KatieKat 2004 Cruise Chapter Eleven

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GoBackTo 2004 Cruise Chapter Ten
5 August 2004 Ekka
8 August 2004 Raw Nerve
11 August 2004 Dockwise Yacht Transport
13 August 2004 Leaving Australia
15 August 2004 Australia Epilogue
GoFwdTo 2004 Cruise Chapter Twelve

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5 August, 2004 -- Ekka

Ekka is the Queensland equivalent of a State Fair with all the hoopla associated with such a very popular large-scale event - the Brisbane area even declares a Wednesday during the fair as a public holiday so everyone can attend. We had a great time and Kathy especially enjoyed all the critters (we've been pet-deprived)!

[Kathy Stadium] The event stadium had livestock judging underway while we were there. In another part of the complex there was a livestock auction in progress.

[Very rounded horns with ends shaped like muted trumpets] [Horn description]

The horns on this critter were truly unique!

[Outback Station] A simulated outback cabin (I forgot the Aussie name for it) was on display, with all the trappings (including a live border collie, which unfortunately moved just as I snapped the photo).

[Outback Station] Schoolkids in their uniforms are a common sight.

[Dogs being paraded] [Papillon dog]

Pooch judging. Papillon dogs' ears should be great at removing cobwebs from tight corners, and if they roll over they can also mop the floor.

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8 August, 2004 -- Raw Nerve

Raw Nerve is a unique ocean-racing catamaran which this year shattered a number of overall race record times - notably, the Brisbane to Gladstone Race and Pittwater to Lord Howe Island. I was delighted to be able to view it up-close when it pulled into our East Coast Marina dock in Manly. Here's a sailboat that produces long distance open-ocean (i.e., rough water) average passage speeds of over 15 knots, with peak boatspeeds in the 25 knot range! Way cool!!

[Raw Nerve from a distance] Raw Nerve as viewed from shore.

[Raw Nerve bow view] [Raw Nerve side view] [Raw Nerve aft view] [Raw Nerve mast and distance side view]

This is one high-tech boat! KatieKat's more comfortable :-)

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11 August, 2004 -- Dockwise Yacht Transport

Dockwise Yacht Transport is a yacht shipping outfit which has a unique method for loading boats: it's actually a floating drydock, which means the ship sinks down, the boats sail onto the ship, and then the ship is slowly raised as underwater divers secure the boats into place. For sailboats this is especially nice because the mast doesn't need to be unstepped.

[Dockwise ship high in water] [Dockwise ship seen from KatieKat]

Our first view of the ship, the day before loading. The high-and-dry boats still need to be offloaded. Note how high off the water the ship is.

[Sunset view of anchored boats]That evening, we anchored across the river from the ship and were joined by many of the boats which were going to be onloaded the next day.

[Dockwise ship low in water]Dockwise ship the morning of unloading/loading. Note how low in the water she is.

[Dockwise ship high in water] [Dockwise ship seen from KatieKat]

Milling about during the loading process. We were the last ones on. Having twin engines on KatieKat REALLY made the actual docking effortless compared to some of the other boats, one of whom radio'd to the ship that his maneuverability was akin to that of a "flying hippopotamus".

[KatieKat on ship] [KatieKat on ship] [KatieKat on ship]

KatieKat was last to be loaded, and there she's going to sit during the open-ocean passage, her aft end fully exposed, because the ship has no rear door!

The ship first goes to Auckland, New Zealand, and from there directly to Vancouver. Overall, a great concept and an interesting scheme which requires a fair amount of diligence on the part of the crew during the sinking and raising process.

[Joe and Kathy on hilltop overlooking Brisbane]My insurance carrier in the US required a boat survey, and I utilized the services of Paul Slivka, an ex-pat Yank from the SF Bay Area who is very multihull-knowledgeable, himself owning a trimaran which he built and sailed across to Australia many moons ago. While visiting Paul in his office, he proudly produced a cherished old trophy which will be recognized by some of my old sailing buddies. Paul was able to get onto the Dockwise ship and inspect KatieKat from underneath and he graciously tied off a few loose ends on the boat as well (e.g., immobilized the windgen).

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13 August, 2004 -- Leaving Australia

After putting KatieKat onto the ship, we were graciously hosted by Andrew and Sonja Crawford for a couple of days while awaiting our own flight departure. In his spare time Andrew writes for the Australian Multihull World magazine and is currently in-between cruising cats, having sold his previous 30' cat Water Dragon (but he does have a beach cat to play with).

[Joe and Kathy on hilltop overlooking Brisbane] Andrew took us to a hilltop overlooking the city for one last view of Brisbane.

[Joe and Kathy on hilltop overlooking Brisbane] Giving away my trustyrusty bicycle - looks awful, but mechanically it works just great. The sign says: "FREE to good home (free even to bad home)". Hope another cruiser gets to use it.

[Kathy by Queensland the Smart State sign] [Kathy Brisbane Airport sign]

We both had the sniffles as we were getting onto the plane, as Australia has provided us with so many happy memories.

[Dockwise ship from airplane] [Dockwise ship from airplane] [Dockwise ship from airplane closeup]

View of the Dockwise ship as we were taking off! I swear I can see KatieKat in that last photo.

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15 August, 2004 -- Australia Epilogue

We were indeed very sad to leave Australia, as we had just spent four of the more memorable years of our lives in this wonderful part of the world. The friendliness of the people and the diverse country itself have provided us with many happy memories.

Now that we're safely out of the country and out of reach by a lynch mob, here are the three most FRUSTRATING :-) things that I found about Australia:

1. Shopping Trolleys with All Four Wheels Articulated.
The millions of people who on a daily basis have to struggle with this questionable design feature perhaps don't appreciate the difference when the rear wheels are locked in place, especially on sloping parking lots.

[Australian trolley] [Safeway US shopping cart]

On the left is an Australian trolley (in New Zealand they're called trundlers). On the right is a US shopping cart. Note the articulating rear wheels on the Australian trolley and the locked rear wheels on the US cart. The number of back injuries resulting from the Australian design must be phenomenal... hmm, maybe it's a ploy by the chiropractors and massage therapists?...

2. No Left Turn on Red Light
In Australia one drives on the left; thus, at a traffic light a left turn is made from the left lane into the left lane. Considering that most of the traffic lights aren't triggered but simply operate on a fixed cycle (this is changing, thank goodness), the amount of time wasted by people unable to make a left turn when there is no cross-traffic must be significant. Maybe I'm too impatient and it's just the Type A SiliconValley conditioning from my past life rearing its ugly head.

3. No Daylight Savings Time in Queensland
Sorry, but here's a situation that would significantly benefit the 8-5 city workers. On balance, my uninformed impression is that there would be less of a negative impact upon the farmers who are the primary opponents of this concept. It's a shame to lose an hour of daylight on those beautiful summer evenings, as it still would be light enough in the mornings for construction work to start early. New South Wales does it, so why not Queensland?

So there you have it, the three worst things I have to say about Australia. :-)

Let me simply end by thanking all those wonderful people in Australia and New Zealand who made our life so pleasant - complete strangers, friendly, knowledgeable, and engaging, who took us in and showed us the wonders of these countries and their people. We've simply had a delightful four years in your part of the world!

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