KatieKat 2004 Cruise Chapter One

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GoBackTo 2003 Cruise Chapter 22
Nov.-Dec. 2003 Getting Settled
1 January 2004 New Year's
18 January 2004 Tourists
25 January 2004 Aussie Signs
26 January 2004 Australia Day
GoFwdTo 2004 Cruise Chapter Two

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This is our first webpage for 2004. We haven't sailed the boat anywhere yet this year, but, instead, rented a car and visited some inland areas. Be sure to check out some of the roadsigns peculiar to Australia.

November - December, 2003 -- Getting Settled

After arriving back in Manly, Queensland, we initially scurried around getting things organized, but then collapsed into a semi-vegetative state as we unwound after our ocean-crossing adventures. I had to return to California for a couple of weeks in early December, while Kathy stayed in Australia and happily spent her days becoming re-acquainted with her old familiar haunts of Manly (where our boat is) and nearby Brisbane (her favorite city).

[KatieKat East Coast Marina] [KatieKat Trussed Up]

KatieKat happily strapped in at East Coast Marina. A fair number of summer storms come blasting through, which necessitates trussing up the boat to the short dock. Note the TV antenna held up with the spinnaker halyard, which, combined with a DIGITAL TV tuner (free off-the-air, NOT SATELLITE), provides a crystal-clear picture to our two televisions. Decadent.

[Model Boats] Boats of all sizes appear in Manly Harbour, one of the largest marina complexes in the Southern Hemisphere. Note the large number of catamarans.

[Kathy Bicycle] [Not for Offroad Use]

In the interceding year, another one of our bicycles mysteriously disappeared, so Kathy gets a present: a shiny new red mountain bike. Check out the label! Lawyers hard at work.

[Sign Bicycles Only] Generally speaking, riding a bicycle on city streets in this country is a death-defying act, although there are many beautiful pathways shared by pedestrians and bicycles. This path in Brisbane was quite unusual and, of course, at that moment I was a pedestrian hoping to utilize this shortcut over a very busy traffic area :-)

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1 January, 2004 -- New Year's

[Fireworks] [Train]

Australians love fireworks, and many cities had two fireworks shows: one at 9:00pm for the kiddies, and the second one at midnight. In Brisbane, we painted the town, watched the 9:00pm show, then took the train home to KatieKat where we enjoyed watching the fabulous midnight fireworks show from Sydney.

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18 January 2004 - Tourists

In mid-January we rented a car and did some sightseeing, among other places visiting Sydney, Canberra, and the Seawind factory in Wollongong.

[Texas] [Welcome to Texas]

From the train museum in Ipswich (sorry, I was so fascinated I forgot to take photos) we inadvertently drove West, with these signs further confirming we were lost!

[Flinders Statue] In Sydney, we went to the Matthew Flinders exhibit in the New South Wales State Library - Flinders having charted a good part of Australia and confirming Tasmania as an island with a strait between it and the mainland. Can you believe, some of his charts were still in use 150 years later! This statue near the library commemorates his achievements. Note also the statue of his cat, Trim

[Star Princess] [Ship Harbour Bridge] [Kathy & Joe]

As I understand it, the Star Princess was, until the new Queen Mary, the largest cruise ship in the world. We attended a concert at the Opera House and during the break watched the ship maneuver away from the dock. It's too large to fit under the Harbour Bridge!

[Sink] What did I like about the Opera House? In addition to the usual, I found the sinks in the bathroom quite interesting: simply an undulating unbroken counter, with the water flowing down to a single channel in the rear. Surely must be easier to keep this single piece of composite clean instead of a dozen individual sinks.

We drove on to Canberra, the capitol of Australia, and visited their great museums and library. The city is magnificently layed-out, with a beautiful lake and very dramatic buildings. The War Memorial is a wonderful tribute to the Australian military - Australians are very proud and respectful of their veterans' efforts. Kathy is a WWI buff and spent many hours poring over the massive exhibits at the museum.

[Fountain] [Museum View] [War Museum]

The center photo is the view from the War Memorial.

[Carillion] [Carillion Closeup]

The floodlit Carillion towers over the lake. Pity we didn't get a chance to hear the bells.

I'm afraid I personally have a problem with art galleries. The National Gallery of Australia has some wonderful works, but others leave me cold (I guess I ain't got no couth).

[Plain Painting] [Placard]

This blank piece of canvas looked to my untrained eye as though someone simply took some paint and rolled it on. Perhaps I should have looked at it with a magnifying glass? The placard writer has a definite career in marketing.

[Cribbing] [Placard]

This stack of fairly low-quality 4x4's looks like the cribbing in my backyard which I use to support the boat on dry land. The top crosspiece has an eyebolt with a chain dangling from it. I guess that's what makes it art.

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25 January 2004 - Australian Signs

Road signs never cease to tickle my warped sense of humor (humour), and are a great source for vividly demonstrating cultural differences.

[Sign Pedestrians] My favorite sign, probably installed by the local ambulance crew hoping to drum up business.

[Sign Motorcyclist] I guess there's a problem with riding a motorcycle on this beautiful mountain road. Earlier, there had been a similar sign, but with a car in the picture. They're trying to tell us something, but whatever it is, it sure isn't obvious. [I know, I know, it's a "slippery when wet" sign, but why for a motorcycle and not a car and why for only 5km on this much longer mountain road?]

[Sign Variable Speed Limit] [Speed Limit]

Speed camera warnings are everywhere, often accompanied by the speed limit posted right on the sign. Is this what they mean by a variable speed limit?

[Sign Deformation] You're zooming down the highway and this sign pops up. By the time you're halfway through reading it, its message hasn't even begun to sink in (pun intended) as you pass it. I did a U-turn and came back to re-read it. The road was perfectly flat and smooth with minimal undulations. Best I can figure, it's the road crew covering their butts in case the road does exhibit sinkage... hmmm, or should we watch out for sink holes?

[Sign Please Minimize Noise] Many of the Australian road signs are quite courteous, with this being just one example. I like that.

[Sign Emus] [Sign Koalas]

Critter signs we don't see back home.

OK, 'nuff already!

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26 January 2004 - Australia Day

It's wonderful how the Aussies celebrate our wedding anniversary with a parade and fireworks show, coincidentally also being Australia Day.

[Hawgs] Preceding the parade came a sizeable contingent of Hawgs.

[Stilt Guy] [Stilt Guy Recovery]

It almost looked as though a gust of wind caught this butterfly guy on stilts unawares and sent him tumbling. Ouch!

[Polish Parade] [Agnieszka Joe Dancing]

Seeing the youth in Polish costumes in the parade brought me back to my younger days when I was part of a Polish folk dancing group.

[Joe Kathy Restaurant] [Fireworks] [Fireworks]

We had our traditional anniversary dinner in the Irish restaurant and then watched the fireworks being blasted in unison from two barges on the Brisbane River. Cool!

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