and Lea (Seisia):
Full Diff Repair Timeline here..
Ivan made the call to NRMA from the ferry service station at 8am and they got Andy from Cape York Spares and Repairs into action to come and put the car on the truck.
They also sorted a hire car (troopy), and accommodation in a villa at the Seisia caravan park. We had air conditioning, television and a washing machine (and more beds than we could use) - which for the first night was a novelty - but it wasn't long before we were wishing we were back in a tent with the rest of the crew.
Later that afternoon, the diff was removed and the crown wheel and pinion proved to be the problem. - both had a number of teeth sheered off. When the mechanics removed the diff housing cover, they said "geez - that's tiny"... More ammunition to put something a bit more solid in it before too long - maybe something starting with "ARB" and finishing with "diff lock" - time will tell ;-)
Fish and chips for tea, and a then a sunset fish off the wharf which the boys enjoyed.
The Rest of the Crew:
The Bennett's and Everett's left early and travelled to Captain Billy's Landing. The road in went through rainforest and was a magnificent drive, unfortunately the old beach house has been demolished with only a new half shed to replace it. The Gunderson's and Rutter's were met at the bypass road as they headed in - about 2 hours behind.
We arrived at Bramwell Juction around 1130 and although a smidge early, decided to have lunch. According to Ian, the Archer burger he had at Archer River was good, but the OTL burger he had here was fabulous!!!
Rumour had it that Frenchman's Track was closed so we had to go nearly all the way to Archer River to get to the southern turnoff to Lockhart River. Frenchman's Track is REAL 4WD territory with some very deep river crossings. A couple of young blokes we spoke to at the Bamaga Tourist Information Centre were chasing leaf springs for a Patrol as they had straightened the eye on their set on Frenchman's Track.
Ian and Helen, Jo and Craig travelled down the bypass road and headed straight onto the Chilli Beach/Lockhart River road. The Ron and Viv Moon book said that the 110KM trip would take 3-3 1/2 hours, we didn't believe it but it took us that long. The road wasn't difficult, just bad and so took time to complete. They had about 10mm of rain the night before which had created some mud patches but the muddies handled it with no problems.
We came across some locals in a troopie who were stuck on a hill, we noted that they were only using 2WD but we couldn't talk to them about it as they didn't stop to let us help. They eventually got up the hill by putting rocks on the track and gunning it. Talking to the ranger later on he said that some of the locals didn't know what the locking hubs were for!!!
After talking to the ranger we decided not to continue onto Chilli Beach to camp and to camp in the rainforest in Cook's Camp; it had a toilet which sold Helen instantly!!
We left a note at the information point (where payment for camping is made) so the others would know where we were.
Tim celebrated his actual birthday by spending 8 hours in the car and then the night with the Bennett's. Jo managed to make a lolly cake bound together with melted chocolate and a rendition of Happy Birthday was sung. Once Tim extinguished the candles, we set about the task of demolishing the cake......nice but VERY rich!!!
The Sanders' still stuck in Bamaga, with the Gunderson's and Rutter's deciding to stay at Archer River as they had arrived late at the turn off and decided that the drive shouldn't be traversed in the dark - a wise decision!
Note from Sandy's Diary: We had lunch in the new structure that had replaced the old shed and then headed to Chili Beach; we managed to lose each other around Bramwell Station and then caught up with each other at Moreton Telegraph Station for a snack and a quick call to Ivanb s mechanic who had good news that Ivan should be on the road in the next day or two. Just as we reached the turn off for Chili Beach a local told us that it was a 3-4 hour drive in and hard, it was already 4:30pm, Steve and Rene needed to go to Archer River for petrol and with our GPS not working we decided that it was best to camp a night at Archer and make a fresh start for Chili Beach in the morning.
The track out to Captain Billy's Landing
Ian cruising across
Like the sign says..
Rene and a largish termite mound
Termite mound with a tree happening..
Not happy Jan!!
Ivan's birthday present (and bloody Steve is USING it!)
You guys are just teasing me!
Rutman with passion!
Tim's birthday cake - geez - wish
I was 12 again ;-)
Tea for the Everett's (I still
like that cake!)