We decided to take a break from travelling to do some work for 1-2 months. We picked Carnavon in WA as they have a small yacht club marina that made us very welcome with our boat. The timing was very fortuitous as 70km outside Carnarvon we lost 5th gear on the Landrover. When we arrived at the marina and went to reverse the car to put the boat in the water down the ramp we found we also didn’t have reverse. A member of the yacht club kindly hitched our trailer up to his ute and launched our boat for us. An old friend of Russ’s lives in Carnarvon and kindly lent us a car while we waited a week for a new gearbox to arrive. Although it wasn’t good news that we need a new gearbox we were so thankful that we were able to get to Carnarvon first. It would have been a nightmare if we had broken down somewhere remote like Shark Bay. Even better was that we found Carnarvon to be a neat little town with a lovely estuary foreshore and pretty cafes with a few old historic buildings.
We spent two months in Carnarvon working. It was a great choice. It was wonderful to get to know the locals both at the sailing club and others through Russ’s friend Terry.
Terry introduced Russ to Ian who owns the local metal fabrication workshop so between Terry, Ian and a few of the yacht owners at the marina they kept Russ very busy with work while I worked on a short term contact online.
I also got the chance to meet some of the local ladies through volunteering at the ladies Mother’s Day morning tea that the yacht club hosted.
Russ also got to know many of the local sailors. The yacht club provided off the beach sail boats for anyone in the town to come down and sail free of charge each Sunday. Russ I think never missed a Sunday sail the whole time we were there.
Carnarvon is a very small and dry town but the council had made a huge effort to make the foreshore of the estuary as attractive as possible even if it meant using artificial grass.
The river is dry for most of the year but while we were there it went from dry to a ranging flooded torrent, rain that was very welcome to the locals and the horticultural industry. Although it is a dry river there is a large horticultural industry due to the artesian water under the river bed which is pumped to irrigate the farms. This meant lots of fruit and vegetables and we enjoyed delicacies such as sapote ice cream. Goat farming is always popular in the area and we loved the organic Moroccan goat pies.
Carnarvon is also well known internationally for its Space and Technology Museum as this Space Centre was central to the relaying of the broadcast during the landing on the Moon and Nasa’s space programme in the 1960s and 1970s as well as instrumental in broadcasting satellite tv in Australia for the first time.
At the end of our stay we took the chance to tour the surrounding are visiting the blowholes, not enough to blow on the day we were there, but the terraced rock formations were worth seeing.
The local snorkelling spot known locally as the aquarium was picture perfect
and the quirky campground at Red Bluff offered glamping in their fixed tents if you didn’t want to bring your own tent or caravan.
It was sad to say goodbye to everyone who had befriended us during our stay in Carnarvon but we hope some will make it over to see us on Magnetic Island one day. They gave us a delicious send off with Josh (who works on the local trawlers) donating and cooking huge tiger prawns on the barbie for us and his mum making the lovely salad and pasta to go with them.