Left Barn Hill early Monday morning and pulled into the refrigeration mechanic just after 8:00AM. After telling the mechanic what steps I had already taken to identify the fault he put a pressure gauge on the gas line and identified low gas pressure as the fault. After he adjusted the regulator I queried him as to the the suitability of the regulator but he reckoned it should be okay once adjusted, he then charged me $85 for about 20 minutes work.
Into Tarangau Caravan Park where we met up with Tony and Jeannette (and of course Honey their dog) whom we had camped beside in Alice Springs. It was great to catch up with them and talk about our respective travels to get to Broome. However after lighting the gas the fridge continued to climb until it reached 12C. Something was definitely not right!
Tony had had regulator trouble before so he carried a spare gas regulator. I installed this and the temperature immediately started to drop. It was apparent that the regulator was faulty and that no amount of adjustment would fix it. Purchased another regulator but of course the existing mounts did not fit so I had to remount it. However this new regulator has fixed the problem. Just as well because Shane and Jill arrive on Wednesday and I had promised them cold beer and wine.
Interestingly I found a safety alert on the Internet that describes why regulators fail and the types likely to fail. Our regulator was of a type liable to fail and was not mounted in accordance with the recommendations in this safety alert. For anyone interested I have put links to this safety alert on our dirtvan blog.
After installing the regulator it was off to Cable Beach for a swim. Not much surf but the water was absolutely fabulous. Tuesday morning we went shopping for essential supplies such as beer and wine and non essentials such as food. The Woolworths liquor outlet had some reasonably priced six pack of New Zealand sav blanc which was just as well as there are no cask wine sales in the Kimberley. More swimming Tuesday afternoon.
Tuesday night we went to Town Beach to watch the “Staircase to the moon” phenomenon. This takes place when the full moon rises just after sunset at low water. The moon is reflected on the mud of Roebuck Bay and shows a staircase effect (some imagination is needed). This time however there was a lot of smoke in the air and the moon was dull. Taking a photo is almost impossible as there are several thousand people all vying for position and most of them not turning their flash off, which means not only is their own photo no good but they ruin it for those trying to take time exposures. Anyway we had some nice food from the Asian food stalls before coming back to camp.
Jill and Shane showed up about midday Wednesday and after a bite to eat it was back to Cable Beach for another swim. Can’t get enough of Cable Beach! That night we went back to Town Beach because as part of the Shinju-Matsuri-Festival of the Pearl (Broome’s ten day cultural festival) an audio visual show was being put on after dark. The Town Beach name has a nice sound to it but it is not really a swimming beach, a sign at the beach said a crocodile had been sighted there on August 29. Anyway had some food at the markets, watched the show then came home. We had a quick night cap with Jill and Shane but as they had been up since about 4:00AM they opted for an early night.
In Alice Springs I decided to service the car myself and the first thing I did was change the air filter. The old one was choked with dust. The so called mechanics that I had been paying to service the car had all ignored the air filter, even when I reported poor fuel economy. I have now dropped 2 litres per hundred kilometres in fuel consumption and consumption is back to what it was last year. Oh well there is that old saying “if you want something done right do it yourself”.
Wednesday midday and it is 37C in the van as I write this blog but 2C in the fridge – wonderful!
Broome – Thursday 15/9/2011