It has been a quiet week. Just doing stuff at home that needs to be done. Weeding is one of them but half an hour of weeding leads to an all- day pain in the back. Every day I weed a little and feel pain a lot.
Lighting is another job. The spare toilet room, the main bathroom and our front steps all have LED battery powered movement activated lights. All three rely upon a double sided tape, supplied by the manufacturer, to hold them to a wall or bench or under stairs. All three tapes just gave up and the light just keeps falling down. Grrr!
Solution? I ordered some super gel, super stick Nano tape which should arrive Monday. If it performs half as good as the ads claim it will be fine with me.
The toilet seat in the spare toilet room has a soft close feature and it has never soft closed. It is one of the few Aldi products I have bought which has not performed as it should. As well the very fine thin metal slot which holds the bolt which attaches it to the toilet bowl has bent and as well as not soft closing the seat slides around. Enough is enough! I took measurements and called on a plumbing specialist at Bunnings. I was soon home fitting the toilet seat, Wooee! What a difference that made. The toilet seat closes softly and it does not slide around on the fitting.
Saturday 17th August
It is grandson Chris 15th birthday today. Mum Regelyn organised a lunch at the Carindale Hotel which is part of the mega Carindale Shopping Centre at umm err, Carindale. It was an hours drive from home, but first we had to buy a birthday card and then buy fuel. It seems my favourite United Service Station has fuel at least 20 cents cheaper than anywhere else nearby. We had to queue with about 50 other cars to get fuel then as we neared roadworks on the M1 near Rochdale traffic slowed to a walking pace. Finally we reached Carindale and like all the other cars lined up in front of us we went looking for a parking spot. We were almost 45 minutes late by the time we arrived. Whew! This is not a typical pub with pub food prices. Pete and Chris had a steak each of which was $35. Donnis and I had a Caesar Salad which did not have anchovies – which it should – so it was a bit of a mild salad, not as good as I make at home. Each salad cost us $12.
Chris plays a Rugby League semi- final tomorrow.
Sunday 18th August
As usual, Sunday dawned fine and sunny and stayed that way all day. I could not find a cloud in the sky.
It was warm (hot) in the sun but a cool breeze was blowing off the ocean.
We went for a walk along Main Beach
and found a team of Lifesavers undergoing jet ski in surf training. It was fun to watch them punching their way through breaking waves.
There were more people walking the beach today and all car parks were near enough to full capacity.
After our walk we drove to Mondarewa Beach to watch the boats coming and going on The Broadwater. We had a picnic lunch on a beach blanket and in general just relaxed in a fabulous setting. We have so many family friendly beaches and parks to choose from and it seem the entire population of the Gold Coast were also out enjoying themselves.
Yesterday we had a Caesar Salad (seniors menu) at the Carindale Hotel. Tonight we prepared a huge Caesar Salad which included anchovies – as it should. The serving size would have been double what we had for lunch yesterday. I estimate the cost for two huge servings would be $6. We had a much tastier, fresher meal prepared at home. That is probably why we do not eat out all that often.
Man I had a dreadful flight. All the way a paperback was on my knee. Really, it was not such a good flight. The seats seem to be narrower and closer together than ever before. The flight was delayed and delayed again. There was lots of turbulence.
Arrived Brisbane and as always am amazed at the number of people populating the airport. All those people waiting for a flight, boarding a flight, disembarking from a flight, eating, buying stuff, collecting baggage, checking in and being delayed by security. Somehow it all works and despite complaints, most of us get our flights on time and arrive safely at the other end.
I am always grateful for that.
Gee it’s good to be back home.
If you have seen the movie, YESTERDAY you will understand some of the lines in this paragraph.
Friday 9th August
I spent the last few days just settling back into life on the Gold Coast.
First up this morning I had an appointment at the skin clinic where a couple of biopsies were taken and sent away for checking. If things go as they usually do, I have no doubt that next week I will have a couple of surgeries to remove Basal Carcinoma cells. We have no idea when as a teenager, enjoying our days on the beach, in the sunshine that it will come back to haunt us. Some more haunted than others. If any young people read this, please learn to cover up. The old adage of SLIP on a shirt, SLOP on sunscreen and SLAP on a hat is as pertinent today as it was 30 years ago, In fact as teenagers we always thought nothing would happen to us.
How wrong we were and if only the message we want to pass on is heard and listened to by a younger generation.
I had a read back through my Blog for this week in 2007. Donnis and I took our original motorhome, the converted Toyota Coaster bus, to the Gemfest held at Rubyvale each year. We stayed in our motorhome on a friends Ruby mining lease at umm err Rubyvale. The Gemfest, is a like a local market. It takes me about 5 minutes to look quickly at whatever is on display and then another two hours of boredom waiting for Donnis to finish her detailed browsing. Thank goodness for coffee, I only wish I had my Kindle in 2007.
Saturday 10th August
Today was sunny and very windy with a distinct chill. Just before midday we drove to Main Beach. We were both surprised at the number of cars at the beach and in fact had to choose our second preferred option to find a car park. As it turned out we would have been better choosing the third preferred option to park. When we left home and discussed our walk it was with the intent of walking a few hundred metres and walking back. After a few hundred metres Donnis suggested we go as far as the sand pumping station and have lunch at the kiosk before heading back to the car.
Hmmm! That is about 5klms along the sand and will take about an hour or even more.
So that is what we did. We had fish n chips at Seaway Kiosk. Originally I thought we would share a serve of fish n chips and take it to a bench seat somewhere and struggle with the wind. As it turned out we ate in the bright and cheerful dining area, drinking lots of water for the return walk.
About 300 metres into our walk I started having back spasms and found it too difficult to continue. Donnis trudged on alone while I gingerly dawdled over the sandhills to The Spit and sat and walked slowly until Donnis arrived just over an hour later.
We quite enjoyed the walk and the lunch so will keep the Seaway Kiosk in mind for future lunch options.
Sunday 11th August
I went to the doctor at 9am as I have had a pain in my left side all this week. It seems my old friend Di Verticulitis has paid a visit. My doctor thinks 4 antibiotics tablets will clear up the inflamation. Its nice to be abl;e to see your doctor on a Sunday if you are in pain.
A last minute decision saw us driving to Narangba in the far northern Brisbane suburbs. Chris was playing a Rugby League match today. It was a long way to drive to watch his team win 56 -6 but was also an opportunity to see another part of Brisbane. It is a very large suburb and seems very well laid out with lots of parklands and trees and green space scattered among the houses. I would not feel comfortable living there in bushfire season.
A quiet day for a change. No driving up the valley, up the coast down the coast. No visiting historical sights or looking for abandoned houses.
Today I collected Sandi and Dave from the airport. They have returned from 3 weeks doing hiking and sight- seeing in Italy. They have come back bearing new phrases such, Ciao. Or Espresso. Or Limoncello. It seems they have also brought back a Mediterranean way of eating, especially Dave who was a Pizza fanatic before he left but has gone to a new level of pizza. It seems a new version of Balsamic Vinegar has captured his tastebuds. Sandi also brought back some blisters on her feet she did not have when she left.
The bottle of Limoncello in a bottle shaped like the high heeled boot of Italy they brought me was a pleasant surprise. I like Limoncello.
Thursday 1st August
Today I took a drive to Campwin Beach which is on the other side of the inlet to Grasstree Beach which I visited last week.
There are some pretty amazing expensive houses and duplexes and holiday cottages here.
I am not sure why. The views are not all that spectacular, the beaches are ordinary, there is no surf but I understand the fishing is good – if you have a boat and can go offshore.
Next stop was Sarina Beach which is also a bit ordinary and with a strong south easterly blowing . It was not a pleasant day on the beach.
However I did go for a walk which is what I needed. Sarina has a substantial surf club premises but unlike the busy clubs on the Gold Coast do not have sufficient local population to have a restaurant or even a coffee shop.
Next was the Sarina Inlet which once upon a time also hosted a large fishing fleet.
Like Grasstree Beach they have all but gone.
The inlet here is much larger and deeper but the boat ramp is a bit old.
Back in 2005 the local community built the Sarina Inlet Trail which starts near the old fishing fleet jetties and continues behind the line of mangroves beneath a hill until it exits at the inlet beach.
It is only a few hundred Klms but an interesting walk and one which took a lot of effort by locals to clear and line with rocks.
After the walk I drove to the top of the hill overlooking the inlet and was surprised to find the Captain E P Blackwood RN lookout and memorial plaque as he first sailed into this inlet in the survey ship HMS “FLY” in 1770. The plaque also covers a time capsule intended to be opened in 2070, 100 years after the capsule was “buried” in 1970. I would like to see the opening. I only have to wait another 51 years. The entire hillside is covered in wild vegetation except where members of the historical society have kept the path and staircase trimmed.
Friday 2nd August
Today was the long drive to Townsville to visit my daughter Shelley and her family.
I turned off the highway at Proserpine to visit Airlie Beach where our house is undergoing a big tidy up and facelift. Nobody was working today but at least I could see the work that has been done. I was a bit disappointed as I expected to see workers cleaning the roof of accumulated eucalyptus oil, pressure cleaned, base coat and two coats on both house and the garage. The house external walls will also have a few coats of paint to match the new roof colour.
After a coffee and a toasted ham cheese and tomato sandwich at McDonalds I resumed the trip calling in to see my daughter and the house full of kids and friends before I continued a few Klms to stay with a friend, Karen, in her big empty house. It was a long and tiring trip of over 400 Klms so I should sleep well tonight. I arrived in Townsville to a downpour of rain which has been threatening all day.
Karen is a wonderful hostess, ensures I am well fed and have a comfortable bed and is a good communicator.
Saturday 3rd August
After Karen gave me a giant breakfast of bacon n eggs I drove to Shelley’s house where Mathew was waiting excitedly for me so we could go to Ninja Parc.
Ninja Parc is a place designed on the TV series Australian Ninja. It is a challenging circuit for all ages. Mathew has a season pass and although he struggles with most of the equipment, he continues to try and try and try. He tried to the point of a lather of sweat and near exhaustion but at least it used up much of the excess energy he has.
Georgia on the other hand felt it was all too boring and just wanted to go to Hogs Breath for lunch…which we did. Actually I think Hogs Breath is quite a good alternative to McDonalds as they have now extended their weekday $9.90 lunch to every day. The menu has about six offerings but from my point of view the Beer Battered Whiting Fillets and Sweet Potato Wedges was more than enough as it was quite filling.
Dinner at Karens and I fell asleep on the lounge watching TV.
In the morning I went for a walk to the nearby wetlands reserve. I had a nice walk around the perimeter and watched the several groups of Magpie Geese camped on the low mounds around each pond.
It seems they use a group safety system. While some sleep others seem to keep an eye over the flock while others seem to walk around like security guards. If anything causes concern, such as me walking 100 metres away, the walking guards honk while the watchers take up the call and if I get too close such as on the other side of the pond, they all take off, in silence, except for the noise of hundreds of wings flapping. Then on some signal they all land a few hundred metres away and go back to sleeping, watching or walking. Sometimes two or more birds take off or some come in to land. Never one bird alone. As there were several such groups, they all carried out the same routine as I approached.
I also caught sight of a pair of Brolgas (Australian Cranes) tippy toeing on the edges of the wetlands trying to be typically secretive as Brolgas appear to do.
I continued my wanderings across the places where I lived and played for many years. Re-visiting, re-living and in some way having a new experience with eyes that see differently.
Today I drove through Habana, then onto a gravel rural road to Yakapari and onto the Yakapari to Seaforth Road. Along the way I was also looking for abandoned houses and strange letterboxes.
Often I want to stop when I see one of those items, there is nowhere to park the car and when I do find a place, the prospect of hiking back to the site does not appeal. At least in most cases it is on rural back-roads so frequent stopping is OK but trying to slow down and stop on a more populated road or even a main highway is nigh on impossible.
Today I turned off just before Seaforth and drove to the sleepy village of Ball Bay. Most of the village is made up of permanents and the rest are weekenders. What quickly became obvious is this is a town where all the NO signs grow. No Parking, No camping, No stopping, No water, with other signs which ask you to report suspicious behaviour. Perhaps drug smugglers use the beach to umm err, smuggle.
The beach is a wide arc of rough muddy sand and looks uninviting at low tide and it seems everywhere I have gone these last three weeks it is low tide. Ball Bay has no appeal for me and I felt disinclined to photograph anything.
The village has no shops or other services. They have telephone but no town water or sewerage. They do have garbage collection.
After leaving Ball Bay I stopped to look at a rock feature which is the tall peak of an ancient volcanic caldera.
We have always called them jump ups but in reality are just the remains of the volcanic walls which have eroded at a slower pace than other parts. Looking at a Google Earth Photo it is plain to see the caldera outline with Ball Bay nestled into the sea side opening.
Next stop was the little campground controlled by Queensland Parks and Wildlife at Smalley’s Beach.
There are only 11 sites, all screened from each other by trees and shrubs and all with a view through those trees to the beach.
I should mention the beach here is mainly shell grit but at the top of the beach the sand is more like a fine layer of clinging dust. Most of the beaches in this area have a similar dust like sand at the approach to the beach.
There is a view across the coral sea to some of the lower Whitsunday Islands across a normally calm and placid expanse of sea. The southern end of the beach is covered with small boulders which seem to be remnants of spewed volcanic material from an insanely distant fiery past.
There are no facilities here so campers need to be self sufficient and must take all their rubbish with them as there are no garbage facilities either. Interestingly the people who come here are more often from overseas and have found the location by diligent research. Most Mackay locals would not have heard the name and if they have, could not tell you where it is. We camped here in our first motorhome, a converted Toyota Coaster bus way back in 2005. It is quite simply a congenial place to sit back, do nothing and veg out type of place. If you can find them, talk with your neighbours.
Next up was Belmunda Beach.
This location is poorly signposted and is on a rough gravel road after turning off from another dry and dusty gravel road. It passes through two types of landscape. Sugar cane stretching off into the distance and low scrub on flat salt/clay pans in a flood prone zone.
Belmunda Beach is on a raised hillside above the low lying marsh area.
People who live or weekend here need to be self sufficient. Most houses are really nothing more than rough huts. There is no electricity, no water, no sewerage and no garbage collection. I saw one sign to say the property was for sale and the main selling feature was the 12 volt system powered by batteries and solar panels. The tiny village is cut off during the annual wet season when flooding rain turns the normally placid Knobbies Creek into a kilometres wide angry raging flood.
To live here you need to be comfortable in your own skin and or hiding from the world. Or hiding from the law. Or both. There is not much to see or do here except fish. There are no facilities, not even a bench seat to have a lunch or even just somewhere to sit. Unlike Ball Bay there are no NO PARKING signs. In fact there is an absence of signs – unlike Ball Bay.
Along the way I saw several abandoned houses worthy of stopping and taking photos.
By the way, it is mid winter and the temperature was around 24° with very little humidity. It is ideal weather except for the chilly south easterly breeze in the open.
From a high point on the high point of Belmunda I could see Cape Hillsborough across the bay in the distance. Then I saw what looked like a giant archway which I have never seen before and in fact did not know it existed.
Also from here I had a clear view of Brampton and Carlisle Islands. Here is a little video about Brampton.
Considering what I thought was a lack of something to photograph I still managed to take 94 photos today.
On the weight loss program I am pleased to announce my weight is now down to 74.3 Kg. My target? 72 Kg or less.
Friday 26th July
I spent the morning downloading photos, on-line research and writing up my notes from yesterday. Initially I thought I would spend all day doing the photos but the weather is so nice I decided it was time to get out.
I drove to Shoal Point and a little dirt road which leads to Hodges place, a property with many acres surrounding a house on a spit of land which could get washed away if it were not for the original Hodges building a huge rock wall near the house site. I found a parking spot just outside the fence and gates with the Private Property, No Entry signs posted. Another three cars were also parked here. It is not such a secret location. I had decided to walk to Reliance Creek to see what devastation has occurred over the last XX years. The walk from where I parked the car to the mouth of Reliance Creek is about 1 Klm.
I should mention that between Shoal Point and Cape Hillsborough are three major creeks draining into the shallow Sand Bay. Reliance Creek is the first. It is quite a trudge along the beach at low tide as there are many obstacles of loose sand, shell grit, exposed dead roots of dead mangrove forests, deep mud, rocks and during the day the dry sand gets very hot on bare feet. The grittiness of the sand caused a blister on a big toe.
In September 2018 I walked most of the way and reported on a car which somehow manged to be driven to where it was finally bogged and irretrievable.
I can report the car is still there although there is much less of it now. I pushed on until I reached the mouth, which at the moment was a wide expanse of sand due to being at the bottom end of the tide.
In 6 hours where I was standing would be under water as a 7 metre tide range returns.
It was quite eerie standing there below the bank with mangroves, mud banks and sand sand sand in all directions.
That and of course the knowledge this creek is a well known spot for Crocodiles.
My exploration was brief as in places the sand was deceptively soft and or like a quicksand with a very damp mud beneath the recently laid down surface of sand. I had not told anybody where I was going so I needed to take care. Not only Crocodiles live here but so do sharks, stingrays, stonefish, a variety of snakes and legions of mosquitoes and sandflies.
ONCE AGAIN I HAVE SO MANY PHOTOGRAPHS I NEED TO BREAK THE WEEK INTO SMALLER MORE MANAGEABLE CHUNKS. EASIER FOR ME THAT IS . TRYING TO POST 85 PHOTOS AND ACCOUNTING FOR THEM IN ONE POST IS TOO MUCH FOR ME.
Monday 22nd July
On Friday I heard a Naval Ship was in Mackay Harbour. I drove to the harbour but it was gone. Most likely it was HMAS Melbourne on final manouvres and taking part in the joint US, Japan, Australian war games exercise at Shoalwater Bay. However a mock battle was staged on Queens Beach, Bowen today and several ships took part in that exercise.
So, I missed seeing the ship but did see a huge tanker being manouvred into a berth by two tugs.
The Pilot vessel stood by while all this was going on.
From the Harbour I went to Vines Creek area of North Mackay to see some boats which have been careened in the mangroves, presumably for repairs.
While there I also saw another abandoned house to add to my collection.
This area of Mackay is a bit of an enigma with very large houses built of brick and fastidiously tidy stand alongside older houses well past their use by date, with loads of rubbish littering the front yards.
Tuesday 23rd July
Today I took a walk along a track to the Blacks Beach Spit.
The track is closed to vehicular traffic but has signs indicating distances and alternate paths to the beach.
I recall driving on this track many years ago and realistically although it is closed off I recall that it has not changed a great deal.
The track skirts the sand dune area behind the beach front on one side and McCready’s Creek on the other.
All along the creek side is an almost impenetrable wall of mangroves while the dry sandy dune side is a mix of salt clay pans with, a few Pandanus, many Casuarina, Melaleuca in the more damp wetlands parts and a several Cabbage Palms.
The understory is thick grass much of it more than two metres tall. The entire area can be affected by higher than usual tides, Neap tides, King tides and cyclonic tidal surges.
It is an amazing patch of native vegetation surround by suburbia. It is too easy to believe you are way out in the wilds of unexplored north Queensland. I arrived at the mouth of the creek at low tide and still am amazed that what is all sand now will soon become a wild watercourse at high tide.
Further up the creek where the mangroves are thick the banks can be quite steep mud. This is where the Crocodiles come out to sun themselves.
Wednesday 24th July
Over the last two weeks I have mentioned the many ships at anchor several Klms offshore, waiting their turn to be filled with coal. Today I visited the site of where the coal is stockpiled and delivered to those ships.
In fact there are two coal loaders, side by side stretching out about one Klm offshore. Both loaders operate independently but together form the biggest and most efficient coal loading facility in the world.
At a special viewing platform, provided by Hay Point/Dalrymple Bay you can see everything that is going on.
Everything except being up close. However the huge scale of the facility is plain to see. Today I counted 27 ships sitting at sea while at least one ship was being loaded.
From here I then went to Half Tide Beach and Salonika Beach where I spent some time photographing the lagoon.
With the tide being out neither beach has anything interesting enough to photograph. The road ends at a wide sandy creek. Google Maps show a road and presumably a bridge on an as yet unmade road called Esplanade which continues through to Grasstree Beach. That road through mangrove wetlands does not exist.
I had to drive back through Half Tide and Hay Point and towards the Bruce Highway at Alligator Creek where I took the turn off to Grasstree Beach.
Grasstree Beach once upon a time had a small fishing fleet which used a safe anchorage in Grasstree Creek.
Some boats remain but mostly private vessels use the rough jetties and home made facilities. Also located at Grasstree is a gold mine. Yes, a gold mine, perched atop Mount Haden which dominates the town.
Even from here, some twenty Klms further south from Hay Point, many of the coal ships can be seen anchored offshore.
Once upon a time I knew fishermen from Grasstree as I was a Marine Insurance Broke and insuring fishing boats was what I knew best. I knew there were several boats which operated from here. It was not so much a fleet as each boat had one owner but they all knew each other and co-operated with berthing and getting a catch to their market.
One vessel owner, whose vessel was much better maintained than the others stood out as a tough but fair skipper. His crew had to agree to abide by the Rule of No D. That is the crew were not to bring aboard certain items which began with D. No Drugs, No Dames and no Drink. He was even known to turn a boat around when he found somebody with drugs. When the Government started buying back licences many of the less maintained boats stopped working and soon became derelicts and had to be hauled out or sold. While other boats stopped working he retained his licence and still fished. Now even he has gone, a victim of licence buyback and the importation of fresh, frozen and canned fish from Asian nations. Even the Aquaculture Fish Farm has closed as has the Fish and Chip shop which sold local fresh fish.
I also found a couple of abandoned houses at Grasstree. I was not surprised.
Sister Enid and I drove to Airlie Beach for the weekend. We booked into the Mantra Club Crocodile Resort for the night.
We had a few options to consider but that could be done while we walked from Cannonvale to Airlie Beach along the scenic mix of beachside pathway and boardwalk. (Just a little by the by. Once upon a time when I lived and worked here I would often go on a walk at lunchtime with Maria, my boss. Our office was located just up the road from Club Croc. We would walk along the coast boardwalk as far as Abel Point Marina then up to Shute Harbour Road and the long steep road and equally steep down the other side and back to the office. That was a good heart pumping walk.)
We started at the little park known as Cannonvale Beach Foreshore Reserve at Whisper Bay.
At the outset we saw a wedding in progress at the small park beside the VMR (Volunteer Marine Rescue) Station with a second wedding waiting for the same location.
The walk is made up of a few boardwalks which are built out over the rocks and at high tide is over the water.
The boardwalk is called Turtle Boardwalk.
The concrete pathways pass through an up market residential and exclusive holiday accommodation, Mirage Whitsunday, Marina Shores and the most exclusive of all, Peninsular Airlie Beach.
Rental here is around $1,500 per night. The walk continues through the Abel Point Marina complex,
along Shingley Beach followed by another boardwalk through Coral Sea Point and Resort Hotel,
along the shore of Airlie Beach to The Lagoon
where the path continues along the shoreline and to the Whitsunday Sailing Club and Port of Airlie Marina.
The famous walk ends here but a new scenic footpath begins which meanders through the suburb of Jubilee Pocket and ends a few Klms away near the turnoff to Mandalay. The walk was around 4Klm and should have taken about 30 minutes. However we stopped to look at the scenery, take photos, watch weddings and look at the menu at every eatery along the way. We pretty much decided on the food selection and prices at the Breeze Bar as they had similar food options as the famous Fish D’Vine on the next corner but at a lesser price.
The return walk seeing everything in reverse and the time taken for an almost 10 Klm walk was just on three hours. Time for a shower and change and drive back into Airlie for dinner at the Breeze Bar.
Sunday 21st July
Woke to an overcast and damp morning with a 39 knot stiff southeasterly wind dashing any plans for a boat trip up the Proserpine River to look for Crocodiles. Enid’s son was in Airlie for a few days and had his boat and had planned a Crocodile adventure today but conditions were not favourable. Instead we played mini golf at the Big Frog Caravan ark where he is staying with friends and their children. The men have to keep the children busy as the wives have all gone to Bali for a week.
Enid then opted to do one of the Whitsunday Great Walks while I went on a photo excursion to Mandalay Bay and Funnel Bay.
After a quick coffee and sandwich we were on our way home but stopped at the turnoff to Cathu State Forest to photograph an abandoned house I saw on the drive to Airlie yesterday.
Arriving home I downloaded and reviewed all my photos from the weekend – all 174 of them.
Something is not the same with half my photo’s. I normally shoot only in a .JPEG format and usually photos are bright and sharp but today they are not. I recalled changing the camera settings last night to photograph the pool area at Club Croc. I set the camera to night time hand held mode. I now realise I had left the camera on settings and not changed back to shooting mode. For some reason the camera is now shooting in .RAW2 format. The first thing I realised is the file size. Normally each photo would be about 4Mb. RAW2 photos are about 14Mb. Just a quick look at the photos they look a bit washed out and although each file has more digital information to work with when editing, it seems the quality is missing. Actually on reflection because the camera was set to night mode, it seems my photos are over exposed.
Starting on Friday I have had a decadent food weekend. Friday I had fish and chips. Potatoes are a no no at the moment. Saturday I had a toasted sandwich, mashed potato and crackers. Sunday another toasted sandwich. When I weighed myself tonight I am still 75 Kg so have not put back on any weight.
ONCE AGAIN, DUE TO THE SHEER VOLUME OF PHOTOS I AM SPLITTING THIS WEEK IN TWO PARTS.
Monday 15th July
Woke to a sunny day but with a chill wind blowing from the south west. Those south west and west winds are the puts, even here in the tropics. Can you believe it was 7° here in Mackay. I did not want to get out of bed. Moving my feet around only found cold sheets apart from where I had cocooned warmth during the night.
I decide to drive to McEwens Beach on the south side of Mackay.
This suburb of about 200 courageous souls has no facilities such as a shop. The nearest being on the highway 7 Klms away at the bottom end of Bakers Creek. The road narrows several times to a one lane road and traffic is forced to each put one wheel in the dirt when approaching each other. That’s fine and dandy in the daylight and the dry but when it is wet the dirt becomes slippery slidey as tyre tracks in the mud can attest. Much of the road passes through sugar cane on both sides of the road while the rest is now, politically correct, wetlands. One upon a time we called it swamp.
What’s in a name? The birds love it whatever you call it. So do the mosquitoes and sandflies. The suburb is located on the extra wide mouth of the estuary of Alligator Creek as it drains into Sandringham Bay. The name Alligator was given back in the days when we did not know the difference between Alligators and Crocodiles. Australia only has Crocodiles. By the way there are several creeks with the misnomer of Alligator between Rockhampton to the south and Townsville in the north. In the distance I could easily see a dozen ships waiting to get to the Hay Point Coal Loading Terminal.
Often it is possible to see 50 or more ships just offshore in good weather and bad. There is nowhere else to go but in cyclonic conditions the port facility is closed down and the ships are sent somewhere else, probably further south. Some years back, perhaps just before or just after to turn of the century, the local residents with waterfront properties complained bitterly to Mackay Council that due to several cyclones their waterfront was being eroded and they were losing some of their property. Council in a spirit of free spending poured huge amounts of money, labour and rocks into shoring up the eroded banks.
All this for 200 residents! That said the properties are still intact with a nice rock retaining wall about 5 metres thick at the base and three metres thick at the top keeping the angry sea from reclaiming the land which it believes belongs to it.
Leaving McEwens Beach I drove back to Bakers Creek to see the memorial to one of Australia’s worst air disasters. Two of Australia’s worst air disasters occurred in the Mackay district, one here at Bakers Creek and the other offshore at Illawong Beach at the end of the Mackay Airport Runway.
At Bakers Creek in June 1943 a US Army Flying Fortress crashed shortly after take off. It was returning soldiers who were on R&R leave in Mackay to the front at New Guinea. Forty men died in the crash and there was only one survivor. The plane was known as “Miss Every Morning Fixin“ because when it was withdrawn from active service in Darwin, 1,100 bullet holes were found in the body. The plane was always undergoing repairs. The reason for the crash remains a mystery. News of the crash was suppressed due to wartime censorship so full details were not released until late in 1945 when the war had ended.
Next I drove to Illawong Beach where there is a second memorial to an air crash.
In June 1960 a Fokker Freindship, owned and operated by TAA crashed on approach to landing, killing all 29 on board. What made it worse was 9 schoolboys had joined the flight in Rockhampton and were on their way home for the weekend. The plane crashed somewhere between Round Top and Flat Top Islands about 7 Klms offshore.
Several theories were put forward for what caused the crash but not one was conclusive enough. It also remains a mystery. The wreckage was not found until two days later in about 12 metres of water. A further two weeks went by before all wreckage and bodies were recovered.
Tuesday 16th July
In the cold morning with a chill south westerly blowing I went to Blacks Beach and tolerated the wind for a few minutes.
After lunch I walked around Eimeo Beach Village finding it was out of the wind but still required a jacket to stay warm.
Wednesday 17th July
Another cold night and and even colder morning. It was 5° early this morning with another night of similar temps expected tonight.
Last night I weighed myself. 75 Kg. That is a weight loss of 7Kg since I started my diet and exercise routine. 7 Kg! Let me put that in perspective. My carry on bag when I flew here was 7Kg, the maximum allowable. That is a heavy bag to carry in your hand or on your back. That is the same as 7 bags of sugar or 14 500 gram tubs of butter.
In the morning I went to my old favourite, Shoal Point and walked northwards towards Reliance Creek. The tide was on its way out giving me some photo opportunities.
I sat on the sand for awhile with one of the oldest houses behind me. I recall visiting here many years ago when the man who owned the house had a seaplane. He would fly in at mid tide and taxi as far onto the sand as he could go. He lowered the wheels and used a tractor to tow the plane to his backyard rock retaining wall where it was tied down. When he wanted to fly he towed the plane to near the incoming tide, returned the tractor and sat in the plane doing his checks waiting for the tide to come in and the plane would float.
Those days are gone.
I noticed what looked like long ribbons of red on the sand in the distance. I thought it may be some sort of rope washed ashore from a fishing boat. I soon found it was a species of Pig Face, or Carpobrotus or Karkalla or Sea Fig or Beach Bananas.
There are about 30 different varieties and I call them all Pig Face but this one with flaming red stems is new to me. Every part of this plantis edible and/or medicinal – the leaves canbe used like Aloe Vera to lessen stings and burns of the skin, as well as eaten raw or cooked. Pigface has been eatenand used extensively by the peoples of Australia for as long as there’s been people here. https://www.milkwood.net/2014/01/30/snacks-for-salty-sea-dogs-foraging-pigface/
Thursday 18th July
Another cold night and morning with that nasty south westerly wind still making life colder than it ought to be.
This morning I finally caught up with ex BIL John W. I caught John as he was preparing to collect some supplies for a coffee shop and cafe he owns in a shopping centre nearby. It is a busy coffee shop with a staff of around 4 to depending on the time of day. John sat down to chat when his phone rang. There was drama at the shop. It seems there was no gas. No gas for shopping centre. WT!!! There are normally 4 giant 45 Kg bottles which are used to supply to various stores but at this time of day it was the coffee shop most in need as they do deep frying and other cooking all on gas appliances. We drove to the centre and checked the gas bottles. All are empty. It seems the supplier has somehow forgotten to keep the bottles topped up and or replaced. They only have two trucks supplying gas for commercial premises. One was in Airlie Beach a 1.5 hour drive to the north and the other was at Moranbah a 2 hour drive to the west. It was lunch time and customers were queued to the door and getting annoyed. Those who wanted sandwiches or toasted sandwiches and coffee were getting served. Those who wanted the house specialities (Phillipino meals) were out of luck. John and I raced back to his house and collected a 9 Kg gas bottle and a gas burner and back to the store to get it set up. In the meantime the gas supplier had found another supplier willing to provide a 45 Kg bottle to get things working but it would be an hour before he arrived. That was my excitement for the morning.
John on the other hand had two days of excitement.
Here is the beginning of the story from RACQ CQ Rescue.
The rescue helicopter landed on the sandy shore of the island, 35km north-east of Mackay, to find a 7.3 metre catamaran beached, a man and his two dogs the sole occupants. The sailor reported he’d been stranded since Saturday night after six foot waves blew in damaging the vessel and washing him ashore in the north-western bay of the island. With plenty of supplies on board, he didn’t activate his EPIRB until today after he suffered a fall. The gent refused transport as he didn’t want to leave his dogs and was late this afternoon being assisted by the good folk at Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR).
He and his poodles were rescued by VMR and brought back to Mackay but he was concerned the damage to the catamaran would involve a major recovery but in the meantime was concerned his boat would be stripped of all its goodies. Enter John who was asked if he knew somebody with a large boat capable of bringing loads of goods back. As luck was with him there was such a man in the coffee shop that day with a new Haines who was willing to bring home the belongings but on approaching the island it was found the conditions were too rough to attempt bring the boat onto the beach. While the skipper brought the boat close enough to shore to allow John and his friend to wade (actually it was more like swim ashore) in chest deep water to begin stripping everything off the catamaran. Meanwhile the skipper of the rescue Haines became seasick in the conditions. After most of the day was spent loading the Haines the trio spent a rough seasick passage back to Mackay.
After telling me the story John introduced me to the Catamaran owner and the Haines owner who are both regular diners at the coffee shop.
After lunch friends Ron and Eileen W from our motorhoming days arrived for a coffee and a catch up since our last meeting which after discussing realised it was early in 2013.
I spent the morning working on the Facebook Photo Group, Aussie Photography for Beginners of which I am the Administrator. It keeps me busy most days but I like to get active on other things too.
Today I drove through Marian, Mirani, Gargett, Septimus, Pinevale then detoured through to Pinnacle and back home again.
Once more the plan was to find abandoned houses, farms and sheds and anything else which seemed interesting. I found at least one house in Septimus which has been abandoned.
From the roadway I could see the curtains which have rotted away.
This brick veneer house had brick archways along what I would call the front verandah. It is obvious the bricks in the archway are beginning to pull away from the rest of the bricks. I could not help but wonder what else was wrong with the house and what caused the people to leave. Basically it was a house in the middle of cane paddocks with no neighbours on either side nor across the road. Further along the road I stopped at a long timber trestle bridge built specially for cane trains.
Although the trains are not big and heavy as for example a steam train loco they are still quite big and can be seen pulling up to 300 bins laden with cut cane. I then realised I was on the road to Pineval after which I did not expect to find many houses so turned off on the Septimus – Pinnacle Road.
A few Klms along the road I came across another abandoned house and a clay tennis court which must have been somebody’s pride and joy. Now it is a reminder that some of the wealth has left the area along with the people who lived and worked in the cane industry. Now the tennis court is stripped of its boundary netting and weeds have broken what was once a tidy well maintained clay court.
As I walked around taking my photograhs a large Kookaburra sat on a power line watching my every move.
Hmmm! The same thing happened at Dolphin Heads two days ago.
On my way to Pinnacle I considered going to Teemburra Dam – another impoundment of the Pioneer River – but honestly there is little to see and is only of interest to fishermen who have a boat.
Once at Pinnacle I stopped to look at a couple of abandoned houses and once again reflected on what caused people to leave. Once upon a time in the last century, during a dim period in my life, I toyed with the idea of buying a house at Pinnacle or even Gargett and becoming a recluse. It was a relatively short dim period and toying with those types of ideas are unproductive. Looking back on those thoughts and the towns of Pinnacle and Gargett today I am pleased I moved on. Looking at the people who do live there, they all look old before their time. It could be a partial reason why there are so many abandoned houses in the area. A lack of social interaction, limited friends, limited to no facilities, no medical or dental facilities within 50 Klms, dispersed family even aging houses needing constant maintenace probably all contributed to a general feeling of isolation and malaise.
Most of these small communities have no shops or community halls or anything else to anchor people. The communities are quite a long way out from any type of commercial actvity and as fewer people are needed to plant and harvest the cane there are no jobs. Pinnacle is a bit different as it is on a main road and has a pub which is famous for its meat pies and has local bands playing on Saturday nights. There is a small art gallery and a community theatre which has stage productions a couple of times a year. Once upon a time there were special trains which came from Mackay to Pinnacle bringing loads of people for the Saturday performance. Meals and drinks were provided by the playhouse players at Intermission. The only other business is a small coffee and cake type bistro which only opens on weekends. From here I headed along the Eungella Road heading towards Mackay. I turned off at Marian and took the Marian – Hampden Road to the Bruce Highway past The Leap and turned off at Farleigh and then a back road to Habana where I found a colourful pond calling out to be photographed in the late afternoon sun.
From there I was almost home when I found a stand of trees on a hill in an otherwise flat grassed pasture.
The setting sun was making an interesting feature of the trees which were also calling out to be photographed.
Sunday 14th July
Woke to brilliant sunshine but very chilly indoors and even chillier outside in the shade with a nasty cold wind blowing from the south west – always a sure sign we are in for several cold clear days.
After lunch I wandered off to the botanical gardens for a few photos.
Some years ago, near the turn of the century, 1993 to be precise, the South Sea Islander Community were granted lands and funds at the end of what was then known as The Lagoons. It is now all incorporated into the Botanical Gardens. They built a wonderful large “hut” but in my opinion it is a large hall. At the time it had a thatched roof and walls. A disgruntled person or persons set fire to the hut. Only the thatched exterior burned and left the steel walls and roof intact. Nowadays the roof is entirely steel with no sign of the thatching. Some walls have bits of thatching intact but in the main those walls are as bare as the roof. The hut is still in regular use by the SSI community, especially for weddings.
Later I went to my daughter Averyl for dinner. As I was leaving Plantation Palms I saw a huge flock of water birds circing and circling the area. I have never seen a flock of birds in such huge numbers.
Averyl made pizza in the Weber BBQ and made the dough from scratch. I ate 3 slices which was one slice more than I should have. I did not have the heart to tell her I have not been eating carbs for almost 2 months.
Once home I weighed myself and came in at 75.2 Kg. That’s a drop of another .2Kg since early in the week so I suppose a little carbs did not hurt. My self imposed target of 72 Kg before my birthday in September is looking like a possibility and maybe even break the 70 Kg barrier.
Once again due to the sheer volume of photos this week is spread over three posts another will follow asap when I finish editing photos.
Thursday 11th July
This morning I went for a walk to the Rosewood Drive Reserve – Constructed Wetlands – a partially man made water reserve with walking trails around and through the wetlands and all the honking, chittering, whistling, quacking birds including a family of black swans.
This reserve was made by the developers of Plantation Palms along with assistance from Mackay Regional Council.
It was land owned by the developer which was simply unsuitable for housing and too expensive/declined by council, to fill it. It therefore remains wetlands which drain into McCready’s Creek which itself empties into Slade Bay and is bounded by Blacks Beach on one side and Slade Point on the other.
In the afternoon I continued with my re-exploring Mackay and finding places I have not been to, took no notice of or finding for a second time. Today I followed the Pioneer River from Glenella through Foulden, Erakala, Dumbleton, to Conningsby and return via the same route. Most of those places are place names on a map although generally there are small clusters of houses, small hobby farms and or large sugar cane farms.
First stop was Dumbleton Rocks Weir on the Pioneer River.
The Pioneer River has four storage dams along its meandering route with Dumbleton being the last before some tidal influence begins to turn the water salty. Most of Mackay’s water supply comes from here where it is pumped to the treatment plant at West Mackay and from there pumped to 29 Reservoirs around the city.
My main reason for travelling this route is to seek out unusual homes and or abandoned farms, sheds or houses. I followed the Yaraju – Yakapari Road as far as the Nebia – Conningsby Road and then as far as the Bruce Highway before backtracking to see what I missed on my first run.
I found what I was looking for and made a mental note to remember some of the back roads as a shortcut to elsewhere further up the Pioneer Valley.
In the evening I had dinner with my sister Enid at her daughter Kelly’s house. Her two young active boys, Cooper and Ollie were there. They are fun boys and love to explore, play and ask questions.
Friday 12th July.
In the morning I spent time with daughter Averyl and granddaughter Shelby.
Late in the afternoon I drove to Dolphin Heads which looks across Sunset Bay to Eimeo, Bucasia, Shoal Point, Little Green Island and the beginning of the Whitsunday Passage where at least a dozen of the 73 Whitsunday Islands can be seen.
Once upon a time, Brampton Island was the jewel in the crown at the bottom end of the islands and a cruise boat (as well as flights) took day visitors and guests to and from the island. The island was well known for its entertainment, accomodation, food, great walking tracks, isolated beaches, fabulous snorkelling, one of the best fringing reefs accessible from the beach, legendary fishing, fabulous view and a small golf course. Now it is closed and although a resident caretaker carries out some basic maintenance it is doubtful it will ever become a resort again. At least with the current facilities.
However my reason for coming here was to take Sunset photos across Sunset Bay.
I have been so active with investigating and researching and travelling and photographing that I have ended up with too many photos for the one post. Instead I will create three posts to spread out the photos. That said there are still many photos in this post.
Monday 8th July.
Today I took a drive into the Habana Valley which is on the way to nowhere.
In recent years sugar cane plantations were subdivided and sold as 5 acre lots so that once rolling hills of sugar cane have given way to rolling hills of grass dotted with large houses.
Habana is one site within the Mackay district which used slave labour, known as Blackbirding, a practice of enticing or kidnapping men and women from The Solomon Islands and working them in the canefields for little pay and poor conditions. The practise began about 1863 and continued until 1904 when it was outlawed. Many were repatriated to their homes in the Pacific Islands but many were not. Blackbirds were brought into Brisbane and sold to various sugar can farms along the coast from Maryborough to Port Douglas. Some were sold and sent to the New South Wales cane towns. Those that remained integrated into society and in fact some of the roads around Habana are named after Solomon Islanders. Descendants have mostly stayed in the area and married locally.
I cannot say Habana was once a thriving community as I could not find any evidence of shops but Habana like many other small communities around Mackay have experienced fluctuating fortunes and mostly those fluctuations have been progressively down.
At the height of the sugar boom, cane was cut by hand and cutters came from all over Australia for the harvest. A famous book was written about the fortunes of the time, Summer of the 17th Doll, written by Ray Lawler. The book was made into a stage play and a Hollywood movie starring Ernest Borgnine.
After hand cutting came cane harvesters where almost every land owner had their own harvester. Repairs and fabrication were carried out by local businesses. Soon it was simpler to have a harvesting contractor carry out the harvest and land owners no longer needed to purchase a harvester which sat idle for 8 months of the year.
Gradually the local engineering firms and fabricators had less and less work and soon closed their doors.
People also moved away. Habana is such a community in the throes of dying but will probably last a little longer as the urban sprawl and the need to have 5 acres of lawn means people will buy blocks of land and build their expensive homes with large ride on mowers. Cane is still grown and harvested in the area which can being sent by rail to the mill at Farleigh. Cane train lines still criss cross the area.
After the recent heavy rain the ground is very boggy so finding a parking spot, off the road, dry and not subject to getting bogged was a challenge.
Just a word on weight loss. Tonight my weight is down to 75.4 Kg. That is a loss of 6.6 Kg since I started dieting but the most loss of weight came about by reducing carbs and sugar and lots of exercise. I am now wearing trousers which have not fit since at least 2012. Even they are beginning to fall down. Soon I will need to got to a smaller trouser size.
Tuesday 9th July
Yay! The sun WAS shining. By the time I got dressed and out the door for a walk along Eimeo Beach a light drizzle had begun. Aaah! What the heck. I went anyway.
By the time I arrived at the beach the drizzle had stopped.
I did a few laps of the beach and a wander around the old fishing village.
There is not a lot of history for the suburb. In 1870 a Jeremiah Armitage took bought 150 acres of waterfront land primarily or perhaps by design, for the purposes of timber getting and milling. He quickly changed tactics and planted 9 acres of fruit – that is, mangoes and coconuts and built a guest house which is today the site of the Pacific Hotel Eimeo with multi million dollar stunning views across Sunset Bay.
Mid morning I headed out for a circuit which would take in the villages or towns of Homebush, Eton, North Eton, Kinchant Dam, Marian and Pleystowe. I wanted to look for old buildings either still in use, abandoned or used occassionally.
First stop was The Pub In the Scrub or The Pub in the Cane Paddocks or the correct name is The General Gordon Hotel, Homebush.
The hotel was built by CSR ( Colonial Sugar Refinery) way back in 1883. It is basically surrounded by sugar cane paddocks including across the road.
It is quite some distance out of town. Town? Well, it is not really a town so much, it is a community, including a Primary School and a bunch of houses and precious little else. Back to the hotel. It was named after the famous Major General Charles George Gordon who died in the battle of Khartoum in 1885. Today the hotel looks tired, and run down and needing much tender loving care but the people in the trucks and utes and cars which pull up for a cold beer all day do not seem to mind. Out the back a level area is set aside for campers who pay $5 a night and share the hotel bathroom. I recall many years ago stopping here for a cold beer and a counter lunch and at that time noticed all the dusty musty memorabilia lining the walls and ceilings. Nothing has changed.
A little further along the road was my next stop, Homebush Mission Hall (still a fair way out of Homebush) built in 1892. This is where the Blackbird story I mentioned yesterday fits into today’s travels. Many indentured labourers (slaves) could not read or write and were not permitted to attend any local churches. The Presbyterian Church built this hall in 1892 on land donated by CSR. The idea was to teach reading, writing and Christianity to the Islanders. In 1997 the building was granted a Queensland Heritage Listing which has done little to maintain the building or encourage its use. There were several Mission Halls built in the Mackay – Sarina area but as far as I know this is the only hall still in existence and apparently being used on a semi regular basis, mainly by the South Sea Islander Community.
Next stop was Homebush itself which as mentioned is little more than a Primary School and a few homes. I should mention that stretching as far as the eye can see in any direction is sugar cane which is, in most cases, almost ready for harvesting.
Across the street is an abandoned house with abandoned furniture all exposed to the elements and slowly being taken over by mould and rot.
Following the road to an intersection I found this is the Peak Downs Highway just outside of Eton, another cane growing and harvesting town. In fact for about 100 Klms north and south and west of Mackay is almost exclusively cane farms. I found an abandoned home just on the edge of town.
I always wonder what led to families leaving a house which is gradually being taken over by trees, bushes, grasses and the elements and will eventually become one with nature. Unless somebody buys the land and bulldozes it first.
Next up was North Eton on my way to Kinchant Dam for lunch.
Not so many years ago I remember there was a sugar cane mill here as there were many such mills scattered throughout the valley. There were too many mills so began a series of closures and all that remains is a large chimney which serves no purpose other than as a reminder of once upon a time. Other small towns which closed their mills have nothing left except perhaps a plaque marking a site. Since leaving the house this morning I can safely say I have never been out of sight of sugar cane growing along the highway, in suburbs and right up to house fence lines.
Mackay is Sugar Cane.
I stopped at Kinchant Dam for lunch. The dam was built in 1977 to provide water water for irrigation and town water. There is a camp ground / resort at the dam and it advertises itself as a quiet place to relax. When up to 50 skis boats are roaring around on weekends it is anything but quiet. Today WAS quiet with only one underpowered boat towing somebody on a belly board.
I chose the narrow road to Marian where I once again found abandoned houses one coming into town and one as I was leaving.
Marian still has an active mill. Soon when the harvest is in full swing the mill will become fully operational and will “crush” around the clock. The paddocks of cane, growing three to four metres high will be harvested and for a few months will be ploughed fields ready for planting.
By now I was on the Mackay – Eungella Road and my next stop was Pleystowe where I found another abandoned house.
Pleystowe still has an active mill but the town itself has gradually deteriorated and the one remaining general store has also closed and become abandoned. I suppose if I walked around the nearby narrow roads I would find more abandoned houses. The mill is now the centre of activity but only during the crush. Pleystowe is only a dozen Klms from Mackay where two large shopping centres cater for needs while Marian also boasts a smaller shopping centre and Walkerston only 3 Klms away now has an ultra modern shopping centre. An interesting feature along this stretch of road between Pleystowe and the Walkerston turnoff is long rows of Mango trees lining each side of the road. It is quite pretty normally but during Mango season the fruit drops to the road and is squashed by passing traffic. The smell of rotting fruit is a sickly sweet offence to the aural senses. Luckily there are few houses in that stretch of road. I should mention the Mango’s are known as Commons and nobody eats them anymore, they are too stringy but are good for pickling. That is why the fruit is not picked.
Wednesday 10th July
This morning I went to Bucasia Beach for a walk.
It is 10 times the size of Eimeo Beach so it was easy to set up a brisk pace and keep that pace for a good distance.
I should mention sand on tropical beaches especially those that are protected by an outer reef. That is, all beaches north of Agnes Waters which only have waves when big storms whip up the seas over a short distance.
The sand is coarser and grittier than beaches say on the Gold Coast.
It is also more of a brown colour rather than light yellow or even white found further south.
The sand also has lots of shell fragments and small pebbles.
Most beaches have lots of pumice stone which floats and always seems to sit on top the sand as well.
Pumice is formed by frothy volcanic lava which sets quickly when making contact with the water, trapping little air pockets and creating a stone which floats. My guess would be this pumice arrives on our beaches from the active volcanoes around New Guinea. Add to this mix the debris which spews out of creeks and rivers during heavy rainfall. Material such as leaves, twigs, branches, tree roots and mangrove seeds. Then of course there are the bodies of shell fish such as crab and skeletons of fish. The water temp here in winter is warmer than summer water temps down south. Is it any wonder then that I have always called the waters in the tropics a “soup”.
In the afternoon I drove to Shoal Point for a wander among the rocks and shoals.
Leiutenant James Cook first encountered these shoals in the ship ENDEAVOUR on 2nd June 1770. The actual shoals lie about 200 metres offshore and were named Blackwood Shoals by the Survey Ship HMS FLY in 1843 and Llewellyn Shoal by the Survey Ship SS LLEWELLYN in 1879. Subsequently the spit of land became Shoal Point.
Tonight I attended Rock and Roll classes and found my confidence shattered by a different teaching method and far too many people. I was told the numbers were down by about 50% tonight as it is state of origin night. One thing I did learn is to maintain my beat and footwork. My teacher for tonight suggested I practise footwork with appropriate music while I am doing things around the house. Well okey dokey then, one, two backstep, step. One, two backstep, step. Do it until it becomes automatic. One, two, backstep, step. One, two Backstep, Backstep. Oooh darnit. Got out of step already.