Friday, 31 August 2012

Our Latest Eco Visitor

Almost 6:30am - can you see the Eco visitor ? [30/08/2012]

This time of the year in Bundaberg, the days are glorious, but 6:23 in the morning, although beautiful as you can see, it is still a little fresh.

However, the ship on the righthand side of the above photo is the latest sugar ship to Bundy, the "Eco Vanguard". She is 169m long and 27m wide and her last port was Darwin.

The "Eco Vanguard" sailing up the Burnett River, assisted by "PT Monto" and local tug "Ballina" [30/08/2012]

These days two tugs are required for ships in our port, and on this occasion, the local tug "Ballina" was assisted by "PT Monto" which was on her way from Gladstone to Brisbane.

"PT Monto" alongside the "Eco Vanguard", preparing to take on a bow line [30/08/2012]
Loading a ship this size can be completed in under 24 hours, and so the next morning, "Eco Vanguard" sailed down the Burnett River, heading for Kinuura in Japan with 25000 tonnes of our finest sugar.

"Eco Vanguard", somewhat lower in the water - next port, Kinuura, Japan [31/08/2012]

Monday, 23 July 2012

New Creation for Bundaberg

Well - as of yesterday, Bundaberg has a New Creation - not another turtle roundabout nor another whale wall. The New Creation is a 178m ship which came from Kaohsiung Taiwan to load sugar to go to San Francisco.

The most interesting part of a ship arriving in Bundy for me is when they turn the ship around prior to it docking at the sugar terminal. In this next photo you can see the port anchor in the river as the pivot point for swinging the ship.

Swinging the "New Creation", with the Line Boat in the foreground and the tug "Ballina" pushing.
Eventually the ship is pointing down the Burnett River, ready to be pushed to the wharf. As I write this, the ship will be almost loaded and ready to depart for SF on the next high tide, just before midday. I believe this to be the first ship for the "Ballina" under its new captain, following the retirement in June of local icon, "Captain Steve".

Tug "SMIT Leopard", "New Creation", the Line Boat and tug "Ballina"
I wish Steve a happy and safe retirement and thank him for helping me with my shipspotting in Bundaberg.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Serious Pollution in the Burnett River

For some weeks, night-shift workers at the old Toft's site over north have experienced a pungent smell coming from the direction of the river. Yesterday fishermen in the upper reaches of the town reach saw what appears to be raw sewage floating down the river.

On Wednesday last, a large barge arrived in 2 pieces, from Sydney. On Thursday, a semi load of equipment arrived for the now assembed barge. An excavator was also loaded aboard.

Apparently there is a broken sewer pipe under the river - how do they fix that, I don't know. My guess would be to place a completely new pipe under the river bed.

Unfortunately, photographic access to that part of the river is difficult to find.

All this and a big fishing competition on this weekend at Burnett Heads.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Rain, Rain, Rain

Wolfenden Road, Calavos - 3rd June 2012
After Bundaberg Airport weather station received over 118.6mm of rain to 9am this morning, I went to look at some roads in the area that I normally see in milder conditions.

The Elliott River at Dr May's Crossing - 3rd June 2012

Goodwood Road at Yellow Waterholes * 3rd June 2012
Both Coral Cove and Innes Park golf courses were inundated. Then there was hazardous water and debris across School Lane, Back Springfield Road, Dahls Road, Three Chain Road, Hummock Road, Dr May's Crossing Road, Douglas Road, Darlingtons Road, Cockeralls Road and, no doubt many others - take care.

Friday, 1 June 2012

More Port Happenings - 1st June 2012

Stranded "Stargull", on the rocks at Burnett Heads 1 June 2012
The main reason for my visit to Burnett Heads today was to buy 3 potato scallops (or potato cakes, as you Southerners might say) from Baltimore's Take Away at the port marina. But first I had to join the others visiting Bundaberg's latest tourist attraction. The steel New Zealand yacht "Stargull", which ran aground yesterday, is so far up the beach that I'm not sure how the salvage will be done.

While my potato scallops were cooking (they are the best in Bundaberg), I wandered along the marina, looking for unique visitors, when I found the "HMAS Labuan", an LCH in navy parlance. This "Landing Craft - Heavy" was built in Maryborough Queensland in 1971 and is normally based at the navy base in Cairns (HMAS Cairns).

For some months now, rock and gravel from Childers is being exported to Curtis Island near Gladstone by barge ("MS1802") and tug ("Agros"). It seems the operation is ramping up, as the tug "MV Pedro" and barge "Carcinos" were tied up beside the Bundy-based tug "Ballina" at the Port. The previous port of "MV Pedro" was Brisbane, after which it sailed to Gladstone to pick up the barge.  Loading should commence after the next sugar ship and a molasses ship, due this week,  leave the Port.

As Bundy is expecting a few ships this coming week, the rock exporting will have wait for the sugar ship to leave, as they both load at the same wharf. In the meantime, this might give you an idea of the size of "Carcinos".

Just adding to yesterday's post - the steel yacht Stargull was moved around by the high tides and prevailing winds. It is now further up the beach and parallel to the shoreline.

The THSD "Brisbane" (trailing hopper suction dredge) has arrived in Bundaberg and is working on increasing the water depth at both the sugar terminal and the molasses wharf.

More news as it comes to hand.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Yesteryear Festival at Tegege, 2012

Each year in April, the Bundaberg Yesteryear Machinery Society holds an annual festival at Tegege, just north of Bundaberg. Each year the variety of exhibits changes - this year there was horse-ploughing, a bullock team, hand milking a cow, making butter, damper and billy tea, tractor pull, chain-saw demos, and the list goes on.

A 1940 D7 dozer at the sled-pull.
 As well as the machinery for the man on the land, there is a wide range of veteran and vintage cars and trucks in different degrees of restoration.

A partially restored Diamond T

Each year there are one or two rare or unusual vehicles around.

A four-wheel-drive Commodore Extra-Cab!!!!!!

Now - there is a prize of a new digital voltmeter (RRP $14.95) for the first person who can correctly identify this next vehicle (persons with the surname of Walker excluded !!). Use the email link for your answers.

Get your answer in quickly -  first correct answer wins.

That's it for this post - I have photos from previous years that I am sifting through for the best ones which will appear in a later post..

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Railway Bridges of the Monto Line

The magnificent "Upside Down" bridge at Ideraway, near Gayndah
Most visitors to the Gayndah area travel down the dirt road to see the more famous Chowey Bridge. It is indeed a noteworthy bridge, but it is not alone. These are many memorable bridges on the Monto line. The seemingly upward curving deck of the Ideraway bridge is designed that way. When, if it ever happens again, a train crosses the bridge, the deck straightens under the load of the train.

Chowey Bridge, near Biggenden, Jan 2008

Another unique bridge in the area is the bridge across the Burnett River near Mt Lawless. Of timber construction it must have been built well to withstand the several recent floods, as well as the floods from years ago.

Mt Lawless Bridge showing construction detail, Jan 2008

Mt Lawless Bridge, Dec 2011

To continue the thread of timber bridges, we go east to the area around the small town of Brooweena. Here lies this most awesome curved trestle bridge. I had read about its existence, but it took some persistence by me to track down its actual location.

Curved wooden trestle bridge near Brooweena, May 2010

 Also near Brooweena is this great bridge ....

Straight trestle bridge, near Brooweena, May 2010


Well, that's it for this instalment - there are many more bridges on the Monto line to come, soon.

If you like what you see, please post a comment (there's a little icon of a pen at the bottom of each post), send me an email, or sign up to follow this blog. Enjoy.

More April News from the Bundaberg Port

Queensland Fisheries vessel "K I Ross"
Well, it's April 7 and "New Ambition" is due to sail shortly, but the attractive "K I Ross" momentarily distracted me.

The pilot is onboard, the lines have been cast, and another load of sugar sails down the Burnett River.
"New Ambition", escorted by local tug "Ballina"

It's now April 8 and a few of us are at the Burnett Heads Marina awaiting for "Doris" to arrive - but, wait, here she comes!!
"Doris" at the entrance to the Burnett River, with the waving crowd!!

Swinging the ship on the port anchor, aided by "SMIT Leopard" and "Ballina"

Almost there, the first lines are there. "Ballina" and "Smit Leopard" are easing "Doris" in.

 Further April port news in the next instalment - bye for now.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Realising a New Ambition

Early this morning I realised a new ambition, which was to get a good photo of the ship "New Ambition" as it sailed up the Burnett River. It left Kobe in Japan around 17th March.

As is usual these days, the local tug "Ballina" was supported by the Gladstone based tug "SMIT Leopard" which had come down to Bundaberg for the occasion.

The "New Ambition" will be loaded with sugar tonight and it's off to San Francisco on tomorrow morning's high tide. By now "Doris" should be moored off Bargara awaiting her turn on the high tide on Sunday morning.

"SMIT Leopard" and "Ballina" head to the river mouth to greet the ship.

Swinging the ship on its port anchor.
The small white boat is the line-boat, which carries the lines (ropes) from the ship to the wharf.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Bundaberg's Newest Export

Today approx 100 truck loads of rock from Childers left for Curtis Island at Gladstone. This follows the successful export of rock from Holcim's Innes Park quarry in May last year.

Bundaberg Sugar Terminal, low tide, with Gladstone tug "Agros" and barge "MS1802" awaiting the pilot's orders.

Another spectator, having a feed while awaiting for the barge to leave

Barge "MS1802" being pushed into position by local tug "Ballina"

Traffic at the river mouth - left to right, barge "MS1802", pilot vessel "Kareela", unknown yacht, Bundy tug "Ballina" and the towing tug "Agros"

This week could be a busy week at the port with a "race" between "Doris" whch is sailing from Whyalla, and "New Ambition" which is sailing from Kobe in Japan. Both ships are due off the river mouth tomorrow. Twenty minutes ago (16:40 EST), "Doris" was off Forster and is expected off Bargara about 23:00EST tomorrow. "New Ambition" has not yet appeared on the local AIS ship location system yet.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Model A Ford Annual Meeting - Ipswich 2012

I recently discovered an old workmate was travelling with 4 other Model A Fords from Perth to Ipswich. I left sunny Bundaberg yesterday lunchtime and it hasn't stopped raining since I left - constant drizzle, not even real rain!!! Last night I camped at Chinchilla Weir, just out of Chinchilla, of course.

This morning I phone up my friend and they had stayed the night in Auguthella, so I was a fair way east of them. I decided to drive to Roma and meet up with them there. One car had a problem with a wheel bearing and stub axle, and another has been running on 2 cylinders for tha last 2000km.

More later but here are a couple of pictures from today's drive.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Nissan beats Holden at Mebourne GP meeting

Although you wouldn't know it from Ten's coverage of the GP meeting, Nissan beat Holden in both races at the GP meeting.

The Group A/C races have always profided close racing and great entertainment, but again were not part of Ten's coverage this weekend - damn!!!!

Oh well, back to the box -it's still raining here in Bundaberg

PS to see the results of ALL motor racing in Australia, go to

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

JS Comet - Arrival and first attempt at departure!!!!

A new ship to Bundaberg, the "JS Comet", sailed up the Burnett River yesterday from Tasmania, assisted by local tug "Ballina", with the "SMIT Leopard" from Gladstone standing by.

For this docking the port anchor was dropped into the river, and the "Ballina" then pushed the stern around until it was again parallel to the wharf. Then the tugs eased the ship the remaining metres to successfully tie up.

These days the 178m ship can be loaded in under 24 hours, so ETD was set for 7:30 this morning. The departure to Melbourne seemed normal from my position on the bank of the river in line with the bow, the lines had been cast off and the "Ballina" was easing the ship away from the wharf, when all of a sudden the starboard anchor was despatched into the deep. One of the linesmen then made a dash for the moored lineboat in order to ferry the mooring lines back to the wharf.

Panic on the fore-deck !!!! Notice the starboard anchor has been deployed.
 Further enquiries told me that the ship's engine had stopped - now that wouldn't be good if it happened five minutes later.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

First Ship for 2012

At yesterday lunchtime, the first sugar ship (in fact the first ship) arrived at the Port of Bundaberg for the year. The "CSL Atlantic" arrived from Melbourne via Brisbane, and was met with the two tugs dancing in the river. They weren't dancing actually but just moving to their position the greet the ship. Once again, "SMIT Leopard" had come down from Gladstone for the occasion.

"SMIT Leopard" and "Ballina" await the ship  ©2012 WoJo12
 Always the best part of bringing a ship into a river port is swinging the ship around. At the moment this takes place between the Sugar Terminal and the molasses/oil berth. This is always done before the ship is loaded, when it is more controllable.

Thanks to Pilot Liz for another successful docking.

See you at the Port around 2pm today for the sailing of the "CSL Atlantic"