Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Day 15

Well, today was D day. The weather only needed to clear for two hours, giving us enough time to get to Merluna and clear of the coast with it's low cloud and harsh winds.
It was not to be....
The wind and rain kept up all night. The clouds actually seemed to be lower than they were yesterday, which I did not think was possible. The decision was really made for us. We have no choice but to leave the trike here and head for home in the vehicles.

I took a few deep breaths, but it didn't stop the sense of disillusionment at the weather. All we needed was a few hours of relatively good weather, not even great weather, just reasonable weather and we could have been in with a chance of flying back.

I am gutted that we have not flown any of the areas we wished to fly, seen any of the things we wanted to see from the air, nor taken any of the others flying at all. This has been a terrible let-down for me, as I had planned and would have dearly loved to take the others on scenic flights, and give them a chance to see the amazing view from the air. I know we have flown very close, and it has been an incredible effort, but I still feel a lingering sense of what might have been, given a fair fight with the weather.
No amount of jumping up and down, shaking your fists and yelling bad words at the clouds changes anything, in fact it just hurts your throat...so I am told.....so instead I sullenly packed up the wet, soggy camp and we again turned away from Heathlands, this time heading south. The rain stayed with us all the way to Bramwell Junction, and eased as we went further south. By the time we got to Merluna Station, it was only fully overcast, with only 20 knot gusts along the airstrip that we should have been landing at.
Merluna is actually a great spot. Cameron and Michelle are lovely people and made us feel very welcome. Cameron gave us a rundown on the property (over 140 species of birds) and the local area, as well as fishing spots and local sights. They mentioned that they have not seen it this windy at this time of year in the 6 years they have lived there..... Typical.
We settled into our converted workers cottage and dried out wet camping gear, charged batteries (both human and lithium) and explored the house area. Steve spotted a windmill that just cried out to be photographed, so that's where he spent the rest of the afternoon. Dinner was cooked by Michelle and devoured by all. We hung around the dinner table, just enjoying the atmosphere and chatting away. No star trails tonight, still cloudy. At least the rain has stopped and we are nice and dry.

Steve and the windmill....

Bob & Tracey

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