Friday 6th June
I finished a task which started several weeks ago.A few days before the CO-PILOT left to visit family in Wollongong and before she took up the nursing contract at Coolah, western NSW. We needed to replace the worn canvas awning material. The awning framework is in good condition but the canvas material has been in place for at least 10 years and apart from being faded was beginning to fall apart. I took what was left of the materialto our upholster/ sailmaker/ shade sails, Kevin, who quoted a price and we said OK go ahead. I chose the new material which is sort of like a shade cloth but is woven, not knitted. It sort of breathes, air and moisture can pass through but gives as much as 90% shade. The old canvas would fill up with water when it rained and we would have to carefully empty the huge water filled bulge. This new material will not hold water and I can see through it but it does give good shade.
I managed to install two of the three shade cloth awnings and have them working correctly by myself. It meant climbing up and down two ladders, push a bit of material into a slot, climb down, climb up and push the material a little in another slot. This was repeated many times until the material was fully inserted and viola it works!
The third awning was a lot higher off the ground and too high to reach although I managed to insert ¾ of the material. The whole assembly would have to be detached from the wall but this involved two people. Ian H, a workmate, agreed to help me after work. He arrived after dark but I had already removed all retaining bolts so when he arrived we had the frame detached, placed on the ground and the cloth inserted and back into place in 15 minutes. It certainly helps to have a second person share the load. Thanks again Ian.
Also during the day I painted the timber laundry stairs and stairs at the end of our verandah with… a paving paint.
Saturday 7th June.
I finished the awnings with a few final tweaks and gave the stairs a 2nd coat then gurneyed off the concrete pad at the bottom of both sets of stairs and gave the pad a first coat of paving paint.
I also ran around the yard with a set of hedge trimmers and tidied up the out of control plants coming through and over the fence with our neighbours.
Although I promised myself the day off tomorrow I will finish the 2nd coat on the concrete pad.
Donnis completed her final shift at Coolah tonight. Tomorrow she is being driven to Dubbo where she will catch a plane to Sydney then a train to Wollongong and complete the family visit she started a month ago.
Sunday 8th June.
I woke to rain and a cool wind blowing from the south. Not the best weather for exploring or painting the concrete pad at the bottom of the steps.
But I did both.
I explored the rainforest walk known as Airlie Creek Rainforest Track. This is a 900 mketre track which mostly follows Airlie Creek into the hills. (http://www.tourismwhitsundays.com.au/destinations/airlie-beach/attractions/the-airlie-creek-track/ ) it starts off as a gentle grade 1 with gravel pathway and progresses through grades 2, 3 and 4 which are mild exertion tracks although in the damp and steep conditions caution is urged. I saw a Whitsunday Bottle Tree, a rare and endangered species. It is only found on this part of the coast up to 20 Klms north and south of this location and only 2 klms inland. It is also only found on 2 of the 74 Whitsunday Islands.
saw a good example of a fig tree claiming and dominating a bit of real estate
and a couple of different wood fungi.
The track ends at a sheer rock wall with a water dribble. I can imagine it would be quite a sight when in full flow as a waterfall but under conditions to create a waterfall the walking would be hazardous.
After the dampness of the track I wandered over to Abel Point Marina which is worth a walk at any time on any day.
There is a foreshore walk and boardwalk which runs from one end of the marina (in fact the walk begins way over on Cannonvale Beach) and goes through to Airlie Beach and ends at the Sailing Club. The walk follows the coastline all the way. I dressed for rain and heavy conditions in the rainforest and wished I had taken a change of shoes and shorts for the marina walk. My walk started at Shingley Beach and finished at the northernmost end of the marina and back again. That little trek, with time for a few photos took 45 minutes. The full walk from Cannonvale to Whitsunday Sailing Club is around 3.5 Klms and is level for 97% of the way. At a good pace it would take around 45 minutes also.