Micro climates

It’s blowing a gale on the Bay today. I was incredibly fortunate to get my cottage on the island in the position that it is.  Being at the highest point of the island and surrounded by low, but steep cliffs, it seems to be immune to bad weather. The strong winds literally hit the cliffs and pop right over the top.  I still seem to get the regular gentle breezes though. 

50 metres away at the edge of the cliff I can see the tree tops rolling around like crazy.  About 50 metres down the hill in the other direction (S/W) the park is getting a strong breeze through the moorings, even though it is quite protected.

You can see from Cutty’s tail that there is a good breeze on the water.

  
The photos don’t portray the strength of the breeze very well but there are a few white caps visible.

   
Cutty loves the park and the breeze and despite being an old girl at 8, she runs around like a 2 year old pup.

 

Internet Connections

The Internet has revolutionised how businesses can operate.  I’m sure most of us have seen online businesses and said, “damn, why didn’t I think of that”.

So here’s one that a reader sent me, it’s called Petcloud.

 www.petcloud.com.au

How good is this, a pet minding service that puts pet owners in touch with other people who are happy to be pet minders.  You might recall a while ago I looked after a lost dog, “boy” and eventually found his owner.  I thoroughly enjoyed having him here, as did Cutty (see blurred photo below).

I know other people who love dogs but just can’t have one due to circumstances, but they may be happy to have one for a weekend. 

Maybe I’ll sign up.  
  

Earth ships

I’ve often thought it was odd that modern building standards don’t incorporate environmentally sustainable features into their designs.  It seems that we are slowly getting there with the adoption of solar panels and water tanks but our homes certainly aren’t self sufficient.  Until fairly recently, councils in Queensland wouldn’t allow residential water tanks.  Having lived on a yacht, self sufficiency is something that is contemplated on a daily basis.  Solar panels, wind generators, water makers, water catchers etc., are all features incorporated into cruising yachts.  Below is a well set up yacht which even has a wind scoop to funnel a breeze through the boat.

  

So why not houses.  It’s so simple and unlike yachts they aren’t limited for space.  Solar panels can be placed in a constant position to optimise gain unlike a boat that is moving around.  The technology is readily available and cheap. Cheap compared to the infrastructure involved in supplying 240v.

A friend sent me a link to this documentary on an American architect Mike Reynolds.  He designs and builds houses largely from rubbish or recycled materials in a sustainable and cheap way. He has coined the term “Earth Ships” and it makes a lot of sense. Build houses with systems in place that you would have on a ship.  A self contained micro environment using readily available and cheap resources. 

  
Click here for the video – Earth Ships Documetary

The aesthetics of the designs may be subjective but overall I think they are beautiful. The cost of housing in Australia is crazy with the mean house price for Brisbane being $600,000.  In Sydney it’s closer to $1,000,000.  Then there is the cost of having the house. Rates, utilities and maintenance. We end up being locked into a lifetime of mortgage and utility payments with no end in sight.  We don’t have time to grow our own food because we are at work trying to make money.  The result is that we are just slaves to banks, utility companies and now supermarkets that supply our food.  We have become a society completely dependent on authorities.  

I recommend watching the awesome doco above. It demonstrates how we are being held to ransom by regulations and laws.

Another perfect weekend

Each time I head over to the island I’m always surprised at how beautiful this area is.  I can literally point my camera in any direction and the subject matter is stunning. 

  

When I sailed my old Westsail I used to spend time at the Northern end of the bay.  I don’t know why I didn’t come down to the Southern end.  It definitely has its own appeal and offers more protection for boaties.

There are all types of watercraft getting around the islands from tinnies to old Moreton Bay cruisers like this one.

There are a few yachts anchored around the islands on weekends. They generally make a stop over at the bigger island grocery store for supplies.  It’s always easy to spot a Yachtie and you can generally tell what kind of boat they sail from their tender.  There are generally two types.  The modern sailors who probably sail a fin keel fibreglass boat like a Beneteau.  They usually have a little zodiac inflatable with an outboard.

    

Or the more traditional type who row a hard dinghy.

 

Island Regatta

Each Easter long weekend the island residents have a yacht regatta.  Fortunately for them, after 3 days of torrential rain, the weather cleared up today.  The main channel along the southern end of the island was crowded with sailing boats.  The new park was an ideal viewing spot.  If you are thinking that I have enhanced the colours in this photo, I haven’t.  With all the rain, the new turf is actually that green.

  

Easter Weekend

It’s looking like a wet weekend for the Easter holiday.  I got an early start this morning and left the city at 3am.  There was a place I was interested in visiting which was a couple of hours away. I was on the bike and sidecar so it wasn’t ideal riding weather.   Fortunately it’s not cold so the rain isn’t really a major issue and Goretex is my friend today.  Cutty just hides under the cover in the sidecar and stays relatively dry.  She is always up for a little adventure.

Along the way we came across these camels who were looking miserable and wet in the rain.

 

 

They appeared interested in Cutty and came up close to say hello.

 

 

Anyway, back on the road for a wet bike trip and we eventually got back to the island barge. Cutty was giving me the, “not impressed” look.

  

Despite the miserable weather the bay looked stunning as usual and there was a patch of blue sky.

By early morning we were on the island and looking forward to drying out for the long weekend.