Monday 18th November
Just another workday for me.
Donnis had a day off so she drove to Moree, a 300Klm round trip. She had several reasons to go.
- The air conditioner in the accommodation is a central unit and does not work well and is often turned off by the other nurse because she does not like air con especially when she is sleeping. So, when the other nurse turns the AC off no cool air gets into Donnis room. With temperatures expected to reach 50° over the coming months, she will need AC especially when she finishes night shift and needs to sleep during the day. Donnis wanted a portable unit, one she could plug into power and has its exhaust air vented through a window fitting. She also bought block out curtains to make the room darker during the day.
- Her mobile phone will not work in a remote rural area. She needs a “blue tick” phone, capable of receiving weak signal. At the same time she can upgrade to a smart phone and a data package. After discussion she has a new phone, a car cradle and charger, a home base station charger and an external antenna.
- She needed groceries and cooking utensils.
- For some reason a juicer was on her shopping list.
The bank account took a severe battering when she had finished.
Tuesday 19th November
With her new phone the CO-PILOT is able to call any time of the day or night but so far she has not mastered the intricacies of the data package. For example, email, facebook and skype.
Wednesday 20th November
On my way to work I got a call to say my rebuilt AC compressor has arrived so dropped RALLYE at the workshop. Just as I finished my shift they phoned to say it was ready. Oh Joy! Oh heaven! Oh delightful! Oh bliss! I can drive with windows closed and it is cool inside. As a bonus I can hear the radio.
The CO-PILOT called. She and her room mate drove 300 Klms round trip to Lightning Ridge and back to Colli as Donnis has night shift at 10.30. We had been to Lightning Ridge in 2010 and I am sort of jealous as we both liked the town and we wanted to return.
She still has not mastered data and we discovered the patch kit for the external antenna is the wrong type and will not fit her phone. A nurse at the hospital is going to Moree and will return the patch kit and ask them to mail it back to Donnis as the nurse is going on holidays and will not return for several weeks.
Thursday 21st November.
Another overcast day in Airlie Beach including a late afternoon of thunderstorms, lightning and rain. It is hot in Colli and the CO-PILOT is ecstatic about her new AC. Learning to use data on her phone is still an elusive task especially as there is lots of looking around Colli, swimming, meeting people and forging friendships.
Friday 22nd November
The day started overcast and became greyer, if that is possible as the day wore on. Weather forecast is for RAIN. Not showers, RAIN! Rain for several days. In the early afternoon I drove to Shingley Beach a delightful manicured park, saved from obscurity by the Whitsunday Shire Council. The park overlooks Abel Point Marina, a block of multi-million $ units, Peninsular Airlie Beach at Abel Point.
It is also a placed for the outrigger canoe club to store their umm err outrigger canoes.
There are showers toilets, picnic tables and a small rubble/sand beach. The afternoon was heavily overcast and not great light for photographs.
Just after 7pm the rain began…heavy rain which continued all night, well at least those parts of the night when I woke and heard the rain. I could hear the creek behind WWWGO gurgling as the water rose and race on its way downhill towards Watering Horse Creek and into the Coral Sea. I dreamt that somehow Donnis and I were crossing a flooded raging creek and the bridge we were on collapsed and we both ended in the water clinging to a steep slippery bank. I called to her to join me and as she let go the handhold she sank and disappeared. That is when I woke with a fright! It was 4am and still dark outside.
Saturday 23rd November
At first light I could see how far the creek had risen during the night. The water was rushing along making flooded creek sounds. Perhaps the sound of the creek penetrated my subconscious and created the dream. It was still raining, just as heavily as when it started last night.
We have developed a leak around the roof hatch. Or is that the same leak which has plagued us for two years? Whatever it is it only leaks when we have very heavy rain and where WWWGO is perfectly level so water cannot easily run off. Outside I discovered the unlidded plastic box in which I keep several pairs of shoes had not been fully pushed under the shelter of WWWGO. All the shoes were wet and sitting in a puddle of water.
I also chose today to defrost the fridge and while my back was turned, the defrosted material leaked out of the open fridge door and soaked all the floor mats.
Another deep sigh!
I hate living with damp carpet and mats under my feet. They seem to take only a short while before they smell, umm err damp! I can take them out of SWWWGO but as it is still raining outside I cannot dry them out just yet.
In the afternoon I bought some tent poles and if tomorrow is a bit dry I will extend the shade cloth which currently just hangs down and although it provided shade on the dinette and fridge side, it does not allow a free passage of air. I should be able to park RALLYE under as well.
Sunday 24th November.
Woke to sunshine with birdsong at 5am.
After getting mats and shoes into the sunshine to dry I then tackled the shade cloth. Yes! Rallye will fit in…just. I added a tarpaulin on top of the shade cloth and parked RALLYE underneath. It will now get some protection from the sun and even some protection from the rain. We also get a cooled breeze through the dinette window.
In the afternoon after I had completed my chores it was time to relax and drive into Airlie Beach. I felt it would be safe to do so as Schoolies Week (http://www.schoolies.com/2013) is over and most, if not all, have gone home. Umm it’s not that I thought it would be unsafe but more a case that I am more likely to find a parking spot now that all the party goes have gone. By way of explanation, Australian school leavers gravitate to places such as Airlie Beach, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Byron Bay. In the week of madness there is lots of music and rampant testosterone fuelled by too much booze and drugs. Any brains the schoolies had to enable them to graduate seem to have been left at home. Fights are normal. Apart from that they all have a good time, carry those memories with them forever and go home at the end of the week.
I walked around the lagoon, a giant free open swimming enclosure for (well yes it is free to the visitors, the locals pay for it by way of council rates and by way of an impost on local stores) swimming, relaxing, family play area, barbecues with some of the best weather and views on the planet.
I then walked around the rocks and mangroves on the north side of the beach.
There is a boat wreck here, washed up on the rocks during or after ex tropical cyclone Oswald in January 2013.
Skipping the light fantastic over the slippery and sharp rocks, even a cursory look at the rocks shows the area’s volcanic origins. http://www.tourismwhitsundays.com.au/Portals/0/Assets/Documents/QPWS%20Whitsundays%20Nature%20Culture%20and%20History_August2009.pdf
Now the late afternoon black storm clouds began rolling in and it is time to batten down the hatches and put my shoes and chairs somewhere they will not get wet when the rain begins. The warning thunder began just before 8pm.