This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

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2007 Travels January 5


Back to the routine of early morning start, breakfast in the mess, walk to my site office, hope that someone had cranked up the generator, and start work at 6am.

I had to familiarize myself with the office here, which was set up as S had left it. There was a large piece of board across one corner, just behind my chair, where cement blocks had broken up through the floor, when the willy blew the building off the blocks, back in December


Position of steps showed how far the willy wind had moved the donga


Inside the office!

Got the machines fired up and was pleased they all worked. The sat dish had survived the elements. I had been worried about that. Also about whether things like that would survive the possible odd curious visitor, whilst the site was totally unattended, over the Xmas break.

It did not take long for little dramas to start coming my way! The mechanics had arrived at RV1 to repair the company forklift which had broken down and been left there. But no-one knew where the keys for it were. I managed to find the keybox which had been  moved from RV1 to here – but the keys were not in it. I could only guess that they had gone somewhere in someone’s pocket, before Xmas! So the repair could not be done.

Apparently FMG had decided that they wanted eight more SPQ dongas installed at each of the Villages, as soon as possible. So all of that associated building and supply chain would have to be revved up again. I was glad that was the role of HO people, not me!

I phoned the Shire and arranged for inspection of the pools at both Villages, for Monday. Also the kitchen here- although in use, it was not yet “official”.

John was quickly back into the routine too. He had to do some purchasing in Hedland – now the best part of a three hour drive away. After collecting a couple more of the workers from the late plane, they all overnighted at RV1.

I felt quite solitary after work, with John away, and no one else occupying the other two rooms in our donga. The usual routine of shower, change into casual clothes, walk to mess for tea, back to room. I read for a while. Felt alone enough to put a chair back under the door knob before I went to bed!

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2006 Travels December 2


About 40 degrees today.

One of our men, digging holes for pool path lights, dug up the pool water line! Bugger.

I cancelled all pending work by the heating/cooling company, whose attitude and delays had really annoyed me, and found a different company who were prepared to come today and check the compressors in the kitchen units. The problems with these were ongoing – and so were the power spikes!

The diesel fuel tank that had been at Fly Camp was moved here, next to the gensets, to provide an extra fuel source for those, due to the high rate of fuel use. I couldn’t work out why no one had known how much fuel would be needed – but it was one of the few issues that was not mine to deal with, so I didn’t fret about it.

12-3-2006 Additional Diesel Fuel back up for generators

Two fuel tanks for the generators

The two electricians went out to do a task for FMG at the water bore site, got bogged out there and had to get one of the men to trundle out there with the forklift to get them out. Then they used the company’s air compressor to re-inflate their tyres, ran it without oil and so that was now U/S!

The one electrician – B – who had been almost a permanent fixture here since early in the project, had a run in with the nasty Hedland Safety Officer. He was working on a car park light up at the top of one of the poles. He had put a ladder in the back of his ute and was up the top of that. No safety harness. Nasty man took photos of this on his phone. B saw him doing this and gave him the bird – which was duly photographed too. The man then raced off back into Hedland and posted it on a Facebook page as an example of poor worker behaviour. But it backfired, because his boss questioned him about what actions he’d taken about it, and whether he’d ordered B down. He hadn’t. So he was taken to task for not doing anything. The story all came back to us quickly, because there were a number of people in the FMG office in Hedland who detested this man.

Resize of 12-05-2006 RV1 aerial 28

Tall light poles


Later, it was pointed out to B that the light pole was actually hinged, and that he hadn’t needed to go up the ladder at all! Duh.

John had a Hedland trip in the morning, purchasing needed materials. In the afternoon, he was sent to RV2 to bring back some steel that was needed here, but had wrongly been taken there. On the return journey, the carrying frame on the Canter collapsed under the weight, 5kms from RV2. John hid the steel in the bush and tied up the frame, which would have to be welded here before the steel could be retrieved. He was very late getting back here, to the extent that I was becoming worried about him.

Down at RV 2 a crane was placing their Pod 3 buildings into position.

There was some unexpected excitement at RV2. A strong willy came out of nowhere, picked up the site office donga and then dropped it askew, so that the cement blocks that the building chassis normally sat on, came up through the floor. It made a bit of a mess. The men who were sitting eating lunch in there at the time, got a real fright. Luckily, it was S’s day off – the office desk and filing cabinet had slid right across the floor.

12-03-2006 The office relocated after whirly

RV2 office moved sideways by willy wind. Steps no longer line up!

The sewerage smell was strong again tonight.