open-air Sunday market.

[Port Douglas War Memorial] [Port Douglas Park Sign]

Kathy by the War Memorial in the park at Port Douglas. The sign in front of the park is wonderfully refreshing, when contrasted with the restrictive ones throughout most of the country.

[Port Douglas Graffiti] Graffiti, Port Douglas style.

[BBQ Repair] [BBQ Repair Mike]

Dismantled and cleaned the BBQ, with Mike getting right into it.

[Steam Train viewed from KatieKat] [Steam Train] [Steam Train]

Like most boys growing up in Britain (for that matter, all over the world), I had a fascination with steam trains - there was a railway station behind our house in London, and I remember taking the Flying Scotsman from London to Edinburgh a few times. I haven't smelled the unique aroma of a real coal-burning steam train in years, and here was this wonderful old narrow-gauge steam train chugging right in front of KatieKat docked at the marina in Port Douglas!

[Mike Hania KatieKat] Mike and Hania on the day of their departure.

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15 September, 2001 -- Horrified

Being out of radio or tv contact at Lizard Island (and normally not bothering to listen to short-wave broadcasts), we learned about the events via a special announcement which preceded the 0633 VHF weather broadcast just as we were leaving Lizard Island going back to Cooktown. In Cooktown, we stayed glued to the tv set, with a number of stations beaming in CNN directly as all local programming had been usurped. Our range of emotions is probably similar to everyone else's in the world, my own being one of extreme sadness and frustration - for the families and friends of the victims and for all peoples of the world for our inability to find a means to co-exist peacefully despite our ideological differences.

We are currently in Port Douglas, where ex-president Clinton had just been on the day of the tragedy.

[Newspaper Headlines] Just a few of the newspaper headlines which overrode everything for this entire week. Note Kathy's new yellow orchid - perhaps symbolic of our grief.

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10 September, 2001 -- Lizard island

Polish friends Michael and Anna Kielczewski came from Poznan through London and Singapore to Brisbane and then up to Cooktown by bus (a total five-day journey, as the buses do not go from Cairns to Cooktown on Mondays) and together we high-tailed it back up to magical Lizard Island. Unfortunately for Mike (a diving instructor) we were unable to rent tanks in either Cooktown or Lizard Island, but the snorkeling on the island as well as the Reef (Cormorant Pass is only a two-hour sail away) was fantastic. Wish I had an underwater housing for my digital camera! The hikes on Lizard Island are excellent exercise, with the climb to the top of Cook's Lookout being well worth the spectacular views. This island was one of Cook's major viewpoints for charting the coastline and Reef in 1770 - at that time one of his fears was that he might be boxed in between the reef and the mainland and be unable to beat his way to windward to get out. Yes, Lizard Island has lizards, and the only time I saw one of the big ones (over a metre long!) I didn't have my camera with me :-(

[Lizard Map] Snapshot of a map (CAMTAS Small Craft Chart) showing Lizard Island in relationship to the Great Barrier Reef. Cooktown is slightly west and about 55 miles south of Lizard Island.

[Lizard Island View] [Lizard Island View Kathy] [Lizard Island View Kathy KatieKat]

Watson's Bay provides excellent shelter from the chop and swells caused by the typically strong southeast tradewinds. Snorkeling over to the nearby reefs right off the anchored boat in the warm clear water is very pleasant. KatieKat is one of the specks roughly in the center of the photos. In addition to zillions of varied fish, giant clams are one of the major attractions of these reefs (sorry, no photo).

[Cook's Lookout Kathy Joe] [Cook's Lookout Foursome]

Proof that we all hiked up there! Somewhat windy.

[Flower] [Flowers Kathy] [Flowers Kathy View]

Flowers (you expect me to say more?)

[Four on BikeBoat] [Four on BikeBoat]

The utility of BikeBoat continues to amaze everyone. Having four people on board was no problem, though pedalling against a 25-knot tradewind a few days later was good exercise. Same photo, just cropped.

[Sea Turtle] This sea turtle was our constant companion during our stay at Lizard Island.

[BikeBoat on Beach] Sheesh! You'd think I was into artsy photos or something.

[Kathy Cookies] Kathy pointing to the still-hot pan (we had hung the pan on the steering wheel to cool off) on which she made Dorothy Darden's (Adagio) Boatmeal cookies. The results of the experiment were delicious! Next time we'll try using the barbie.

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