TUESDAY 27 MAY ADELS GROVE
I was on shop. John on yard cleaning, driving the water truck around, keeping water tanks filled.
Before starting work, we hooked up the van to Truck, manoeuvred out of our tight space and moved the rig down into the Grove. It was so good to be back down there and away from that infernal noise and the fumes.
F had rigged up a rail of bamboo around the area we regarded as the staff compound – to keep out the paying campers – after he’d knocked off one afternoon, to find a tent set up virtually under his awning!
Now we had an outlook into the lush greenery of the Grove. We would have the birds performing their assorted antics around us, to watch. Birds didn’t come where we had been parked!
At dusk, we could hear the pair of barking owls that live further across the Grove. They continued calling at times through the night. Wonderful! They really do sound like a couple of little yapping dogs.
After tea, when it was almost dark, Boss ordered that we all pile into the now-repaired Coaster. He drove us across to the airstrip, to go through the drill for setting it up for an emergency night landing.
We had to collect the battery powered lights from the shed, then M drove, and we hooned down the runway, stopping to put out lights every 80 metres. The strip was 1100 metres long. It was stressed that it was really important to remember to put two red lights across the end of the runway that the plane was to come in from. Not, as might seem logical, where he should stop. Mixing them up could make it rather messy!
Then, we had to turn around and gather all the lights up again and put them away.
We actually had great fun doing this. It was light relief after the usually routine days of working, and there was much hilarity. Anything out of the normal really put us on a high, it seemed. But the purpose was serious; I suspect that all were thinking like me – hoping like hell we never had to put the drill into practice.
Then we drove back in the dark, with no bus headlights on, so as not to disturb the campground too much – nearly hit the parked canoe truck.
Thought the people in the campground must have wondered what was going on, with the Coaster going out, and then sound carried across from the airstrip.