Sunday, January 31, 2010

rotto photos

The RIA's Facebook page is doing a good job: it tells us The Lodge has slashed rates by 20 per cent, and there are nifty-looking photographic exhibitions coming up.

'If you like photography make sure you head to FotoFreo this March/April to check out some of the exhibitions - there will also be a fringe festival including exhibits on Rottnest...' says the RIA.

And indeed Botanical Portraits from Oliver Cardona is on at the Holy Trinity Church from 20 March to 18 April: 8am - 6.30pm, plus a Mass every day at 9am if you're so inclined.

'Botanical Portraits is a collection of flower studies that grow around the artist’s suburban house. Most of these plants are hardly ever noticed and sometimes considered as weeds either because they are too small, too common or grow too low. Looked at up close and in isolation however, the true beauty of these plants is exposed and intricate detail can be appreciated. Wild plant life is often taken for granted and often considered a nuisance around the house and we rarely stop and look at what the lawn mower is chewing up.'

Elizabeth McCaig also has something at The Lodge from 10 March - see the FotoFreo site for more.

Friday, January 29, 2010

salinger in the bay

As soon as we heard the news we knew what today's post would be.

So J.D. Salinger is no longer with us. What to add to the torrent of words being processed about Jerome David Salinger?

We love the name of his town in New Hampshire: Cornish. Most people are reporting that. The consensus seems to be Franny & Zooey was naff. These people don't understand - they don't have a grasp of the big things.

A random par (from the L.A. Times) plucked from the oodles of obits: "His silence provoked a range of reactions from literary critics, some characterizing it as a form of cowardice and others as a cunning strategy that, despite its outward intentions, helped preserve his mythical status in American culture. Still others interpreted his withdrawal as the deliberate spiritual stance of a man immersed in Eastern religions, particularly Zen Buddhism and Hindu Vedantic philosophy."

Some people are as dumb as a sack of hammers.

Through the Glasses darkly.

Rick Moody is warmer: "It's an even more perfect silence now that he is gone, one that is unvarying, but one that is consistent nonetheless with the complete output of this singular American genius."

The Rottnest link? Of course, we thought back to Dave Franklin's novel Manic Streets of Perth, where Kim lies in bed remembering the trip from Freo to Rottnest on the yacht of her former fiance's dad.

The yacht was called Salinger.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

exploding beans

We are indebted to the Rottnest Society's latest newsletter for this memory from Nellie Marsden of the beautiful island in 1958.

"Married only three months to my husband John, we decided to go to Rottnest for Easter. I worked at Mac Robertson Miller Airlines, so we could fly to Rottnest for the princely sum of 8/6 (about 85c).

"We arrived about 6pm on Thursday evening and erected our small tent before dark. We were the only ones on the camping ground. That was soon to change: many others were on the Islander coming from the Barrack St jetty on a three-hour journey to arrive around 9.30pm. In the dark we heard much banging and yelling and by morning there was not an inch of ground without a tent on it.

"Fires were lit and tins of baked beans thrown in: they exploded and showered the area with cooked beans and embers. Soon it started to rain, it bucketed down and some low-lifes with pitchforks went around randomly puncturing tents. To plug the holes, people covered their tents with glossy magazines. As if this was not enough, if you were lucky to avoid the pitchfork, they had another prank up their sleeves.

"Coming back to your tent, you could find the tent poles removed and the tent spread out like a deflated balloon over whatever was inside.

"The quokkas, too, got into the act. They entered our tent in the night and got into our food supply, they even nibbled our toes.

"We'd had enough by that stage and decided never to stay overnight on Rottnest again - after that we became day trippers."

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

island time!

It was tough on Cottesloe today: we've just returned from that scrap of sand after photographing many young women in bikinis as they strove to break a record of some sort.

It involved floating on thongs, but we were distracted by the sight of the beautiful island - which seemed only metres away. It seemed so close we could swear we saw lucky people fishing from the natural jetty.

On our sulky drive home we heard that ad for Island Time on the radio (Rottnest: Take me to the island!").

It suggested we point our browser to island dash time dot come dot au - we misheard and forgot the dot au, and were confronted with advertising for a manifestly inferior island called Rattan or something off the coast of Honduras. Honduras!

But the dot au version is tops. Check it out and resolve to get there soon. We know we did.

Monday, January 25, 2010

more cricket news

What do Kim Hughes, Alastair Cook and William Back have in common?

Rottnest cricket links: Rotto Bloggo is please to add to (or add to the aggregation of) things connecting the beautiful island and the great game.

In the SMH we read Cook (Test average 42.65) played for Willetton a few years ago.

"The day before one game, he joined friends for a trip to Rottnest Island, fell off his bike and suffered a big gash to his leg. Rather than pull out of the game, he battled on and, batting at No.8, scored a few runs to help salvage a draw."

Admirable. Not as admirable as Kim Hughes (Test average 37.41) on Rotto a long time ago, as we recounted in March last year.

And William Back (first class average 4.00) was born on Rottnest.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

seduced bays

The brutish fog of our champagne hangover cleared suddenly this morning when we read this.

From the first few words we knew we were in for a treat:

"Going to Australia in old times, was not an easy job. The flight fares were high, the routings were complicated and hectic and affordability was simply, out of question."

It gets much better, and not only because it's about the beautiful island. We reproduce it here, but you may want to inspect it in situ, and copied and pasted here.

"However, today, where all fields and industries have modernized and diversified to play their part in making the world a global village, Travel Industry is also offering compatible fares for Australia with direct or indirect flights to Australia. The fares from Business class to economy, all are at promotions and discounts to boost tourism in the country.

"Perth city is flat and compact, easily navigated and proud of its safe and friendly environment, a perfect place for a special day out or stay. Excellent shopping, eating out, entertainment, culture and heritage, leisure and sport are all within close proximity in city centre. Visit Rottenest Island, where u can explore history, bike ride to secret beaches and kakyak to seduced bays. It is just a short ferry ride from Perth.

"Rottnest Island is a popular holiday destination for locals and tourists, and because of its close proximity to Perth your stay there can be as long or short as u like, due to the frequencies of ferry services to the Island day trips are very popular. Rottnest provides all that is required for a relaxing get away, coral reefs make for fantastic diving and snorkeling; hidden bays and deserted cycle paths waiting to be explored. The small marsupial quokka a bit like a small kangaroo only exists on this Island Rottnest coastlines very attractive, there are numerous secluded bays with clear water and white beaches to rival any island in the world. With over 60 beaches to choose there is no shortage of choice, at the top of every hill and the turn of every corner, another one comes in to view. All bays are popular spots for swimming and dazzling on the beach.

"Rottnest Island also has historical value and many historical places to visit one can go for a guided tour to aboriginal prison or Rottnest museum. Rottnest settlement was originally established as a prison for aborigines from the mainland, although there were no new prisoners from 1903,the existing prisoners had to serve out there sentences before 1920.The island is a sacred site for Noongar because hundreds of there people died there.

"Rottnest Islands Mediterranean climate, native flora and fauna like pines and tea trees makes it a must experience of Perth.Popular island activities include cycling around the island, golf, mini golf, tennis and lawn bowls. There’s also a hop-on-hop off bus service, as well as guided tours exploring the early colonial buildings, lighthouse and the islands crucial role in World War I and II."

Saturday, January 23, 2010

isle of girls 2

The beautiful island is again set to be (temporarily) more beautiful: Miss Universe WA semi-finals are coming.

According to the Busselton-Dunsborough Mail, a Margs winery is (again) hosting semi-finals - and another heats will be on Rotto before the Burswood finals.

No date provided for the Rottnest event. We hope it's at the Basin. 'Bevy of bikini babes Basin-bound', we would be able to report.

The Margs winery is Palmers Wines. Their 2003 Directors Reserve Shiraz is a snip after being discounted from $420 to $336.

Friday, January 22, 2010

movies and moving

We almost jumped in our luxury craft Bylines to charge across to the beautiful island: District 9 is on at 8pm at the movies.

The picture hall has a nifty Facebook presence: we love seeing what's on. Of course the greatest cinematic experience we've had at Rotto (apart from sitting next to a 16-year-old girl we were hanging out with when we were also 16 - we saw the Village People movie) was seeing Borat, with Americans.

The RIA is getting the hang of FB, too: this is their most recent post: "Ahhh snorkelling bliss. Great visibility, perfect weather - heavenly". 32 people like it so far.

And speaking of online entities and the beautiful island, Simon Beaumont (for it is he) seems to have started blogging again in preparation for the channel swim on February 20.

Simon is the engine room of Team Curly. Good thing, too...

"My team is incredibly underdone. Morale is down, skinfolds are up. Our preparation has been characterised by politics, in fighting and corruption. A bit like the state Labor Party..."

Thursday, January 21, 2010

picture post

A brilliant young media operative has shared her pics with Rotto Bloggo.

We believe she was instrumental in the filming of a high-profile documentary on the beautiful island.

Much footage was captured and much refreshment was required.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

unlimited farrago

Sometimes we feel like strangers in a strange land on the Internet. For example: "Australia is an in conclusion singular country, which allows the tourists to design roughly anything from it. The farrago in land & embankment is unlimited, outrageous and enormous trimming vastly from pretentious deserts to the white sandy beaches."

Right right. The bizarre language on Florida-Sportsman-Magazine must be read to be believed. This is their assessment of the beautiful island:

"What creates Perth the unusual electrifying city we know, is the enthralling and lovely captivate of Perth Beaches. Closer to Perth, The Basin at Rottnest Island is a easeful firth colored with far-reaching accumulation of fish. It is a mental condition mark for those who love to snorkel and swim."

F-S-M also likes Cottesloe, Lancelin and Broome: "where furious bottlenose dolphins continually come ashore to give the air a blithe lick and swelling the happiness that’s regularly in the air of Australia."

It sounds like Jesper trying to imitate a drunk Jane Austen while experiencing a G-force of 4.2.

We asked Internet guru Bret Treasure what F-S-M is for (we thought it might be to dispense malware).

But BT said "it's probably just some near randomly generated text to try and score web traffic so that they get ad revenue".

Strange days indeed.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

still there

We love this description of the beautiful island by a bloke trying to build a boat:

"Spent a week at Rottnest Island, off the coast of Perth, WA. This is a beautiful place, and still not destroyed by over development. The famous pub "Quokka Arms" is a bit more like "McDonalds with Beer" these days, and there are security guards (groan), but the view is still there and the beer's cold."

We were on the coast yesterday and drank in the view from Cottesloe. A bit hazy, but still satisfactoty. Would you believe we could see the beautiful island from this spot, but it doesn't come out in the photo. Shame.

These blokes also had a fab time: "The ride home was very entertaining the bow splash was spectacular."

That's a long way from complaining about only being able to see water from the ferry.

Friday, January 15, 2010

float my boat

A reader sent us this photo of a nice boat in Thomson Bay.

It was built in WA by Evolution Yachts in Henderson and is called the Anya.

It belongs to Tim Roberts, who was an Evolution director when the Anya was built.

According to a WA Government publication, the “superyacht” was launched last year.

The 35-metre catamaran has a spa, helicopter deck, “fully integrated AV”, high-speed Internet and an air-conditioned external main deck area.

Of course it's much like Rotto Bloggo's humble craft Bylines, which will be nosing around Doctor paddlers tomorrow.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

doctor diverted

We are sorry for our absence this week: we've been ensuring Bylines, our 35m superyacht, is in readiness for The Doctor.

So imagine our astonishment when race organisers told us late today the course has been changed!

"The race times and direction for The Doctor surf ski world cup have changed due to predicted offshore wind conditions on Saturday," they said.

"The Doctor race on Sat 16th Jan will now run from Port Beach, Fremantle to Rottnest."

Finishing on Rottnest instead of starting from it! That's more like it. Arrival at the beautiful island is, like ten thousand times more preferable than departure.

The start will be outside Salt on the Beach restaurant; the finish is undoubtedly that crescent of sandy kelpy perfection, Thomson Bay.

Stand-ups and paddleboards start at 7am, the female ski paddlers kick off at 8 and the bloke surf ski paddlers depart at 8.30.

The race will soon be on and all the pre-event publicity will be worth it.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

doctor doctor give me the news

This time last year Rotto Bloggo was churlish, superior, loutish and snippy - in summary, self-indulgent to extremes - when we ridiculed some media release writing about a race that starts from Rottnest.

It was so much fun, in fact, let's do it again: The Doctor is six days away, and organisers are hoping their PR efforts will be sucked into the maw of the hungry beast that is Teh Media.

'When Wembley Downs adventure racer John Toomey lines up for the ‘The Doctor’, the richest ocean paddling race in Australia on January 16, he will look across the starting line and see not only the best surf ski paddlers in the world but also an Olympic champion.'

It always dangerous predicting things, but OK. The misplaced comma is only mildly distracting.

'With more than $30,000 on offer ‘The Doctor’, as the 24 kilometre marathon downwind paddle from Rottnest Island to the Scarborough Beach Auditorium is known, has attracted a who’s who of the ocean paddling elite as well as a host of top kayakers led by Beijing gold medallist Kenny Wallace.'

How much more? $100 million? $30,266? Who's who - that's like the Bible of lists of famous people. We're not sure if the collective noun for kayakers is host.

'Australia’s elite will shape up against a raft of international stars including leading South Africans Hank McGregor and brothers Dawid (third in 2009) and Jasper Mocke as well as paddlers from New Zealand, USA, Hong Kong and Europe.'

Mother of God: they were shaping up last year, too. Will the stars raft up, Medusa style, after the event?

'Toomey has paddled a surf ski intermittently for more than 20 years since learning the craft when he was a member of Floreat surf club but the 36-year-old has spent the best part of two decades competing at an elite level in triathlon, orienteering and now adventure racing.'

Hmm. We often bicker with colleagues about journalism being either a trade or a professions. We rarely reach a conclusion. We can't even bring ourselves to enter the decade debate on a Sunday afternoon.

'Three straight victories in the Teva series and a top placing in the Alps to Ocean race in Victoria shown great adventure racing success but a foot surgery in November forced Toomey off his feet and into the surf again.'

A foot surgery forced him off his feet! Far out! He fiddled, fearfully, with his fresh farnarkling gear...

See for the deets...

Saturday, January 09, 2010

grill sergeant

This culinary news in from the RIA's Facebook page:

'This Friday, Saturday and Sunday Hotel Rottnest will be hosting 'Hot Off the Grill' with Celebrity Chef Don Hancey. He will be serving up dishes fresh from the grill in the courtyard. Matt Gresham will be playing from 8pm Friday and Saturday.'

If you get in your Bayliner now you'll be there with time to spare for the entertainment.

We don't get out much, but we hadn't heard of Hancey before. As well as being a celeb, he is a consultant. He certainly writes like a consultant: "We use an holistic approach to all levels of business by way of incorporating sustainable and best management practices."

Friday, January 08, 2010

anchor angst

An unsecured anchor meant heartache for some divers at Rottnest last week.

Two men anchored at Little Armstrong Bay on Friday and went underwater.

The Bayliner dragged its anchor onto the reef and sustained gel coat damage and scratches.

When the divers came back to the surface after only 20 minutes they were surprised to find their craft gone.

“ A couple of lads in a zodiac helped by ferrying one diver to the boat after he surfaced,” a witness said.

The divers stood on the reef and tried to coax their craft back into deeper water.

Senior Constable Matt Oakley from Rottnest police said boats drifting because they hadn't been properly secured was a frequent occurrence.

“There's a major incident every couple of weeks,” he said.

“Boats don't always end up on the rocks but there are plenty of close calls.”

Sen-Const Oakley said it was essential to follow basic safety rules when anchoring a boat at Rottnest.

“It's always good to dive straight down and check your anchor is secure and not dragging,” he said.

“It's also advisable to have another person stay on the boat while others are diving.

“Make sure your equipment is serviceable, and tell someone where you're going and when you'll be back.”

Thursday, January 07, 2010

return of the Rodholder

Time for Rotto Bloggo's Believe It Or Not: we're indebted to the Busselton-Dunsborough Mail for this extraordinary tale with a happy ending.

"I would like to advise you our Rodholder is missing," Dr Mostyn Hamdorf told his associate Lindsay Perry.

It was bad news big time: the good doctor and Mr Perry co-own Barney's Rodholder, a snazzy 4.8m cabin cruiser.

The Rodholder went AWOL on NYE, which "galvanised a flurry of activity aimed at finding and retrieving the missing vessel", the B-DM reports.

Please revel in the writing - but to cut to the chase, computer modelling accurately predicted the Rodholder would drift towards the beautiful island.

And it was thus: the Rodholder was found close to Rottnest.

"The very grateful owners drove to Perth the following day to pick up their well-travelled but undamaged boat," the Mail concludes.

Let's hope the doctor and his mate had a refreshing beer in Thomson Bay before the long trip home.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

distant horizon

We were down in Cottesloe today on business: as we drove along Eric Street we were anticipating the first glimpse of the beautiful island - but no! Some weird haze thing was happening.

No view for Rotto Bloggo. We wished for an arctic mirage, but nothing.

We're reading First Encounters by Joseph Cummins: 'epic true stories of cultural collision and conquest'. Amongst the tales of Vikings killing Algonquin and Romans invading Britain is an account of the Arctic mirage.

"In certain unusually clear and sunny atmospheric conditions, light waves are refracted, as if through a prism, so they bend with the curvature of the Earth, causing glaciers or mountains lying below distant horizons to be reflected upwards, even to rise over the horizon, something mariners call looming," Cummins says.

Can it be true? He says in 1939 some sailors saw Iceland from 550km away, and it looked a mere 40 km away. That's only twice the distance from Cott to Rott.

Also: "When the Noongar first heard reports of Vlamingh on Rottnest, they thought that the dead had come back to life and were returning to haunt their land."

Actually we made that bit up. There's no Rotto mention in First Encounters.

While you're here, please congratulate Nikola and Thomas on their recent Basin wedding.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

watery grave

It's all happening over there: the biggest news is three blokes from the eastern suburbs were plucked, wrung out, from the water off the West End.

The divers were about three km off the beautiful island when they drifted from their boat on Sunday morning.

Police said the men were lucky to survive.

“They were swept away in a very, very strong northerly current,” one officer said.

Water Police were on patrol in the area and only saw one of the divers because he was signalling with a loop from his cray line and his catch bag.

The exhausted man was plucked from the water half a kilometre from his vessel and told police he had been drifting for about an hour.

Officers soon located the other two men – one had severe cramps, could no longer swim and didn't have a flotation device.

The water policeman said one of the divers admitted things would have ended differently if police hadn't seen them.

“Given the distance they were from their boat this could easily have become a search for bodies later in the day,” he said.

“They are very lucky to be alive.”

Obligatory safety advice: it is essential for divers, fishers and swimmers to let people know detailed information about where they were going and when they would return.

Saying you are going diving off the West End is not enough detail.

No word yet on how Antonia is doing at the Lodge.

This bloke has the right idea about things to do: a trip to Rottnest is at the top of his list.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Lodge labour

Big it up for Antonia, who starts work on the beautiful island today.

Ms Wohlfahrt has been in WA for about a month: Freo, Scarborough, Perth and of course Rottnest.

"I have luck! I got a job at Rottnest Island...on Sunday,03/01/2010 I start at the biggest resort there - housekeeping at Rottnest Lodge," she writes on her blog.

"That will be such a great time at this beautiful spot! Just 25 keys when you want to go completely around with the bike; no cars on the whole island, the sea everywhere and a absolutly great nature!!!"

No argument there.

Hopefully a Rottnest pic will take the place of that Queensland scene at the top of her blog.

Of course, the Lodge has up to 80 rooms - we trust Antonia won't have to look after them all herself.

The Lodge website isn't too flash - no specials or reason to return - but there are pushing conferences (prices unknown).

Saturday, January 02, 2010


Mother In Law's Quilt: no, it's not a new strain of Paterson's Curse - it's a delightful creation whipped up on Rottnest.

We've been admiring Helen's blog, Patchy Work of Mini Grey, for the tantalising details of the beautiful island.

"We are still in Rottnest and still waiting on the call for Daz's placement..... but the sewing goes on in the meantime, well a little bit of sewing," she reports.

"I sewed the binding on this quilt and brought it over to do the hand sewing in time to finish it for my Mother In Law's birthday on the 3rd. I have finished ahead of schedule!"

The sewing is quality work. We also like the plastic chairs, fibro fences and cross balcony struts of worker housing you can see in the images.

Helen doesn't have a tape measure: who will send her one?

Friday, January 01, 2010


Rotto Bloggo has been lucky enough to have a New Year on the beautiful island: it was magic welcoming 2007 from the balcony of a plush Geordie Bay waterfront pad.

Our warmest wishes and creeping envy go out to everyone there last night and today.

Here are a few recent Facebook posts to try and make you feel like you're there/just been there/going there.

Forgot what it was like bike riding around Rottnest Island - a great way to keep fit but sunburnt and "sore". Thanks for the day Em,Han and Liam!!!

is off to rottnest :-)

subway goon and ipod on rottnest island :)

yay im at rottnest :D time to party at the rottnest pub tonight :p cocktail time soon

Just to let you all know tht we survived the fires and thanks to those who rang. It missed us by about 5k's and ,but for a wind change, we could have been in serious trouble. We are currently self medicating at Rottnest

is onto the ferry this arvo to entertain the punters at Hotel Rottnest. Have a good one, see y'all next year!

Snorkling at Rottnest yesterday. Put my foot down on a rock and after a couple of minutes felt something on my foot. Looked down & saw a big octopus trying to sucker itself to my foot. Yuk!

rottnest island here we come

We had a such a nice time @ Rottnest island it was Fun,Fun,Fun!!!!! My anniversary was so romantic.............thanx love.

is having a wonderful time in Fremantle.. spent the day cycling and swimming at Rottnest yesterday and is celebrating ten years with Jard today.. happy anniversary baby :-)

went to Rottnest Island today with spence and had a great day -lots of sun, sea and quokkas!!!!!!!!!

Rottnest was awesome- but: Bikes hurt my bottom, seasickness sucks and sunburn hurts me everywhere!