Aloft

We followed plan b to the island and took a short plane ride due to sea and tide conditions. It was wonderful to see the island from above. It was a little disconcerting when we had to strap our lift vests on before we even took off but I had been forewarned. The pilot didn’t even crack a smile when I asked if there would be refreshments served on board.

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Our transport

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be prepared

 

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airstrip flock of Cape Barren Geese

One of our jobs will be to keep the landing strip mowed and free of wallabies and geese if a plane is due. I counted 15 wallabies and nine geese there during my walk yesterday.

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there’s our landing strip?

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circling Deal Island

 

 

Less clothes, more yarn

And we’re off. Months of planning and a day of packing are over for our next three months on Deal Island, Tasmania. We broke up the flight to Australia into manageable chunks and are spending a few days in Hawaii. Ten hours on one plane, with extra legroom in a bulkhead exit row, are much easier than fourteen hours from Los Angeles, in sardine can economy.

My last day at home was spent reducing my clothing and adding a few more balls of yarn to my luggage. My big duffel weighed in under the limit at 48 pounds but it blew a tire after a short walk. Now to find new wheels.

We left our little train station in the Adirondacks and headed to New York City. Both places had architecture with spires reaching to the sky.

Despite all the city noise, we slept like babies in our hotel with a view of the Empire State Building.

This third trip is bittersweet. It’s hard saying goodbye to friends and family for three months and recognizing that there are some we may never see again. But there’s also the sheer joy of the adventure.

It’s clean up time

Our departure date is set. The new caretakers arrive Wednesday and we leave Thursday. We’ll get to sleep in the new bed we built for the visitor’s house when we move next door.

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We shoveled and swept sand from the jetty road since we had 116 mm if rain in May. I also found a dead possum and tossed it into the tussocks. Let’s just say I had to shovel the loop of intestines as well. No such thing as paradise. I hope it wasn’t this cutie pie who wanders by our sunroom every night.

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We’ll be busy these final days cleaning and moving. Our food stores worked out surprisingly well. We didn’t run out of anything. I bought too much jam and feta cheese but that’s OK. We are making dinner for the new crew tomorrow and I have to work out what to cook with supplies on hand. Probably a pasta bake, fresh bread and apple pie.

Tim submitted our final report to the ranger and I added a photo of my kitchen improvement. The corner of the stove exhaust fan can surprise you at times.

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I finished the body of my shetland shawl and grafted the two pieces together with the kitchener stitch, can you say “knit, purl, purl, knit” 210 times!?

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Now I’m knitting the edging. It will be lovely. It’s soft as a cloud and warm.

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Now I’m off to clean and do laundry.

Tidying up


Me and the Deutscher. We haven’t given the lighthouse equipment names but this one goes by the manufacturer’s name. The Deutscher is an industrial strength lawnmower. He and I took a walk yesterday to mow Winter Cove, which has about 6 km of mowable track and lots of hills. It’s my favorite track to run, although I covered more distance mowing because many areas had to be covered three to four times.

When I got back to the compound, I headed down to the jetty and caught the sunset.

Today I stripped the bathroom floor to reseal it. I had to leave a puddle of the stripping solution on the floor for about ten minutes. When I returned, to my surprise, this skink was lounging in the puddle. Before I could get my camera, it hopped aboard my makeshift mop and I escorted it outside. How did it hear about the puddle, I wonder.

The fungus amungus

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I know. I can’t help it. I have a grade school sense of humor. Our travels yesterday took us down to Squally Cove to cut up a couple of downed eucalyptus and she oak trees on path.

I brought my new walking stick with me to bolster my confidence on the slippery downhill portions. My walking stick appeared suddenly when the sponge mop broke off from its rusted base. It was a little long, not tres chic, but did the trick.

I did keep my eyes to the ground though and found some lovely mushrooms.

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Come along

My favorite tool name is the come-along. It’s a device used to pull things together. Sort of like a hand held winch, often used in fence building. I needed to do a small fence repair and searched the workshop for one, to no avail. Instead, I saw this two piece thingy with chain hanging on the wall called a Strain-Rite.

Sounded like I was in the ballpark, but couldn’t, for the life of me, figure out how to use it. So I googled it and there it was with videos demonstrating its application. It’s made in New Zealand and was just what I needed. So I put it to work to straighten out a fence.
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Here I am working on another fence project during our eight day gale.
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The wind howled for days and it rained sheets. The weather service said we had hurricane force winds for a couple of days. Luckily, the only major mishap was a tree, which fell down in the compound, very near our water supply. Tim made short work of it. It was a Casuarina, used as a wind block near the house. It looked like it was bleeding where the bark pulled away.

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A wallaby convention on the lighthouse road.
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We cleared the drains a few weeks ago and got to see how well the runoff worked. It did, but we had to pick a lot of branches off the road.

The garden took a hit. I lost most of the arugula, and tomatoes. Oddly enough, some green bean plants I was getting ready to pull seemed to enjoy the storm and sprouted new flowers. I’ll clean up and replant today.

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There’s always a silver lining.

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