The Roaring River and Whales

We’ve been marooned again!

My neighbour, local weather guru, and early warning system, Pat Henry, rang at the weekend to warn of us of a major rain belt heading south from Tropical Queensland so we were on the alert (Pat is spot on with her predictions!).  So when I did my 3am wee on Monday night and it was raining I poked my better half awake to remind him that he had his car this side and not to blame me if he was flood bound in the morning.  He wasn’t, but by the end of that day after relentless rain all day, it was obvious that the river was on the up.  I left my car in Wauchope because it didn’t feel safe aquaplaning on my barely there tyres and got a lift home with George and we just made it in across the creeks.  Needless to say, Ged left his car out on Tuesday night and we woke to the roaring of the river on Wednesday morning – 12 feet below the last one but still a very sizeable flood.  So we played ‘marooned’ all day, cutting a swathe through our respective paperwork in the office and when it came time to feed Ged’s horses on ‘the other side’ the pregnant lady set off, with faithful hound at heel, to walk with two full feed buckets the 2.5kms to find the horses.   Went for a brisk trot around the track (pregnant lady on foot!) and then walked back with four empty feed buckets.  Long, long way!!
It was Ged’s birthday on Thursday so I gave him the day off work (!!) and booked us on a Whale Watching Tour  at 8am out of Port Macquarie, so we had an early start.  There was lots of hanging around scanning the sea for signs of life, and several sightings of pods blowing and breaching, but still not close enough for a real sense of the magnificence of the beasts, so I adopted my positive thinking and stood at the bow thinking ‘I see whales close to the boat’ for well over an hour.  Sure enough, just as we were about to turn for shore, we had a ‘close encounter’ with 3 humpback whales right under our noses at the bow and I had my first real whale sighting.  Wow!  Imagine if we had all been practising positive thinking . . . .
Ged has had amazing up close and personal whale experiences at Hervey Bay so he wasn’t as excited as me, but we had a lovely day with a warm-up breakfast in Port and then lots of clothes shopping to update his wardrobe (and a few things for me, too, since nothing seems to fit me anymore!)  On Friday I was able to pick up my car with its all new wheels (lovely!) and drive across the bridge again so we have spent the weekend in the garden planting bluebells and snowdrops, drastically pruning the roses over the septic, and relocating trees (again!)
We have had the list of suitable species from the Catchment Management Authority and have a visual plan of what to plant along the river banks to protect the banks and create a haven for birds and even koalas – it turns out that those bloody She Oaks (Casuarinas) are not even meant to be in this part of the Hastings valley Catchment Area – so we are completely justified in our plan to chop them down!  It’s very nice when our vision actually coincides with that of the Government and the Greenies (Melissa will be proud of us!)
Still waiting for Paddy to pop  . . . !
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