014. Saturday 16th December 2005. Deck the halls with Holly, tralalalla…
There are no great views.
The site is surrounded on three sides by mangroves.
It is dry and hot and sandflies live here.
You can see the huge coal loading wharf at Hay Point and it runs 24/7.
It is very hot and a dry Northerly is blowing which just provides for an uncomfortable day and night. It is also Christmas time for the sandflies and we arrive as their presents.
It is also our Chapter Christmas party and the Sports Complex Hall provides toilets and water, cold showers, a very well equipped meeting room with all facilities to cook a Christmas dinner. It is also marginally cooler inside but with all the windows and doors open, the breeze cools a little so we sit outside and go “oooh” every time a coolish breeze drifts through. It is amazing how such a small coolish breeze can be felt, enjoyed and acknowledged by all those trying to find a comfortable seat in the breeze path. Clothes become uncomfortably damp and salty and they irritate the skin. Not to mention the mind.
Christmas dinner is supplied by the Chapter at no cost. The usual helpers are helping along with a few extra’s cause there is more food at Christmas. It is a fun meal followed by a visit by Santa and his merry
band of Clauses and they hand out the presents we bought. Lots of laughs even though it is miserably hot. Night did not bring any change. Oh for a Southerly change with rain.
Those fortunate enough to be connected to 240 volts have piggy backed on extension cords and blew the fuses when they all turned on the Air Con, and the big microwaves. In order to finish cooking a rule was developed. Turn off the Air Cons please!
The co-pilot, Donnis is somewhere else tonight. Just as well too because it is hot and sticky in bed and not being connected to 240volts no air con. There is only room for one to toss and turn in the uncomfortable conditions. Just as the night cools off enough to finally drift off to sleep it is time for the sandflies to look for Christmas Dinner. After slapping ineffectually for what seems like ages and the smell of repellent on my skin being repugnant I leap out of bed to start up the generator at 4am. I do not care if it wakes others (huh! Surely nobody else can sleep through this!). As the gennie starts I notice Gerry & Pam are also up but Gerry has started the bus and is getting ready to leave. I would leave too only I promised Donnis I would be here when she arrives. At least I can now turn on the big fan which I hope will keep the sandflies away. I could do with some Phenergan Tablets about now so I can stop scratching. Somehow I drift off into doze mode until the good old body clock tells me it is 6am and come on get out of bed and go for a walk. I toss and turn a bit more and finally take a peek at my watch. Darn. That body clock is accurate and it will not let me go back to sleep.
Oh well, a walk along the beach has me drenched in sweat and it is only 6 am. The wind is already blowing from the North and it is just uncomfortable. Easy to see how people can get irritable under these conditions. I discover a set of turtle tracks leading up the beach to a fresh mound. Another set of tracks move away back down the beach at a different angle. Hmmm! When the tide comes in I may not be able to find this place agin if Donnis wants to go for a walk.
Sunday morning and Donnis has arrived in time for coffee and our Chapter monthly meeting.
A little bit of sitting around talking. Then Donnis and I go for a walk along the beach and find the turtle nest dug during the night. The high tide has obscured most of the tracks but above high tide it was plain to see the turtle came ashore and left by different paths.
Back to the camp and lunch with a cold beer, which is becoming a bit of a tradition on Sundays before we pack up and head for home.