Friday 5th October
At first I thought, “I have not done anything this week”. Except, I have. The usual, table tennis and line dancing but I have spent a lot of time on the computer.
Firstly I have arranged many of my photos since 2007 in little folders of around 30 selected photos per folder. . One folder of 30 photos are used in a presentation at an art meeting each Friday. Many of the photos have not been used in the blog before. It’s funny how looking back on those photos all these years later suddenly reveals something which did not catch my eye at the time.
As well I am a member of 8 different Facebook photo groups, some here in Australia and some overseas. I usually contribute a photo to each group every day. Each photo includes a name and usually a story that goes with it.
Today started fine and sunny but soon the predicted clouds rolled in, the wind picked up and the 30mm of rain looked certain to be a reality. I decided to drive to The Spit to take photos of the clouds over the sea and over the city. When almost at the Southport Bridge I noticed the big dark clouds huddled behind the city so I parked under the bridge and got creative.
Then I stopped at the fishing fleet wharf and created again.
It was then, I came to realise that something which was always there but I have not taken any notice of. The huge fenced off vacant land between the fishing fleet wharf and Sea World.
Today I discovered this is Crown Land and the State Government has called for submissions for an Integrated Resort Development (whatever that means) on the site. The State Government already leases surrounding Crown Land to Village Roadshow (Sea World), Marina Mirage, Palazzo Versace and the Southport Yacht Club. Currently the mostly open land but with some trees on the shoreline is supposedly vacant.
People in campervans and pop tops and even people in tents erected under the trees are living there. Illegally of course. They all have multi- million dollar views – for free.
Many people live aboard their yachts, catamarans and houseboats in the water around the vacant site.
Technically they can anchor here for up to 6 days but must then move on. Across the Broadwater is an approved anchorage of 24 hours before you must move. Boaties then move back to somewhere along the Spit for another 6 days. At least the boaties are monitored and controlled by Gold Coast Waterways Authority who send drones into the area to count and plot location of boats every day. The boaties must comply with a raft of regulations to stay in the area. One such regulation is the boat must have a waste water holding tank. The free campers have no controls or restrictions or sanitary waste collection and disposal. One boatie I spoke with has been in the area for 6 years and does the boat shuffle every week.
The only drawback is the daily helicopter flights taking off and landing at Sea World every three minutes. It will be interesting to see what happens to these flights when the government approves and building of an IRD is completed.
The promised rain, apart from a few valiant itinerant drops, failed to arrive.
I have a confession to make. Today I changed the “Scene” settings on the camera but left it in “scene” mode instead of switching back to Intelligent Auto or full manual. All 73 photos were taken in “Settings” mode so the usual default auto light, aperture, ISO and f stop settings were not working. All the photos had a washed out almost pastel shades with insipid presentation, I had to use a photo editing App to put some colour back into the photos.
Saturday 6th October.
Heavy rain or at least constant rain was predicted for today. It seems to be following a pattern. Rain is predicted but does not arrive.
The World Parachuting Championships kicked off today with a demo of mass jumpers landing on the beach at Surfers Paradise. It seems the rain which did not arrive was a bonus for the organisers. There are 46 nations attending and some big names and big talent will be here.
Sunday 7th October
The Drop Zone for the Championships is at Runaway Bay Sports Complex about 3 Klms from home. The small Southport Flying Club air strip will be used to ferry jumpers into the sky. It is about 2 Klms from home.
I drove to Runaway Bay and watched constant streams of people jumping out of perfectly good airplanes.
Some jumpers do 360 degree loops on their way down.
Some come in at amazing speed on an angle and suddenly they are on the ground and a few steps later are rolling up the parachute.
Others drop so fast almost vertically that you think they will surely crash when at the last moment they pull up quickly and also within a few paces they are on solid ground. I watched one jumper who seemed to just linger longer in the air than anybody else. The other jumpers stopped to watch somebody who is very good. The person seemed to float like a feather and landed so lightly they only took one step and was then rolling up their chute.
Later I drove to the airport to watch the drop planes arrive and depart.
The small private road had a sign warning there was a Koala in the area. I was mighty chuffed to find the Koala within moments and there was nobody else around to share the discovery.
It was high in a gum tree, Trying to photograph on hand held full zoom is difficult to hold the camera 100% steady so some lack of sharpness occurs. Regardless it was quite an exciting day to see a Koala and even better one who moved around as well and was aware of me.