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Fountain Series: Unusual – Fish Fountains

Two of the five fish in the fish fountain at the swimming lagoon, Cairns.

Two of the five fish in the fish fountain at the swimming lagoon, Cairns.

The Swimming Lagoon in Cairns (Queensland, Australia) measures an amazing 4800 sq m, and has five woven steel fish fountains by artist Brian Robinson. (If you’re having trouble seeing any water “founting”, look at the lower left and you’ll see thin streams of water against the trees.)

June’s Fountain Series theme is “unusual“.


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The Changing Seasons: Sydney – June

Waiting to escape Stormageddon, Gate 60, Sydney airport.

Waiting to escape Stormageddon, Gate 60, Sydney airport.

I wasn’t in Sydney for most of June, so my Changing Seasons entry this month is the “single arty photo” version. This is Gate 60 at Sydney Airport on Sunday 5 June, waiting for the flight to Suva (Fiji).

That weekend, Sydney (and much of the east coast of Australia) was ravaged by a weather event dubbed “Stormageddon”. This violent superstorm flooded buildings and streets, knocked down trees and power lines, left tens of thousands of people without power, and destroyed beachfront properties. Waves as high as 8 metres ripped out swimming pools and gouged land as if with giant claws.

Selfishly, my concern was getting to Fiji: in the end, the flight was two hours late in leaving, but it did go! I took the feature photo during the long wait before my Fiji Airways plane pushed back from the gate.


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Sailing by Numbers

Tenacious bell. Ship launched in 2000.

Tenacious bell. Ship launched in 2000.

Tomorrow (2016-06-05) I fly to Fiji to join voyage 461 of the tall ship Tenacious (which starts on 2016-06-08). It will be voyage 15 for me on the Jubilee Sailing Trust’s 2 ships.

Tenacious. JST ship 002.

Tenacious. JST ship 002. I must admit that I laughed when the first time I saw this 3-digit optimism, and the massive fleet of tall ships it conjured up!

In 2005, Tenacious graced a 60 cent stamp of the Republic of Ireland (Eire).

60 cent Irish stamp, 2005

60 cent Irish stamp, 2005

I have a particular fondness for this ship because I helped to build her. When the Jubilee Sailing Trust set out to build a second tall ship in the 1990s, they approached its construction the same way they approach the sailing of a ship: a mix of skilled professionals and unskilled lay-people, a mix of able-bodied and physically-disabled people.

The keel of as-yet-unnamed ship was laid by HRH the Duke of York in a ceremony on 1996-07-06. In 2000-09, the JST’s new ship, now proudly named Tenacious, set off on her maiden voyage.

Tenacious leaving her home port of Southampton, 2000-09.

Tenacious leaving her home port of Southampton on her first official voyage, 2000-09.

Need more numbers? Tenacious is 65m/213ft3in long (including bowsprit), has a beam of 10.5m/34ft6in, displaces 714tonnes, and has a sail area of 1200m2/12,920sq ft. The masthead is 38m/124ft8in above the deck.

To put those measurements into perspective, here she is in Horta (the Azores) in 2006-04, on voyage 156, dwarfing the yachts and pleasure boats beside her.

Tenacious in Horta, 2006

Tenacious in Horta, 2006


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Random Fridays: 200 goes Vivid

Royal Botanic Garden's 200 sign lit up for Vivid.

Royal Botanic Garden’s 200 sign lit up for Vivid.


For the first time, Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden has got it on the light festival that is Vivid. It’s “200” sign (marking 200 years of the garden) is looking quite a bit snazzier now than when I first posted about it only one month ago.


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