Late last night a sharp little wind squall and accompanying rain brought both of us bolt upright, I dashed out to check that the windows of the Patrol were closed, by the time I was back inside the whole event was over.
When we stay in caravan parks we expect the occasional big rig to pull in, this place topped anything we've seen before. A gleaming grey Kenworth prime-mover drove in and parked next to one of the cabins. I guess the driver has to sleep somewhere !!
Recent TV documentaries have covered the impact on the environment resulting from the dredging of waterways for shipping. Here in Whyalla, on the edge of the very shallow Spencer Gulf they have solved that problem in an unusual way. There is a steady export of pelletised iron ore from here via Cape-sized bulk carriers. Their draught does not permit them to berth within miles of the port so they tie up to buoys out in the deep-water channel and the ore is brought alongside in giant barges towed by tugs. It takes about five days to transfer a full load to the carrier, longer if the weather is rough. A figure around half a million dollars was mentioned as the additional cost, more expensive for the mining company but good for the cuttlefish, dolphins and crayfish for which the area is famous.
Walked to the old city centre along the foreshore and through the Ada Ryan Gardens, a most unexpected green oasis in what is generally a rusty dusty town. The gardens are home to some ancient trees and also house an aviary complex.
Back to the caravan and joined the park manager for a free sausage sizzle which is held every Wednesday. After lunch we decided to drive out to Point Lowly where SANTOS has an LNG facility and is close to where the cuttlefish come to spawn. The light-house looked quite spectacular especially set against an increasingly darkening sky.
We headed back to Whyalla intending to fuel up and then return to the caravan. The deteriorating weather conditions changed our mind and we high-tailed it back to the caravan as fast as we could. We arrived to find one of our neighbours holding down our awning which looked to be in danger of being ripped off. We quickly took action to roll it up with the help of four or five other caravanners. No time to gloat as the heavens opened up and a tropical style deluge descended on us.
In due time the wind and rain abated a little and we headed off to refuel the Patrol, just over 100 litres at just over $1.50 per litre. We went on to the shopping complex and while there the storm unleashed another dumping. We waited until it eased and on the way back we hit a number of overflowing drains and many roads were awash.
All buttoned up and secured and as ready as we can be to head off in the morning. Next stop is Arno Bay because we don't trust the weather to stay out on the road too long.
Stay well and travel safely.
Cheers … Tony
The Ore Barge and Tug
The Cape-size bulk carrier in the channel
Ada Ryan Garden
Ada Ryan Garden
Ada Ryan Garden
SANTOS LNG Complex
Point Lowly Lighthouse