How It Was Done

Planning of the expedition commenced in October 1981.

The river journey (as distinct from the expedition within an expedition to travel to Queensland and return from South Australia) took place between 13 and 26 March 1982 inclusive.

There were eighteen persons (twelve boat crew and six land support crew) on the expedition.  Participants occasionally rotated between the boat crew and the land support crew.

The six, 3.3 metre, flat bottommed aluminium dinghies were powered by 7.5 h.p. Mercury outboard motors.  A large number of spare parts was available, as well as a number of spare motors.

The support vehicles were a Leyland bus, a Nissan Patrol GQ trayback (call sign Escort) and a Toyota Celica sedan (callsign Rover) as the communications vehicle.

The boats carried either one or two fuel tanks, depending on the distance to be travelled between fuel stops.  Tools and minor spare parts were also carried.  Depending on how many fuel tanks each boat was carrying at the time the land support crew had to rendezvous with the boats every 2½ hours or 5 hours .  The support crew and boat crews established camp together each night  - except on a number of occasions when floodwaters prevented them from meeting up.

Each member of the expedition was allocated a specific planning task to perform prior to the Expedition.  Tasks were also allocated for the duration of the Expedition (for example, outboard mechanic, navigator).

Tony Love (journalist) and Greg McBean (photographer) from Overlander/Modern Boating magazine accompanied the Expedition although they were self sufficient and on only a few occasions did they utilise the resources of the Expedition.

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© Kim Epton 1982-2019
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