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Blue Snoopy is a 2018 Adria Altea 402PH Sports Caravan pulled by a 2012 Nissan Navara ST Dual Cab Ute.

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8 July 2013 – Whyalla SA

According to our original plans, we should be at Roxby Downs today and preparing for a ground tour of the Olympic Dam mine site.  As previously documented, that adventure was cancelled by BHP.

Yesterday, instead of heading north up the Stuart Highway, we headed west, firstly on the Eyre Highway and then the Lincoln Highway to Whyalla.

It rained overnight and we were not sure what today would bring.  We awoke to a perfect winter day with clear skies and a mild temperature.

We arrived at the Whyalla Visitor’s Information Centre at 9:00am ready for our tour of the Onesteel site.  The tour departed in a mini bus at 9:30am with about 12 people on board the bus.  Unlike Olympic Dam, we were allowed to take photographs but like Olympic Dam, we knew we would be contained within the safety of the bus for the duration of the tour.

We were given a good view of the overall site including the wharf facility, a blast furnace that was pouring molten metal, the coke ovens that were also discharging coke ready to be cooled, the milling plant where we watched large pieces of metal being discharged from the furnace ready to be shaped, the water purification plant, gas silos and a general look over most of the site.  We were on the tour for about 90 minutes and enjoyed every minute of the experience.

When we returned to the Visitor’s Information Centre, we had a look at their maritime museum.

The feature of the museum must be the land bound ship, HMAS Whyalla.  The Whyalla was built in 1942 and commissioned as a mine sweeper and served in WW2.  Whilst the ship saw action during the war, not a single life was lost during the war.  The Whyalla was decommissioned from the Navy in 1947 and then went to work in many roles.  The final role it played was working on the entrance to Port Phillip in Victoria when it was known as “Rip”.  It was purchased by the museum in the 80’s and was moved over 2k’s on land from the harbour to its current resting place.

We spent about 1 hour on the boat when we enjoyed a guided tour.  At the conclusion of the tour, went spent more time looking at the exhibits in the museum including a model railway focusing on replicating several areas near Whyalla.

We returned to the caravan via a lookout that provides expansive views of the Whyalla region and across Spencer Gulf.  The water looked pristine and we were certain that we could see a couple of seals enjoying a sandbar about 100 metres from the shoreline.

After lunch we purchased our final perishables and other items we deemed necessary to carry on our trip to Yulara and beyond.  We are well stocked with milk, meat, veggies and salads.

Our final task for the day was to obtain additional fuel for our trip north.  We initially went to a Woolworth Caltex garage only to find that the EFTPOS machine was out of order and we could not use a fuel card.  Finally we located a Shell service station where we obtained the diesel fuel and received $0.04cpl discount.

Today we have experienced problems.  “Her” camera battery ran dry just as a photo was to be taken and “His” camera bag has an issue with the zipper that appears cannot be fixed.  The final problem was the discovery of leaking fuel when we arrived back at the caravan park.  We believe that our 20 litre jerry can was filled to the top and when pressure was applied to the jerry can whilst tensioning a holding strap, fuel was forced out of the top of the jerry can.  Whilst the clean-up of the rear of the car was fairly easy, “She” was unfortunately splashed with fuel which sprayed a clean vest, jeans and a top.  Fortunately our washing machine was able to wash all of the effected clothing so we hope there is no damage from the fuel.  When we return to Sydney, we will make enquiries about the possibility of fitting an additional fuel tank to the vehicle to increase the range without the need to carry fuel containers.

We should have enough fuel in the Nissan to make Port Augusta early tomorrow morning before refuelling for our trip north to our next stop at Woomera.

 

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