Thurs 12 Sept
Out to Gracetown Beach - the rain had stopped by the time we got there. Site of a cliff collapse where 9 parents and children were crushed while watching a surfing competition between the 2 local primary schools.
Gracie's General was the only store. Very surfy and modern tastes. Girl in the process of painting a surf mural. She was supposed to be a "good little surfer" herself. Great range of home-made pies plus GF slices. Wine-tasting at Felix Vasse. The 1st vineyard in MR, started by Dr Tom Cullity. Now owned by the Holmes 'a Court family company. During Spring, while there is nothing needing to be done on the vines, they grow legumes and daikon radish between the rows. Good for the soil and they use the daikon at the restaurant.
Stopped in at the Dairy Company.
Fri 13 Sept
Moving Day. To Augusta. Population 1,100. I don't yet understand why it is so small relative to everything else on this south coast so far. And why you so confusingly have Augusta and Port Augusta 2,100kms apart as the crow flies. And yes, there have been untold screechy crows between here and Perth.
A brilliant new marina development $32M from government. 500,000t of granite quarried on-site for the breakwater. Main industry is Ocean Abalone, allegedly the only ocean "ranch-grown" green-lipped mussels in the world!.
We had a pub dinner, Friday night with the Western Eagles (W.A's premier team) vs Geelong in the finals. Plenty of passionate Eagles supporters present. Unfortunately Victoria took the cup from W.A.
Augusta Lighthouse tour. Taller than the others but the lens was nowhere near as heavy. When it was clockwork the lighthouse-keepers stopped it during the day. The rest of the time they had to wind it every couple of hours.
Lunch at Karridale pub. Tasting at Hamelin Bay Winery. The logo isn't a Griffin - it's a rampant Wyvern - 2 legs. One wine that she gave had a real aftertaste/finish of gunmetal/gunsmoke. Every time that we drive through smoke now we recall it.
Cooked breakfast outside on the electric frypan that Odette gave us. A gum leaf drifted down into the pan before I started. I'm sure that meant Welcome to Augusta. We're on the right aspect for morning sun and it was a bright, calm morning overlooking the Blackwood River and estuary, and Lynn's classic old gum.
We did Jewel Cave - very impressive. Although the vertical shaft was known from the 1800s, it always had a breeze blowing through it and the candles and lamps kept getting blown out. (That's a dodgy story, what about storm-lanterns? Not until 1957 did a keen caver rope down it and find the large system.
Besides all the shawls, straws, flowstones and other spectacular cave decorations, there were also a Tasmanian Tiger skeleton and a possum.
That's our 3rd cave and 3rd lighthouse now, we're ready to sit the test.
Back to Margs to stock up, as they're the biggest shopping area for the next few weeks.
Today was the very 1st Quokkas birthday, discounted rides to Rottnest Is. to celebrate,
Yellowfin are the little fish that the boats have been catching in the Blackwood River beside us and along the coast. It's quite a show when the fishermen stand ankle-deep at the filleting tables and gulls and pelicans all crowd around for the scraps.