Monday 22 March 1982
The Darling River continued to rise. Lake Weatherall, formed by the main Menindee Weir, was full of scrub and dead trees. It varied from shallow to dry, so it was necessary to follow the old river course. We were up early and got away to an early start.
The bus was still difficult to start. With everyone crossing their fingers and holding their breath it barely started each morning.
The support crews had an unusual but interesting confrontation with a bull along the road to Menindee. A large poll hereford bull had caught its front legs in a cattle grid. With refuelling being the priority Mark and I in Escort could do little about it but the crew in Rover and the bus found the station owner and assisted him to extricate the beast. It was no easy task but quite necessary because the bull was blocking the path of the bus and there was no other way around.
At Menindee Weir the 100 metre portage was easier than expected as the boats were able to be slid down the well-grassed banks.
Due to the extra thirteen kilometres covered in Lake Weatherall following the old river course, more fuel was used than had been planned. The crew in Escort were called back from Menindee, resulting in another delay.
The river below the main Menindee Weir, except for the town stretch which is kept fuller by the small town weir, was low with many snags – making it impassable for all but small boats.
One of the boats was forced onto rocks when it was caught on a sharp corner riding the wake of another boat.
It was very hot and very humid – almost unbearable in the boats by the early afternoon. Quite suddenly the weather changed and the heavens opened.
Once again darkness had fallen before the boat crews reached their planned destination. The boats were left at Ringwood Station overnight and crews were transported to Pooncarrie where the camp had been set up on the town oval.
Conditions were humid and the local thunderstorms did little to relieve the closeness. Frequent deluges kept everyone busy digging trenches, erecting shelters and drying gear.
DAY 10 – SUMMARY OF PROGRESS
|Depart Lake Weatherall||0935|
|Ringwood Station (Overnight)||1839|
|Running Time||10 hours 29 mins||68 hours 18 mins||78 hours 47 mins|
|Refuelling||30 mins||5 hours 38 mins||6 hours 08 mins|
|Delays||1 hour 10 mins||14 hours 22 mins||15 hours 32 mins|
|TOTAL TIME||12 hours 09 mins||88 hours 18 mins||100 hours 27 mins|
|Distance||310 kilometres||2002 kilometres||2312 kilometres|
|Average Speed||29.6 kmh||29.3 kmh||29.3 kmh|
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