Friday, December 30, 2016


Anticipation peaking! The call of the open road!

Left early on boxing day, heavy traffic heading south from Brisbane. Looking like day tourist, no overloaded cars, not many caravans, campers, boats or box trailers with springs-a-straining. Picnickers getting out for the day? Not good timing on my behalf. What was I thinking?

Suspect the fuel companies are making the most of it with prices on the highway higher than what seems fair. Smaller towns down the road much cheaper. e.g. Brisbane 137c/l - Ballina 122c/l, go figure... so is this what Christmas is all about? (Oops kids my cynicism is showing)

Changed the clock along the way to Lawrence on the Clarence. Caught up with some BA volunteers before settling in the back yard of the pub for the night. Always a welcoming place to stop.

The Pacific Highway or should that be the A1-slow-way continues. New sections opening up but still lots of stop-go and go-slow sections. Motorist heading north had a 30km crawl to the Macksville bridge, unbelievable!

This bridge will be gone soon. The car ferry next?

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Maintenance issues.

I'm always amazed at what you can learn from the Internet. It all comes down to using the right words in the search criteria.

My motorhome, a Winnebago Explorer 2784, on a Workhorse P-32 coach chassis was exhibiting several problems that started happening all about the same time:
- transmission shuttle shifting (erratic gear changing when none was required)
- ABS brake indicator coming on randomly then going out
- the engine faltering occasionally whilst starting or driving down the highway.

My first mistake: Looking at the individual systems instead of a holistic view. I thought it would be logical to take the vehicle to the different specialist starting with the transmission and then the brake guy. Neither used their scan tool to check for electronic trouble codes. A thousand or so kms later and the issues were coming back with a vengeance.

So back to the auto transmission specialist and this time they read and clear half a dozen trouble codes using the scan tool. Some of the codes supported their diagnosis of speed sensor failure. A move forward I thought. But again the vehicle did not fail whilst they test drove so I was asked to test drive the motorhome with the manager on board to see that I was happy. Well, initially all was good but almost back to the workshop and the motorhome just stopped like the ignition had been turned off. It was decided collectively that we needed an auto-electrician. It took the auto-elec less than half an hour to bypass the ignition switch with a simple toggle switch. Discussions with him regarding the wider issues suggested the switch was the culprit. The switch appears to not have been providing stable voltage and current to the main computer, all the time anyway.

So I go on-line looking to source a new switch from the states. During the search, I come across details of what it means when multiple codes come up on the scan tool, the codes as in my exact case. The ignition switch! There is even an aftermarket wiring/relay kit available that stops the excessive current from going through said switch and cooking it. Damn, a known problem! Well, known in the states anyway where these vehicles are far more common.

The moral of this story? What, besides buyer beware when buying an exotic vehicle that has limited support in this country. Don't ignore anything. Don't expect others to look beyond the obvious. Do your homework. Ask questions, ask the Google God.

The offending ignition switch.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Moore Park Beach

Moore Park Beach is a lovely quiet spot about 15km north-east of Bundaberg.

The tourism industry would have you believe for anything turtle you need to be at Mon Repos. I've been there and yes it's worth the visit. But it can be a bit full on and busy if you get your timing wrong. At Moore Park Beach if you're out-and-about at the right time you can have your own self-guide, private, eco-tour and watch turtles come ashore and lay. Or if you're like me, you can choose to stay in bed and see where they were in the early morning, before the incoming tide covers their tracks.

Fresh -probably just missed seeing her.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Emu Park

Must be Christmas. It's Saturday morning and the main street of Emu Park is alive with stalls selling all sorts of stuff, Christmas stuff. Families with young kids are loving it. Walked about took some pics, interesting little place.

Lots of people out and about. Seems a social and active community. Or is it just today and the market atmosphere? Won't know as I'm off tomorrow. There are midges and they have me in their sights.

Singing ship, what da?

Nice strong breeze and it was singing when I was there!

Nice view of the Keppels.

Sunday, December 4, 2016


Yeppoon a busy beach town. Picturesque. Wide sandy beach, excellent for beach cricket at low tide. Not the best if you are a boatie and don't know how to read a tide table.

Stayed at a beachside CP. Swam, walked the beach and rode the bike into town, nice. Nice cool breeze too.

Better to swim at high tide -less walking involved.

High and dry. Twice a day for hours at a time.

Saturday, December 3, 2016


Originally it was to be 'just a few days' but it ended up being nearly two weeks. Lots to do and interesting. Arrived at the Brahman bull stud just in time to watch beasts being sorted in the yards and loaded onto a double-deck, triple-trailer, road-train. If only they knew the selection criteria was based on behaviour. Quieter gets to stay and live longer.

My first impression was Brahmans are dumb flighty animals and you need to stay well clear, well not true. I came away, days later, believing its all about the way you handle them. They are actually intelligent and their bad behaviour seems to be about not knowing what's going on, not done it before, what's expected of them or trying to make it happen too quickly. Softly softly catchee monkey, appears to be the way.

Our daily routine: driving around the 4000 acres, checking paddocks and dams for water, supplementary feed and cataloging the newborn calves. Some days moving herds from one paddock to another based on the available feed. Always something needs doing. Always something else waiting on the to-do list.

Ultimately, it was the forecast weather that set my wheels in motion. Heatwave! Time to hit the coast and enjoy a sea breeze and maybe swim in the briny. Thanks to the bovine whispers C&D for the experience.

To market to market to get a fat cow...

Inquisitive critters.

Mother nature needs a hand.

Move over let me drive.

His sperm is worth bottling. Bags not me!

Bulls in the home paddock, me walking to lunch. Slowly.