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04 December 2007

West Coast Expedition

Day 3 - Tuesday 4/12/07

This must have been a very frustrating day for Matt - he is still at The Shank!
I received only the briefest of phone calls from him and 2 text messages:

5.58 pm "Still at The Shank. V strong gusty wind. Next 3 days wind?"

7.35 pm "I am not getting any radio signal for news, weather. Sat phone 1 min per hour."

He apparently tried many times to get a signal and, when he did, I happened to be tending a small fire to get rid of rubbish and did not have the forecast printout with me that I had sent.

The coastal weather forecast I sent by text would not have given him any joy either (if he was able to get it). It started off with:

"A gale warning is current."

I tried many times during the evening to get through to his sat phone but only got the unavailable message. Not a good recommendation for a sat phone in a remote area I thought.

I don't think Matt is running out of time for this food supply trip but I know that hanging around waiting for the weather to improve isn't his favourite way of spending the day in the wilderness.

(from Matt) - I was waiting at the Shank and had no idea what the weather was going to do as I hadn't heard any forecasts. I could see that it was very gusty and would have been messy off Low Rocky Point. After I had watched the weather for the whole day I realised that in hindsight I could have easily coped with the conditions - but I couldn't predict that. It really does drive me crazy when I get stuck at a place. Even though the Shank is sheltered for landing a kayak, it isn't a pleasant smelling place. There is a lagoon full of rotting kelp that smells like poo. The lagoon had a stream of flowing rotten kelp past my camp. After a while you get better at breathing without smelling as well. There are the marks of lots of 4 wheel bike tracks near the Shank from bikes that come down the old mining exploration track from Birchs Inlet (Macquarie Hbr) to Low Rocky Point. There is also fishing rubbish everywhere.