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Old 07-26-2018, 06:47 AM   #179
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Tocumwal, NSW, Australia
Posts: 1,158
Default Re: tell a Model A related story

Uranium exploration on the Daly River, 1973.

I was flying a Bell 47, the bubble type helicopter with a piston engine. My usual job was mustering cattle on a property west of the town of Katherine NT. I was sent on a charter job to the Daly River, picking up water samples from creeks. These samples were then flown by a charter aeroplane to Darwin and then on to Adelaide for analysis or assay.
We stayed inthe Daily River Hotel which was owned and run by John Fairweather and his wife whose name I donít recall. They were a humourous and prankish couple and told many funny tails of their life in the bush.
One was of a bloke camping on the river bank. He would climb up each day with 2 plastic 20litre containers and ask John if he could fill them from his water tank. John always obliged. He had a pump on the river just going chug chug chug and pumping water up to his tank at the hotel.!
There is an Aboriginal mission about 10 miles away. They cared for the local native people, endeavouring to educated them and teach simple stuff that may help them in transitioning to European ways. The younger boys and girls had one big dormitory. Too many young girls were becoming pregnant so a chain wire fence was erected between the two genders. Well the young girls were still becoming pregnant. It took two chain wire fences with a suitable gap between each to stop what was seen as the problem. Love and lust overcomes all barriers doesnít it.
During that time there the military were having their war games. The Poms were attacking Darwin from the southern base of Katherine or Tindal. The local Airforce always saved Darwin from obliteration according to the reports the military released to the media. Pilots where ever they were working from were required to ask for a clearance each time before becoming airborne. The Poms were low flying to Darwin but not in the trees like me. I soon became tired of this procedure. To fix them or retaliate, I mustered off a sow from her litter, caught a small piglet and boy that wasnít easy, placed the headset over piglets shoulders, mic at itís snout and pressed the transmit button in reply to any transmission I heard. That would have had them all a little curious and bewildered.
That was a fun time. A break from mustering cattle or fire fighting what ever season we were having at the time. I canít recall.

tomorrow I'll write about uranium exploration along the East Alligator river. A bit of a flat story but I'll tell it anyway. Maybe I can excite it up just a little, then the engine failures I have spoken about. g
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