Ponderings of a retired Tasmanian, photographing, animal loving, book reading, travelling, motorbike riding penguin, growing old disgracefully, who still loves old Penguin books and sharing our world with others.
I had some interest by some to know more about the boat trip I wrote about yesterday on the Huon River in Tasmania.
I found the brochure from Yukon Tours this morning and thought I would share the information from it with you. Just a short post.
The blurb on the back of the brochure describes the boat as this:
Built of Oak in 1930 the privately owned Danish sailing vessel Yukon was rescued in 1997, by Australian shipwright David Nash and his Danish wife Ea Lassen, from the bottom of a harbour near Copenhagen and carefully restored Yukon is available for private and corporate group bookings, accommodating 8 overnight and 28 day guests The crew are ask experienced sailors. They always aim to give you a joyful and safe adventure.
On the 30th of March two of my friends and I decided to have a ‘local’ adventure and drive down to the small town of Franklin in the Huon Valley to do an afternoon tour on a small ship that goes up and down the river.
We were on the water for about 2.5 hours and enjoyed a brilliant day out of sunshine, mild breezes and the best food. All of the food and wine is produced in the local Huon Valley. We had locally smoked pork (the meat eaters amongst us), salad, pickled onion and radish type treats as well as the best local cheese and home baked bread one could ask for. The food was served to each of us in, what I can only describe as a small horse trough shaped container. It was very clever. Everything was packaged up and was a great deal of fun to explore. We found too many goodies to eat to remember. We were busy gnawing our way through it all.
Tasmanian wines were sampled as well but as I was driving so my sampling ability was rather limited. The guy up front told us a bit about the boat.
I think the photos will speak for themselves as to how much fun we had. It was a wonderful Saturday Wander.
A friend and I had a fun time at the book launch last week of political cartoonist Jon Kudelka and writer Jim Jeffrey’s book. Mike Bowers, Guardian Australia photographer also came along and facilitated the conversation. The three kept us entertained about their adventures with parliamentarians in Canberra. Their little book is called The Wonks’ Dictionary. This book is very much for Australians as the federal election has been called for the 18th of May. It was an enjoyable evening as they related tales of the Ausssie pollies we all love to make fun of. The jokes about Michaelia Cash’s hair in windy interviews had many wonderful chuckles. It never moves. I won’t even mention the pages they read about Eric Abetz. Let it suffice there were snorts and chortles.
Another note is our book group read and discussed The EverlastingSunday by Robert Lukins. This story of the English blizzard of 1962 involved teen boys who were placed at a school/home for “boys who trouble had found”. The reader senses an ominous start to this book from the beginning. The combination of the personalities, leadership of the school and the ongoing blizzard made me a bit on edge. At first I couldn’t adjust to the writing style but others in the group weren’t bothered by it. Too many adjectives and “try hard” descriptors for my taste but I thought the second half of the book was much better. Members disagreed widely on this novel that is the author’s debut and up for several awards. Some loved it, one wanted her money back. I liked the concept for the story. It held my attention and I worried about a couple of the boys. However there was one girl character the group all thought had not been developed enough and we wondered why she was included. A couple of the characters were developed well while others weren’t so much and the inconsistency bothered a couple of our members, myself included. I thought it quite a good book as a debut and would read more by this author. His previous works have been short stories in several literary magazines. I thought the novel began like a bit of a short story that got away from him but settled down into a novel again. I could feel the transition.
I continue to peruse photography books and magazines in anticipation of my trip in May. The latest one being Why You Like This Photo by Brian Dilg. It opens with a lovely quote by Werner Heisenberg:
“Nobody sees a flower-really-it is so small it takes time-we haven’t time-and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.”
This weekend has been very busy with photography. Getting ready for the Wooden Boat Festival on Friday (see my last post if interested) and several of us photographers participated in a Saturday Photojournalism course for the day. We had some theoretical information and photos on the screen (wall) as examples. Then we split into three groups and off we went amongst the millions are Salamanca market. This market is large enough but with tourists pouring into town and a cruise ship emptying about 3000 more tourists into the area it was full on.
Our team had a brief to photograph. We were assigned a task to develop a story of jewellery or fashion. Our team just could not get it together. Five people on the team and five different directions people wanted to go. I don’t feel we satisfied the brief of showing beginning, middle and end photos that told a story but we had fun and did get a few good shots. Overall we were just concentrating on photographs that tell a story.
Then today was the Chinese community festival on Parliament Lawns. So much good food. I’m glad I left my money in my motorbike a couple blocks away as I could have eaten a lot. The smells alone were worth money. I got a few photos but I could have had more if I hadn’t of fudged the settings on my camera and drastically overexposed several. Was kicking myself once I got home. I’ll share a few here from the weekend that weren’t so bad.
This coming Thursday our book group meets and we’ll be discussing the book The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker. It will be interesting what our group members thought of it. I’ll do a post about it once we’ve met.
I’m reading the Newspaper of Claremont Street by Elizabeth Jolley now and really enjoying it. Quite short and I should be through with it soon. So more on that later too.
Well the whole weekend is about trying to get the perfect shot and there have been lots of laughs along the way. A good distraction from the fires which are still going. But I’ve decided not to think of them today. Nothing I can do about it anyway except support those wildlife organisations I like.
Coming up on Friday next week is the largest wooden boat festival in the world. Right here in Hobart. Our photography club has many members who have volunteered to be event photographers. I have not photographed events seriously in the past so this will be a good place to start. The event will have approximately 400,000 people attending over the four days of next weekend. Friday though Monday.
Yesterday I attended an induction for volunteers. Without volunteers the event would not survive. It is held bi-yearly in Hobart. I have attended in the past but never volunteered. I am not a boat person. I get very seasick on the water. But I do appreciate the expertise and workmanship that goes into these wooden boats. We will have everything on display from dinghies to tall ships. People attend from all over the world. I see there is an American pavilion so I might drop in and say hello. The event is staged in the Hobart wharf area which is a beautiful spot.
There will be about 30 photographers from our club. Once spaces were filled by club members remaining spaces opened up to photographers outside of the club. It feels like a job. There will be a morning, afternoon and evening shift. I will probably try to work the morning and evening shifts especially if weather is hot. We supply the event coordinators the photos and they choose what they want for marketing and publication.
Tomorrow I will be attending a day long photo-journalism course. We will have assignments around the Salamanca market to complete. There will be lots of people in the area as the market is on and there are lots of tourists in town. Though I am slightly intimidated I think it will be interesting and fun. Several others I know will be in the workshop too. It goes from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm.
Other good news is…..Remember the photographs I submitted of the African animals to Australian Photographic magazine’s competition for Wildlife Photographer of the Year? No, I did not come near to winning. The winning photos were truly stunning but I did get a highly commended certificate mailed to me. That meant my images went through not one shortlist but two. I was thrilled. It is a big honour for me who has only been participating in photography seriously between two and three years. Now I’m inspired to keep going and enter more challenges, not because I ever expect to win but they are so much fun and hoping for a win is enough.
I have been sorting through some of my Sri Lanka photos and came up with a short portfolio of portraiture I did. I’ll close out the post with those photos.
I’ve been in a reading slump for a couple of weeks but feel I’m out of it and am ready to pick up some books off my shelf and start them. I’ll be pretty busy with the festival but that might be a good way to relax at night to get the boats and water out of my head enough to fall asleep at night. More to come….
Sadly, Tasmania is burning and it just has everyone on edge and filled with sadness. The fires began in our wilderness areas from lightning strikes from a dry storm we had a few weeks ago. They seem to be spreading from west to east. They have now approached residential parts of the state in the southwest and central highlands. People are evacuating everywhere.
Tasmania has very good fire management strategies and so far there has been no loss of life though a few houses have now gone.
The smoke not only blankets our state, it has been reported that it has reached New Zealand.
Fires are unrelenting in our high temperatures blanketing out state and they really cause people to feel depressed. I feel very sad for the people leaving their homes for evacuation shelters and camping in large football ovals in this heat. I also feel very sad for the animals. Wildlife flee, people with horse trailers collect farm animals and move them to large paddocks that have been volunteered away from the fires. People really rise to the occasion and provide amazing relief on all counts.
Lots of donations being made to the dogs home and the woman who is organising paddocks for farm animals. A pet taxi service in Hobart has been collecting domestic pets and driving them to refuge as well.
One feels helpless watching. Everyone wants to do something but is not equipped to do more than donate money to those working. There have been warnings to stay away unless on official business.
Of course there has been one looter caught and another in a campground in the eastern half of the state that is currently fire free lighting a large campfire. Both have been charged and will go through the courts. One can only wonder what these morons think about. There has also been some arsonist that started another fire that diverted one of the helicopters away from the main blazes to put this fire out. I must admit my thoughts run to the days of public floggings.
Like the rest of the country, we need rain. Except Queensland which has floods raging in the north. Isn’t that always the way. We also need politicians who believe in the science of global warming and aren’t pushing through a coal mine at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef. (Again the public floggings go though my head.)
As far as books. I have finished up reading the books I wrote of previously and am looking for something that will hold my attention long enough to get out of this funk that quite a few of us find ourselves in.
There is a lot of photography work coming up for me in the month of Feb that will be mentioned later. But for now I just need to get this out of my system.
I know this will pass. Everything passes eventually. Just need to keep telling ourselves that.