Woke to rain and strong winds. In fact I was woken several times during the night. At one stage the curtains in the ensuite were being blown and flapping against the ceiling. The wind blew my toothpaste and dental floss off the shelf and the clattering woke me.
At 10am the Tropical Low formed into Tropical Cyclone, Category 1,”HADI” and is slowly moving away from the coast afer doing a ”U Turn”. Perhaps to build up intensity and come back stronger. Regardless of the movements the wind and rain stayed.
Tuesday 11th March
HADI continues its slow move away from the coast and remarkably there are three cyclonic systems in the weather map for Queensland. One is for cyclone Gillian in the Gulf country to the north, HADI off the coast and another tropical low further to the east.
Still gusty wind, strong at times and rain comes and goes but as predicted, conditions started to ease today. I had a half plan of travelling to Lake Elphinstone this weekend to join the Mackay Sugarloafers.
Wednesday 12th March
The sun came out the wind eased and I have made a decision. I will go to Lake Elphinstone in WWWGO. Hmmm! That means all the stuff I lugged off WWWGO now needs to be lugged back on.
Now that I have made the decision I am looking forward to the trip.
Thursday 13th March
The sun shone again today but rain is forecast for tomorrow.
Friday 14th March
After a leisurely breakfast and final preparation I am on my way to Lake Elphinstone
about 260 Klms from home, 92 klms from Mackay and 25 Klms to the nearest town, Glenden, which was built by the Newlands Coal Company. Lake Elphinstone lies within the Bowen Basin a huge area of coal deposits. Once a town, Elphinstone, comprised 9 streets was mapped out but little remains except some straight lines in an otherwise chaotic landscape. I can find no records of an actual township being built apart from being a location on a map.
On arrival I found the Sugarloafers and set up camp among the other rigs.
The lake is very attractive with many species of aquatic bird life.
It is also apparently good for fishing but the main catch seems to be a maron or crayfish like creature found in huge numbers in many inland fresh water lakes. This lake is no exception. http://www.daff.qld.gov.au/fisheries/species-identification/freshwater-fish/redclaw
Several rum and ginger beer (Dark and Stormy) at happy hour and with dinner relaxed me to the point I was falling asleep by 8.30.
Saturday 15th March
I did some walking and talking and relaxing and drinking beer and rum and eating and talking and catching up with old friends and did I mention talking? The weather was perfect as was the night. Another Sugarloafer. John Silver and I wanted to climb the nearby high rocky hillside but realised it would be long taxing walk especially as we could not see an obvious track nor a way past the barbed wire fence. If we can find a starting point we would have to begin our walk at first light.
Tonight was a communal dinner of finger food but we all called it a night by 8.30.
Sunday 16th March.
First light at 6am and John was still asleep. I started walking to find a starting point for our possible walk (climb) to the top of this steep and rocky slope. We have been told some campers did climb the hill in recent years but we have no idea who they were or when they climbed the hill or even where their starting point was. John and I will have to do some more research before we tackle this project later in the year.
At smoko time we had a club meeting and I was packed on my way home by 11am. Only two days at Lake Elphinstone but I enjoyed it immensely.