CLAYTON (24.0) TO MANNUM (151.3)
Thursday 10th May 2012

Red Top Bay was like a mirror as the 4 craft skimmed across the water in the pre-dawn light and we were looking forward to smooth waters for the crossing of Lake Alexandrina. However, by the time we reached the Murray channel a few minutes later a small chop had materialised, and the breeze appeared to be coming from from the east, the exact opposite of yesterdays westerly.
After passing the eastern end of Long Island (33.0 kms) we veered slightly north-east just as the sun appeared above the distant horizon presenting us with a spectacular picture postcard sunrise.


Early morning start

Sunrise

More Sunrise

The local advice from Clayton was to keep to the southern edge of the lake, but as we left the protection of Sturt Peninsula (37.0), the wind began to pick up and swing around from the north, whipping up a sizeable chop as it traversed the huge expanse of water to our left. Lake Alexandrina is so large we can't see the other side - no wonder it's classified as open water for boating. An eerie feeling of isolation closed in as we headed towards the distant landless horizon in the east knowing that our support crew can't reach us, and the barren low-lying shoreline to the south looks hostile and very uninviting.


Wellington

100 kilometres

Murray Bridge

At 55 kms from the mouth Arthurs engine died again, raising heart rates rapidly. Bouncing around on the waves in the middle of Lake Alexandrina isn't the place for any sort of breakdown, Fortunately this turned out to be a re-occurrence of yesterdays fuel problem and was quickly rectified. A few kms later we could see Low Point in the distance and veered NE away from the shoreline knowing that protected waters were not far away.


Murray Bridge

Captain Proud

Colourful cliffs

One hour and twenty five minutes after leaving Clayton we had at last finished dancing with the waves of Lake Alexandrina and were once again cruising in the smooth glassy waters of the river.
At 77.5 kms we pulled into the Wellington boat ramp, and when our support crew arrived a few minutes later decided it was time for a morning tea break.
We continued upstream for a couple of hours of magnificent river cruising passing by huge irrigation areas and high colourful cliffs, and through the towns of Tailem Bend and Murray Bridge on the way to our overnight stop at the Mannum Caravan Park. (151.3 kms)


Overnight camp

Overnight camp

Relaxing

Total river distance travelled for today:- 127.3 kms.