A new Moggill Ferry and a new weed.

looking across from Brisbane side of river

looking across from the Brisbane side of river

After months of the old Moggill Ferry being nursed along until a new ferry (constructed in China) reached Australia, Transit Systems and Stradboke Ferries were able to commence a new operation from 12th February 2015. A photo of the new ferry being unloaded at the Port of Brisbane can be viewed at https://twitter.com/moggillferry It is a much sleeker ferry and the captain has a high pilot box. Previously the ferry captain would need to move from a rear position to a forward position to navigate from one side of the river to the other. There are no barriers on the sides of the ferry which gives the commuter a lovely view of the river – the upriver view being distinctly picturesque. There are 4 lanes for cars and this will increase the number of cars in any one crossing. The hot asphalt surface has been changed to a concrete-type of surface.

looking across from the Ipswich side of the river

looking across from the Ipswich side of the river

The clunk and grind of the ramp being lowered for motorists to drive off the ferry is marginally quieter. But on the times we have used the new ferry it seemed that the speed of the crossing was strangely similar to the old speed – both ferries using a cable system. To get a better comparison, the following sites show older Moggill Ferry models: http://www.transitsystems.com.au/moggill-ferrycouple  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moggill_Ferry

looking at the river as we descend our riverbank

looking at the river as we descend our riverbank

 

One week after the new ferry was operating Cyclone Marcia arrived. At Moggill the cyclone brought a welcome 150mm rain with no damaging winds …

reflections outlined in green

reflections outlined in green

 

 

 

 

But there was another disturbing consequence – a vast amount of floating greenery on the river which at first glance made for a verdant scene.

 

 

 

 

Then we identified the ‘water hyacinth’ as *Water Lettuce which is an invasive weed.

http://keys.lucidcentral.org/keys/v3/eafrinet/weeds/key/weeds/Media/Html/Pistia_stratiotes_(Water_Lettuce).htm

We can only guess that an infestation higher up in the river was dislodged by rainfall associated with the cyclone. Now that the weed has been so widely dispersed it will be very problematic for those responsible for monitoring Brisbane Waterways – the Brisbane City Council hopes that the Water Lettuce will be killed by the saltwater in the Brisbane River. (The level of salt in the river at Moggill fluctuates with the amount of rain in the catchment – it became salty enough for mangroves to spread to Moggill prior to our purchase of this property in 2003 and during the drought from 2003-2009  there were high levels of salt in the river water but currently the river is mostly freshwater.)

* Also commonly called Water Cabbage. Pistia stratiotes is easily identifiable as it has a head similar to a lettuce or cabbage with upright leaves that are distinctly corrugated.

looking over the side of the ferry at the water lettuce

looking over the side of the ferry at the water lettuce

the new ferry in the distance surrounded by a sea of water lettuce

the new ferry in the distance surrounded by a sea of water lettuce

At least the Welcome Swallows who play around the ferry in transit have adapted to the new ferry.

Welcome Swallows surveying their playground

Welcome Swallows surveying their playground

 

MOGGILL FERRY HOURS OF OPERATION 

I include this photo as a prompt for myself when advising visitors of the times the ferry will be open or closed. It’s amazing how many times I need to consult the schedule.

Moggill Ferry Hours of Operation

Moggill Ferry Hours of Operation                                                          

If there have been releases from Wivenhoe Dam and you need to know if the ferry is operating or not BEFORE you get to a road sign saying the Moggill Ferry is CLOSED then you can Call Stradbroke Ferries on 07 3488 5300.

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This entry was posted in Diary: Rain and Planting and Observations of Wildlife and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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