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Author Topic: Jessie II (a Bolger Tennessee)  (Read 45994 times)

Offline Roderick Smith

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Jan.-Feb.11 Wemen - Mildura cruise
« Reply #30 on: February 08, 2011, 05:24:21 PM »
The water at Euston kept going up, not down.  The lock would not be available for several weeks.  It is possible to bypass the weir on the NSW side, and head through the forest.  However the trees are close together and the current is fierce.  My friend tried it in a powerful tinnie, and knew that my boat would lack the power and ability to manoeuvre.  Since I have to come back to do the lock anyhow, I opted to start at the next good ramp: Wemen, 40 km below the lock.
My two guests were railway enthusiasts, on a first-time river adventure.
We left Melbourne on Fri.28.1 morning, and had to detour from Wycheproof via Swan Hill because other roads were closed by flooding or flood damage.  We arrived in Robinvale in time to provision the boat, but launching would wait to morning.
After a pleasant evening at the hotel bistro, we slept in the boat as a caravan at my friend's property.
On Sat.29.1 morning we headed to Wemen to launch, now with luscious fresh grapes and tomatoes as a farewell gift.
After an easy launching, we set forth at 10.00, at 1066 km.  It took a while to detect the first of the blue 2 km markers: I suspect that many were under water.  On reduced revs (sticky throttle cable, to be replaced in Mildura), we were making an easy 12-13-14 km/h, with no snags, no floaters, and no more dead fish (also no campers, no waterskiers, no fisherman and no cormorants).  The river was ours alone.
At Retail Cutting, the short cut is the main channel.  Despite the water, the original passage seemed to be too weedy to explore, and we didn't.  At Tarpaulin Cutting, we didn't explore, and just as well: that is the start of a 64 km anabranch, Bengallow Creek.  It is narrow, filled with trees, and had a ferocious current.  Friends in three tinnies were making a through journey that day.  The needed the power and ability to manoevre, and had to clear a few overhanging limbs.  We paused at Colignan, the base for PV Impulse and PV Mosquito, but I couldn't find an easy mooring in the current, and couldn't see the hull of PV Wanera.  As we continued, we met the three tinnies coming back upriver from their successful day through the creek, so we paused in midriver for a quick chat.  The day finished at Nangiloc, 970 km, around 17.00 (only 90 km, as the shortcut saved 6 km).  The temperature was now close to 40 deg.  Having provisioned to cook our own dinner, we didn't.  Although the town is small, it has a pub (a Smith tradition is cruising from pub to pub).  We had a pleasant dinner there.  The only downside was the swarm of mosquitos through the night.  I was ok in the front cabin, but my guests were kept awake for much of the night.

I did retropost some extra photos with the previous voyage, which some regular viewers won't have seen yet.
Today:
A sternwheel houseboat at Wemen.
The flooded bank, showing a nearly-submerged kilometre marker.
Jessie II at Nangiloc
The all-in one general store (incorporating a petrol station and a post office), with River Bend Tavern at the rear.

Regards,
Roderick B Smith
« Last Edit: February 08, 2011, 05:36:26 PM by Roderick Smith »

Offline derekwarner_decoy

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Re: Jessie II (a Bolger Tennessee)
« Reply #31 on: February 08, 2011, 11:09:09 PM »
mmmm PD's..... I also notice Roderick...that the "The all-in one general store (incorporating a petrol station and a post office)" ...is also a  :beer shop....... :s_cool

Interesting postings as usual........thanks......Derek
Derek Warner

Honorary Secretary [Retired]
Illawarra Live Steamers Co-op
Australia
www.ils.org.au

Offline Roderick Smith

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Re: Jessie II (a Bolger Tennessee)
« Reply #32 on: February 09, 2011, 10:09:15 AM »
Yes, a licenced grocer too (=off licence for UK readers).  Australian riverboating isn't quite the same as catching a Thames paddlesteamer to Henley.
My first memory of locks came from a scene in the film of Jerome K Jerome's novel Three men in a boat, which I saw in Adelaide in 1959.

For my recent cruise, we set forth at 7.30 on Sun.30.1.  My two companions had been kept awake all night by mosquitos, and went back to bed.  I was killing three per minute for the first 3 h, then the heat building scared them all away until dusk.  At 944 km I saw the top end of a short cut, and resolved to try it from the downstream end.  When I reached it, there seemed to be too many trees.  I turned into the bottom of Bengallow Creek, and did a token kilometre: the current was fierce, and there were big snags.  On reduced power, I almost ran into trouble rounding up.  The reefs and shallows were under at least 5 m of water; this was very easy cruising.  There was an easy mooring (private but vacant) at Karadoc, so we went ashore.  This is the normal head of the pool of Mildura weir, and is the mooring point for several huseboats and paddleboats.  But for the tricky Warrakoo section, the river should be navigable from here to Goolwa in all seasons and all years.  Continuing, I was pulled over by water police.  I am not sure whether this was for curiosity (my boat is rare and different), or whether the river had been closed for small craft because of the current and the risk of hitting floating limbs.  I don't tow a waterskier, and reassured him that I had come through from Swan Hill with no problems at all.  He gave me some information regarding the public ramp, public moorings and weir, and zoomed off.  Our plan had been to spend the night at the Gol Gol pub mooring, but it was well underwater and mooring would have to be amid trees.  It was also only lunchtime, and my guests were determined to book into an airconditioned motel for the night.  We continued to Mildura, and a bit below.  On the way we passed the moored commercial boats PV Mundoo and PV Rothbury.  The weir is unique on the Murray, and possibly in Australia.  It is a Dethridge type: wedge-shaped sections on rails, which can be pulled out of the river.  This was the first time when I had seen it out, so we cruised through the main channel as far as Old Mildura Homestead (where only PV Iraak was at the mooring opposite), then back up.  Downstream, we were following PS Melbourne on its afternoon cruise.  The public mooring was in a very convenient position, close to the main street and to the railway & bus station.  I spent some of the afternoon chatting with houseboat people moored alongside, and the evening at the cheaper restaurant associated with Grand Hotel, getting some RNV work done.

I have added an interior of the Nagiloc pub: Big Cod Bar.  It comes in a bar half (fairly basic, with a pool table and tv) and the bistro half.  Both look out onto a pleasant lawn area with barbecue and a shelter for bands which come to play (right of frame in my cross view).  The various paddleboats seen at Karadoc all were at 2010 Wentworth Junction Rally, and I have posted photos of them there too.  One boat isn't a paddler: it is a bus mounted on pontoons to be a houseboat.

Regards,
Roderick B Smith
Rail News Victoria Editor

« Last Edit: February 09, 2011, 05:56:36 PM by Roderick Smith »

Offline Roderick Smith

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Re: Jessie II (a Bolger Tennessee)
« Reply #33 on: February 10, 2011, 11:57:39 AM »
Mon.31.1: I spent the morning alongside at Mildura while a technician replaced the throttle cable.  I saw PS Melbourne come downstream from its mooring to collect passengers for the morning cruise, then continue downriver.  My guests caught a bus back to Robinvale to collect the car and trailer, then had trouble: the spare wheel fell off the trailer.  They retrieved it.  We met at the boat ramp, and went upstream to test the new cable.  The motor was getting normal revs again, and pulling more strongly against the current.  We could have gone to Gol Gol for lunch, but didn't.  We returned to come out of the water, but couldn't.  The wheel incident was not simply loose studs: the whole welded mounting arm had broken at the weld.  The wheel had bounced under the trailer, and had damaged three cross bearers and the brackets holding the rollers which hold the chine.  I spent the afternoon finding a light-engineering workshop which could do the repairs in under 24 h.  My guests would be returning to Melbourne by bus, so I also had to obtain approval from a boat yard to use its ramp for retrieval next day, out of the current, then position the car and the boat.

Tues.1.2: The owner of PV Settler was down checking his boat, so we talked for an hour, and I inspected his other boat: a 1930s 10 m screw-driven fishing boat.  He helped me with the retrieval.  After slow prepping for the drive, I left around 12.00, had lunch at Nangiloc pub, left the boat with friends at Colignan for 3 weeks, and was home by mid evening (Mildura - Melbourne is about 550 km).

The remaining photos will make about three batches.
Today, Karadoc to upstream of Mildura:
The two anonymous paddleboats, at Karadoc (one is named, but doesn't carry the name; the other seems to be unnamed).
Another SWPV houseboat
Two commercial boats
PV Settler, beside the ramp which I would be using 2 days later.

Regards,
Roderick B Smith
Rail News Victoria Editor

Offline Roderick Smith

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Re: Jessie II (a Bolger Tennessee)
« Reply #34 on: February 11, 2011, 08:38:35 AM »
A further five around Mildura, showing the weir out and boats using the main river channel instead of the lock.  The lock at Mildura is built in a shortcut canal; all others are at one side of a weir.  Normally the lock is the busiest on the river, and runs to a timetable: every 30 min downstream; every other 30 min upstream.  It is one of the easiest locks to view, as it is in the heart of a main tourist centre.  In the 1930s, the linked set of four big passenger paddlesteamers provided holiday voyages, linking with trains at Morgan, Renmark, Mildura, Swan Hill and Echuca; triangular trips were offered from Melbourne and from Adelaide; bus links from/to Albury helped Sydney and Canberra residents make similar voyages.

There is a reasonable amount about Dethridge and his weirs and wheels by Googling.  In particular:
http://adbonline.anu.edu.au/biogs/A080314b.htm
It seems that there were only ever two in the world: Mildura and Torrumbarry.  Dethridge was an Australian irrigation engineer, and also designed the Dethridge irrigation wheel, which measures water flow in channels.  Torrumbarry Weir was replaced around 20 years ago: there was deterioration in the footings.  The lock stayed put; the new weir was built on the opposite side of the lock from the old weir.

Regards,
Roderick B Smith
Rail News Victoria

Offline Roderick Smith

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Jan.11 Wemen - Mildura cruise
« Reply #35 on: February 12, 2011, 11:11:56 AM »
Here are the final photos from my Jan.-Feb. Wemen - Mildura cruise.
I had hoped to add one showing the weir in place, taken in 2009 on a Wentworth - Mildura cruise.  I was too busy running singlehanded to take photos that day at the lock or at the weir.  On that occasion, I came up through lock 11 with PV Kulkyne, then went down with PS Melbourne, then hooked up the main channel to the weir exclusion markers.  The channel was shallow, and I was excercising care.  I wondered how the houseboats moored there got in and out.

Of the boats in yesterday's selection, PV Avoca no longer cruises; it is a static restaurant.  PV Coonawarra isn't private: it is owned by a church group, and is kept in good order, and gets a reasonable amount of cruising for religious retreats.  The spirit of PS Etona (built as a floating church) lives on.

PV Shiralee wasn't at its mooring: it was on the hard at Baldwin's yard for hull repainting, probably in time to voyage to Renmark.  Also in the yard is a new paddleboat hull, about 23 m long, with graceful lines (ie a counter stern).

Regards,
Roderick B Smith
Rail News Victoria Editor

Offline Roderick Smith

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Goolwa Wooden Boat Festival
« Reply #36 on: March 03, 2011, 11:21:16 AM »
This is held every 2 years.  I don't like the moorings or the wind, and had damage to my boat in 2005 & 2007.  For 2009, I didn't take the boat, and had a more relaxing time as a spectator, chatting with friends and sampling their boats.
Having met Moonshine at Robinvale, which was crossing the lake to attend, I agreed to join as a duo.  Moorings have been expanded and improved.  I was too late to enrol: there was a cutoff this year.  I had to go, just to cross the lake.  This one requires full open-waters equipment, which I have.  It is notorious for roughness because of windage on relatively-shallow water.  Both PS Marion and PS Oscar W have had crossings with the sponsons dipping into the water.
Fri.25.2: I left Melbourne in the morning, collected Jessie II at Colignan, had a trailer bearing fail, but fortunately 2 km from a workshop which replaced it in 2 h, and spent the night at Loxton.
Sat.26.2: I reached Goolwa before lunch, left the boat on the trailer near the yacht club, and started inspecting everything.  My mobile dropped into the water, and I lost time replacing it.  I rode Moonshine in the parade.  It had had a magic crossing of the lake on Friday, as had a fleet of tinnies voyaging from Mildura to raise funds for breast-cancer research (they had a coastguard escort).  The weather report for the next 4 was was for strong wind from the worst angle.  Our two boats abandoned the plan to cross.  I never even got to launch.  There were about 250 boats enrolled, with huge variety: small dinghies, launches, half-cabin cruisers, very large cruising launches, yachts, 1950s racing boats, but only a couple of paddlesteamers.  PS Marion didn't come this year.  PS Oscar W was providing frequent public cruises.  PS William Randell was on display (and I rode as a guest in the Sunday parade).  It is for sale, but not via an agent, and I didn't write down the mobile number for making enquiries.
Sun.27.2: was as hectic as Saturday.
Mon.28.2: I spent the morning as a deckie for Nomad III, another boat of the class to which Jessie II belongs.  I then left, dropped my boat at Mt Barker for maintenance, and was home that evening.

Two small paddleboats are local, but ineligible: metal hulls.
There are two larger ones running as static b&b accommodation further around the shore.
I didn't see Gnatty this year, but I was chatting with the owner aboard a mutual friend's boat.

I haven't prepared the photos yet, so have just two today to set the scene.

Regards,
Roderick B Smith
Rail News Victoria Editor

Offline Roderick Smith

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Goolwa Wooden Boat Festival
« Reply #37 on: March 04, 2011, 10:46:57 AM »
Five photos taken on PS William Randell, during the Sunday parade.

Regards,
Roderick B Smith
Rail News Victoria Editor

Offline Roderick Smith

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Re: Jessie II (a Bolger Tennessee)
« Reply #38 on: March 06, 2011, 12:27:23 PM »
Here is another selection from 2011 Goolwa Wooden Boat Festival.
Former PV Alice has been sold to new owners, but still local, and has been renamed Molly Ellen.
I have included a couple of photos of classy wooden cruisers.  I wasn't trying to photograph every boat: too many boats, and too many people in the way.

Regards,
Roderick B Smith
Rail News Victoria Editor

« Last Edit: March 07, 2011, 08:03:02 PM by Roderick Smith »

Offline Roderick Smith

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Re: Jessie II (a Bolger Tennessee)
« Reply #39 on: March 07, 2011, 10:20:45 AM »
Three of a kind were rafted alongside for Goolwa, and I didn't take a photo.
* Moonshine: had launched at Riverglen (Murray Bridge), then down the river and across Lake Alexandrina in perfect weather on Friday.  Photos of this boat are attached to <www.paddleducks.co.uk/smf/index.php?topic=2475.msg29363#msg29363>.  When the wind sprung up, the owner retrieved his car and trailer, and came out of the water at Goolwa to head home to Robinvale.
* Nomad III: An electric-powered version, with a high-level fitout.  It is for sale.  On Monday, I acted as deckie as we cruised to the pumpout at the far-inner end of Hindmarsh Marina, then back to the marina where it will be displayed to prospective purchasers.  See <www.duckflatwoodenboats.com/mainpages/forsale2.php#MundooNomad>.
* Solway: The owner was still building this one when we met at my first Goolwa (2005).  We were moored alongside at 2007 Goolwa, and I have also photographed Solway at 2007 Wentworth.

While heading into the marina, we saw the distinctive hull of another Tennessee (Ellen), but with a quite different superstructure.  It had not been part of the display.

Enclosed today: photos of all of the above, plus Umli Gumli at an earlier Goolwa, taken from the Duck Flat website.  AFAIK this one is now in NSW.  I had to use a Wentworth photo for Solway.

Regards,
Roderick B Smith
Rail News Victoria Editor




Offline Roderick Smith

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Re: Jessie II (a Bolger Tennessee)
« Reply #40 on: March 11, 2011, 10:37:49 AM »
Here are a few miscellaneous photos to complement the Goolwa coverage.
It seems that none of the three owners took a photo of the trio at Goolwa.

There is a photo of Jessie II with Moonshine already, at Euston:
www.paddleducks.co.uk/smf/index.php?topic=2475.msg29363#msg29363

There is one at an earlier Goolwa (2001?), for a former owner:
www.paddleducks.co.uk/smf/index.php?topic=2475.msg9369#msg9369

I have very few interior photos.  The wheelhouse & galley (stove since upgraded to three burner with a griller oven) are at.
www.paddleducks.co.uk/smf/index.php?topic=2475.msg9372#msg9372

There is one with Extempore at Duck Flat's yard:
www.paddleducks.co.uk/smf/index.php?topic=2475.msg20730#msg20730
Today I enclose the rear view of those together.

Also:  Jessie II at an Adelaide festival of wood: not just boats, but furniture and decorative objects.
The camera dated it 2005, but I am sure that that is wrong.  I suspect 2007, rather than the 2009 which I have used in the file name.

I have added a few of the first Tennessee which I saw, when I had no plan to buy any boat.  Crewzn was part of the Randell Cadell 150th anniversary fleet, voyaging from Blanchetown (SA, its home port) to Echuca)

Regards,
Roderick B Smith
Rail News Victoria Editor



Offline Roderick Smith

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2011 Goolwa Wooden Boat Festival (SA)
« Reply #41 on: March 21, 2011, 11:55:44 AM »
I now have a photo of the three related boats moored inline abreast, from the builder & owner of Solway.

Regards,
Roderick B Smith
Rail News Victoria Editor

Offline Roderick Smith

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Re: Darling River cruise
« Reply #42 on: April 19, 2011, 11:45:09 AM »
I had multiple plans for participation at Renmark, constantly evolving:
* Cruise down and back with the Mildura private fleet.
* Voyage down aboard PS Ruby, and cruise back in tandem.
* Voyage down aboard PS Ruby, have Jessie II waiting, and cruise as part of the continuing fleet to Morgan, then bus back to get the car & trailer.
With the cancellation of the downriver continuation, and with the Darling still up to the levels which allowed PV Dromedary to reach Pooncarie bridge, I scrapped all of those plans, and positioned Jessie II at Wentworth instead.  I still had multiple plans:
* Wentworth - Pooncarie - Wentworth (Mon.-Thurs., with Friday spare to go downstream to follow Ruby on its final stage home).
* Pooncarie - 60 km - Pooncarie (Mon.-Wed.).
* Pooncarie - Wentworth (Tues.-Wed.), mail truck back to collect the car and trailer.
All three would be followed by a Robinvale - Wemen - Robinvale to fill the gap left in February (lock 15 was now available).

Darling River is longer than Murray River, and carried more traffic.  The only place where a railway competed for trade was Bourke (from the 1880s); the Broken Hill railway didn't come until the late 1920s.  Many boaties prefer it to the Murray: more river like (steeper banks and narrower).  However, it has suffered from unsympathetic treatment: fixed dams, fixed bridges, Queensland holding onto the headwaters for cotton growing.  The first lock in Australia was at Bourke, but the chamber was filled in the 1940s.  The lifting bridge at Bourke was replaced with a modern one.  The lifting mechanism at Menindee was decommissioned.

Darling River is charted only to 62 km (the normal head of navigation).  I didn't know what snags I would encounter, or how I would fare going above Burtundy Weir, and below Pooncarie bridge.  At 230 km each way, I had to carry sufficient fuel to allow for a termination short of goal.
I consulted a lot of people, and was given helpful and positive advice.  There are sufficient homesteads along the route to help in the event of failure or fuel shortage.  I opted for one way, with Chris (owner of PV Florence Annie, kept on the Darling at Pomona) as deckie.
Sun.3.4: The bus bringing Ruby passengers back from Renmark arrived at sundown.  I spent the evening at Royal Hotel (laptop work & dinner).  People at the caravan park had seen Spirit of the Murray heading up the Darling on one of its regular cruises: probably the Mildura - Renmark, balancing the one which I had seen heading upriver a few days earlier.
Mon.4.4: I spent the morning provisioning and checking the mail truck, collected Chris in the afternoon, drove to Pooncarie, and launched on the road leading to the ramp (which was way under water).  Retrieval would be tricky if I had to come back.  We spent the evening at Telegraph Hotel, and a local gave a fresh plan: he was heading into town on Thursday, and so was a mate.  He would drive my car & trailer to Wentworth, and return with the mate.
Tues.5.4: We made a 7.30 start, cruised with care (12 km/h) to get a feel for the quantity of snags (virtually none), eased under the bridge with 30 cm clear (we had measured the clearance while driving north), then started zooming at 15 km/h.  Burtundy Weir was recognised by warning signs, but the weir was way below the surface.  This is a lonely river, particularly midweek.  We saw a few moored boats with fishermen, but nothing else moving.  We pulled up at 17.30, having covered about 150 km.
Wed.6.4: An easy half day to finish at Florence Annie, and each could spend the afternoon on computer work.  The notorious tree at 62 km, which normally stops navigation (and at which I terminated on an earlier cruise from Wentworth) couldn't even be recognised.  I suspect that I could get around it in low water; the distance markers run to 70 km, which may be the point at which the pool runs out at normal water.
Thurs.7.4: We set out at 7.30 for the 90 min run into Wentworth, and tied up at the main wharf.  After the car & trailer arrived, we set out to explore Tucker Creek as far as we could.  Normally it is to weedy for me to risk my prop.  We had good water, and reached 5 km before I felt that snags and overhanging limbs would be too hard to avoid.  We rounded up, returned and came out of the water.  After dropping Chris, I headed for Robinvale.  I had the boat in the water just before sundown, and spent the evening aboard, moored at the beautiful riverbank caravan park.

I could have got the boat through from Pooncarie to Menindee Weir, but that is about 270 km; I would have needed to carry fuel; I didn't have the time.  The other adventure is the anabranch, which was navigated back in the days.  It really needs a tinnie.  It is only just available again as five weirs have been removed, as part of converting open channels to piped water.

I'll post about the Robinvale day separately.



Offline Roderick Smith

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Euston - Wemen gapfiller
« Reply #43 on: April 20, 2011, 08:02:13 PM »
By rights, this section should have been part of a grand adventure.  Instead, it was done in haste when I was anxious to get home and finish more late RNVs before heading to Africa.
In December, with the boat fully provisioned and the water up, I wanted to keep going, but couldn't: the water was over the weir; the navpass wasn't open; the lock was closed.
In January, the water was just as high.  I had to launch at Wemen, leaving a gap.
By April, the water had dropped a metre, and the lock was open.
I left Wentworth in the early afternoon on Thurs.7.4, and reached Robinvale around 16.15.  The nice ramp had a thick coating of slippery mud left by the receding water: I would get in ok, but might not be able to retrieve.  Even with all-wheel drive, all wheels would be in mud.
I was in and moored at the adjacent caravan park by around 17.30.  I didn't go to the pub for a meal: I had a precooked one aboard, and I had been at the pub only a month earlier.
My plans for Friday also had variations: two or three boats in tandem, making a return trip; just mine, but a return trip; just mine, but one way to Wement and retrieve.  One owner was in Melbourne; the other had his boat under maintenance.  I elected for a return trip, with Barry (owner of the related Moonshine) as deckie.  I had miscalculated: I was working on 40 km each way from the lock to Wemen, quite manageable.  Instead it was 50 km each way, and I was most unlikely to achieve that within locking hours.  The duty lockmaster is there 8.00-16.00, with a first locking at 8.30, and a last at 15.45.
I set forth at 7.30 from 1124 km; collected Barry at Euston wharf, and rang the lockmaster (1118 km): we could go straight in at 8.15, and did.  Only one gate was working, but there was no wind, and the current wasn't tricky.  We were out at 8.25, and had to reach 1066 km.  This is normally a tricky section for rock reefs, but we were on 6 m of water.  I was soon zooming at 15 km/h.  Barry is a local, and had lots of stories about landmarks and properties.  At one cliff, he had done a training exercise with State Emergency Service, lowering a rescue boat over a cliff by a winchline, and raising it again.  We reached Wemen at an encouraging hour, didn't halt, and set upriver again.  Being able to hold 11 km/h against the current made all the difference, with an eta of 16.30.  As we got closer, that advanced to 16.15.  I am not a lover of mobiles, but today having one was useful.  The lockmaster offered to stay for a 16.15 locking, and we were through.  I dropped Barry at Euston, then saw a paddleboat at the caravan park as I headed to the boat ramp.  PV Miralie, finally able to get under the bridge at Swan Hill, was heading home to Mildura.  What I hadn't realised: on Thursday morning, while I was having fun at Wentworth, single-deck Swan Hill boats PV Iron Dry and PV Shay had gone through the lock, heading to Mildura and to Ned's Corner.  If I had driven on the Victorian road, I might have made a rendezvous at Wemen.  Barry drove to the ramp to help me out of the water.  Despite asking the council that morning to clear the mud, nothing had happened.  I spotted the car wheels into the ruts which I made while launching, and I got out ok.  Miralie had shifted to the other bank for a rural night, but I had a pleasant time chatting with campers who had witnessed the boat action with interest.
On Saturday, I was off at 7.30, and had a leisurely drive to Merrigum to leave the boat with my brother, then was home at 19.00.
The 2010-11 season was now over, with the major achievement that I have now covered the whole Murray from Wellington to Swan Hill, plus Goolwa to the mouth; below Torrumbarry - Barmah Lake; and below Tocumwal - Yarrawonga.  I have also covered the Darling (Wentworth - Pooncarie), Wakool (to above the Edwards confluence), Edwards (for a token kilometre); Campaspe (about 3 km); Goulburn (about 5 km from the Murray confluence, plus a major stretch at Nagambie and much of Lake Eildon).  Other waterways have not been Murray-Darling ones.
I am tempted to go back into the water for Pevensey celebrations, particularly if Swan Hill boats come upriver, but it seems as if the key dates will be while I am in Africa.

Today there is only a limited selection: most photos were taken by Barry, and his cd is yet to arrive.
The bridge in the background was built only a few years ago.  AFAIK, like the one at Mildura, it will clear a three-deck passenger boat.  It replaced a lifting-span bridge which had been built as a combined rail & road one in the 1920s.  The last lifting of the span was for the 2003 Randell Cadell fleet.  The bridge and its approaches have been demolished, but the lifting span has been preserved at Robinvale railway station, in line with the tracks, and close to the visitor centre.

My earlier Darling cruise is at www.paddleducks.co.uk/smf/index.php?topic=2475.msg13640#msg13640
On this new cruise, the water was lapping up the limb holding the 60 sign.

Roderick B Smith
Rail News Victoria Editor
« Last Edit: April 23, 2011, 07:54:36 AM by Roderick Smith »

Offline Roderick Smith

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Dec.11-Jan.12 cruise
« Reply #44 on: January 03, 2012, 07:30:56 AM »
Continuing my plan of covering the whole Murray River, I collected Jessie II from Michael's shed on Wed.28.12, and launched at Deep Creek Marina (50 river km downstream of Echuca.
Thurs.29.12: 30 km downstream to Torrumbarry Weir (passing PV Run Riot), through the lock, and another 102 km to Koondrook (Victorian Bank), arriving at 18.00 for dinner at Royal Hotel.  This town still has Arbuthnot sawmill in action, which had built PS Alexander Arbuthnot in the 1920s, regarded as the last traditional paddlesteamer built.
Fri.30.12: I was running a day early, so this was a work day, and I moved 2 km to Barham (NSW bank), for a drink at Barham Hotel, and dinner at Royal Hotel there.  My deckie from Melbourne joined.
Sat.31.12: 112 km to Swan Hill, passing under lifting-span bridges at Barham, Murrabit & Swan Hill without needing them raised.  The first part was slow (tricky snags), then from Murrabit (9.30) we had good water, but were slowed a little by having to follow a kayak marathon (93 boats plus coastguard protection).  We called into the marina to see PV Temeraire, PV Black Shag and PV Iron Dry, then cruised to the boat ramp to link to the Dec.10 voyage, and up Marraboor River to see PV Pyap ad PV Gem.  We moored at the caravan park.  Iron Dry came around and moored adjacent for an early-evening party, but had to be back in its dock early because the owner had another event to attend.  Pyap made several cruises through the evening, and looked great with decorative lighting.  Marraboor River is the final stage of Little Murray River, an anabranch which forms Pental Island.  Loddon River joins it to reach the Murray at the rear of the view of Iron Dry approaching Jessie II.
Sun.1.1: I returned by train to collect the car & trailer, then came out of the water.
Mon.2.1: I dropped the boat at Michael's shed and headed home.
PV Struggler is in a reasonable pool of water near Shepparton (Goulburn River).  Michael could sneak it back on the low water (lots of bared snags), but is waiting for better water to continue upriver.


 

 

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