I felt a little sad to leave Karratha as I was really enjoying spending time with my sister, Marguerite, partner Jon & family. I also really enjoyed being back in a relaxed home environment. Linda is having withdrawals from our dog, Zeus, so she gave Marg & Jon’s dog, Dexter, heaps of attention to get her fix – but I think this has made her miss Zeus even more.
I know the rest of the team enjoyed their time in Karratha too, as they spent a number of hours having drinks & playing Texas Hold’em. It seems Josh’s card playing interest has been contagious & now the rest of the team are playing poker.
Thanks to my sister Marg, for giving the team a present – a Texas Hold’em card game kit so now they can play it properly & don’t have to use M&M’s which never lasted the distance of the game.
We thought it was going to be tricky getting all our luggage to our planes this morning until we received an email from Andrew Gray offering assistance. Andrew Gray & Michael Ardagh from Karratha Flying Services (KFS) helped us to get all our luggage through the gates & to our planes, making our lives a lot easier. They also presented us with a very generous donation to On a Wing & a Chair. Thanks Andrew & Michael!
The weather today was pretty good, however it was more windy than forecast. The advantage of this is that we would get a good tailwind. I had a quick chat with the controller before taking off from Karratha to clarify the procedure for departing. The guy was very nice & extremely helpful. It’s always worth having a bit of a chat beforehand.
I always love taking off in the morning because its a new start & a new goal to work towards – getting to the final destination for that day & another step closer to my major goal, completing this trip. To successfully achieve this flight around Australia, it’s all been about breaking this huge goal into a series of smaller, more achievable goals & simply taking one day at a time.
We only have 6 more flying days left. When I try to think back to when we took off & headed down to Tasmania, this seems like a blur. So much has happened over these 27 days!
We took off from Karratha this morning into a stiff breeze blowing down the runway, turned right & headed down the coast toward Onslow. Getting up to 2,500 feet, the air got smooth & I found a 20 knot tailwind pushing me along at 135 knots.
There was reasonably high cloud, but further ahead, you could see what looked like light showers in the distance. Approaching Onslow, what stood out the most was the striking red soil & the piles of white salt from the salt mines.
It only took us about 1 hour to get to Onslow. It was a quick trip with the tailwinds helping us.
As there was no fuel available from Karratha to Carnarvon, even though I could make it in my aircraft, without a good tailwind, I’d be running too low. To play it safe, I strapped in 2 passengers in the front seat (2 x 20L jerry cans) to refuel at Onslow.
After refueling & lunch, we departed not long after 12, heading for Carnarvon, our final destination for the day.
Tracking toward Coral Bay was spectacular with the clear blue water, the reef & the deep dark blue ocean. I didn’t realise how developed Coral Bay was! People say it is a lovely place. I’d love to come & check it out again with more time.
As we continued to head south, the weather got better, with the cloud breaking up & more blue sky appearing. The landscape also changed from red dirt to yellow sandy dunes to steep cliffs close to Carnarvon.
As I approached Carnarvon, you could tell it was different. The landscape changed again from being fairly barren to crops which must have been the bananas & mangoes that are abundant here. I haven’t seen this since leaving Darwin. It felt like we’d entered civilisation again.
When we landed in Carnarvon, there was a father & son looking through the airport fence as they were interested in checking out our planes. We invited them in so they could take a closer look. The young boy was thrilled & the father was shocked with how small my aircraft was.
I’d like to greatly thank Tim Dalwood of FESA for all his assistance in coordinating everything during our stay in Carnarvon.
Thanks also to Michael Stroet from the SES, & other members of the SES who helped us today with transport: Gary Hearle & Nita Vonziarno.
Tonight we are staying at Fascine Lodge. We greatly appreciate the support of owner Peter Barrett, who kindly donated 3 rooms to accommodate us all tonight.
All the team had a great early meal at the Carnarvon Hotel & I’m off to bed. I have a 4 am wake up tomorrow with a long leg to Murrayfield.
Tomorrow is also an exciting day as we will achieve our 4th & final milestone for the trip – passing by the most westerly point of Australia – Steep Point, WA.
Over & out,