Saturday, September 28, 2013

Sugar Cane Train

It is Saturday noon, and we are in Bowen. 

As we drove south from Cairns we passed from tropical bush to Gum trees, dried grass and large fields of sugar cane. The sugar cane is in bloom and ready to cut. Often along the road are railway tracks. Sugar cane trains are used to transport the cane to the mills.

Tony Porter at Airlie Beach
Sugar Cane Train
We spent a lovely day on Friday with long time DBDOC customer Tony Porter as we looked around Bowen and then we went for a late lunch at a nearby beach. For supper we went to a Chinese restaurant, The Cove, on a beach facing the Pacific Ocean. It was lovely to watch the sun dip under the horizon as we had supper.

This afternoon we started down the coast to Mackay for another night's stay before we get to Gladstone on Sunday night. On the way we passed many more fields of sugar cane, and finally a sugar cane train. See the pictures with the cane mill in the background.

People here do not seem to drive these distances often, although the roads are paved, two lane roads with frequent passing lanes. The people are very friendly, and it reminds me of rural communities in western Canada.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

"Manual Mode" Hyperview Training

About half hour ago the power failed. I do not know if it is temporary or long term. It is amazing the quiet that settles on a work space when the white noise is turned off. It is fun to watch people try to stay busy without their computers. Geoff is now conducting his Hyperview class using voice and the Chapters One and Two of the Hyperview Manual. No overhead or PCs to confuse anyone.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Tropical Workshop

Arrival at Gove Operations.

This is our first day at Gove Operations in Australia's Northern Territory. Last night we flew from Cairns to Gove, a two hour flight. Imagine our surprise, when a hot complimentary supper was served to everyone in economy. Definitely a thing of the past in North America. The weather here is very pleasant, 22 to 28C - day and night.

This morning, Geoff has started discussing advanced DBDOC workshop topics with the maintainers of the system. Tomorrow and Wednesday, the mornings will be spent with the technical staff reviewing and introducing

Hyperview topics. The afternoons will be spent on further advanced DBDOC topics such as error review, uses of Watch Window and inclusion of AutoCAD in the build. Everyone is enthusiastic about DBDOC.

The site is extremely safety conscious. This is the first time I am wearing steel toed boots, as well as everyone else in the IT office area (where I have a work space).


Saturday, September 21, 2013

A Change from Canada

We are finally in Australia and enjoying the beautiful weather. Our flight from Guam was delayed five hours. We were scheduled to leave at seven in the evening and arrive in Cairns, Queensland at midnight. However, a violent storm at Saipan (an island forty-five flight minutes from Guam) pinned the plane down and it returned to Guam at midnight. Hence, we arrived in Cairns at five am, arriving at our hotel at least three hours before our ten am checkout time!

However, from there things started to look up.

We moved Friday afternoon to a beachfront apartment on Trinity beach. Here we have remained on Friday and Saturday nights. During the day on Saturday we drove to and visited the tropical rain forest north of Cairns -- a great day. Now Sunday we are preparing for our flight to Gove and out first week of DBDOC workshops and training.

A picture only an engineer could love. We crossed a large river as we approached the Daintree Tropical Rain Forest.  The ferry winched itself across the river and back.  This is a picture of the cable mechanism.

A look out view over the forest as it extended down the slope towards the ocean.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Rain in Guam

Today we are in Guam. Yesterday, we flew from Vancouver to Tokyo and spent about six hours in the United Airlines lounge. A meal on the plane was typical Japanese, a nice introduction to Japan. The lounge was an extremely large and pleasant place, where I enjoyed a three hour nap, all the sushi I wanted, chicken fingers, and a delicious vegetable soup. All the staff were very helpful. Internet connections were easy and good. We were able to keep in touch with the office and our clients.

After a good night /morning at Guam we are waiting to go to Cairns Australia this evening. A significant rainstorm rages outside our hotel. We have just found our flight is an hour late but going. We will soon take the shuttle to the airport.

We are at the airport. As we drove along, there was lots of water on the streets. The storm is supposed to last for two to three days. This is still the northern hemisphere and winter is coming. Nice looking place, but a good place to be leaving, given the weather. Tomorrow morning starts our stay in Australia. We have heard from many clients, and we are anxious to start that part of our trip.

No Jet Lag

Worked out beautifully.  We arrived here at Guam at 2 AM and negotiated late checkout at 2 PM.  I just went to sleep for another couple of hours, in fact.  We will have no jet lag when we get to Australia. 
Raining here, so our plans to wander about and find something interesting collapse to Plan B - chill, sleep and go on at 6 PM to Australia. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

DBDOC Around the World

DBDOC has taken us traveling than once over the past fifteen years or so, but it's rare for us to be in both Australia and Europe on the same trip. However this is an exceptional three month round the world adventure, about three parts DBDOC training and consulting and one vacation.

We are getting ready to leave Canada for Australia and New Zealand. Tuesday morning we leave through Vancouver, for Japan and then Australia. We have a challenging and enjoyable schedule ahead of us.

We will be starting in Cairns and Gove, and then moving down the coast to Gladstone and Pittsworth. We look forward to working with clients in these places.

Before we leave the Cairns area we will have the chance to spend a day in the Daintree area, a tropical reserve. There will also be a weekend at the beach. And visits with several friends.

By October 8th, we will be in the Sydney area for a week, ending up with spending Sunday and Monday (October 13 and 14) with friends in Canberra, the capital of Australia.