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Admiration: Captain Barbara Campell

Leaving Bermuda on Tenacious. Barbara often stands on top of the deck house to get a clear view ahead!

Leaving Bermuda on Tenacious. Barbara often stands on top of the deck house to get a clear view ahead!

This week’s Photo Challenge is to “depict something or someone you admire”. I’d like to introduce you to Captain Barbara Campbell, for whom I have immense admiration.

I first met Barbara about 20 years ago, and have since sailed with her on a number of voyages on the Jubilee Sailing Trust’s tall ships Lord Nelson and Tenacious. Among the JST’s thousands of voyage crew, she is known affectionately as simply “Captain Barbara”.

In a storm, Atlantic Ocean.

In a storm, Tenacious, Atlantic Ocean.

Barbara began her maritime career as a deck cadet with P&O in the 1970s, a time when a life at sea was not generally considered a career option for women. She worked her way up to deck officer and then in 1986 obtained her Master’s Ticket — the first woman in Scotland to do so. While working on ferries and cruise ships, Barbara also “moon lighted” on tall ships, doing odd voyages on Lord Nelson, for example, from 1992. She became captain of Lord Nelson in 1999.

In conference with the first mate, Atlantic Ocean.

In conference with the first mate, Tenacious, Atlantic Ocean.

Being a ship’s captain is not all about giving commands: Barbara does more than her fair share of rope pulling and mast climbing. She often makes me feel guilty! I remember one morning on Lord Nelson in the Indian Ocean, my watch was setting a sail before breakfast — with more duty than enthusiasm, it must be admitted. A little white blur shot out of the deckhouse and clapped onto the line with us. Yup, Captain Barbara. As you may imagine, our efforts suddenly intensified!

On long voyages such as ocean passages, there’s time for lighter activities, too. Each JST ship carries up to 40 paying “voyage crew”, and Barbara joins the fun.

As Neptune, King of the Ocean Waves, with consort and assorted members of 'his' court, for the Crossing the Line [Equator] ceremony, Lord Nelson, Indian Ocean.

As Neptune, King of the Ocean Waves, with consort and assorted members of ‘his’ court, for the Crossing the Line [Equator] ceremony, Lord Nelson, Indian Ocean.

Dancing a reel with the voyage crew, Atlantic Ocean.

Dancing a reel with the voyage crew, Tenacious, Atlantic Ocean.

Judging a kite flying competition, Atlantic Ocean.

Judging a kite flying competition, Tenacious, Atlantic Ocean.

Barbara Campbell is a true trailblazer and role model for women in what had been very much a man’s job. Physically petite, she has tremendous presence and authority: when you see her with first mates towering beside her, there’s no doubt who’s in charge! I’ll be sailing on Tenacious around Fiji for two weeks in June, and I hope Captain Barbara is onboard.

Leading a church service, Atlantic Ocean.

Leading a church service, Tenacious, Atlantic Ocean.

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Random Fridays: 200

The Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney is 200 years old this year.

The Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney is 200 years old this year.

This planted “200” is looking a bit tatty after our hot summer. I wonder if the Garden will have a series of plantings in that shape all year?


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The Changing Seasons – Sydney: April

Overflowing gutters on my apartment building.

Overflowing gutters on my apartment building.

All my other shots for April have blue skies and sunshine, so I thought I’d start off with some rain to be sure you didn’t get the wrong idea. No cruise ship for you this month: the season is winding down but they are still visiting, but I didn’t get down to Circular Quay when a new one was in. In fact, I was very lazy this month, so have only two things to highlight for the April Monthly Challenge.

Biennale

Biennale

Biennale

The Biennale of Sydney is an art festival held every two years in several venues around the city. I checked out the displays on Cockatoo Island. This small selection gives an idea of the art and also the buildings. (You can see more of my photos about this island here.)

Anzac Day

25 April is Anzac Day, when Australians and New Zealanders remember the hardships of WWI and honour their military service people. The day begins with a dawn service — “pre dawn”, actually, as it’s held at 4am, long before the sun rises! It is wildly unlikely that you will ever see photos by me of that service. 😉

The highlight is a three-hour parade with marching veterans and current serving personnel.

The small children marching with their grandparents, or in place of a relative, look uncharacteristically solemn.

And what’s a parade without marching bands?

This is the 'massed bands' -- about 100 bagpipers, plus drummers.

This is the ‘massed bands’ — about 100 bagpipers, plus drummers.

Two Up

Anzac Day is one of the few days in the year when “two up” can be legally played in pubs. The rules are simple: three coins are tossed into the air, and the winner is the person who has bet on which face (heads or tails) lands UP on TWO of the coins. In the image below left, the man in the background is holding $50 and $20 bills — more than I would bet on coins!

Season Markers

There’s not even a hint of sun now in Martin Place at 5:30pm, and look how long the shadows are now at 1pm in Sandringham Garden.

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Anzac Day

Gallipoli memorial sculpture, Melbourne

Gallipoli memorial sculpture, Melbourne

25 April – Anzac Day – is the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during World War I. “In 1915 Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula … [they] landed on Gallipoli on 25 April, meeting fierce resistance from the Ottoman Turkish defenders … At the end of 1915 the allied forces were evacuated from the peninsula, with both sides having suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships.” (source)

The Australian Turkish Friendship Memorial Sculpture, known as “Seeds of Friendship” (artist Matthew Harding), was erected in Melbourne to mark the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings, and those shared “great hardships”.

Gallipoli memorial sculpture, Melbourne

Gallipoli memorial sculpture, Melbourne

These words from Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (a Turkish divisional commander at Gallipoli, and Turkey’s first president after WWI) appear around the base of the sculpture:

“Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives … You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side now here in this country of ours … you, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.”

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Shakespeare in the abstract: 400 years

Shakespeare's Sonnet 18

Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18

23 April 2016 (the day I posted this) is the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare. This abstract photo of Sonnet 18 is my own small contribution to marking the man’s genius. Although the opening line is more famous (“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”), I think the final two sum up the fate of Shakespeare himself: for as long as people live, he too will live.
This photo is of my rather worn paperback copy of the 1996 edition of “The Nation’s Favourite Poems”, in which Sonnet 18 comes in at number 36.

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Random Fridays: Vin de Provence

Delicately pink wine in an elegant bottle.

Delicately pink wine in an elegant bottle.

I bought this wine because I like rosé from Provence and the price of this one was reduced 33%. I took the photo because I thought I could use it in the Colour Your World photo challenge, but alas it didn’t match any of the remaining colours! It does fit well with the “One Word Photo Challenge: Bottle“, however.


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The Goods Line

Undated photo on a display board. Looking north to Darling Harbour.

Undated photo on a display board. Looking north to Darling Harbour. Hard to believe this is now an urban walking route and playground!

A chance reference to “The Goods Line” in a news article last week sent me straight to Google. What was this elevated railway-turned-pedestrian walkway in Sydney, and why had I not heard of it before?

Rather than rewriting what I’ve since learned, I’ll simply quote. “The first railway in New South Wales was laid on this route in 1855 to transport goods from the wharves of Darling Harbour to the railway goods yard at Redfern … Today the entire length of the re-invigorated rail corridor is only 500 metres – basically from Central Station’s Devonshire Tunnel under George Street to the southern boundary of the Powerhouse Museum. Yet this was once one of the most lucrative commercial arteries in the British Empire.” (source)

I somehow managed to miss the reference to the tunnel under George Street, so wandered around at street level until I finally found a map of the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) (which grew up around the original train line) and was able to join The Goods Line at the halfway point, where it crosses Ultimo Street.

The black and white photo below is part of an information display above the bridge. I was unable to match the angle of the old shot because, as you can see, there is quite a bit more traffic on Ultimo Street now! The only shared landmarks in these shots are the rail bridge and the tower behind. The tower is the restored bell tower of the Sydney Markets, now standing outside the Markets Library of the UTS; the bridge is the oldest iron bridge in Australia, built in 1879. What I find most striking about the old photo is the complete lack of trees.

The Goods Line rail bridge crossing Ultimo Street, then and now.

The Goods Line rail bridge crossing Ultimo Street, then and now.

Now that I’d found the line, doing only half the walk would have been cheating (not to mention absurdly short) so I headed back to the beginning. This is where the tunnel from Central Station, which I should have followed, spits you out.

The start of the walk, at the southern end.

The start of the walk, at the southern end.

If you go down the stairs and look over your left shoulder, you see this. Aren’t you itching to know what’s behind those locked gates?

Train track to ... where?

Train track to … where?

Looking north, you see the rail line, and the walk, stretching arrow-straight ahead of you. The last goods train left Darling Harbour on this line in 1984, and until redeveloped as a pedestrian link (at a reported cost of A$15 million) and opened last September, the land and infrastructure were unused (apart from the occasional steam train taking things to the museum).

Train tracks and walking route, straight ahead.

Train tracks and walking route, straight ahead.

I certainly hadn’t done anything requiring a rest, but there was no shortage of benches.

Bench after bench after bench ...

Bench after bench after bench …

This extraordinary structure sits at the corner of Ultimo Street and The Goods Line. It’s the first building in Australia designed by globally renowned architect Frank Gehry and belongs to the UTS.

The nature of the walk changes dramatically at the bridge, from concrete hemmed in by buildings in the south (below left), to meandering paths, greenery and play areas in the north (below right).

If you compare the view north now (above right) with the view in the undated b&w photo below (displayed above the bridge), the only common feature is the twin peaks of the roofline of the power station (now housing the Powerhouse Museum).

The red box indicates the power station / Powerhouse Museum building.

The red box indicates the power station / Powerhouse Museum building.

Strolling towards the museum, you’ll pass a number of diversions, such as ping pong areas (BYO paddles!):

Anyone for ping pong?

Anyone for ping pong?

… a child-sized interactive fountain …

… old railway objects …

… flowers and little gardens.

The Goods Line leads you to the Powerhouse Museum …


Powerhouse Museum

… where the walk ends abruptly, blockaded by a solid grey barrier.

A grey barricade marks the end of the walk.

A grey barricade marks the end of the walk.

Welcome to the pedestrian hell that is the Darling Quarter/convention centre construction site. Here’s a small sample of what’s going up:

Yet more Sydney construction.

Yet more Sydney construction.

The brave walker pushing on to Darling Harbour, as I was, must negotiate this blot on the landscape.

This was a very short walk (I walked at least as long trying to find the start!), but it revealed to me a part of Sydney’s history that I hadn’t known about. You can discover where other people have been walking on Jo’s Monday Walks.


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Colour Your World: Violet Purple

Queen Mary 2, with a crescent moon and purple glowing thing on top

Queen Mary 2, with a crescent moon and purple glowing thing on top

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Queen Mary 2 stopped in Sydney for two nights in March. I was quite excited, because I’ve booked a short cruise on the ship for next year. Wildly extravagant, I know! 🙂 QM2’s sister ship, Queen Victoria, was here a few days before QM2, lit overall in a very eye-catching purple; at least QM2 confined the purple glow to the globular thing on top (various electronic instruments, I suspect).
(Color Your World Challenge: Violet Purple)


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