Burton's Perth to Cape York Day -23 7 March 2012 Preparation

Wednesday, Mar 07, 2012 at 19:45

Mike & Amanda

Time is certainly flying! Trailer is fully serviced and parked in the garage. The main storage box is packed with the Honda 10i, porta potty, two plastic slide out drawers from Bunnings packed with epoxies, Knead it, tank repair, tapes, wire, mossie coils, spares etc. Two large waterproof crates carry bits like washing powders, pegs, toilet chemicals, hand trowels, bearing grease etc. The crates double as sink drain and washing buckets for clothes and for us having pommy baths. The Oddy has an in-built hot shower but sometimes we are in water conservation mode or too lazy to erect the Velcro attaching shower tent. The wheel levelling ramp and chocks live in there as well as our main tent door rubber interlocking mats, wood axe and bush saw. I’ve culled out a lot of stuff trying to trim weight for this trip. We’ve also tried to implement the discipline learned from living on a motorcycle for 18 months in Europe – pile it all up, then cut it in half and then half again!! (dream on)….

We’ve added the water bra, long snatch strap, snatch blocks and shackles to the Cruiser rear drawer for easy (quick?) access. Under the bed is a huge long storage drawer that we have fitted three ply dividers and stash our clothes. It always seems that my bit gets smaller and the girls bit is very large! As much as I can travel in boardies and my best pair of thongs and not much else, Amanda is adamant we’ll need to be prepared for the cold Simpson and the hot, humid, Cape…. mix in the need to protect the skin from the long list of mosquito borne diseases that seem to be on the news about now, Ross River, encephalitis, Dengue etc…we’ve stocked up on layers – the woolly thermals from Tassie last year, the Mountain Design windstopper from Africa, the Vibram five fingers for climbing and hiking (sturdy shoes they say), old army shorts, bathers, Akubra and spare thongs…The other side of the drawer is very very large and predominantly taken up with the full annexe canvas and floor. Well, this trip we won’t need it, so we’ve turfed everything except the overnight awning extensions and end walls, plus added a few sturdy sand pegs…this removes a huge amount of weight and leaves lotsa room for spare shockies, bearings, plugs, leads, the marine fan for cooling, and more more more girl’s stuff!

The Lifeline batteries seems to be working nicely – the Evakool freezer is on fulltime, already stacked with meat…the Victron monitor’s tail current has been dropped right down and seems to be reporting correct state of charge for the Ctek and the solar panel just about right…both water tanks are full with filtered water, all 230 litres…we’re carrying 2 x20 litres jerrys of fuel on the front of the Oddy and 4 x23 litre low profiles on the Cruiser roof rack. We’ll pump these out with a Tanami air pump as needed, and only really fill them when needed for the long stretches…

The 200 has had its full service at the fantastic TLC in O’Connor – what a great job those guys do! All fluids changed, diff breathers checked, winch tested – all good. Murray reckons “she’ll get us there….and back”.

Amanda is busy shopping for the food, heaps of campfire and wine snacks, BBQ and salt and vinegar…marshmallows etc etc…

We’re carrying two space cases on the roof – one small one has been filled with two bags of cut jarrah for emergency campfires, when no wood is to be found… the other has some fishing tackle, barra lures etc and will stay basically empty as spare storage. Some kid’s school and reading books may be added. The two sets of Max Trax fit nicely down the side next to the bolted on long handle shovel.

We’re watching the weather carefully. Yesterday all of our tracks were closed. These included Tjukururu Road, Sandy Blight Junction Road, Palm Valley and Boggy Hole…Further east Mt Dare is isolated, Oodnadatta and Birdsville closed…looks like everyday one of these is opening up, however it should make it an interesting trip….even looks like a late drop of rain up North which might make the Cape and Kimberley’s challenging…we’ve completed booking our camping sites for Cape and Koolpin in Kakadu, however the internet is full of concern regarding these new booking arrangements…one bloke speculating what you’d do if your booked site was already occupied by a hairy smelly 100kg pig hunter with squinty eyes…as he said “enjoy your stay mate!”.

Mike & Amanda
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