2020 Aus Come Walk with me to Pinky Point

Fri 14 Feb 2020 02:51

Come Walk with me to Pinky Point

Our first day ashore was immensely successful. Having eaten our breakfast to the calming sounds of the indigenous Karma radio station based in Alice Springs we sped the long distance from Zoonie to the Sailing Club Ramp thinking we might find someone there, but there was no sign of life. We had made contact with Kylie who runs the club with her teacher hubby Brad. She confirmed that she would keep the package containing Bron’s memory stick of the Australian Charts until we arrived.

So we then took our rubber ducky, as we’ve heard it called around here, across to the old town jetty where once the trading ships used to tie up before the new one was built. Leaving ‘Ducky’ tied to some landing steps and drifting away from the barnacle encrusted legs of the jetty we made our way in to town and Andrew in the Tourist Information Office. He confirmed he could print out the charts from the stick on to A4 then the Post Office could enlarge them.

He sent us to find Kylie who he said owned and worked in the sports shop. Well she no longer did, so the good folk in there sent us to the Post Office because Irene who works in the PO also caters for over 100 by herself at the Sailing Club on a Wednesday and Friday nights. Well we knew that already from the sign but clearly it’s not what you know but who you know around here!

Irene is one of those turned on humorous types and she quickly found our package awaiting us and I bought a birthday card for Emily and wrote and sent it there. Irene’s also advised they could do A4 – A3 enlargements but not from a memory stick, we would have to email the charts to her.

So it was back to Andrew with the news and to confirm he would be around the next day. At the garage the nice chap advised us if we turned up at 4.45pm and filled the cans with 80 litres of diesel he would run us back to the ‘Ducky’ as there were no taxis in Ceduna. Imagine that no need for taxis.

In the Ceduna Bakery and Coffee Shop we drank delicious iced coffee and shared a slice of carrot cake to help us take stock so far.

We had been in ‘Messenger’ contact with Hannes and he confirmed he would be arriving late the next day, travelling from the west across the Nullabor Ranges at 700 – 750 kms per day.

Next stop, Foodfare which was well stocked with all our minimal needs, then back to our ‘Ducky’ for a long and drenching trip back to Zoonie. The rest of that busy day was spent writing the Strahan Blogs and getting in touch with friends. In the evening we started watching Handmaids Tale after loading Bron’s charts on to our Open CPN charts on the computer and selecting 7 which would be of immediate use to us and copying them onto a memory stick ready for Andrew the next day.

Kylie gave us a lift to the fuel station which was great and we arranged to meet for breakfast in the Community Foreshore Hotel/Motel opposite the old jetty the next morning.

It wasn’t in the TI Office but Nancy, who tried hard and failed to send the charts to the printer either direct from the stick or via Bluetooth or email. She said they were not allowed to plug the memory stick directly in to the printer because the computers had been messed up by a virus and they didn’t want to go through all that palaver again. “Go to the Red Cross, they can do it for you, there is nothing they cannot do along these lines.”

We had hoped to get ashore to the Club that evening where Irene had promised to cook us a meal we wouldn’t forget but the daily afternoon breeze was still strong and the distance put us off.

It calmed down after the sun went down and the next morning the water was flat, so we moved Zoonie in to a spot just off the pier and anchored where you will also see a three master moored in the photo I will put in a future blog, now that I am writing this half way across the Bight.

The water was generously deep over a triangular shape from the end of the jetty as it appeared marked on the chartplotter I believed to have been dredged back in the days when it was the main loading jetty for the exports of grain, salt, fish and gypsum and so is still deeper than the surrounds. If it was good enough for the old traders it was good enough for Zoonie I reckoned.

Two lovely hours were spent chatting with Kylie and Brad and Kylie’s mum, Val who up until her husband died had a 46 foot Roberts Ketch. Val came armed with a laminated chart of the local area and told about all the best anchorages to enjoy, that she once frequented with her late husband. We didn’t have the heart to tell her that when we leave we would not linger in the local waters as we were passage making. As usual we could spend a year in this idyllic spot, exploring.

It was a hot sunny walk to Pinky Point, energised by our ample breakfast and the views were beautiful. I had to keep stopping to take them in and gather my breath.

Just before the end lookout there was a new shaded picnic area complete, as they all are, with a fresh water tap. Bliss, sitting in the shade, the lightest breeze drying our damp areas with water from the tap cooling my face.

Onwards to the lookout and we saw our ship the Darling River finally tied up and taking on her load of gypsum, delivered twice daily in up to 63 truck-loads on the train. Rob counted them for me.

So what now could be more perfect than a pub selling nice cold water and beer on the way back to Ducky on the beach?