xenith: (Fairy Tree)
Home Hill in Devonport is known as the home of former Prime Minister, Joseph Lyons, but his wife Enid lived there for another forty years after he died.

In 1943, Enid was the first woman elected to the House of Represaenatives making her, along with Dorothy Tangney (elected to the Senate), the first woman elected to the Australian parliament.

Now there's a lot I could write (and I have done a little before) but there's also a lot already written by people who've done it better so I'll pick out some of the more interesting links for you to read instead.

More )
xenith: (Surprise)
Devonport -- Burnie

Devonport I have covered before. Somewhere. Sort of. Squirrel photos will do? Hmm. OK, Devonport is a port city of about 22,000 people, making it the third biggest city on the island. The Bass Strait ferries come in here, and other things of course.

It does have a nice, if rather dull, beach.

Devonport is also the first place actually on the coast when you're heading west along the Bass Highway (i.e. coming from the rest of the state).

Continue west. )
xenith: (Ensign)
This one should be short.

I started the morning by walking up along the river, to the beach.

Back down the river

That's back the way I've just walked. There's the ferry, on the left, the light from the squirrel photos on the right in front of a big yellow building, the cement silos in front of Endeavour are almost in the middle. You can't quite see the black masts in the smaller photo. The city centre such as it is, is beyound and to the right of the yellow building.
Read more... )
xenith: (Ensign)
Shipkeeping involves sleeping on the ship overnight and getting up during the night for a period to make sure everything is as it should be. Sleeping in hammocks is optional, I assume, as we were asked if we wanted to.

Read more... )
xenith: (Ensign)
Wednesday morning I get up, pack up and check out of the hotel. Its a bit weird checking out when I've still got almost two days in Devonport.

Lots of words )
xenith: (Ensign)
Now I go down to the final information position Mess Deck (Tables), which is on the opposite side to Mess Deck (Hammocks). Visitors come through from the fire hearth, stop here, and then go onto the hammocks. It was 4 pm, only one visitor came through while I was here.
Read more... )
xenith: (Ensign)
Lunch time! I dropped my vest, water bottle and cap in the sea chest nearest the fire hearth. (We'd been told to wear blue or white tops if possible and I only had two decent blue t-shirts. I took them and wore the navy blue one on the first day, which worked well while guiding, but. I wasn't quite keen enough to head into city wearing Lady Nelson on my t-shirt and HMB Endeavour on my cap :)

Lot of photos )
xenith: (Ensign)
After break, now I'm on my own, and on the Mess Deck (Hammocks). There are four flash cards here. Three tied together and, untangle, ah, the fourth one is the same as the first, but not tied on. That might not be so bad. A couple stop at this spot and I read through the first card. They know about lead lines & log lines, so I don't go over them again. They move on. I forgot about the cat. Bugger. Next time.

Read more... )
xenith: (Ensign)
The firehearth is the first stop once you go down the companionway. I think there should be something more interesting for the first stop. A visitor is impatient to see what's there and an stove, no matter what sort of stove, is not something you want to stop and look at right then.
Read more... )
xenith: (Ensign)
The guides that hadn't been on the Endeavour before had to show up at 8.30 am on their first day for a look over the ship. So I left the hotel at 8.15 (cream coloured building in the middle of the photo)
Read more... )
xenith: (Brown Patches)
Because I was preoccupied with packing, I had forgotten about the Wooden Boat Rally over the weekend at the Seaport. I had meant to go down to have a look at. Little enough happens in Launceston, yet I still manage to miss things. Also found out late on Sunday that Duyfken was there.

In the end I went down to the bus depot an hour early (4 pm instead of 5). Once I'd got rid of my bag, I walked over to Royal Park and then down through the Seaport to see if there was anything remaining at this late stage.

Read more... )

Our ferries

Mar. 8th, 2007 05:54 pm
xenith: (Default)
Before I write trip report, I should do a short bit on the Bass Strait ferries.

Back in the 70s, the Empress of Australia carried passengers between Melbourne and Devonport, and many of us schoolkids had her picture on our schoolbags.

In the mid 80s, the State Government bought a replacement. A competition was held to choose a name. I can't remember what the prize was, probably a free trip for two, or what our suggestion was, although we did drop an entry in the box at the display at the Launceston Show. So came the Abel Tasman. Then, the ferry was the cheap alternative to flying to Melbourne, particularly if you were only going one way. This was also the time of the national pilot's strike. All the commericial airline pilots went on strike. If you didn't have your own plane, there was only one way in and out of Tasmania -- by water. By the ferry.

In the early 90s, our Abel Tasman was replaced by the Spirit of Tasmania, also known as the Cattleship. There is video footage of her in the rough waters of Bass Strait getting up quite a bit of sway. I travelled on this one, in 96. A one way way fare on the plane was the same, or more, than a return ticket, and the ferry was still the cheap alternative. The cheapest fare got you a bunk in the dorm room and as you could eat at the buffet.

There was a bit of grumbling because that meal added quite a bit to the ticket price, $35 if I recall correctly, and if you're travelling on a budget, that's a an expensive meal. There was also grumbling at the time the trip took -- leave Devonport about 6 pm, arrive Melbourne about 8 am. The advertising campaign promoted it as "a cruise to start your holiday with". When you want to get quickly from one point to another, you don't want a cruise.

The Devil Cats fit in here. Short version -- the wave piercing INCAT catamarans were faster than the Spirit and ran a shorter route (George Town, at the top of the Tamar, to Port Welshpool, IIRC) but they kept running into problems, especially with the rough sea, and couldn't meet their schedules.

This Spirit must have been in use when Ansett crashed in 2001. The major airlines both flew regularly in and out of the state. Then suddenly one was gone. Many, many people stranded in Melbourne with no way to get home. No train to catch, or bus, or car, or even hitchhike as a last resort. The ferry was running full. Qantas planes were full. Not a good situation. Ansett managed to resurrect themselves for a short while, but they pulled out Launceston airport soon after, because travellers weren't supporting them. Virgin Blue took over their space. And so begins the era of cut-price plane fares. When a one way fare on the boat is almost as much as a return on a plane, the slow and inconvenient ferry becomes less attractive.

Then came the twins. The Cattleship was replaced by two Greek ferries, Superfast III and Superfast IV.

There was a lot of publicity surrounding their arrival. They went down to Hobart, where they were opened to the public. TT-Line announced that as they had invested so much in the branding of their ferry's name, and possibly inspired by the new additions' original names, they named the pair Spirit of Tasmania I and Spirit of Tasmania II.

(Look at this twice.)

That's I.

To show that the government does listen to the people, the cheapest fare did not include the cost of the meal. Or a bed either, even on the night run, and it was about $5-10 less than the fare on the old Spirit that did include a bed and a meal. But it was cheaper and, between them, the red ships brought in many, many tourists and the economy boomed and life was good. So much, that the government bought a third one, Spirit of Tasmania III, that ran from Devonport to Sydney. Let's just say, it wasn't a good idea.

The advertising for the red twins is aimed at mainland holidaymakers. That's obvious even from the first page of the website with its "Tassie" all over the place. Lately though, there's been an advertising campaign aimed the other way, with Boonie pointing out how using the Spirit means dollars stay in the state. It might work. The advertised fare is attractive. I do think though, if TT-Line wants to appeal to the local market, they've missed the boat. 20 years ago, they ran a competition to name the new arrival and people still cared about our ferry. Now it's all flash and colour and does anyone really care about the overly red ferries? Maybe they do in Devonport.


Feb. 28th, 2007 10:22 pm
xenith: (Brown Patches)
Home, for a couple of days anyway.

A couple of photos. )


xenith: (Default)

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