Thursday, June 24, 2010

0n the Frontline

SMS 041 730 6986

Frontline.SMS is an open source award winning application by It is a simple to use "not requiring the internet" way to interact with the others in the project, that will allow any of us to use simple SMS text messaging from a mobile phone to submit observations and recieve news and warnings. All at a minimal cost.

You can Submit an Observation to be recorded in our database and posted on the website by starting your message with the Keyword VBOP. This means you will be able to send in things as you see them on the beach or wherever you are. It will just work of text messages, not photos.

You can also join a special Warning and Alert Group. Just send JOIN to the SMS Number (041 730 6986). Those Joining up will only recieve occasional messages related to specific VBOP alerts such as expected king tides, possible flooding or important beach news (such as the toxic chemical drums being washed ashore)
You can also choose to leave the group and stop warnings by sending LEAVE to the SMS number(041 730 6986).
Finally the small print. Please note the service is not online continuously but will be cleared daily. There is no charge for these messages, other than the normal SMS charges imposed by your telephone carrier (eg Telstra or Optus) 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


The size of a Pipi hunters midden at the rear of Beach 5s carpark beggers belief. How much longer can the population survive when this is the size that they are down to taking out?
These little guys ( 5 cent peice for scale) never got a chance to breed and set the next generation.
The Pipi hunters are also wearing a track through the dunes off of the proper access track, obviously not what people who are taking a legal catch size would do. Besides the Pipi carnage, this impacts the beach in multiple ways. From the blowout of the dunes to the disposable nappies littering the sides of the tracks, if Venus Bay is your beach then this is whats happening.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Being open

I'm putting a bit of work into ways that this VBOP project can use other common web social networking tools and sites to broaden itself. More particularly to make our information easy to submit and use. Well I guess it is not secret but the systems have to be OPEN not closed! Sound simple but it is hard to explain why in a short post, but that is not important.

There is already a presence in Flickr and Twitter. Expect to see some news on BUZZ,  A Picassa Web Album, a wiki style Field Guide and even a neat mobile phone data collection application using Fronteline.SMS

But don't expect to see any Facebook follow me or friends requests or even Like buttons here anytime soon.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Venus & the Crescent Moon

Venus is visible as a very bright start at and just after sunset in the west and yesterday it was very close to the crescent moon.

A great photo opputunity!

By the way Venus Bay is not named after the planet Venus. It was changed to Venus Bay by Francis Peron on one of Baudain's Charts, and is thought to have been named after George Bass's ship the copper sheathed brig Venus. In appreciations of Bass's kindness in providing the distressed French expedition with fresh food.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Why are Moon Phases Important?

I've included a phases in the moon applet over on the right because the position of the moon, more particularly the alignment of the sun, moon &earth, has a big influence of the magnitude of our tides. We see these tides as a roughly twice daily rise & fall of the sea level. The so called spring tides, are not just limited to spring (or autumn), they occur roughly twice a month (as the graphic above shows) at either the new moon or the full moon. Other times of the month see lesser tidal range because the gravitational pulls are not aligned. You can get the predicted tide times from the Bureau of Meterology Website (Venus Bay tides are roughly the same time as for the Port Phillip Heads)

Venus Bay does get higher tides in spring and autumn that have a significant extra height due to strong ocean swells and waves. Sometimes these highs can be forced higher by a storm surge or strong on-shore winds.

So the new moon this weekend make it a candidate to see more erosion, possibly higher than last month.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Please Be Patient

I have begun transferring post from the old free NING site (which will be closed done at the end of the month, Not Happy NING!) to here. Where possible I want to have the same information and photos available here. However getting the photos across is very manual at the moment so I will be doing a few posts at a time.

Unless someone knows a magic way to automate this transfer?

Monday, June 7, 2010

What is the Creative Common Licence About?

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Australia License.

You may be puzzled, why I have put a Creative Common Licence on this blog? This is a public viewable blog, so it is necessary to make it clear that the information and photos we are sharing here do still belong to the person sharing them and that they may be used and reproduced elsewhere only under a set of specific condition. If your works are used then the must include an attribution to yourself, and please note anyone reproducing things from here it is common courtesy to notify the person who posted or submitted a photo. They can not be used for commercial purposes and they must be shared in the same form (ie under the same CC licence). In other words if someone wants to use or copy your work claim "Fair Use" because it is published under in the "Public Domain" (ie on the internet) then that fair use does have specific limits! This is to protect those wanting to share their observation and work.

Even if you share a post or link to a photo from here, you are entitled to have a more limited CC licence for your work. For example Flickr supports CC licences and encourage their members to set them by default for your photostream but also lets you individual set licence and access to photos individually. Posting or linking from here does not override that licence.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


This is a new home for The VBOP project. It was formerly set up as a free NING group but unfortunately that will be closed down at the end of this month. So all the connect from there will be moved over to here (well most of it, everything t6hat is possible).

Also this site will be set up a little more opening than before, you don't have to join anything, you can post your observations elsewhere in the many Social Networks that make up WEB 2.0. This [place should be a convenient place for you to link to those places, post & photos.

This will also be a great place to find out what needs to be observed and how to record it