Leaving Barham on Day Four the strain of long hours on the water and behind the wheel was beginning to show. Most participants were involved in fairly sedentary occupations with Kevin, Geoff and Kim being the exceptions. The lack of physical conditioning by exposure to hard physical work, showed up in tiredness and near exhaustion.
However, the record attempt continued!
The boat crews powered through State Forest for the first hour. Downriver of Gonn Crossing the country opens out into low, flat, irrigated farmland. The first fuel stop was at 0910 at the Pental Island Pumping Station, a location that involved a degree of turning back on our route.
An hour later the boats arrived at Swan Hill. Tony purchased gearbox bolts to replace those that had fallen out as a result of a lack of checking. The boats were refuelled. The crews were changed. The expedition continued.
Heavy rain marked our departure Swan Hill. It persisted for most of the afternoon. The list of towns checked off grew – Nyah, Wood Wood, Tooleybuc, Goodnight, Boundary Bend.
From the mid afternoon fuel stop at Boundary Bend the course of the river again took the boat crews through State Forest. They arrived at Robinvale at 1735 and we set up camp in the caravan park. A cold, biting wind swept across the exposed park. Tony refuelled all jerry cans at the onsite bowser and returned to camp with a warning that no one was to go near the Triton with its load of 14 full jerry cans, some of which had spilled fuel.
Lessons learnt on Day Four were:
- Physical conditioning is important;
- Regular maintenance of motors is necessary;
- The establishment of a standard procedure in case of breakdown is necessary.