This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

2006 Travels September 17

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It was obvious that days began early here – like pre-dawn!

There were probably only about twenty people in the camp, but they were up and about really early and headed off – to which tasks I had no idea at that time.

We made our way to the eating area for breakfast – no shortage of food on offer, it seemed. As well as fruit, cereals and toast there were hot offerings for those so inclined.

K had said last night that we were to take a day off today, because nothing was happening at the construction site. We could have taken an extra day to get here!

The big boss of the company – BB – would be here later today. We hadn’t met him yet. It would be all go, from tomorrow.

Apparently, yesterday, the installation of a donga that would be the Site Office, was completed. Later, I obtained a photo of it at this stage. It was to be removed once the Village was built, so it was positioned at the edge of the site, out of the way of the building work. Beside it was a shipping container holding company tools and other gear.


Site Office, storage container, generator, company fork lift and site transport

We did some more setting up of our camp. Draped shadecloth all around the annexe, to create a cooler and more private space.

We had been told that there could be quite ferocious storms here, particularly as we moved closer to summer. So we made sure our establishment was well fastened down. I was shown some photos of the aftermath of a storm that went through just over a week ago. There had been much rain, as well as winds. The cleared red earth that the camp had been plonked down on, became red mud really easily.


Storm at Fly Camp. White donga at back was for the boss.



Fly Camp kitchen/dining area after the storm

In that storm, a large and heavy cooler was picked up by the wind and flung so hard against a donga that it had made a big dent in the side!


Airborne cooler!

We met the big boss, after his arrival. He was a large man – physically and in personality. Very forceful. Found out that one of the dongas, sitting a bit separately from a row of them, was for the use of boss when on site. The company had trucked it in – as opposed to most of the others, which the FMG team had sourced. The boss had his own shower connected up – lucky man!

It was kind of indicated that this was the largest project that the company had yet undertaken. It sort of seemed that they had been surprised to get the contract. As a result of this, they found themselves in the complicated position of also having the simultaneous job of constructing the mining camp for a big new copper mining project being started up in remote SA. So they had two really big jobs going at once. No wonder they had been hiring staff so desperately! They’d had to rapidly expand staff and gear.

I could already see one difficulty with Fly Camp life – the limited number of showers and toilets! I was surprised to find that everything was provided here, though – even down to soap, shampoo and conditioner. But I guess that made sense as few of the workers here had independent transport – or the time to go to distant Port Hedland to shop.

Dinner was roast lamb and beef, roast potatoes and pumpkin, peas and baby carrots mixed, a broccoli and cauliflower mix in white sauce, gravy. Afters were apple crumble with walnuts in the crumble, and chocolate icecream. I couldn’t fault the food to date, for sure. The two cooks were only young guys, but seemed to really know what they were doing.

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