Tuesday, April 28, 2009

no turtles

The beautiful island got both barrels on the weekend.

First there was gloomy Murdoch-studying Swede Jesper Degerman saying Rottnest was “totally overrated” and had “almost nothing of interest”.

Now we have another Murdoch student saying the 63 beaches and 20 bays “all looked pretty much the same to me”.

Angelina Ho also says the submarine trip was a fizzer: “All we got to see were the boring fishes, ugly weeds, remains of shipwreck and the waters that were not even clear. Where are the dolphins and turtles?”

Shame on you, Rottnest Island Authority: you don’t have the decency to provide dolphins and turtles on tap. We call for Paolo Amaranti’s head. And the Tourism Minister’s. Those heads must roll. Hawaii has turtles galore.

“Its a pity we don’t get many pit stops to take pictures”, Angelina says of the Bayseeker (although the driver was good). Her summary: “The whole island looked very dull, yellow and brown and I actually like that”. Riiiight.

She’s posted lots of photos on her blog. There’s one of Jesper looking disconsolate (surprise!) because his name was spelt Jasper on his coffee receipt.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

scan pan

A Scandinavian named Jesper Degerman wasn't impressed by the beautiful island: he says, like nearly everything else in this country, Rotto is "totally overrated".

Don’t go there, you’ll find almost nothing of interest there and the ferry trip over is painfully boring since there is nothing to see (although the sights from Perth city to Freo are quite alright, what remains from then onwards is just water and more water)."

Harsh! Don't go to Rotto! The Rottnest Island Authority and the ferry companies need rockets up their arses: how dare they just have views of water in between the happening port city and Rotto.

Jesper continues: "However, despite the extreme “averageness” and plainness and costliness we still had quite a fun time I believe. The highlight I suppose was meeting Mr. Barry Quokka in person, even though he did not say very much."

These gloomy Scandinavians. Their idea of a funster is Edvard Munch, of course, and Ibsen was their version of a stand-up comedian. That Hedda Gabler! She was a handful.

On his blog Jesper has cheery posts like 'Murdoch University smells like an old turd' and 'Dull'. Love to be in his dorm.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


We wish we were more adept with Photoshop: today's post would be easier to read.

Our Isle of Wight operative has sent us some candid pics of the men on board HMS Trenchant, the British sub that ran aground near Rottnest some years ago (see previous post Up Periscope).

Would you believe the pic shown here was taken only moments after the Trafalgar-class tin can nearly beached itself on one of the beautiful island's 63 bays?

The bloke with the notebook is saying: "So that's four jam doughnuts, six snotblocks and lattes all round?"

The bloke with the headphones is thinking: "Hey! I hear we can get some bikes for spare parts!"

The worried-looking bloke on the right is thinking: "At this rate we're not going to be at Pinky's for leavers."

The Royal Navy said in a statement to Rotto Bloggo: 'HMS Trenchant is now even better equipped to continue the finest traditions of the Submarine Service of being the silent masters of the deep.'

Monday, April 20, 2009

all must go

A mere $39 per person per night.

Did you see the RIA’s advertising blitz (a double-page spread in West Travel) on the weekend?

They’re trying to plug some gaps in winter accommodation: the various packages are on Sunday to Thursday, June to August, but not during school holidays.

We’d be spewing if it was cheaper than our looming 13 days in South Thomson: we paid $1860 about a year ago for 13 nights in a six bed: about $24 per person per night.

The $39pppn doesn’t say where it is, but extras have been thrown in during the five night stay for four people: Rottnest Express ferry travel (we assume return), bikes and a bus or train tour.

The most expensive option is $66pppn for three nights for two people.

There’s still quite a bit available. We just had a look for a four-bed villa in Geordie/Longreach/Fay’s anytime in June: 935, 936, 939 and 941 are up for grabs for fortnightly stretches. Lots of other options too.

The copy in the spread is pedestrian at best. The island is “steeped in history”, the Wadjemup bus tour is “unique and purely Western Australian”, “steep yourself in history” at the museum: “Rottnest Island really is a treasure trove of history and culture”. Really! “Booking is easy!”

Saturday, April 18, 2009

cray day

It's a monster: here are Peter and Carol Beck of the western suburbs with a monster cray they nabbed near the beautiful island.

This was in the Post yesterday, but is also deserving of niche publication: they netted this beauty in their pot not a million miles from Thomson Bay, and got stuck into some serious eating.

(Cheaper than half a cray at Aristos', on the other side of the bay.)

Alas, some slimeball nicked their pot (cost: $229) the next day.

Nice flag.

rotto timeshare?

Plain-speaking from the Rottnest Society this week: the watchdog is worried about a possible system that smaks of time-share.

The Society has perused the RIMP - Rottnest Island Management Plan - and says there's a proposal to "review visitor accommodation management options" (not so plain-speaking from the Rottnest Island Authority).

"...which apparently means forward-selling some RIA–operated accommodation for a number of years (you might buy a villa for a week per year for a number of years). This would be something like a ‘time-share’ – and would most certainly favour the rich. Very little detail is given," the Society says.

We'll be frank: having a lock on Colebatch for the next 30 years is attractive. Not sure how we'd pay for it in advance, as is the go when you book for the beautiful island - we'd have to come up with a wildly popular iPhone app.

More RotSoc concerns:

'A proposed expansion of ‘guest accommodation’ on a site next to Hotel Rottnest will apparently be hotel units. Will this be a new hotel, or will the Hotel Rottnest build new units there? How many units – ten, or one hundred and ten?

'An eco-tourism development is proposed for South Thomson – no location or number of units given. Could this be ten units – or one hundred and ten?

'Then there is the 120-room Mt Herschel hotel – currently without a proponent but likely to go ahead.'

They're having a public meeting in East Freo later this month - will invitee Laurie O'Meara be pelted with stale vanilla slices from the bakery?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


A mere seven weeks until we're on the beautiful island again. Colleagues, acquaintances and sources are beginning to tire of this being mentioned.

However: an operative did share her impressions of island life after returning from a week of bliss. In a word, costly.

The new seafood restaurant by Aristos is, it seems, pricey. Our operative says $43 for half a crayfish with salad; $16 for a smallish serve of fish and chips; the same for a portion of squid and chips.

We wonder if Aristos has kept those buzzing devices that go bananas when your order is ready.

"Aristos in Bunbury is much cheaper," our operative said. She ate in while on Rottnest, and had a $9 cray when she got back to the mainland.

Monday, April 13, 2009

fog of war

There's always a Rottnest connection somewhere. We've been reading Neville Green's excellent new book Western Australian Teacher Soldiers of World War I 1914-1918. As you'd expect, there are many sad stories among the 172 men and one woman who were at Claremont Teachers' College and at the war.

Some of the entries are very brief, but there's this in Gordon Gemmell's entry: his friend Marcus Anderson recalls staying with his freind at York in 1912. The next time Anderson sees him is in 1918, on the Somme:

"I looked at Gordon's body. His skin was as fair in death as in life. He had been killed by a bullet through the forehead between the eyes. I gazed at his body and my thoughts ran to the past, to those very happy days I spent with him and his family at York in Western Australia. I grieved sorely for his mother and family. Again I express my horror and repugnance of this cruel and senseless slaughter of innocent victims, whether they be friend or foe."

One who came back alive was Thomas Sten. We're surprised a cottage on Rotto isn't named for him. He enlisted 21 June 1916, wounded in France 10 February 1917, back in Australia 6 September 1919. By 1951, as well as being state president of the RSL, he was the president of the Australian Associated Youth Committee, Royal Perth Hospital chairman, and chairman of the Rottnest Island Board.

Nice Lincoln Baker photo in the weekend's story about the beach fog here. Best quote in the story: "I thought Rotto was on fire."

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

up the periscope

Pinnnng. Doooo. Pshhh.

An associate has a special ring tone on his phone when Rotto Bloggo calls: it's the sounds submarines make. We like being associated with these underwater noises.

Hopefully we don't sound like HMS Trenchant, though. In the Rottnest news of the month, the 5200-tonne British tin can became grounded off the beautiful island a dozen years ago.

See The Australian for the full marvellous story. But essentially the crew were stunned (like a dim herring) when they got far closer to the bakery than planned.

"They basically kept 200m depth and were on their way to Fremantle and were surprised when they ran into the continental shelf," says a quote in the story.

'Another former submariner said the British crew had no idea what had happened until they heard a loud scraping noise.

"The submarine was travelling at depth when it rubbed a sloping patch of sea floor," he said. "The crew took some time to actually work out what was going on."

Das Boot nearly became Das Rooted. Imagine if a nuclear sub sailed into Thomson Bay. Or beached itself next to the army jetty. If HMS Trenchant had been wrecked it would have become a marvellous dive site.

"Of all the branches of men in the forces there is none which shows more devotion and faces grimmer perils than the submariners." - supposedly Sir Winston Churchill.

Monday, April 06, 2009

fingers glued to nipples

Mysterious goings-on on the beautiful island on the weekend from a crowd called Team Core.

Team stands for Triathlon, Endurance and Multisport, and their activities are vastly different to Rotto Bloggo's: brick sessions, ocean swims and running. Ye gods.

There was also trouble with Rottnest Island Authority rangers. On Saturday "...Paul was handcuffed and faced eviction from the island by the Rottnest Island authority* for apparently not having warned them in advance that we would be over doing the session (despite several months of written communication to the contrary). Paul was soon released and sent on his merry way when they realized that our gang weren't the hooligans that they were initially believed to be!"

More details: "On the run it was hot, hot, hot and a run-in with the Rottnest Ranger over marking the course with three removal red cones resulted in variable lap distances for some of the earlier runners..."

There are some excellent photos with amusing captions: Karl super-glued his fingers to his nipples, a pair are on the run from predatory Bayseekers, and there's a woman wearing only a tarpaulin.

Team Core is "Bespoke Coaching in a Motivating Squad Environment".

("* this is of course "tongue in cheek" - we'd like to thank the Rottnest Island Authority for their help and support following explanation of the session to the Head Ranger later that day.")

Saturday, April 04, 2009

save us all

A very important vote coming up in six weeks: the daylight saving referendum. Will we vote for civilisation, or opt for barbarism?

There’s also a by-election for Fremantle: will the seat turn green?

Rottnest is strong on the issue. We saw Antony Green’s blog where he looks at the booths from the last DSR. As you would expect, the anti-daylight saving mob – fearful farmers and sundry yokels – were in places like Beacon, Dale and Muradup (Wagin).

But Rotto went for enlightenment: 120 votes in 1992, 72 for, which was 60 per cent.

The highest in the metro area was Connolly PS in Wanneroo: 884 votes out of 1275, or 69.3 per cent.

Daylight saving on Rotto: more fishing time, more mini-golf rounds, more marvellousness.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Rotto is for lovers (and lobbers)

There’s been some media excitement over the very naughty Lovers and Lobbers. Who is Michael Hunt? The world – certainly Perth – is agog at his/her quality reporting and photography on the blog.

But even notorious bloggers need some rest and relaxation. We were disappointed this week’s coverage of L&L didn’t include their Rottnest trip last month.

L&L spent three glorious nights “marooned” on the beautiful island: “We road a total of 50km, which is a lot when you don't exercise regularly. We had many splendid adventures, many do not contain lovers or lobbers but are totally awesome so I'm posting them anyway.”

The photos are excellent. Mr & Mrs Hunt stayed at Tentland, swam in bays, appropriated a boat, had a wild party at the sizzling Hot Showers and observed the quokkas.

“We meet a shit load of mad cunts and toasted marshmallows and ate mi goreng sandwiches with them!”

* Excellent photo taken from the Lovers and Lobbers blog