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The cruise up to Brisbane (about eight hundred kilometres) gave us an opportunity to find our way around the ship and to sample its various pastimes. The ship made it's way along the Brisbane to the Brisbane Cruise Terminal. It was some time since either of us had been in Brisbane so we went into town to see what's changed and to do a little shopping. We needed more wine for our cabin and I needed something that would float for the boat building competition on board (maybe empty wine bottles?); as well as some tools like: box cutters; string; and duct tape. See our final design later on.


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above: Heading down the Brisbane River at a crawl - but no tugs
below: Brisbane CBD.


We found some previously unseen buildings in the CBD and new construction under way along the river.  The Art Gallery, now close to the river, was also new to me.


Queensland Art Gallery

The Queensland Gallery has a fine collection of works by iconic 19th and early 20th Century Australian artists (Lambert, Bunny etc) that complement those in the Melbourne Sydney and Adelaide collections. There are also a few well known British; French; other European; and American artists represented. Overall it's a very nice collection but no other Australian State can compete with the Victorian collection.


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The Queensland Gallery





On the way up, through the Coral Sea, we had an unexpected diversion back into Australian coastal waters for two medical evacuations. Someone had suffered a serious heart attack and another had slipped in the shower and broken his hip - or so his wife explained to us later.

She was unable to accompany him and was obliged to complete the cruise alone - with two pre-purchased liquor allowances: quel dommage.


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Two helicopter medical evacuations to Mackay - one heart attack and one fall in the bathroom - broken hip.


The helicopters don't land - the patient is sedated; strapped to a stretcher; and hoisted up - a bit like an Assumption (Protestants may need to Google this procedure).


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En route again - passing through the Lousuade Archipelago on the way.


Once the extractions were over we were well off course and several hours behind schedule - so we took off at 23 knots towards Rabaul - passing through the Lousuade Archipelago on the way.


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Central Australia



In June 2021 Wendy and I, with our friends Craig and Sonia (see: India; Taiwan; JapanChina; and several countries in South America)  flew to Ayer's Rock where we hired a car for a short tour of Central Australia: Uluru - Alice Springs - Kings Canyon - back to Uluru. Around fifteen hundred kilometres - with side trips to the West MacDonnell Ranges; and so on.

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Fiction, Recollections & News

To Catch a Thief

(or the case of the missing bra)




It's the summer of 2010; the warm nights are heavy with the scent of star jasmine; sleeping bodies glisten with perspiration; draped, as modestly requires, under a thin white sheet.  A light breeze provides intermittent comfort as it wafts fitfully through the open front door. 

Yet we lie unperturbed.   To enter the premises a nocturnal visitor bent on larceny, or perhaps an opportunistic dalliance, must wend their way past our parked cars and evade a motion detecting flood-light on the veranda before confronting locked, barred doors securing the front and rear entrances to the house.

Yet things are going missing. Not watches or wallets; laptops or phones; but clothes:  "Did you put both my socks in the wash?"  "Where's my black and white striped shirt?" "I seem to be missing several pairs of underpants!"

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Opinions and Philosophy

Carbon Capture and Storage (original)

(Carbon Sequestration)




Carbon Sequestration Source: Wikimedia Commons


At the present state of technological development in NSW we have few (perhaps no) alternatives to burning coal.  But there is a fundamental issue with the proposed underground sequestration of carbon dioxide (CO2) as a means of reducing the impact of coal burning on the atmosphere. This is the same issue that plagues the whole current energy debate.  It is the issue of scale. 

Disposal of liquid CO2: underground; below the seabed; in depleted oil or gas reservoirs; or in deep saline aquifers is technically possible and is already practiced in some oil fields to improve oil extraction.  But the scale required for meaningful sequestration of coal sourced carbon dioxide is an enormous engineering and environmental challenge of quite a different magnitude. 

It is one thing to land a man on the Moon; it is another to relocate the Great Pyramid (of Cheops) there.

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