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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    4,418

    Default The Flight (2)

    The Lake started filling around Christmas 2009, and has had almost continuous water flowing into it since. The last two monsoon seasons have been very wet, and with the ground still saturated from the previous year, this year's wet has had the effect of almost filling the Lake.

    The water in the Lake is saltier than the ocean. However the water which comes in from the rivers is fresh water, and at first does mix. There is a clear embarkation line between the fresh and salt water. The fresh water is darker than the salt water, which is bright blue.




    The fresh water coming in from the northern rivers creates a channel down the Lake.

    These two photos also show how difficult it was to see the horizon. We were told that more than one plane has gone down in the water.

    Once we had crossed the Lake, we turned NNE, which took us from the southern end of Lake Eyre North, to the northern part, whence we headed NNW till we came to the northern shores where the great rivers flow in.

    On that course we flew over a small island at the mouth of one of the inlets (there are many islands in the Lake), which is a pelican rookery. As the plane approached, the noise made many of the birds take off in flight.


    Pelicans in flight.

    Of course I do not have the sophisticated photographic equipment which would have shown them much clearer - the way we saw them.

    We were now over the channel country, where all the water from the monsoons comes down from the Northern Territory, inland Queensland and outback New South Wales. These channels form the rivers, which flow into the Lake.


    Typical channel country.
    The largest of these are the Cooper Creek and the Warburton River.




    It takes months for the water to come down from the north before it actually flows into Lake Eyre. The Warburton River effectively drains most of the top end. There is still a large volume of water coming down the Cooper which will not arrive till around the middle of July. We were told that it could have a significant effect on the water level in the Lake - which by the way, is as big as the country of Holland.

    All too soon the two hours were up, and we were on our way back to William Creek, at an altitude of 1500'. As we were flying over Anna Creek Station, Sarah was telling us why the mustering this year was late, and why it almost did not happen at all. With all the water which has been coming down, the ground was just too soft to use the ATVs, without getting bogged. The mustering had to be done on horseback, the way it always was. Problem was, they had great difficulty in finding sufficient cattlemen who were skilled enough to ride the outback country. It has become a lost art.

    Sarah put down the plane ever so gently on the outback airstrip.


    William Creek airport.

    As we stepped out of the Cessna one of my fellow passengers was heard to say, "Worth every cent of it!"

    I concurred.

    [Quite early on I gave up on trying to take perfect pictures, with the horizon level and without parts of the plane included. With Sarah zigzagging and circling over the lake and rivers, that was impossible.]

    If you would like to see more of the pictures I took, go to my album, Flight over Lake Eyre.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    8,408

    Default Thanks.

    I was looking forward to the flight pictures and I am not disappointed, nice work !

    Really enjoyed the report on this vast land, thanks !

  3. #23
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Sydney - Australia
    Posts
    24

    Default

    Great report. Loved every post and every pic.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    2,352

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sedenquist View Post
    I've put more than $100 in fuel tanks here in the USA -- most folks rarely have more than a 25 gal tank so they've not experienced that particular joy yet... But I've done it several times.... It's still a thrill...(I guess).

    Loving the photos and the write-up, they really bring that part of SW Australia to life for me.

    Mark
    A few years back, I had to put $110 worth in our truck. Both tanks were at 1/4, and diesel was over $5/gal at the time.

    I am enjoying these photos, too - - I just "discovered" the "new posts" tab a few days ago, so I'm getting caught up on forums and posts that I hadn't read yet!


    Donna

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    8,408

    Default Small world.

    I was talking to a local resident here on the south coast of the UK yesterday and who I hadn't seen for a little while. He explained that he had been in Australia for almost 3 months and during the discussion it was mentioned that he was in Coober Pedy "about 3 weeks ago" !

    It put a smile on my face, I had never heard of the place until this report and I was able to refer to the 'Opal capital of the world' and underground buildings there and Lake Eyre etc. I of course explained the reason behind my knowledge of the place.

    You could have past each other in the street !

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    7,391

    Default

    A few years back, I had to put $110 worth in our truck. Both tanks were at 1/4, and diesel was over $5/gal at the time.
    I haven't had that privilege (?) yet - my truck has a 25 gallon tank (gas) and my record so far is $86. However, I have had the experience several times of the pump shutting off at $75 and having to swipe my card again.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    8,408

    Default

    One hundred dollars plus, and swiping the card again has become second nature in the RV's. lol. It's still cheaper filling the RV up in the US than it is my everyday car at home in the UK though.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    4,418

    Default Worth all the effort

    Glad to hear that you are enjoying this trip with me. I have to admit as I read through this thread, I relive the trip. That is the great part about keeping notes, taking photos and writing a report.

    At other times, it is almost as if I am reading someone else's story.

    Dave, what a co-incidence. Small world indeed! I trust you sounded most knowledgeable and well informed. (lol)

    Lifey

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    9,500

    Default Nice work on the photos

    I loved that approach shot of the landing strip! And the report has been really fun to read!

    Mark

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    4,418

    Default Not good news!

    The news has been full of this report today. Very worrying. Sure hope it does not deter others from taking on this wonderful trip.

    Lifey

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