359. Sunday 16th February 2014. Work, moving things around, introspection and a day off to visit a ghost resort…

I thought it was about time I showed what I had waiting to move into for the last three months. This is part of our street. Our driveway is on the left just before the crest of the hill.

I thought it was about time I showed what I had waiting to move into for the last three months. This is part of our street. Our driveway is on the left just before the crest of the hill.

From across the street.

From across the street.

Our house with a screen of trees and palms.

Our house with a screen of trees and palms.

The wall of green looking out my office window.

The wall of green looking out my office window.

Monday 10th February

Work today.

It rained on and off all morning but the sun came out long enough for some of my washing to dry. I found some of our old bedding and am washing it ready to use again. All I had was one set of sheets on the spare queen size bed in WWWGO which also smelled musty for not being used for months at a time. Actually not since last September. On Sunday Paul replaced our under sink water filter cartridges. After he left I noticed one was leaking. I re-fit it…twice, last night as it still leaks. When I woke this morning it was leaking so I re-fit it again. And again and again. The TV man came to look at our antenna ( sorry Geoff I had called him before you called and he went to the house immediately!!!) It seems somebody (the last tenant perhaps?) had turned the antenna from horizontal polarity to vertical polarity and taken the 240 volt mast head booster from the wall socket. No wonder we could not get a signal! The antenna man left a new booster and re-positioned the antenna. Viola! I now have signal and a crisp HD picture on the TV.

Tuesday 11th February.

The water filter cartridge is still leaking. Grrr! Tried twice to fix it. It is still leaking.

Wednesday 12th February

Same story as yesterday. I am getting tired of turning the water off at the mains and crawling under the sink to fix the filter.

Thursday 13th February.

Another day just like the last two days although to be candid I have managed to unpack lots of boxes in the garage and found a bag with something like 20 pairs of socks and a dozen shirts all but one of which are in good condition. Sheesh! I had a lot of work clothes. There are other bags of clothes to explore. I also found the pure wool mattress protector.

Friday 14th February

Washed the shirts and socks and the mattress protector.

Then went to Bunnings to find an “O” ring to fit the water filter as I feel it is the cause of the leak. Our kitchen sink flick mix ceramic cartridge tap  (faucet) leaks in the body. I also went looking for a replacement set of “O” rings and a new cartridge. Sorry said Bunnings we do not have any of that stuff in stock. As there as many brands of water filter and ceramic cartridge taps as there are days in the year they can only stock a few. They told me it would be cheaper to buy a new tap set. They can sell me a new tap set for $32. I went to Reece the plumbing supplies specialist. Same story. They can only order the “O” rings in, about 10 days at a cost of $18 for two “O” rings. New cartridge? Sure. Bring the old one in and we will try to match it otherwise they have to order it in at a cost of $45 plus freight. They could not help with the filter “O” ring and suggested going to a hydraulic specialist. I am beginning to believe it will be cheaper and easier to fit a new water filter and tap set. At home I used Teflon tape on the water filter joins as well as a bit on the “O” ring. I threatened the filter unit with being replaced if it did not stop leaking. I then stopped for coffee. After coffee the filter was not leaking! I guess my threats had something to do with that. Or could it have been the Teflon tape? I decided on a new ceramic cartridge tap set from Bunnings and after a great deal of grunting, sweating and maneuvering under the sink resulting in a crick in the neck, the job is done. WOT THE! There is a small leak in the flexible pipe under the sink. After two attempts to fix it I gave up for the day. Who in their right mind would want to be a plumber?

Saturday 15th February

A light shower of rain  occurred at 6am. Then the sun came out. The temperature continued to rise and so did the humidity.

The small leak under the sink became smaller overnight. I thought of threatening it with replacement (as I did with the water filter which stopped leaking after I threatened it) but this IS the replacement! I can’t be bothered thinking or doing anything about it today. I am too lethargic walking through a wall of moisture heated air. Even sitting still works up a sweat.

At this point I wish to relate an amusing tale which happened today.

Gazza and Deb were neighbours at Flametree who had trouble getting a picture on their TV. Not just a broadcast signal picture but even a picture from another source such as a DVD player. They had just moved to Island Gateway Caravan Park which is 300 metres away on my street. I noticed they had a TV technician at their motorhome today. This evening my phone rang. It was Gazza explaining he could still not get a signal on his TV. It was working fine earlier today but now it was pzzzt! “Hmmm!” Said I, “ you are only a short walk down my street I will be there in five minutes. And I was.

Looking at his blank TV I offered to see what was what. I picked up the TV remote but he said,”No, do not change anything, the TV repairman is on his way”

“Hmmm!” I wondered. “Why call me when the TV man is on his way” I pondered further along with a mental shrug. So be it.

After almost an hour the TV man still had not arrived and we both started discussing his parental lines. I still wondered why I was called in the first place. Near 7pm I announced I had to go, I had to make dinner and wanted to talk with Donnis. No more than 5 minutes back home and the phone rings. It was Gazza. He said, “My TV is still playing up and Deb is due home in a few minutes and I want the TV working for her.”

At this point the penny dropped. “Umm Gazza, who did you call?” “I called you the TV repairman of course.” “Ummm, Gazza you called Frank – twice. You got a wrong number. That is why I called at your motorhome and that is why the TV repairman did not show up” A long long silence followed.

After a hot and humid day I thought I would share the following thoughts.

The tropics has four distinct seasons – at night especially.

Summer – One sheet or none at all. Often a fan during the night. Sometimes the air conditioner.

Autumn – A doona cover but no doona. In other words basically a double sheet. Sometimes at the beginning of the season a fan on low as well.

Winter – Starts off with a doona cover but soon needs the doona inside. Towards the end of the season the doona is kicked off during the night and is replaced by a lightweight cotton blanket.

Spring – starts off with just a sheet and a light cotton blanket. Towards the end of the season the blanket gets kicked off during the night and just a cotton sheet is all that is needed.

Throughout all these seasons we leave ALL the windows and doors open except when the air con is turned on. We are blessed with 7 windows and 5 doors, three are double sliding doors. Whenever a breeze is blowing it is nice to feel it through the house.

To-night there is no breeze, it is an air con night.

Sunday 16th February

It was my very own TLC day today. I decided to drive to Laguna Quays Resort    http://www.savelagunawhitsundays.info/Save_Laguna_Whitsundays/Welcome.html   and Midge Point. I invited Gazza and Deb to come with me.

First a Frank’s potted history of Laguna Quays and Turtle Point Golf Course.

Some 20 or so years ago a man with lots of money and less brains had a vision. The vision was to create a world class resort, marina and golf course in the middle of nowhere. Basically about midway between Mackay and Airlie Beach. At some point as his money reduced to the point where it was almost equal to his brain he realised the project was bigger than his bank balance. The marina was in place but struggling to attract boaties because, well simply because it was in the middle of nowhere. The coastal route from Mackay to Airlie Beach bypasses the bay where the resort is located. For boaties it was out of the way. Golfers were enticed to come but the golf course and resort fees were too high so not enough people came to stay. Because it was out of the way it involved either a car trip or bus trip from Mackay or Proserpine, the two nearest airports. He sold the project to a Japanese conglomerate who also quickly realised it was draining money faster than money was coming in and still much work was needed. They applied for a licence to build an airport. They realised the approval was not going to happen so sold to another man who had lots of money, big visions but short on reality. He started building his airport, tearing down native trees and scrub and bulldozing a flat place in the landscape. The airport approvals never arrived and with what money he had left, walked away. The resort, golf course and marina fell into disuse, disrepair and became overgrown.

The marina and look carefully on the right of the photos you can see the rooftops of the resort complex.

The marina and look carefully on the right of the photos you can see the rooftops of the resort complex.

The Beach Club where once families played in a safe fresh water lagoon with a licenced bar and bistro. Now overgrown and returning to nature.

The Beach Club where once families played in a safe fresh water lagoon with a licenced bar and bistro. Now overgrown and returning to nature.

Your guess is as good as mine why this rotting hulk is here and surrounded by a chain link fence.

Your guess is as good as mine why this rotting hulk is here and surrounded by a chain link fence.

One of the tugs used in the early construction phase of the marina. Now it is probably not even worth carting away as scrap metal.

One of the tugs used in the early construction phase of the marina. Now it is probably not even worth carting away as scrap metal.

Pushbikes still chained and left as they were when this marina, resort, golf club and beach club were 95% abandoned a few years ago.

Pushbikes still chained and left as they were when this marina, resort, golf club and beach club were 95% abandoned a few years ago.

A Hong Kong syndicate has bought the project in November but so far nothing has changed. I wanted to have a look at what was left and recall the former glory and look at the nearby town of Midge Point where some of the workers were found.

Midge Point surrounded by mangroves.

Midge Point surrounded by mangroves.

Most residents of Midge Point love to fish and most of them have a tractor to launch and retrieve their boat.

Most residents of Midge Point love to fish and most of them have a tractor to launch and retrieve their boat.

It was a sad trip but one tinged with hope that this time the new owners will concentrate their money and efforts into making the resort and marina pay for itself before trying to build a national airstrip let alone the international airstrip envisioned by the 3rd developer. Much of the infrastructure is still in place but sadly needs lots of maintenance and in some cases, rebuilding. The marina for example has pylons too short to be suitable as a cyclone haven. With high tides and tropical lows the water will rise (as it has previously) and the pontoons will drift or be blown off the pylons.

Of course all the employees and suppliers who were working back when it was an almost going concern lost their livelihood.

All in all it was a sad time.

To-night, as I write this, a big storm we were watching build up at midday has finally hit with lightning, thunder and heavy rain.

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