Feb 15 2013

Blowin’ in the wind

Camp Lake CargelligoAs I’ve said on this blog before, I often wake up around 2am, usually because I’m cold. In those cases I just pull up the doona and go back to sleep. But sometimes I can’t get straight back to sleep, so I just lie there resting, with one thing repetitively running through my mind.

Last night the one thing running through my mind, over and over again, was

The wind began to switch, the house to pitch

And suddenly the hinges started to unhitch

Just then the witch, to satisfy an itch

Came flying on her broomstick thumbing for a hitch

Yes – it got windy by Lake Cargelligo.

Everything started out very well. After a day spent meandering along the Lachlan River from Booligal we decided to pitch camp on the picturesque Lake Cargelligo.

It was a glorious night.

Following mumThe lake was still and tranquil, the waters warm for a swim. Bird life abounded – including either a family of baby pelicans following along in their mother’s wake, or ducks swimming along after her playing silly buggers. Perhaps somebody with a bird book can tell me.

So we sat there drinking in the peace – and the champagne. As usual we watched a magnificent sunset, and a million stars begin to shine as the sky darkened.

Then, being by a lake, the mosquitos drove us into the tent.

Around midnight it started – a howling wind straight off the lake.

The first thing I thought of was the awning. If that came out of the ground then the poles would do some damage to the car. I dragged Helen out of bed to help me put it away, along with the table and chairs.

The wind was picking up by the second, making rolling the awning increasingly difficult, but we got there. And turned around to find the tent flapping where a couple of pegs had lifted out of the ground. The two pegs I had in my hand from the awning were swiftly put to use in the tent.

Finally we crawled back into the tent into bed. Almost immediately the outer layer of the tent started flapping wildly again. So back out to the car for more pegs to hold that down. By the time I finished, nothing short of a cyclone was going to get that tent out of the ground.

Unfortunately, it felt like that was what was building up.

Another thing to add to the list of “we won’t do that again” is put the tent up too close to the edge of the beach so I can’t put the car in front of it for protection from wind!

We were both lying there in the dark, listening to the wind howl and watching the tent bend and twist over us, hoping that we wouldn’t blow away.

Finally the inevitable happened. The tent bent so far over us it couldn’t pop up again. The wind had caught it perfectly, and flattened it on top of us so that it was more like a swag than a tent.

There was no use even pretending to go to sleep.

AftermathA number of times the wind teased us by easing off. We’d both breathe a sigh of relief that we were still there. But then it would pick, and flatten the tent over us once again.

Around 4 am it died down long enough for us both to drop off.

At some point it started howling again, so just after dawn we gave up completely and got up.

We fought the wind to get the tent down, threw it in the car and drove off in search of coffee.

Tonight will be our last night out before getting home tomorrow. It certainly was an exciting night to end the holiday with!

Blowing in the wind

Permanent link to this article: http://kathswinbourne.com.au/blowin-in-the-wind/

7 comments

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  1. I used to think rain was the worst thing to happen to a camper – but after a couple of bad experiences in 2012, I’ve realised wind is WAAAAAAY worse!!

    PS I think the smaller birds are cormorants, based on the head shape – but that’s just a guess!

    1. I agree. I quite like rain if its warm, but I really hate wind

      Thanks for that info about the birds. I really do need to get myself a bird book!

    • shaniah on March 21, 2013 at 2:45 am

    Nothing like highwinds Kathy, hope to meet you one day.great blog btw.

    1. Thanks Shaniah, I’ll be outback camping again in a couple of months. Who knows, we might meet up out there. Nothing like it!

    2. Thanks Shaniah, maybe we’ll meet up somewhere along the way

  2. What a night!
    But looking on the bright side – at least the tent didn’t rip 😉
    I like your tactic for the future – placing the car between you and the oncoming wind

    I think Red could be right re: the other birds being cormorants – Looks to me like they’re hanging around for bits that may go to waste from the pelican’s fishing exploits??

      • admin
      • admin on April 13, 2013 at 11:35 am

      It was just so funny watching the little birds all swim along in a line after the pelican – just like ducks after their mother.

      I think I’ve learned the lesson now – always leave room in front of the tent for the car – or the table and chairs – or anything that’s needed really!

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