TUESDAY 14 MARCH STANLEY
I had noticed that we were sleeping in later – until 9 or 10am. The mornings seem much darker.
This day was not windy, but there was some light rain and it was a grey day, but it cleared up a bit later in the day.
We went for a drive – to Smithton, first. The hinterland country behind the coast in these parts is rich farming country – some cropping and dairy cows. There are plenty of timbered areas left though – beside the roads, along creeks, and just at random.
It is surprisingly pleasant to be back in farmed country. Guess we’d just had our fill of the west coast wilderness country, for a while.
At Smithton, called in at the big Gunns timber mill, but they were not really interested in visitors, or showing timber or discussing small scale purchases.
From Smithon, took the Montague road, which stays closer to the coast than the highway. Turned off that to go to the coast, along the gravel road to the old Montague port, and the council’s seafront camping area.
From here, we looked out across a narrow, tidal, stretch of water, to the large Robbins Island, not far away. This island is privately owned, and farmed.
We sat there, in Truck, to eat our packed lunch – it was not warm enough to venture outside – looking out across the channel.
Out on the tidal sand flats, there were some black lumps. John viewed these through his binoculars and pronounced them to be rocks. I little later, I could swear that some of the rocks moved! Then they grew legs and necks and turned into swans. John swore they were originally rocks!
We drove back to Smithon and went to Brittons timber mill there. They were quite welcoming. We were shown their veneering mill and the process for making same which was really interesting. Essentially, the timber is cut into long, thin, sheets – it was amazing how thin the veneer slices were.
We had previously been told, at a couple of the sawmills we’d visited, that veneer mills get the best logs. There were certainly some good looking veneer sheets being made.
John was really interested in the remains from the veneering process – the end offcut lumps, with their potential for turning on a lathe. Also interesting were the thinner boards they produced – useful for making wooden boxes.
We were then shown the Sales Room, which contained some superb products from wood workers, some using veneers really well. There was a display of pieces of all the different timber types.
John bought several turning blanks – lovely patterned pieces – that cost $2 a kilo, regardless of timber type. That might have sounded cheap, but wood is heavy stuff! We also got some veneer samples, and took a number of photos. That was another really good timber place to find.
Back to camp, then, having driven 90kms. Photographed today’s booty, then John packed it away in Truck.
Tea was vegie and barley soup, salad and tinned fish.