Take a look at some
alternative means of offshore travel
WaterCar Panther: all your commuting problems
resolved for only $180.000
When I took over the PON, my predecessor Julian Muir gave
me some sage advice: steer well clear of contentious
matters. So instead, let’s talk about buggy registration
on Scotland Island.
In recent years golf buggies, as well as a plethora of
all-terrain vehicles, have become a common sight on the
island. These are classed as non-standard vehicles by
Transport for NSW (TfNSW), the body responsible for
deciding what can and cannot be driven on NSW roads,
including those on Scotland Island.
the Grosvenor’s Amphicar being driven from
their home in Towlers Bay, 1967.
Below: the same car, this time in 1971.
Under certain circumstances, non-standard vehicles can be
granted conditional registration, meaning
that they may be driven on public roads, although only for
very limited purposes.
In the last few months, controversy has erupted as to what
vehicles TfNSW should permit on the island. Curiously, no
one seems to have sought registration of an amphibious
vehicle. That’s strange, since surely these would do away
with the need for a tinny, save on wharf fees, and
circumvent the problem of parking at Church Point.
There are precedents. A hovercraft used to operate between
the island and Church Point. What’s more, anyone game
enough to buy an amphibious car would be following in the
wake of the Grosvenor family, who lived in Towlers Bay in
Alan Grosvenor owned an Amphicar, a vehicle produced in
Germany. Apparently he used his ‘amphi’ three or four
times a week to commute to business meetings in the city,
while his wife, Morea, drove it mainly for shopping, as
well as taking her daughter Robyn to school in Bayview.
Morea’s boast was ‘you never get wet in an ‘amphi’’. So
confident was she that she would drive it across Pittwater
in long formal party dresses.
A handful of ‘amphis’ survive in Australia. One is owned
by a Canberran, although he found it necessary to register
it twice: once for the road and once for the ACT’s
TfNSW might take a more lenient approach. In fact their website offers conditional
registration for an amphibious vehicle: the Argo. With
eight wheels this might be well suited to island roads.
Argo weed sprayer, available for conditional
registration by Transport for NSW.
Rinspeed sQuba. Once available, the
manufacturers claim they will cost less than a
There may be a few snags with registration. For a start,
the Argo is intended for spraying weeds in aquatic areas,
and it’s unclear how the authorities would respond to one
being driven into the CBD.
But there are alternatives to the Argo. While the Amphicar
ceased production in 1968, other boat cars are still made.
What distinguishes these from their antecedents is speed.
The Grosvenor’s ‘amphi’ could only manage around 10 km/h
on Pittwater, but today you can buy cars capable of planing at over 70
I have been unable to ascertain TfNSW’s attitude to these
amphibious cars. But we can be certain that they will have
to comply with maritime safety requirements, such as
carrying a whistle and the all-important bucket attached
to a lanyard.
For that reason, a more practical solution might be a
submarine car. If your primary concern is evading police
safety checks then such a car would allow you to stay out
of sight on the bottom of Pittwater. And by then the
seabed will have been thoroughly weeded by all the Argos
The Rinspeed sQquba claims to be the
world’s only diving car. It was inspired by the 1977 Bond
film The Spy Who Loved Me, in which 007’s Lotus
Esprit dives off a wharf, only to turn into a submarine,
complete with torpedos.
The movie also inspired Elon Musk to develop an electric
underwater car, although Tesla is being cagey about its
release date. Only time will tell as to whether they will
become a common sight on the streets of Scotland Island.
|Is this the
future of offshore commuting?
On Sunday, 13 valiant offshore residents, ranging in age
from 8 to 80, participated in the inaugural Scotland
Island Race. Thanks to their energy, $160 was raised for
the Scotland Island Rural Fire Brigade.
|The 13 race
particpants, along with co-organiser Andy
Derijk (foreground) and cheerleaders Ziggy
Gregg & May Blackband
Supported by SIRA and the Scotland Island Recreation Club,
as well as the Two Catherines Café, the race involved a
2.3 km lap of the island, followed by a gruelling obstacle
course that included such joys as exercise ropes and
crawling under a tarpaulin.
Wilson & 10-yr-old Will Blackband took an
The race kicked off in Catherine Park just after 10 am.
Almost immediately Jack Wilson and Will Blackband gained a
commanding lead, which they maintained for the rest of the
Cheered on by islanders throughout the course,
participants ran (or walked) anti-clockwise round the
island, tackling Heartbreak Hill (Harold Ave), but not
The fastest time was 12 mins 13 secs. In fact it would
have been under 12 minutes if the winner hadn't taken a
wrong turn, as a result of which he ran a couple of
hundred metres further than anyone else.
The slowest time among the runners was 19 mins 01 sec and
the average time was 17 mins 03 secs.
While youth undoubtedly favoured some participants, the
time for the oldest runner was only 10 seconds slower than
that of the youngest.
Meanwhile, the walking race had two joint winners, each
completing their lap of the island in fractionally over 30
No doubt times were enhanced by the recent improvements to
the southern section of the race track, which were
completed just in time for the event: thanks, Northern
Lalor emerges from the tarpaulin in the
Immediately after completing their lap of the island,
runners and walkers alike endured a gruelling obstacle
course designed by Elvina Bay resident Andy Derijk. But
this made very little difference to the overall order of
Thanks go to the staff of the Two Catherines Café, who
kept runners, walkers and spectators supplied with drinks
and cakes. In fact this was barista Jasmine Hall's last
day, and she received deserved acknowledgement for her
contribution to the café.
Thanks also go to everyone else who helped out on the day,
especially the timekeepers. Robyn Iredale regally handed
out the prizes and Shane O'Neill of O'Neill Photographics
kindly donated the photographs you see here. Thanks go to
Finally, special thanks go to Andy Derijk, who also
donated his time and who made the whole thing possible.
Andy offers personal training and fitness classes in
Elvina Bay. To contact Andy, click here.
Island Race: Results
newcomer Jack Wilson (centre) with race
co-organiser Andy Derijk & café founder
Jack won the race, as well as a personal
training session donated by Andy.
with George and Henry Orr. As the youngest
runner, Henry performed brilliantly.
long-term island resident,
won the over-60s race.
|Jed and Leon
Fisher both finished
with very respectable times.
of the walking race: Penny Wise and Rosemary
Tips for their safe
operation and installation
Living among trees, off-shore residents often feel as
though they have a limitless supply of firewood. That
being so, many are tempted by a wood-burning stove. But
with winter coming on, do you know how to operate one
Vital Flow Plumbing Services, based on the Northern
Beaches, are not only plumbers. They also offer services
relating to wood and gas fireplaces. Their founder,
Tristan Melville, advises that wood fireplaces be
thoroughly cleaned annually, keeping the flue system clear
and the smoke shelf/baffle plate in working order. It is
also important to ensure that the fan and air circulation
passages are clear and no vents are obstructed.
Tristan also suggests a chimney sweep every other winter.
In addition, check your home's smoke alarms at least once
you do not yet have a fireplace, or need to replace an
existing one, Vital Flow can offer assistance with their
selection and installation. But whoever you use, Tristan
says it is important that installers be fully qualified
and licensed, so that they comply with Australian
standards. If you choose a gas-fired stove then your
installer should also provide you with a gas certificate
for extra peace of mind.
Vital Flow can be contacted on 0478 142 669 or at email@example.com.
Brent and Bianca Taylor
are putting in another order for bags
of IRONBARK firewood. If you would like to place an
order then please email firstname.lastname@example.org
provide the following information:
- Name | Address | Email | Mobile | Qty Required
Firewood + delivery to your property is $350 inc GST.
Saturday, 29 May, 6:30
This Saturday's fire shed
dinner looks like being a roaring success. In fact so
many people have said they are coming that the Brigade
has suspended bookings.
Fun though these nights
are, please remember that they take a lot of work to
set up and run, and it tends to be the same people who
do most of the work. If you can help with any of the
tasks listed below, even for an hour or so, please let
the brigade know. Don't worry if you haven't booked
yet: if you are helping then the brigade will still
squeeze you in.
Here are the tasks the
Brigade needs help with:
- Meat cooking: an hour or two's help between
10am and 5pm
- Shed setup (trucks, tables, chairs, lights
etc): sometime between 12 noon and 5pm
- Salad / potatoes prep: sometime between 12
noon and 5pm
- Bar: RSA-qualified helpers needed
- Door (issue tickets, take payments etc): 6pm
- Serving: 6pm to 8pm
- Washing up and cleaning up: 6pm to 8.30pm
If you can help out or if you have any questions
please give Pete Lalor a call on 0401 716194.
Saturday, 29 May, 1.30 -
A four-band jam that
sways and stomps across rock, blues, folk, swamp and
country. It's a musical degustation, Bays style.
After postponing due to the 'whopping wet weekend',
the artists have rallied and are back with a new
date and renewed energy. The venue remains the
grassy Lovett Bay Amphitheatre, only 80m from the
Lovett Bay Wharf.
The four-band bill
features: Sky Juice; The Gentlys; Louise & the
Gs and Don't Tell Mama, with some jam on the side.
Missed out on a previous
you would like to contribute to this
newsletter, please send an e-mail to the editor (email@example.com).
To subscribe or unsubscribe, go to: http://www.scotlandisland.org.au/signup
Follow the PON
The Online Local Contacts Guide
Click HERE to load
expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily the
views of the Scotland Island Residents Association
(SIRA), or the Western Pittwater Community