Category Archives: Shipping

Oil Spill in Australia

My Dad is currently on a cruise somewhere in New Zealand but for most of the year he lives on a boat and explores the waters of Northern Australia.

He will no doubt be very concerned to learn of this.

Shot of the Hinchinbrook Channel I took years ago from Dad's boat.

Shot of the Hinchinbrook Channel I took years ago from Dad's boat.

Australia declares disaster over oil spill

From CNN

(CNN) — Australian authorities have declared several coastal areas near Brisbane disaster zones after a massive oil spill earlier this week, according to the Queensland government.

Large stretches of Queensland's coastline are being affected by the oil.

Large stretches of Queensland's coastline are being affected by the oil.

“This is a very serious situation,” Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said, according to a news release on Friday. “It appears the volume of oil involved is much greater than originally reported by the Pacific Adventurer. And the effect of the oil spill is more widespread.”

The Pacific Adventurer sustained damage early Wednesday when Cyclone Hamish struck the waters of eastern Australia with more than 125 kph (77 mph) winds. The cargo ship lost 30 of its 50 containers of ammonium nitrate about 13 kilometers (8 miles) off the coast of Cape Moreton. Those containers are still missing.

The damaged ship also spilled a large amount of oil that is covering at least 60 kilometers (37 miles) of beach in and around Brisbane, according to Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

The ship’s owner, Swire Shipping, initially said no more than 42,000 liters (11,100 U.S. gallons) of oil escaped from the ship, but now says that “substantially more oil was spilled,” ABC reported Friday.

The ship is currently in the custody of Australia’s Maritime Safety Authority in Brisbane, as the investigation into the spill continues.

A massive clean-up effort is also under way. So far, 13 oil-covered birds have been recovered, according to the Queensland government.


Cats have landed in Dubai!

The ETA of Thai Airways flight TJ521 was 30 minutes ago, at 16:45.

It will be at least an hour – maybe 2 hours – until I hear from the handlers at this end, saying they have been collected and are okay.

***Chewing fingernails***

Cats are airborne! One more sleep until…

Packed and ready to fly!

Packed and ready to fly!

At present they are on their way to Bangkok.  Relax little ones. We’ll be waiting at this end for you!!

2 more sleeps until….

Miss Kelli

Miss Kelli




Excited -> Jumpy

I’ve just been advised that the flight the cats were booked on to Dubai next week will not carry them. Apparently Emirates has decided in their infinite wisdom not to carry Burmese cats.

The reason?  Breathing difficulties.

This of course is complete BS. There are some cats (and dogs) that suffer from breathing difficulties due to having short noses.  These include Persians and in dogs, Pugs. Burmese are not short-nosed cats.  More likely I expect one turned up not breathing at all at some stage – could have been any number of reasons – and they decided to ban all Burmese cats.  That’s how they do things here.

For instance, the Emirate Sharjah recently decided to take action against traffic congestion on its roads.  The answer?  Stop issuing driving licenses to people without university degrees! I kid you not.

The alternative flights on offer from Thai or Malaysian added nearly 8 hours to the total travel time (total travel time 28 hours). This is not acceptable for Mozzle as he is a diabetic now, and needs 2 insulin injections a day.

We are trying to find a solution to get them in under 24 hours. He can miss one injection no problem but missing 2 is not ideal.

Living rough in Amsterdam.

Living rough in Amsterdam.

Oh, and just in case you’re asking… do I still love this place?  The answer is unequivocally YES!


Watch out Mother********s!

Watch out Fools!

Mozz is doing great!!!

He is responding to the new insulin the specialist started him on just under a week ago. His blood sugars are a little high around midday so they are still tweaking the dose but he is eating well, walking around the clinic following the nurses, giving cheek and getting a huge amount of attention from an apparently besotted staff. The Vet said to me on the phone today, ‘He is such a great cat!’

Ah Mozzle… SUCH a tart that boy! 🙂

Today the vet is going to talk to the cat transportation company to see when he (and Kelli) can be shipped. Can’t believe it!!! He’s nearly well enough to fly.

My job is to find a vet this end that can administer the new insulin (‘Mixtard’) when he gets here.

I guess that means we will have to give him an injection every day too??? Oh well, looks like I will have to give up the fight and join the family tradition of sticking pins in things. Fortunately, Mozzle is incredibly easy to give pills and injections to. He just relaxes his body and seems to say, ‘I’d rather be lying in a sunbeam surrounded by tuna… but I suppose you know what you’re doing.’

Mozz beating up the bedclothes in Amsterdam

I'm coming to kick some arse!


Mozz (front) and Kell waiting for dinner in Amsterdam.

Mozz (front) and Kell waiting for dinner in Amsterdam.

Our kids are felines and there are two of them. Mozzle is a blue (grey) Burmese male cat of 12 years, and his woman is a Chocolate (milk  chocolate coloured with dark brown points) Burmese cat of 10.  They have moved with us everywhere, from Melbourne to Amsterdam, to Brussels and then to Sydney. They were due to arrive in Dubai this week when Mozzle became gravely ill.  He is not out of the woods yet but for the first time in a week looks to have a chance at recovery.

I cannot describe what its like for a mother to be on the other side of the world when her kid is critically ill. And believe me, I have all the traditional neuroses and guilt attributable to mothers when it comes to these cats. Particularly when it comes to Mozzle whom we have had since he was a kitten and is an exceptionally intelligent, interactive cat who pretty much rules the household.  Although, my husband does outwit the little bugger from time to time when he can be bothered.

So the last 3 days have been some kind of living hell for us… with calls every morning at 6am UAE time to the vet in Australia (4Paws in Neutral Bay, Sydney has been magnificent in their attention to him) and regular updates via email to and from my good friend who took over our flat in Sydney and who is minding them.  Yesterday I read something by the famed academic and spiritual leader Halle Berry which was,

If you find yourself in Hell…

keep on going!

So I have been trying to live by that the last 24 hours.  I move between crying and feeling like I will cope no matter what happens to him, knowing he has experienced 12 wonderfully happy years with us.  Then feeling guilty for feeling like everything is going to be okay when it obviously would not be. Grief is a funny thing

Today we found out he has improved so we are cautiously optimistic.  We will call again tomorrow to see if he has managed to maintain his progress or has relapsed.

Mozzle - slayer of dragons and winner of many hearts.

Mozzle - slayer of dragons and the odd mouse.