Sunday, November 26, 2006

required Rotto reading

One of Rotto Bloggo's regular readers, Old Salt, has sent us his hot tip for a must-take tome if you're on Rottnest.
Old Salt is a crusty type who is top-notch when it comes to matters maritime and piscine - this tip is gold...

'This is a picture of the cover of my favourite book of all time, The Marine and Estuarine Fishes of Western Australia – A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers by Barry Hutchins and Martin Thompson, published by the WA Museum.

'It's not actually a book about Rottnest, but is required reading if one dives at Rottnest.

'This book has been to Rottnest several times, invariably thrown into the bottom of a backpack with a load of snorkelling gear – as evidenced by its generally rugged and wrinkled appearance. It’s got sand between many of the pages, too. This is because I always reach for it as soon as I emerge from the water while the fish are still fresh in my mind so I can identify them.

'Why The Bazzmeister and Marty haven’t been nominated for the Nobel Prize for literature, I don’t know.'

The book is $16.45 - click the link to order (and check out the Museum's other books too). There are around 20 copies on Bookfinder - the most expensive is $191.09!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

More Rotto images for sale

Further to the post about Chris Barry's marvellous Rotto images...
Rotto Bloggo spotted an image of the island near a cafe toilet this week.
Ben Tessler's photo of the Bathurst lighthouse is for sale: we saw it in the Wild Fig Cafe, in Scarborough.
Like Chris' photos, this would be a great Xmas present: a snip at $350...
No sign of Ben Tessler on the www, but the WFC says you can buy it direct from them.
*Phone snap does no justice to actual photo. Why is the water crooked but the lighthouse straight?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Rampaging kids!


Are they the modern Australian equivalent of Vikings (scrofulous Vikings at that), or just kids having largely harmless fun before they start working for The Man?
And the parents are just as bad! ‘Booze-supplying parents irk police’, was one recent headline.
In fact, police are “dismayed”…“fearing”…“frustrated”…and “worried”.
(Stop me now – I’m starting to sound like Not The West [which is gone but not forgotten].)
Anyway – a Rotto Bloggo reader has written to share his schoolie sojourn on the island of nearly a quarter of a century ago.
This man is now a highly respectable, Rivers-wearing, P&C-involved, tea-drinking public servant and the head of a nuclear family unit.
The moral of the story? Plus ca change…

‘With 'schoolies week' now under way I thought would reminisce about my own end-of-school trip to Rottnest at the end of Year 12, which in my case was in 1982.

‘Today, kids who've just completed school can't get onto the island without booked accommodation. There are activities to keep everyone occupied, and extra police are sent over to keep an eye on things.

‘In 1982, the procedure was as follows:

‘1. Pack. One t-shirt, one pair shorts, boardies, beach towel.

‘2. Ask father to drive you to the East Street Jetty. Spend car trip evading questions like "so where will you be staying over there?"

‘3. Arrive at East Street Jetty and buy ferry ticket. Usually 10 minutes before ferry due to depart. Throw bag into luggage cage to leave both hands free for drinking on the ferry (one hand for the middy, the other to hang on if it gets rough).

‘4. Board ferry. Track down schoolmates. Work out where the hell we're gonna stay over there. Realise nobody's got anywhere to stay.

‘5. Travel to Rottnest.

‘6. Disembark. Collect luggage.

‘7. Go to pub.

‘8. Get drunk.

‘9. Hear that a guy from school's got a mate who's got a mate who's got a girlfriend who's cousin's got a bungalow with space in the sleepout. On the floor.

'10. Depart pub at closing time, make way (as fairly disparate group) to aforementioned bungalow. Collapse on floor.

'11. Wake up next morning to find we crashed out in the wrong bungalow.'

Pic is of the condom machine in the toilet at the pub, which was out of order last time Rotto Bloggo checked it out. Do you think it would've been fixed for Schoolies?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"12,500 miles to Rottnest"

Forgive the dearth of postings in the last few days, but Rotto Bloggo has been in mourning for Paul Rigby.
As the obit in The Australian reported (see link above), Rigby "...won Walkleys in 1960, 61, 63, 66 and 69. Back in those days, there were editors in Australia who thought if a cartoonist didn't draw like Rigby, then they couldn't draw cartoons".
It's been estimated Rigby drew 15,000 cartoons in his 50-year career.
Of course, a few touched on, depicted, or mentioned Rottnest.
And who can forget the booklet he did with Kirwan Ward - Rottnest Island Sketchbook? It's rare, but it's a must for any Rotto bibliophile.
Here's a detail from a 1983 Rigby cartoon that mentioned Rotto: the 12,500 miles to Rotto sign indicates the cartoon was about rhe battle for the America's Cup being waged in New York.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Superb Rotto images

It's tough, deciding what to get the Rotto aficianado in your life for Christmas.
Here's some help: why not present them with a wonderful Rotto image from award-winning photographer Chris Barry?
Chris is the resident ophthalmic photographer at the Lions Eye Institute in Nedlands.
He's won stacks of awards for his images of the eye and the many things that can go wrong with it.
For the last three years Chris has been the Australian Professional Photographer of the Year for Science and Nature.
All up he's won more than 20 APP awards.
But he's just as well-known for his brilliant outdoor shots as well, especially in WA's north-west.
Check out his website (link above) to have a squizz at his four Rotto images (Parker Point, The Basin, Thomson Bay, and Longreach Bay.

Image copyright Chris Barry

Monday, November 13, 2006

More air

More air details, following yesterday's plane crash on Rotto...
We went to the incomparable All The News In A Flash (see the Flash book post) to see what we could learn about Rotto and planes.
"Somerville records that the first aeroplane landed at Rottnest in January 1930," ATNIAF says.
"He goes on to say about night flights: 'However, Captain Baker and later Mr V James made a number of night flights using landing flares which consiusted of kerosene rags in open containers'.
"Did these people realise they were lighting the first kerosene flares as signals from the island since the City of York wreck in 1899?"
ATNIAF notes 1968 was the last MMA flight to Rotto, then a light plane service started.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

"An island"

Some hilarious reporting from ABC News today: “Two people have been freed from a light plane which crashed on an island off the coast of Perth”.
An island! Isn’t that like saying planes have crashed into buildings in an American city?
Anyway…ABC says six pax were on the plane, police are investigating; Perth Now says the pax were lucky, the plane came down on a salt lake.
No word on type of plane (Beechcraft? Piper? Cessna?).
But we can reveal the pranged plane is a Partenavia P68B – they’re made in Italia and have fixed undercarriages. The plane was made in 1978. Partenavias are widely used around the world.
The flight was a charter by The Aeroplane Company, based at Jandakot.
A source tells Rotto Bloggo it’s the worst-ever air incident on Rotto.
Of course, as any fule kno, Rotto was serviced by commercial twin-engine aircraft for many years until the ferries became much faster.
* Pax = airline industry argot for passengers

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Rotto cards

Rotto Bloggo was at the Subiaco Craft Fair last Sunday, on the prowl for Rottnest-related stuff.
We found some cards ($3.50 each) by Caroline Marinovich, who does "Paintings - Perth Scenes Portraits Still Lives".
Shown is 'Rottnest tavern'; she also has a nice one of the trees providing dappled shade on Somerville Drive, looking towards the tea rooms.
If these are just the thing that bake your cake for this year's Christmas cards, contact Caroline on 9364 2867 or
(Would you believe that the Fair didn't have any soy or decaff coffee options?
We were deep in the western suburbs - but no soy or decaff?
It was an outrage).

Thursday, November 09, 2006

In the air

Another view of Rotto from on high.
A Rotto Blogger reader saw yesterday's post and sent this pic of the wonderful island.
It was taken from a corporate jet at about 10,000 feet.
Yesterday's shot from the SAA jet was taken as the plane was heading east, towards the airport - today's pic is a view of the island as the plane heads west, before it turned north.
In The Kingdom By The Sea, Paul Theroux described Britain as looking like a witch riding a pig.
From this angle, what shape does Rotto resemble?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

It's a must

Another gorgeous Rotto image from Flickr.
This was taken a month ago, but it could be what the island looks like today.
The photo was taken from a South African Airways plane by Flickr user aussieroonie.
"A must for anyone coming to visit", aussieroonie notes about Rotto.
No argument there.
Some photos we've seen of Rottnest show how shallow the water is between the island and the mainland, and how the first inhabitants of WA could have walked to it from the mainland before it was cut off.
Rotto Bloggo will try and find one to post.