Day 15…little darling, it seems like years since its been clear…

Sunday, 17th August 2008.

…here comes the sun, little darling, here comes the sun,…sun, sun, sun here it comes.

It would be bold of me to say that today was warm. It wasn’t. It wasn’t warm by any stretch of the imagination and even the Hereford cattle with their thick, shaggy Winter coats looked cold. However the sun made an appearance from behind the clouds and I felt bold enough to take off my gloves. I felt almost naked walking with only two layers of clothing, short sleeves and no gloves. I was hesitant to believe that the weather was better simply because I was in New South Wales, but I hadn’t seen the sun for the last nine days in Victoria and here I was in the ‘Premier State’ with the sun struggling down between the clouds.

Today I was walking between Speewah and Lake Poon Boon. Burke remained in Swan Hill to check on the mail that arrived on the Cobb & Co Coach from Melbourne, and then he rode out to catch up with the expedition which had stopped for lunch at ‘Big John’ McKenzie’s Poon Boon Station at Lake Pomah. One of the shepherds sent his daughter out to meet the expedition and show them to road to the station. The daughter was Anne Jane Jones. Dr Becker was suprised to see a young lady emerge from the bush in such a remote spot and he was obviously quite taken by her as he described her as being ‘extremely well mounted on horseback and dressed in a black riding gown”. As walked along in my semi-naked state I was not fortunate enough to meet any extremey well mounted young ladies – oh well, never mind. Becker’s moment of pleasure did not to last long anyway, as Burke arrived from Swan Hill and ordered the expedition move on another twelve miles to the Wakool River crossing at Kyalite.

Geographical trivia; Anne Jane Jones’ father was once the Governor of Ferdinand Po, which is a small island in the Bight of Biafra which was under Aragones rule in the 1860s but was administered by the British Government.

As I finished the day I walked past the dry Lake Pomah. On the dusty shore of the now dry lake is the Pomah Recreation Reserve where the “Pomah Sailing Club” had it’s headquarters. The drought has put an end to sailing and there is little chance of Wayfarers or Flying Fifteens with billowing spinnakers cutting across the lake to the calls of ‘water at the mark’ and ‘lee ho ! mind the boom!’.

Swan Hill to Poon Boon.
Distance travelled today; 33.5 km.
Today Dave is at Poon Boon in New South Wales.
After fifteen days of travel, Burke was at Swan Hill.
Dave has had two days off so far. Burke and the expedition have had seven days off by this stage.

6 Responses to “Day 15…little darling, it seems like years since its been clear…”

  1. Margaret from Melbourne says:

    When one is travelling, whether by foot or other means, and having to do all the daily domestic stuff, writing a journal can fall off the twig at the end of the day even when not beset by minor problems that cutting-edge technology may deliver, or not deliver. Today I finished reading the Junior abridged version of Cooper’s Creek which records the long times that elapsed between communications between Burke and his Victorian Exploration Committee. We waved him goodbye on August 1st and it is now the 27th.

    I wonder can we help Dave by doing this “backwards”. Have you seen Dave, how’s he doing? And Annie? What a magnitude of a task they have set themselves. Looking forward to reading anyone’s message.

  2. Dorothy Phoenix says:

    Hello Margaret, Dave & Annie are both doing fine, clocking up the kilometres and enjoying Aussie hospitality here and there. It’s good reading his blog, glad you are enjoying it. We’ll keep the faith, he’ll keep us all posted.

    Roy & Dorothy

  3. Guy from Brisbane says:

    I agree…..what a massive task. Dave and Annie should know they are not alone in this. I look forward to every post with keen interest. Keep it up Guys, and good on you.


  4. Paul Keegan says:

    Hi Margaret,
    Totally agree with your comments, and would like to know how Dave is going. I was going to go out and catch up with him, but its a bit hard not knowing his whereabouts.

  5. Sue L says:

    Yes Dorothy, we are truly spoilt in this wonderful country of ours…We surely do take it for granted that modern technology is all around us, but in saying that, do appreciate that Dave and Annie are covering some very remote areas so little or no coverage… Just good to know they are safe, healthy and plodding on.. Can’t wait to read their next blog… Such a courageous couple… Admiration plus for them…..
    Cheers and ‘keep the dream alive’! Sue L.

  6. Margaret says:

    Thanks, Roy and Dorothy, it is good to know you’ve a watching brief. Doing a PhD is hard yakka whatever the subject, requiring great focus and concentration, and especially combining this physical challenge with the mental effort. Thanks Dave and Annie for your search to understand what went on and for preparing such a special lead-in to the 150th anniversary of this great expedition.

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