We have had some seriously hot weather here in Queensland this past week. Yesterday was 43degrees (c). North Stradbroke Island has had some bad bush fires and most of the campers and tourist visitors have had to be evacuated.


The barges have been working overtime to evacuate people.


Every few years there is a fire on the islands. I recall one Christmas I was anchored off Moreton Island and there was a huge fire. I suppose its part of the natural cycle.

Last days of holiday

I’m back to work next week and I’ve been working like a dog to try and get as much done as I can. I went to the island yesterday to mow the lawn and tend to the garden. I was expecting to have a great haul of mangoes from my tree since I’d been tending to it during the year with some seaweed fertiliser and pruned out the crown of the tree to get some light into the canopy. When I got there I was disappointed to discover that almost all of the fruit was gone.
Fortunately I have some security cameras around the property and I looked at some of the footage. Here is why my mango tree is bare.



Mango bandits!
These people obviously came prepared.

There were 4 other lots of people all with poles on different dates raiding my tree. I don’t have a gate at the front to keep people off the property, but I know what I’ll be doing soon.

I did manage to get 3 mangoes.

Lucky they haven’t found my avocado tree yet.


New Year’s Day

I got a bit done today on the truck interior. After scraping as much crud off the steel that would budge I took to it with the Gerni. It came up a treat and all the old dirt and dust of the past 42 years has gone. I lined the engine bay with the new lead lined insulation. I’m looking forward to testing this out tomorrow. It’s going to make a huge difference. Here is the engine cowl which is in between the driver’s and passenger’s seat. You can see the engine bay walls and the cowl lid are completely lined.


I’ve painted all the tinware and reinstalled it. I’m even treating the old girl to a new gear boot rubber. I ordered one from the UK a few months ago with a bunch of other spare parts.

The old one was split and used to poured hot air into the cabin. I used to have a cable tie around it to try and stop the hot air but the new one is a nice air tight fit.
Here is the old and the new.


And of course, Cutty found all this hard work exhausting.


And finally, even though it doesn’t look much different, everything is back together and will hopefully be running cooler and quieter for a few more years and a few adventures.


I know lots of people probably don’t understand why I do this type of thing. It’s dirty, tiring and often hard work. It would be much easier to just go and buy a camper or truck or have someone build one. I find that restoring something old and building something myself is rewarding and when I finally finish this project I’ll take a long trip and be sitting in the pod with a nice cold beer looking out the window, probably at other people with their fancy bought campers. I’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that I created mine from an image and an idea in my mind to the finished reality. In a world of instant satisfaction and disposable items, I like the idea of restoring a machine that has plenty of life left in it. Sure, it doesn’t look that fancy (ok I concede it looks plain ridiculous) but I built it and it owes me very little.