How many people get to live their dreams? I am..........!

This is my story from the time when Capt'n John and I first decided to sail around the big block, to circumnavigate this great land of ours, AUSTRALIA.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

The Beginning of Anchor Winch Problems - Berkeley River

Sunday 26th May 2013
The Beginning of Anchor Winch Problems - Berkeley River

MrJ’s 0500 radio sked alarm went off but neither of us makes a move as we both knew that there will be no signal while AR is sitting behind the high red cliffs. It had been a lot cooler the last evening and through the night; cool enough to grab another cover for the bed besides the cotton sheet and once up out of the comfort of the bed I had to pull on a light pair of long pant and a t-shirt.

 Up in the waterway gorge where the sun takes a while to sneak over the top and disappear by late afternoon behind the cliff top makes for a short period of warming and then when there is even the slightest hint of a breeze across the water that keeps the air temperature down, no wonder it was very chilly.
After our usual Sunday breakfast of bacon and eggs with toast MrJ and I decided to move AR downstream, back to the mouth of Casuarina Creek where we could do some washing and then it was easy to get more fresh water from the falls at the top of the creek.
The silly old anchor winch was giving me a hard time; it was being very temperamental and had decided not to work again. MrJ had to once more use his shear strength to get the winch moving. It took several goes before the electrics of the winch kicked into gear and the anchor was up. My tummy would do a turn when things like this happen. I know all the sayings: life was not meant to be easy and some things are sent to try us and keep your cool at all odds which I do, or at least try to but it doesn’t mean that I have to like it. MrJ and I had a little talk about the winch problem and he says that he will have to have another look at it.

We motored down stream, MrJ at the helm and me sitting or standing out front with both cameras in hand; the small camera to get video for MrJ and my Nikon around my neck. We were moving through the high walled narrow gorge when a great sea eagle hovered above, sailing its great wings on the updraft of air that floated up from the gorge. There were a few cockatoo high up in a tree and several other small bird all flying high. Everything has to be shot with hand held cameras, no good for any long exposure or tripod stuff like land-locked photographers use and I haven’t even been able to get any use out of the new filters, just too much movement on a boat for kinda stuff.  Looking up I was sure that some of the rocks above were about to topple and fall at any moment. How long must they have been like that and when did it all begin?

My theory is that thousands or millions of years ago, when this great southern land had been connected to the rest of the world, at a time when there must have been a great eruption that separated the land, breaking Australia and other islands of the Pacific and Asia away from the rest of the world. It was then that the cracks in the land were formed as the land tore away, thus make the grand coastal rivers like the Berkeley, a large crack in the side of the land. Yes – no?
Outside Casuarina Creek again - 14'23.294S - 127'43.924E
AR had settled into her new anchorage, and the winch didn’t play up; MrJ and I pulled out our little twin-tub washing machine. MrJ does the washing as I am unable to lift the heavy water contains to fill the machine while I get busy washing up and clean the galley after our big breakfast and last night’s dinner dishes. What a mess! I made clothes lines up forward out of the three genoa lines but the wind plays havoc with the sheets twisting them so much that they are constricting each other. The mattress protector, which was too big for our little machine’s spinner had to be wrung out by hand and left it fairly sodden. The strong wind gusts would flap the protector so forcefully that a couple of the pegs broke and went flying over the rail. Buggar! I don’t like anything plastic going into the water and do feel so guilty when something accidentally does. I took the sheets and protector down to be hung out under the cover of the cockpit instead along with the other washing. Now I had felt safe to leave the boat to go and get the water.

MrJ and I took the big tinny up the creek to where the waterfall flowed. The tide had been on its way out and the water level along the banks and at the waterfall was much lower than the last time we were here. Luck MrJ could climb up the rocks to a ledge beside the waterfall where he could fill our container while I waited in the tinny holding onto the rock so as not to float away.

Getting the containers of water back in the tinny was okay to achieve but when it came to getting the two buckets full of water down the rocks and into the tinny without too much spillage that was not so easy. MrJ had to lift each one form rock to rock one level at a time until he felt confident enough to lift each one into the tinny. The things we have to do!  At least we were both kept cool by the fine spray of the waterfall dancing through the air with the help of old Mr Wind.

By the time had our water load secure in then tinny and were heading back tom AR the tide had gone out either further uncovering the muddy sand banks and the sharp oyster covered rocks along the creeks banks. We had to careful with our navigation down the creek as not to run into any shoaling muddy sand bars. We had spotted a graceful white egret searching in the muddy banks for its dinner. I had heard the noises of those lizards in the early evening but as yet had not sighted any. Just because I did not see any or see any marks along the banks did not make me complacent.
You can never be too careful where Saltwater Crocodile are concerned!

Sunday afternoon is rest time, even if every afternoon is rest time, Sunday is extra special rest time, so they say. I did try the little radio a couple of time on the shortwave frequency but was not having much luck with it either. Sunday afternoon football was the only thing that I could get. No for me! Back to playing our own CD music that MrJ had recorded on several USB memory sticks which could be played in the marina radio system. I was listening to the voice of Portuguese singer Cesaria Evora (now deceased), haunting, sultry exotic; all of that and more. Her voice just flows through my mind on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
MrJ was reading and resting in his favourite place, stretched out in the cockpit while I was on the computer writing and sorting through my photos. We both had a great Sunday afternoon!
Homemade rissoles and mash potato for dinner!
Night time on the river

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