Hello, it’s been a while since I submitted a story to this publication for the simple reason that I had nothing worth writing about.
But that has changed now, as I’ve returned home from my annual trip up to Cape York with a friend.
This year, 82-year-old Eddy Bloomfield joined me on my sortie around Weipa.
We would have left earlier, however rain events were occurring all the time on the east coast, so it was difficult to get away with the on and off flooding.
Before the trip, I did the usual preparation work on my gear – checking wheel bearings on the Toyota 80 Series and 5m boat trailer, changing engine oil and running gear oils under the four-wheel drive, fitting new filters for oil, fuel and air plus bringing spares.
I checked under the 4WD and trailer to make sure all the bushes and bolts were tight, ensured the shock-absorber rubbers were all good, serviced the outboards – the 60hp and the 5.8hp auxiliary.
After packing all the first day, I picked Eddy up early the next morning and we headed to Gympie to put the 4WD and 5m tinnie over the weighbridge to guarantee it was legal, which it was.
The 4WD with us inside, fully loaded and with a full tank of fuel was 150kg under.
Thank goodness I got a 296kg gross vehicle mass upgrade on the 80 Series last year.
The 5m boat trailer and gear was around 30kg under, but its suspension is way stronger than the weight I registered it for years ago – which I am kicking myself for now, as I put it down on the paperwork as 1.5 tonne only, when I should have written 1.9 tonne.
I may take it to an engineer one day and get a GVM upgrade on it too.
After being weighed, I was happy as a pig in mud and we headed north.
We had to make a stop in Rockhampton to pick some of Eddy’s fishing gear up from his granddaughter’s place.
Then we headed north, pulling up through the night every now and then for a snooze in the 4WD – I laid the seat back and fell asleep in no time.
We’d wake up a few hours later and head off for another few hours of driving.
Next day, we punched over the Atherton Tablelands and pulled up at about 5pm to a free camp at an old gravel dump off the main road.
There are plenty of these all over Queensland and are our favourite overnight stops.
Next day, we fuelled up at Lakeland Downs and drove steadily along the Peninsula Developmental Rd.
While I was letting the tires down, I put my swag and a fold-up chair on the boat’s front.
Mistake – they ended up falling off when we drove away because I forgot about them.
We got the chair back, but someone knocked off with my swag.
The road up was fantastic, and we arrived in Weipa at about 4pm that day.
We bought some food and fuel before driving out to our campsite, where we met our friend Bob Gentlemen.
He had been camped there for a few weeks with permission from the traditional owners.
Next day was spent setting up a lovely camp and getting the 5m boat ready for fishing.
Until next month, be safe on the water.