Thursday, January 25, 2007

moody jetty

A lovely photo from Flickr user Dean Bradshaw.

He was practicing with his new cable release: this photo is a two-minute exposure.

He has some other good Rotto photos too - see link above.

Is Senator Ian Campbell taking photos of the jetty? He spoke to The Australian this week from Rotto, after being demoted from Environment to Human Services.

If you're going to be demoted, Rottnest is the perfect place to hear the news.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Rotto Bloggo salutes Sascha Baron Cohen, who's won a Golden Globe.

'Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan' is unquestionably the finest film to be screened on Rotto.

"I was faced with a choice — death or to breathe in the air that had been trapped in a small pocket between his buttocks for 30 years," Cohen remarked about that wrestling scene.

No doubt about it: Rotto is a place for winners.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Rotto in the headlines

What a huge week it’s been for Rotto news.

Details on the new development on Mt Herschel, news on the demolition of Dome and its new location, and even a new manager for the pub.

It was all topped off by a marvelous Alston cartoon on the weekend.

Readers of this blog have been exhorting Rotto Bloggo for our views on these matters of import.

* The new development: if we were in charge of Rotto we wouldn’t do it, but from what we know so far it seems OK.
* Dome: good news – it needs more room.
* Alston: a cartooning treasure.

As The West reported, the 4.5-star hotel will cost $50 million and have 120 rooms – some of which will cost $300 per night.

Shock horror! A premium view Geordie Bay cottage goes for around $240 a night in summer…but of course it sleeps six people.

(With that being $40 per person, is Rotto really an expensive holiday? We think not).

“Construction of the hotel is set to begin mid-year and the proponents are hoping to begin operation in the summer of 2008-09,” according to The West.

One of the Broadwater images in The West showed a nice bath. Why would you want to have a bath on Rotto?

We were wondering: with the extra 350 people and the 65 staff the Broadwater place means, will Rotto’s water resources be stretched?

Will these extra people spoil the ambiance of the gorgeous island? We can’t see it happening. Even in high summer, at times Rotto seems deserted. What’s a few more?

(We’ve searched for images of the Broadwater development, but have failed miserably. We’ve emailed the company asking for pics).

It would be nice to have a good squizz at the plans…the Rottnest Society says: “The government has let us all down in not keeping a written commitment to allow the Western Australian public to comment via a properly constituted public comment process on the concept plans for the proposed new hotel at Mt Herschel”.

The Dome building…we see the people in charge of Rotto, the Rottnest Island Authority, have to pay to have the old site demolished.

Cast your minds back to 2005, in Parliament…
“836. Hon NORMAN MOORE to the minister representing the Minister for Tourism: What will be the cost of…the demolition of the existing building?
Hon LJILJANNA RAVLICH replied: The Rottnest Island Authority will be responsible for the demolition of the existing building. This work will be subject to a tender process.”

At least we have a pic of the Dome building to show you. But keep in mind it’s an early draft – this could change, says Dome.

We were brunching at Dome on Jan 30, and someone at our table marveled at the packed crowd and suggested it was a licence to print money.

Keep in mind they’re open in winter, too. At times Rotto Bloggo has been the only punter in the place.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

'Hard and fast with the Wild Bunch'

The hardy souls that do the Rotto swim are on a par with participants in the Marathon des Sables, the Yukon Arctic Ultra race and the La Ruta de los Conquistadores.

(That last one, as any fule kno, is an epic mountain bike race held in November in the jungles of Costa Rica.)

The Ruta is "widely acknowledged as one of the most brutal in the world", says a story in the Belfast Telegraph.

"In the modern era, finding a true off-the-beaten-track adventure can be difficult," the BT says.

"Comparing the relative dangers of proposed expeditions is the adventurer's equivalent of comparing City bonuses; bigger is better and sheer bravado is best. The less likely you are to return from distant shores with all your limbs, the greater the credibility of the challenge ahead. Should you wish to enhance your reputation beyond measure, best not to return at all."

And from Cottesloe, Rotto is a distant shore. The BT talks about the adventure of swimming the English Channel, and then segues to our own local event...

"Although only half as wide as its English counterpart, the Rottnest Channel is an ocean swim that presents a rather different set of challenges. The 19.2km stretch of water separates Rottnest Island from Perth, in Western Australia. Like the English Channel, it can get bloody cold; unlike the English Channel, it is patrol-led by Great White Sharks. At least one swimmer has been killed in the area.

"The first person to swim it was Gerd von Dincklage-Schulenburg in 1956. He completed the swim in 9hr 45min, and his feat caught the imagination of a local newspaper editor. Later that year the first race was held, won, appropriately enough, by a Mr Seaborn.

"Known to aficionados as "the Rotto", the modern race attracts around 2,500 entries (places for 2007 are still available), the first wave of which sets off from Perth's Cottesloe beach at dawn.

"Once at sea, competitors swim either solo or in teams, and must contend with notorious rip currents plus, in between the sharks, squadrons of stingrays. Almost as dangerous as the marine life are the support boats. With each entry requiring a designated pilot vessel, swimmers must pick their way through a huge flotilla of craft.

"The effect, some swimmers report, is like participating in the Normandy landings having swum there in the first place."

Saturday, January 06, 2007

news in brief

A spurt of Rotto news in The West Australian: toilets and fish in Inside Cover, and fears tentland is on Aboriginal graves.

Fish: a bloke is selling fish from his boat at the refueling jetty in Thomson on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 10am and noon.

(Rotto Bloggo thinks: why not catch your own fish?)

Toilets: a Parker Point pissoir has had its solar panel pilfered. The authorities are trucking water to the toilet to keep it going.

Graves: the tent area “...WA’s favourite camping ground, will close for up to six months from May and may be moved next summer after revelations that it could sit partially on a traditional Aboriginal burial ground”, says the West.

Toilets pictured are not the solar-powered variety.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

New Year on Rotto

We’re back from four fabulous days on Rotto.

Two of them were New Year’s Eve and the next day.

NYE was marvelous. The balcony of our premium view Geordie Bay bunker was already decorated with tinsel and baubles when we arrived.

In the morning we stuffed our faces at the bakery and then snorkeled and swum at the Basin.

Later the first sparkling of the day: refreshing after chasing fish underwater and never catching them.

But no beach drinking: a big no-no. We know this because from our balcony we saw two rent-a-cops amble onto the beach. The obese one had a chocolate bar in one hand and a packet of chips in the other. They saw a woman in her 40s drinking something out of a stubbie, charged over to her and had words.

When the woman poured her beverage onto the sand we booed the fat rent-a-cop loudly from the balcony. The woman’s behaviour was in sharp contrast to a friend of Rotto Bloggo’s, who was in Caroline Thomson and had to be next door to young hoons, whose drinking and fighting was only briefly interrupted by one of them being arrested and hauled off by the real cops.

Anyway…much more champagne was drunk, and we welcomed in 2007 with party poppers, blowing bubbles and paper bugles.

A top night and a great way to start a new year: on Rotto.