This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

2016 Travels March 18

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In the early hours of the morning, it began to rain and the temperature dropped. The rain sounded quite heavy, at times. We had put the awning out with a slant to one side, so did not have to get up and go out in the rain to adjust it so water wouldn’t pool in it.

By the time we got up, the ground outside was quite sloshy, with big pools of water around where it was running off the awning. It certainly had come down steadily. The site had no slab and we had not put down the annexe matting, so began to spread wet grass and dirt into Bus, as we moved around.

I managed to find a break in the rain, to take Couey for a short walk.

We had been invited to J and D’s place for morning tea, so drove there, mid morning. At this stage, the rain had eased right off and before we left, John was able to put down the annexe matting. M had visited Adels when we were there, so she knew J and D too, and she and C came with us.

Had an enjoyable couple of hours. J had made scones and a delectable date loaf. There was much talk of Adels – the developments that had occurred since we were last there in 2006, and reminiscing about our joint times there. That had been the first few years of the development of the place under new owners, from a tiny camping area to a tourist operation offering a variety of accommodation and tour options. There had clearly been much change, but some things stay the same – like the difficulty in getting good seasonal staff, especially cooks!

Our main goal for today was to explore nearby historic Port Albert. It was not the most encouraging of days for it, with the sky dark grey as we drove the 15kms or so there.

Parked at the jetty area and gave Couey a ball chase session on the grassed area there, that was far enough away from the water to let her stay focussed on the ball.

Park at Port Albert

There was a cluster of old buildings at the jetty area. One small one housed the rocket and shipwreck rescue equipment that too often had needed to be used, in this area of shifting channels and sandbars, and generally treacherous coast.

Corner Inlet at Port Albert

About thirty five years ago, I had visited Port Albert briefly, on a short tour of the area with a couple of friends. We stayed overnight at the hotel, which I remembered as having a rather rickety upstairs verandah, and a most uncomfortable bed. The old wooden pub was no more, having burned down a couple of years ago. Sounds like there may have been a bit of a story behind that event! It had been one of the oldest licensed premises in Victoria, dating from the 1840’s. Now there was just empty land where it used to be.

Port Albert

We were determined to have a meal of fish and chips from the establishment by the jetty – reputed to serve an excellent feed, featuring the local product. The choice of fish was between whiting and flake. My meal of flake, a potato cake and chips was so yummy. John enjoyed his whiting, fried dim sims and potato cakes. He forgot to order chips, so ate some of mine.

We sat at a picnic table by the jetty side, where there were various boats moored.

The ever-present seagulls watched us carefully, but kept their distance because of the dog. Unfortunately, I could not say the same of an annoying Jack Russell terrier, belonging to a man who was across the road, yarning to another man in a car, and letting his dog cross the road to try to provoke Couey into an argument. It got one – from us – and after raised voices trying to shoo it away, the owner eventually called it back. Moron!

Drizzle had set in by the time we finished eating and we adjourned to the Maritime Museum, housed in a stately old former bank building. I can be quite critical of what are touted as museums in a lot of country towns, but this one was truly impressive. It had managed to confine itself to material that really was “maritime” and focussed on the sea-related history of the area, as a means of also conveying general historic information.

So, for example, the display of the rocket rescue equipment and breeches buoy served to explain how these items were used to effect rescues from wrecked ships. The breeches buoy looked for all the world like an old-fashioned version of the current kids’ swimming pool toy, where they sit inside an inflatable ring, with legs hanging down from the seat into the pool!

The museum houses print collections that are used by family history researchers who had ancestors in these parts. A collation had been done, of every person who moved through the port and who was mentioned in the assorted historical records of the time.

I spent some time watching a video/film documentary featuring a regular supply ship out of Port Albert to the lighthouse staff on one of the nearby Bass Strait islands. With footage made at the time, it showed a way of life that is now gone, with the automation of such lights.

We spent a couple of hours browsing the many displays, without noticing the passing time. Then realized that it was now blowing a gale outside and bucketing down rain. I wondered how our awning was faring, if this wind was reaching up as far as Yarram.

The weather was far too awful for any more exploring of the township, so we drove back to camp.

The section straight out of Port Albert was through an avenue of trees and it was quite scary driving, with lots of light tree debris coming down, and us wondering if a big limb or whole tree was about to follow it. It was a relief to get into the more open country.

Our site was so well sheltered that the awning was fine, but John did tie it down, to make sure.

We retreated to Bus, and M and C to their cabin. I got out the little fan heater. What a contrast, in 24 hours!

After the big lunch, tea was a can of soup.

One thought on “2016 Travels March 18

  1. Fabulous museum that one. I’ve been lost in there myself.

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