Wentworth to Lock 7

Day 3           Wentworth to Lock 7

Today there will be a change of plans. We were to go along the Darling Anabranch but low water levels would make the journey unfeasible. We decided to go back through the Walpolla Creek, then down the Frenchman to Scaddings Bridge for lunch, and then to Lock 7 sandbar to camp overnight.

Another hearty breakfast cooked by Kim set us off for the day.

We met the Support Crew at the regulator for fuel. From here we made plans to go through Carrs Creek.

It would, in theory, cut off 30 kilometres off the run around to the Big Rigamy where we had to lift over the levee again.

Back at Carrs Creek it was supposed to be a straight run through the creek to the river with a small lift or drop off over a concrete weir but someone had reconstructed the weir in the past 10 years and it was now a 30 foot drop, with no way around. We would have to back track and go the long way around through Lock 9 and along the Murray River.

While back tracking we made a wrong turn and ended up in Bunberoo Creek. It runs parallel to the Frenchmans so we followed it out to the Murray and then down to Lock 9. As luck would have it, it was lunch time for the Lockmaster but fortunately he was a nice chap and cut his lunch short to let us through. After Lock 9 we powered down the river to the Big Rigamy.

On the way Todd and Ian popped into Carrs Creek from the other end (the one we were meant to come out) and when they came back they said, “it looks like a good creek“.

Finally we arrived at the Big Rigamy levee and dragged over into the Frenchman.

From here it was about 10 kilometres to Scaddings Bridge where Kim would have been waiting for some time. I guess he would be used to my punctuality by now.

Lunch was superb cold meat and salad washed down with a cold soft drink.

After lunch Todd and I jumped in his boat and checked out a creek that would be a short cut if it was flowing, but repairs to the levee bank had restricted flow and the creek was no longer running.

Much to everyone’s disgust we had to drag over the Big Rigamy levee again (third time).

Then it was down the river to Lock 8 and then Lock 7 before heading to the campsite at the sandbar.

The campsite was at the junction of the Murray and Rufus Rivers.

The Support Crew had already set up camp when we arrived.

Because of daylight saving there was still plenty of light, so Todd tied a rope to his boat and somebody dragged out the boogie board. Everyone had had a go.

Ian and Kim stood up, I tried to barefoot but the 9.9 didn’t have quite enough speed to keep me up. Even Browny had a go on the boogie board.

Then it was spudgun time. We didn’t have any oranges so we used empty soft drink bottles. The first couple of shots didn’t work because the recoil was too great but with Kim and Ian both holding the device a projectile was shot nearly across the river.

After that bit of excitement, Kim and others wanted to go along the Rufus River to Lake Victoria. This little run would give me a chance to drive Cliff’s boat.

I was keen to see how these boats would handle.

Kevin was up front and I was following a couple of boats which was good because I was using their wakes to get a feel for the boat in rough water.

I don’t think Kevin was too happy about the situation because he kept gesturing to keep out of the waves. I liked the kicker transom; it made tilting the motor so easy but it will take some time to get used to the low sides. When I turn left I use the side of the boat for support.

Returning to the sandbar I wanted to do a tight turn but because the motor was jacked, the prop blew out and we spun around. Then the boat started to tip, so I jumped out to avoid it going over. Everyone laughed.

Back on the sandbar we had all had enough of roaring around in the boats for the day, and it was time to relax with a cold drink. To our surprise the Lockmaster walked over to our camp. We thought he was going to say hello and have a beer with us, but instead he grumped something about too much noise coming from the boats which I thought was strange considering all the noise coming from the construction site.

Kim was busy preparing the evening meal but there was a problem – some of the meat ordered was missing. There were a few choice words (and I felt partly responsible because I placed the order) but it didn’t take long for Kim to be cooking up something else.

After dinner the dishes were done and it was time to have a few drinks and tell a few jokes. For me this was the best night as everyone seemed to be more relaxed and had a good laugh.

Browny pulled out a cask of port and it didn’t take long to polish it off. Then the real jokes started to come out. I can’t remember any of them, but they were good at the time.

Go to Day 4 – Lock 7 to Renmark

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