Thursday, 25 December 2003

Christmas Day 2003

This was quite a traditional Christmas day for us.  Early morning to the Parkinsons for breakfast and prezzies, onto church, and then lunch at Rob and Jessies with the Pattemore mob.


Thursday, 25 September 2003

Plovers into the Grand Final!

Rosanna and Telea's netball team "Plovers" played in the grand final today (I can't remember if they won or not!?).

Saturday, 20 September 2003

Work trip to Melbourne

Paul went to Melbourne for work (a visit to Monash to look at some IT systems) and was able to catch up with the family there.

He stayed with Aunty Kris and was very well looked after.  Siaan and Kim took him around sight seeing at Saint Kilda on a nice sunny day.

He was fortunate enough to get into the MCG for the Collingwood vs Port qualifying final with a standing room only ticket.  Collingwood had a good win and were in the Grand Final the next week - when they lost to Brisbane again.

Wednesday, 9 July 2003

Paul and Craig rescued at sea!

Well getting on the front page of the newspaper wasn't quite in Paul's plans!

A large family group were going to the Sandy Creek campsite in Arnhem Land near the Goulbourn Islands and Paul thought he'd take the boat around the coast by sea instead of drive like the other "land lubbers".  Seemed like a good idea at the time!  

Paul and Craig set off just after lunch on Sunday the 6th of July, 2003.  They launched from the Nightcliff boat ramp and had a rough trip into the chop north where they reached the sheltered Trepang Bay on Coburg Peninsula to camp the night in the boat.

The next day the going was pretty slow as they had strong easterlies against them and a nasty chop.  Paul knew the weather wasn't going to be great but the strong wind warning that eventuated wasn't forecast initially.   By Tuesday night they reached Point David which is at the southern tip of Croker Island.  The Oyster Farm there had a little jetty and the workers were very hospitable allowing them to tie up for the jetty for the night.  They also had diesel they would sell so Paul took the opportunity to fuel up - he had enough but had used more than planned with the very poor conditions.
Wednesday morning they set off into a very stiff easterly pretty concerned about the weather.  Once they got into Mountnorris Bay a bit they could enjoy the scenery as the eastern part afforded good protection from the wind.  There was a huge school of big prawns and they got a few fish trawling through them.  They didn't stop to fish though as they wanted to get to their destination.  The rest of them were due to arrive at the mainland camping spot the following morning (Thursday July 10th).

When they came out of Malay Bay and started rounding Cape Cockburn they were confronted with huge standing waves.  Paul desparately wanted to turn back to the sheltered bay they had just exited but didn't feel he could safely ride the waves unless he kept boat's bow straight into them.

They inched along taking each of the waves wondering if the boat would be inundated or tossed backwards.  An engine failure would be catastrophic.   After a long time Paul was able to direct the boat in close to the eastern end of the cape, De Courcy Head, where there was some little shelter at the base of the huge cliffs.

They sat there for a few hours through the afternoon - trying to get out a few times but each time turning back as the waves had not lessened out wider.   They wandered about trying to get into the beach with supplies and camping there for the night but eventually decided to set the epirb off and get rescued.  The winds where turning more northerly and their little bit of shelter wasn't guaranteed through the night.

Well the rest is history - there was newspapers and tv crews waiting for them back in Darwin when they landed in the helicopter - as well as some very worried and then relieved family!

Paul and Gwenny was able to still drive out a couple of days later and join everyone else there as planned.  Fortunately Robby was able to take his boat up on the Friday (11/7/03) and find the boat - which was unfortunatly laying on its side in the fairly gentle surf by then.  But he did retrieve a lot of valuable gear from boat.

They all drove back home on Sunday the 13th of July.

Paul's insurance company was very helpful and salvaged the boat and repaired it - including a brand new engine etc.

Saturday, 31 May 2003

Point Blaze trip

We went in 2 boats from Darwin to Sail City and camped in close south of Point Blaze overnight.

I think Tim Ezzy, David and Mark Pattemore went with me.  Not sure who went with Rob.

Don't remember much but it was very rough for us heading south pretty much from Roche Reef as there was a really strong southerly blowing straight into us - Robs boat cut into the waves much better than we did!

The only other thing I remember is that Tim was woken in the dead of night by a small mackerel that had somehow jumped into the boat and was going crazy on his face.  He was sure one of us had thrown it at him.

Monday, 5 May 2003

Paul gets a job at Batchelor

Paul started work in May 2003 as an IT Desktop Support Officer at the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education - or "Batchelor College" as it is better known as.

Approximately 6 months later he became the Network Administrator, and 12 months after that he became the IT Manager.

Paul was at Batchelor for nearly 8 years.  Everyday he would catch the bus from Palmerston in the morning at 7am and either drive or ride as a passenger in the 50 minute coaster bus trip.   He'd back back at Palmerston at around 5.15pm each day.

As the IT Manager Paul had about 13 staff and a $2million budget to manage so quite a lot of responsibility.