Thursday, February 25, 2010

have a heart

This is still a Rottnest swim post: we were at the great event last weekend, as you know, and buttonholed all manner of people and balloons.

However we have had to fire ourselves again because we missed this Rottnest angle.

As the bluff gruff editor says in Chris Pash's The Last Whale: "We don't pay you to sit around and call people who aren't there."

Indeed, and Rotto Bloggo doesn't pay us to not get the story of people in the vicinity.

This crowd say they were at the beach flogging their island-themed wares.

We're not sure about the quokka-shaped heart, but what do you reckon about the island-shaped heart?

We think it has a certain carto/cardio je ne sais quoi.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


We were buggered yesterday, and all we did was hoon about on the Eco Express, then stand at the finish line, have a coffee and walk to the lighthouse.

How did the swimmers feel?

"Over the moon," winner Deane Pieters said in a flat voice when asked by the meedja how he felt after finishing first. He had google marks imprinted into his head and squinted out of his left eye. "I've still got the shakes," he added, and we marvelled at his trembling legs and the sticky tape on his nipples.

The first woman said she got "stung to buggery" during the first thousand metres. "You look up and you think you're nearly there but then there's still two ks to go."

Peter Thomson finished somewhere between third and fifth - our notes are unsatisfactory - but he said he had maximum respect for those who took eight hours or more to finish. "They're the real heroes," he said.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


What an incredible day.

Up at 0400, at Cottesloe by 0500.

The orderly panic on the beach was amazing. We watched people coat themselves in wool fat as the sky lightened.

The first wave left at 0545: we were too busy interviewing to notice.

But we were soon on the media boat and interviewing (ie yelling questions at canoeists as they shepherded their swimmers) some more.

We noted the Channel 10 team coming last, the editor of The West in a four-man crew, a certain reporter who had to retire below decks to sign a liquid sea shanty: the media were hard at work on the water.

A few hours later at Thomson Bay we watched the early arrivals come in. They were absolutely buggered.

The atmos on the beautiful island was superb.

How do you get in on on of these four-person teams? It looks like a lot of fun.

Friday, February 19, 2010

calm before storm

The dredging has stopped. The grease is ready. The butterflies are flapping their wings.

Only a few hours to go until the big swim. The POST has a marvellous story today about a 15-year-old ready to tackle the waves while recovering from a broken arm.

That is the spirit! That's how we fought Johnny Turk to a standstill and repelled the Japs at Kokoda.

All being well - if we don't sleep in - Rotto Bloggo will be north of the Cottesloe beach start line at 0515 tomorrow.

If we take enough pics and get enough quotes we can milk it for a week's blogging.

In the meantime, we will gaze at this restful island scene we spied while waiting for documents on level 6 in the Federal Magistrate's Court this morning.

It is Barbara Chapman's Rottnest View, 1996, oil on gesso.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Complaints on Rotto? About what?

Rotto Bloggo is the first to whinge if something isn't right, so we like this WA Today report about power grumbles - and we loves the Rottnest reference.

'The number of complaints to WA electricity retailers has risen more than 20 per cent, with bill problems making up the lion's share,' the site says.

'...1903 were received by Synergy, up 27.7 per cent on the previous year. Horizon Power, which supplies customers in the north and east of WA, had a 36.5 per cent decrease in complaints, to 124.'

That's heaps - and the situation on the beautiful island?

'The number of complaints from non-residential customers rose 10.4 per cent, to 158. Of those Synergy received 127 (up 59 per cent), Horizon 25 (down 60 per cent), while Alinta got four, and Perth Energy and the Rottnest Island Authority one each.'

Saturday, February 13, 2010

a sea of stories

There are more stories about swimmers in next week race around than young thugs carrying carving knives in Northbridge - and it's all good.

See here for Scotch boys, here for a bloke from Bondi, and grab the POST for Fiona Stanley swimming through sludge to Thomson Bay.

Today's W supplement in The West has a few, including Rotto cop Matt Oakley, who reminded us there's no pool on Rottnest.

The best thing in W, though, is a column by Robert Drewe about the beautiful island. A mix of reminiscing and musing.

Will these guys be watching the swimmers as they thrash overhead?

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

two waves

It was discombobulating: we crested Eric Street in Cott this afternoon, prepared for a clear view of the beautiful island...

...but it looked like Port Hedland circa 1977, when a strike meant the iron ore ships were heaving to and hoving off out to sea.

Most disappointing. Maybe it also looked like what the Nazis saw at Normandy before they had to start scurrying back to Berlin. There seemed to be a lot of ships out there.

We're sure our crappy phone pic doesn't do it justice, but here it is anyway.

The swim gets ever closer: don't forget about the Great Two Wave Directive And Reminder...

'In 2010, the solos will leave in two waves. First, all female solo swimmers and some of the male solos will enter the swim channel. In the next wave, the remaining male solos will leave. Next are the Channel Ten duos and then the Hahn Super Dry teams will set off in waves of about 100 every 15 minutes. The Lavan Legal Charity Challenge Teams must go with their age category wave.'

Monday, February 08, 2010

Irish swimmer

We've cut-and-pasted this marvellous story from the POST and attached a Rottnest swim numberplate we spotted in Swanbourne on the weekend...

Jennifer Hurley not only wants to finish the Rottnest Channel Swim – she wants to attend the after party as well.

Last year was the Irish swimmer's first Rottnest swim: she did well, but passed out after she made it to Thomson Bay.

“I loved it, but it was longer than I expected,” she told the POST by phone from Cork this week.

“I had a few hiccups at the start, and I made a mistake with my sun-cream.

“I didn't put it on at the start, and I dropped it in the water while I was swimming – and got very badly burnt.”

Jennifer, a 37-year-old mother of five, is doing the Rottnest swim in preparation for her first English Channel swim later this year.

The European event is nearly twice as long as the Rottnest one: the strong tides change every six hours, it is one of the world's busiest shipping lanes and only half of the solo swimmers finish the swim.

Jennifer has done a lot of open swimming and the Rottnest event is a favourite.

“I loved it last year,” she said.

“The water is so warm compared to Ireland – and you can see the bottom all the way across.

“The atmosphere is tremendous and the solo swimmers get cheers from everyone.”

Jennifer is originally from Perth and moved to Ireland 12 years ago.

She has always loved swimming but only started competing in open water events when she moved to Europe.

Swims she has done include various events on the Shannon River in Ireland, a 10km swim at Nice in France, and Escape from Alcatraz in San Francisco.

“They keep me sane,” she said.

“I also really love red wine and chocolate, so they keep me fit as well.”

Jennifer is raising money through her English Channel swim for Barretstown, a charity in the Wicklow Mountains in Ireland which helps children with cancer and other illnesses.

“It's a magical castle in the foothills of the mountain where kids go for fun,” she said.

“I'm hoping to raise 10,000 euros or more.”

Her children, who are aged between eight and 19, helped her choose which charity would benefit from her swim.

“If the kids aren't on board, the swimming doesn't work,” she said.

“I sat down with them and we threw around some ideas – and they decided who to support.”

Jennifer arrives in Perth five days before the February 20 Rottnest swim.

After the 19km event she will spend two weeks here with family and friends.

Sunday, February 07, 2010


Big it up for Jess Manea: she had a fab time on the beautiful island and still has that Rotto magic.

Snorkelling, fishing and her first game of mini-golf at Brett Heady's Family Fun Centre - it was the perfect time on Rottnest.

Even Canadian nurses fall in love with the beautiful island. "Arriving at Rotto at sunset will be one of the most beautiful sites of this trip," said Brittany, Danielle, Jodie and Valena from southern Alberta.

"There is a cute pub on the island that we went to and on the way we had our first encounter with Quokkers. These creatures are tiny little marsupials that look like miniture kangaroos and are only on this island."

It was so good they swore they were in the Caribbean.

We love this pic of a tree on Rottnest by Flickr user MonzTris.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

pulchritudinous parade

There will be a bevy of beachside beauties later this month on the beautiful island.

A heat of Miss Universe WA will be held on Rottnest.

The event will have three heats with 11 women in each.

Four contestants from each heat will go through to the final at Burswood next month.

The pulchritudinous parade will be at Hotel Rottnest on Saturday, February 27, from 2pm.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Geordie Google?

Monday is your last chance to nominate Rottnest to get Googled.

We were so excited to read the beautiful island was a certainty to get ogled by Google - but when we rang the Google people they said Asher Moses was incorrect.

How can you get something like that wrong?

Anyway...the search engine behemoth is using a tricycle to photograph Australian places not accessible to cars.

Google's Street View trike is a 110kg modified bike with a mounted Street View camera and GPS system.

The photos it takes are used in its Maps Street View feature.

Google has four categories in which people can submit suggestions: city life, cultural areas, natural wonders and hidden gems.

Submit your ideas at

Entries close on Monday 8 February – winners will be announced on 25 February.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

more dancing

Outstanding south-of-the-river blogger Fremantlebiz has given us an excuse to mention Under The Lighthouse Dancing again.

The last time we looked at UTLD it was primarily about the house built on the beautiful island for the film.

In his amusing post today, Mr Fremantlebiz wonders if Blame - being filmed in the hills as we speak - will make it onto next year's Oscars list.

"There have been a lot of non-Oscars for locally made feature films. The psycho-drama Last Train to Freo which I mentioned on 18 September 2006, failed to be nominated. Same thing with a local 2008 boxing epic featuring colourful real-life underworld identities titled Two Fists One Heart. It comes out on DVD next month.

"And who could forget the 1997 melodrama Under the Lighthouse Dancing which was made at great expense on our very own Rottnest Island: 'The story of six friends who journey to an island off the coast of Australia for the weekend. Two of them, Emma and Harry, announce that they intend to get married, but have made no plans, nor do they have a proper license. Emma also announces that she is very ill, and all she wants is a wedding. The other four friends then try to find a way to make it all happen…' Surprisingly, it also missed out on an Academy Award."

Mr Fremantlebiz reproduces the UTLD poster - which has emboldened us to do so as well.

Speaking of local fillums, we wonder if the cast and crew of Harlequin were able to see Rotto from the groovy house they were in?

Monday, February 01, 2010

Rotto poles

More art news about the beautiful island just in.

This Rottnest scene oil is being exhibited in Freo until Feb 25.

It's the work of Liz Unwin, who says:

"This scene is from a photo I took of some old poles near the shore. I loved the patterns in the sea but, as this was my first oil painting, I found them difficult to reproduce. I managed to capture the effects eventually and learnt a lot in the process (thanks to Brian Simmonds, my art teacher)."

The exhibition is at Fidels, Essex Street, Fremantle.