Monday, 14 May 2007


If the weather conditions were suitable we had planned to set off today for the West. Kev and Marc checked all BOM sites, telephoned properties across the peninsular and made all possible checks as carefully as possible. The forecasted front was huge and would probably stop us somewhere between Ceduna and home.

We got up early enough to say farewell to Fleur and Alexander before they left. Sarah and I fed and said our goodbyes to the horse, a chestnut 15+hh TB grumpy gelding named Nugget and a black 10hh welsh gelding with a lovely nature called “Toby”.

At Parafield, Kevin ran the engine to see if the repair would hold. Quite a number of ATA (Aircraft Training Adelaide) instructors came to watch and photograph Lady whilst she did her run ups. All things being correct we loaded aboard, thanked Marc sincerely again and looked forward to his next WA visit. We dragged ourselves into the air for about the 50th time on this trip and headed out on 03 via the light aircraft lane then the coast.

We had planned direct to Ceduna which took us out over the Spencers Gulf between the mainland and the Ayre Peninsular for about 15 minutes over water. As we had sent our life jackets back to Perth from Victoria we talked about our ditching and escape plan should anything unexpected happen. This clarified, we flew our track at 3,500 feet with cloud not far above us. After about 5 minutes the sky became murky and the visibility not very clear. Kev pointed out, what he though was, the coastline with 2 jetties in it. I could not agree with what he saw and soon it became apparent that it was a “greasy” north south line on the water that looked very much like a coastline. Instead of the NW track we decided to shorten the distance over water and tracked 030 just for safety. We continued on and within 10 minutes the “real” coastline came into view.
Ceduna Jetty and Bay

The peninsular with the continuing empty, dry paddocks were indicative of the drought and without many roads it took us a while to locate our position on the map. The GPS still had us on track of course, but we always navigated as a backup. Kev recognized road directions and soon the small town of Wudinna came into sight. Many jokes came out about “Wud n ya know it – there’s Wudinna”, and “Wud n ya like something to eat?".eh I know and they got worse!

We had left about 11 am and saw Ceduna come into view at 2pm. We landed on the north south strip and had a long taxi in cross winds (very hard on the brakes) to the bowser. We fuelled up and even though we had time to fly on to Nullarbor Roadhouse a telephone call confirmed that the strip was US due to large puddles and muddy stretches.
Upon landing we found that Lady had indeed spat the dummy at having her oil leaks repaired - so she leaked at another point. Quite a long time was spent cleaning her up whilst Kevin refuelled.
Lady Bird's "NEW" oil leak

We tied Lady safely beside a hangar and caught a taxi into town. We had plenty of fruit and snacks for the trip so ate them for a late lunch. Kev and Sarah walked into the shops for tomorrow’s snacks and a chicken for dinner whilst I worked on the blog. We are our light dinner in the room then Sarah and I went for a walk out the pier. We could see garfish (gardies) in the shallow waters with the light from the spotties along the jetty. Out further a few couples were fishing but with no luck. We could hear splashes and see ripples where schools of fish were feeding however no one was fishing near them. After the pier we walked along the foreshore path between an avenue of trees. We saw, what we thought was, a cat or fox run down the embankment onto the beach and upon our return saw the same animal scrounging near some rubbish before hiding down the embankment again. Sarah is pretty sure it was a fox – and I thought so too as it would be a suitable area to scavenge food from both tourists and fishermen.

Stinson Reliant SR8C VH-UXL

Stinson Reliant SR8C VH-UXL
over Perth city (Photo: Greg Hill)

About Us

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Flying farming couple who live on 135 acres. Kev is obsessed by aeroplanes. Vicki is devoted to horses and White Swiss Shepherds.