Monday, May 28, 2012


1770 is a lovely little harbour, the first spot in Queensland that James Cook landed.

There was a festival in the camp site.

Blues singer


Man in crowd

 Woman in crowd

 Round Hill Head

 I don't want to come to dinner!

Trim in a beach cafe

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sandy Strait to Bundy

We spent a peaceful night up Kauri Creek, on the mainland side of the Great Sandy Strait.

 Pelican at Kauri Creek

We left at dawn, and motor-sailed up through the Great Sandy Strait to Urangan, managing to to get a fishing line round the prop, which involved a swim. Mental note: do not mix spinnakers and fishing!

 Hervey Bay

Sand banks and sky at Hervey Bay

A big day reprovisioning in Urangan, and various small repairs, before we spent the night on the Fraser Island side of the Strait at Moon Point.

 Welding a rod holder

Then on Thursday 24th, a big kite run across Hervey Bay to Bundaberg. The forecast is for a wet couple of days, so we aim to sit quietly here until the weather clears.

Bundaberg was badly trashed in the floods last year, and the town is feeling a bit sorry for itself.

 Flax and She-oaks

 Great Egret

Bundy sunset

 A Super Maramu

Tug and dredge as we left Bundy at dawn

Monday, May 21, 2012


There is a sub-culture one comes across when cruising up the Queensland coast, of crabbers who support themselves catching crabs and fish. Its a lifestyle suited to Vietnam Vets and the like. Often quite friendly and colourful.

Newport and Mooloolaba

After a quiet few days on my own in Moreton Bay, sailing, hanging out, playing with my new camera (a Nikon D800) and learning software (Lightroom 4 and Final Cut Pro X) I washed up on the jetty of some Seawind friends, Andrew and Aida Stevenson in Newport.

They showered me with hospitality for two days, which was most enjoyable.

Then on to Mooloolaba, where George joined me. The next day we set off at dawn for Fraser Island and the Wide Bay Bar, the most tricky spot on Queenslands East Coast.

Mooloolaba trawlers

Monday, May 14, 2012

Photo sabbatical

People interested in photography might relate to some of what follows. Others may not.

For many years, the dominant camera type was 35mm film. Then along came digital, which was much cheaper to shoot with, but had less definition than film. Digital cameras have improved, with Single Lens Reflex ones (DSLRs) having, until recently, mostly 24mm chips to catch light the way film does. The Nikon version of these are called DX cameras.

Many lenses from the old film cameras work fine with these cameras, though they are heavier than they need to be. So a generation of smaller, lighter, DX lenses were marketed.

A few years ago Nikon, Canon and some other camera companies started producing DSLRs with bigger 35mm chips, like the old film cameras. Nikon calls these FX, or full-frame. These use the old film camera lenses to advantage.

I have had a Nikon D300 camera for the last few years. Its a DX camera with the smaller chip.

I have always thought that there would be more FX cameras produced, and have been deliberately buying up old FX style lenses off eBay while not many people have wanted them. I have been waiting for a new FX Nikon to come out.

In February the Nikon D800 was announced. Better than everyone had hoped for. It is full-frame with a 35mm chip, and 36 megapixels. Finally there is a digital camera as good as a 35mm film camera. How many digital pixels correlates to quality film is an old debate, but this camera has plenty.

I smacked my order in to B&H in New York within hours of the news. Then three months of waiting.... A fright at the end, when the tracking website announced it had been delivered to our home, and there was no sign of it. It eventually surfaced at the Post Office just as our next cruise on Nimrod was due. 

I have come on alone a week before George, and am immersing myself in manuals, and tutorial videos about the camera, Lightroom 4, and Final Cut Pro X software, while sailing Nimrod slowly up through Moreton Bay.

Lots to learn.

Here are some images arising from Lightroom homework.
This photo of a Melbourne tram was taken with an iPhone. Notice the two-tone blurred lights, which are because I was using HDR, which involves a double exposure, the first over-exposed and the second under-exposed.

Best of All lookout, Springbrook

Bayview Harbour

Pelicans discussing architecture

Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron at Canaipa.

Lithium batteries

I recently went through the exercise of researching and deciding to change Nimrod's batteries from Lead-acid AGM to Lithium.

I have made a web-page to describe the project, which you can see here.

The editor of Cruising Helmsman has expressed an interest in publishing it.

The Lithium batteries have replaced the AGM batteries with the following gains.
  1. Weight reduction from 192kg to 64kg.
  2. Usable capacity increase from 120ah to 280ah.
  3. Space saving by nearly half.
  4. Life expectancy increased by about three times.
  5. Money saving of $500 to $1,200.
So far sea-trials are favourable.