195. Sunday 12th June 2011. Looking around, family visits and work changes…

Monday 6th June

Today was mostly overcast. The sun peeked through the clouds a few times but mostly it was a shadowy type of day.

Today was Shoal Point Day. That is, I rode on Virago  to Shoal Point, walked around and took photos.

I first met SP about 1983 when, as a family we came to Bucasia to visit my sister Enid. As part of the visit we went to SP for a family picnic. I became re-united with SP, when, as a family, we moved from Wollongong to Bucasia about 1986 and we became regulars to SP. In those early days I sailed my catamaran around the shoals at high tide, being able to launch and retrieve the cat from the beach. We also launched tinnies and motored around nearby Little Green Island

At low tide you can walk from the Shoal Point mainland to Little Green island.

to Reliance Creek which had good fishing and I believe still does. We could also drive our 4WD either from SP itself or further around the beach at a place we knew as Hodges.

Hodges letterbox. On the side of a sandy track but in a Melaluca Swamp and about three hundred metres from the homestead.

(Named after the family who once owned most of the land in the area and who still lived in a ramshackle house situated on the beach and accessed along a dirt road)

Melaluca Swamp near Hodges.

We could drive along the beach to the mouth of Reliance Creek and fish from the sandbanks or simply picnic.

These days access to Reliance by 4WD is prohibited by Council By-Laws and fences. Cars can still access the beach at SP to launch and retrieve tinnies but can drive no further.

Time, tide, storms and cyclones have changed the face of the beach.

Dead Melaluca standing where once the land once was.

I rode to Hodges and found the barricade fence but it is no longer needed. The sand has been washed away, exposing a huge spit of boulders which 4WD cannot get past anyway.

This area was once all sand.

Much of the embankment has been washed away and the few lone dead Paperbark trees standing on the beach are testimony to where the bank and tree line once was.

The fallen Melaluca and Mangrove Trees provided some more driftwood art. This one should not need a name but to be certain we are both on the same page and see the same thing I have simply called it, Snake.

More driftwood art. I call this one Elephant and I am sure we see the same thing.

This one is not so obvious. To me it looks like a Sea Lion.

The long spit of shoals running off Little Green Island towards Reliance Creek is still there and if anything, much larger, higher, taller and longer than it once was. Once upon a time as the bottom of the tide was running out, we could walk to LGI and spend half an hour exploring before heading back to SP to avoid being caught by the 5 or 6 metre tides rushing back in across the shoals.

Fishing off LGI was good and a family friend, Geoff S, now deceased, had a net fishing license. He mainly caught Queenfish but always had stories about the huge bad tempered Hammerhead Sharks which plagued his fishing when he would have to fight the sharks to keep his catch but often ending with half a fish. Geoff would never swim in the local waters.

OK. The news on the closed Keeley’s Road Slade Point. It seems four men in their twentie’s found a UTube site on how to make a bomb. These budding Einsteins built the bomb and were taking it somewhere to harmlessly set it off “just to see what would happen”. Instead of packing it in the back of the ute, these high IQ lads kept it in the passenger compartment, along with themselves. For reasons not yet known, this volatile chemical bomb detonated. The force was enough to bend the ute out of shape, blow out all windows and bring the ute to a halt. All four escaped with their lives. Two were flown to Brisbane and one was in a critical but stable condition. It should be noted that all four somehow got out of the ute (or were helped by people from nearby houses) before a second blast which it seems would have killed them had they still been inside.


Tuesday 7th June

Overcast morning, sunny afternoon.

Today, although a workday for Donnis was an Eimeo day for Frankieg.

Eimeo is just across Eimeo Creek and can be seen from WWWGO where we are camped at Bucasia. Eimeo was once a sleepy little village but has grown up in recent years although some parts of it still retain the rustic, um err charm? Perhaps charm is not the correct word. Maybe it should read “rustic unkempt, unrepaired cottages surrounded by multi-million dollar abodes”.

A bit of history can be found here http://eimeohotel.com.au/history.ph.

Location map is here… http://maps.google.com.au/maps?hl=en&tab=wl

It is interesting to note the mango trees, planted by Jeremiah Armitage in 1870 are still here today and are on the Heritage List and line each side of, appropriately named, Mango Avenue.

Mango Avenue, Eimeo. Try to imagine the fruit from thirty something trees dropping their entire crop of mango's on the roadside. The locals will not collect or eat them so they sit on the road and rot during summer.

It should be noted these mango trees are known as commons. That is, they are the original mango’s and not the hybrids we enjoy today. Commons tend to be a more stringy texture and are probably best suited to making juice, chutney and jams. These trees drop their abundant fruit during the summer months and the fruit piles up on the roadway and rots. It also gets squashed under countless tyres of cars on their way to Eimeo Hotel or the beach. The smell at the height of summer is a bit strong.

At the end of Eimeo Road, at the top of the hill, is the South Pacific Hotel. The view across the ocean to Brampton and Carlisle Islands, St,Bees and Keswick Islands and the beginning of the chain of Whitsunday Islands is spectacular. Closer is the view over Eimeo Beach towards Dolphin Heads.

A boat owner working on his boat, which has seen better days, has run a power lead from his house in Sunset Boulevard, across the street to his boat pulled up into the mangroves and tied to a coconut palm.

Tucked into the mangroves beside Eimeo Creek and tied to a palm tree.

The views from the Eimeo Pacific Hotel are just spectacular.

Brampton and Carlisle Islands.

This is a place worthy of a cold beer, a café latte and cake or a full meal on a warm summer afternoon.

Or anytime for that matter.

Blacks Reef Rocks. If you enlarge the photo, the Whitsunday Islands appear as darker smudges in the background.

Wednesday 8th June.

Today was a day off for both of us. I spent the morning taking down the tarpaulin, annexe ends and all the other bits n pieces we have set up outside over the past few weeks. Tomorrow we take WWWGO to Mackay to have the 240volt section of the refrigerator repaired. It still rankles that I have to do that whereas a typical home owner can call a refrigeration guy and he makes house calls.

Donnis received a phone call from the nursing home at Mirani. It seems a job may be available in two weeks. We drove out to Mirani for an interview and I did a recce of the town. There was once a very good bakery and coffee shop. It has gone and in its place is a pharmacy.

I drove out of town and down a 4WD track under the bridge to see the Pioneer River. Beside the road bridge is a much higher, elevated rail bridge. From ground level I looked 30 metres above me as a cane train rattled by, clackety clack, with over 100 carriages filled with harvested sugar cane on its way to Marian Mill. Let me tell you it is a little unnerving to have a train on a bridge 30 metres above you take 10 minutes to pass overhead.

We will know about the job in the next few days. On the way home I decided to turn off the highway at a place called Farleigh and take the back roads through a number of valley’s to Habana, Nindaloo and back to Bucasia.

Thursday 9th June.

Today we battled peak hour traffic to arrive at the refrigerator repair place close to 8.30am. We left him to the work while we went for coffee with my sister Sandra, also known as Shan and more often these days, Sans.

We also got to catch up, for a few minutes, with her daughter, Jo-Elle.

In the early afternoon the refrigerator was repaired. The repairer cannot be sure but believes there was a loose 240 volt connection to the heating element. One spade connection was loose and blackened and has probably been just barely connected for some time. The element has been replaced and the connection tightened. One good piece of news was that our refrigerator venting is via a roof mounted heat dispersing cowl. It is a very efficient method for these types of refrigerators.

Friday 10th June

Cold from the southern states invaded us today along with a miserable drizzling rain.

Our world has shrunk. When confined inside the warmth of WWWGO there is not much space. While Donnis sits at the dinette table and studies. I sit at the head of the bed, a distance of less than three metres and read. It is cosy but highlights just how small our world has become. In the warmer weather we would both probably sit outside under the awning, even if it was raining but the icy breeze from down south is something we are not used to. This evening just before dinner, the power to the whole camp went out. I suppose when everybody arrives home from work and all the new arrivals all turn on their air con or heaters and stoves and TV etc, there has to be an instant power drain. A minute or two and it was fixed.

Saturday 11th June.

A work day for both of us.

It was cold, wet and miserable.

Did I mention it was cold? A cold front has moved in from the southern states and will probably last 4 days

During my morning survey pack delivery it rained, driven by cold gusty winds. I had been given a plastic, one size fits all, poncho. That lasted about 10 minutes before I took it off and donned my own heavy duty, Drizabone inspired raincoat.  (http://www.drizabone.com.au/  mine is a Rainbird   http://www.gondwanaoutdoor.com.au/gondwana-rainbird-clothing.html ) It was much better at keeping me warm and dry. The cold rain continued for most of the day. Then it was just overcast and cold.

Brother Allan and his wife Rae arrived and pointed out how cold it is here in the tropics. They are set up about 50 metres from us. Friend Eric arrived late in the afternoon and he set up at the end of the caravan park.

We all went to dinner at the Northern Beaches Bowling Club along with my daughter Averyl and children Shelby-Rose and Anakin. Sister Sans and husband John, niece Kelly and her fiancé Jason were also there. It was a pleasant family night together.

Sunday 12th June 2011

Another workday for Donnis and myself. Thank goodness it did not rain.

This evening we had a barbecue dinner with Allan & Rae as they will be driving to Bowen tomorrow for a week before heading further north to Cairns.

I received a call asking if I would agree to a change of shift to Tuesday and Saturday, Sunday this week. It is OK with me as this is the final week for delivery of letters and survey packs.

Until next time…


2 Responses to “195. Sunday 12th June 2011. Looking around, family visits and work changes…”

  1. The Retro Roamers Says:

    Very interesting post Frank. Can relate to all what you are saying.

    Seems like only yesterday, we were doing the same things.




    • frankeeg Says:

      G’day Paul. We are not used to staying so long in a caravan park. However having 240 volt power and water is a bit of a luxury. Itching to get “on the road again”. Now where did I put my bandana?


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