Life on board Endellion

Monday 1st September – flood on the way

We’ve been car-less for the past four days, since I dropped the key to the little red truck overboard on our second day. For some odd reason the hire company didn’t have a spare key, although in a rather optimistic move they posted two keys to us with a note saying “try these”. Neither of them went anywhere near unlocking the car. Derrick delivered a 10 seater bus so my fleet grows as they can’t collect the red one until they sort out the keys. My new vehicle drives like the bus it is; the driver position sits high up needing a step to get up and into the cabin, there’s nothing in front of you as you drive except the road and the vehicle in front. It has six gears – I didn’t discover the sixth until well into the first trip up the motorway and only saw it again a couple of times as traffic around here is always jammed.


My first little red truck and now the bus to the right – my fleet is growing.


We’re having good weather which is handy as I take the bus to Ikea and the White Rose shopping centre to continue my big shopping spree – linen, storage containers, kettle, toaster, laundry basket, rubbish bins etc. Bulky and cluttered – it’s great to have the bus with plenty of room! Then I take back the things that didn’t fit or look right .. and collect another load!


The evenings are long with beautiful sunsets and glassy shades on the water which we can appreciate when we finally get some peace after the drilling and clouds of dust from the onslaught of workers who continue to come in waves.


Brilliant mornings.
















            Stunning afternoons.


By Friday the predicted rain starts from first thing (6.00am when I’m up for the weather report) and flows all day. By around 5.00pm it is almost easing up and we are at least two feet higher up the bank – that’s a lot of water.


The rain continues through the night and we joke about ending up with the boat back in the car park above – or down the river outside Keith’s house in the centre of Mirfield!


Thursday’s steps are well clear of water.           Saturday we are eye level with the car park.


To get off the boat will now require some acrobatics, stretching or leaping over the rail to the steps so as not to be swept away in the brown, dank current between us and the bank.


We get into the habit that Keith says is irresistible, counting the flotsam that flies by in the swollen waters .. mostly heaps of footballs of every colour ranging from red, white, black, yellow, blue and combinations of these, and every code, rugby, basketball, soccer. Tyre tubes and a dozen and more 5 gallon aluminium beer kegs which wouldn’t be fun to run into. The same for the occasional massive tree stump and entire tree. A very sad (for the environment) continuous flow of bobbing plastic bottles.


We have experienced in a matter of one day the most tranquil of rivers to this, bursting the banks, torrent running at 6-10 knots and more. We were telling the locals how “in Australia we live on the Hawkesbury and the river flows at 4-6 knots one way and then turns around and flows same in the other direction, it’s quite ferocious compared with here” .. I think they silently said to themselves, ‘you’ve seen nothing yet’! There we were, until Friday, sitting on a very placid, 1 knot at best, flow in one direction only.


Most days we see a regular troop of barges taking school groups or small adult groups up and back. But today, nothing. Usually we see the swans, mallard ducks and one morning I saw a moorhen. But, nothing. That is until I saw a white duck roaring past unassisted by it’s own powerful feet. I hadn’t seen a white duck before and I felt that it must have been washed out from someone’s pet compound. She was having a great time, pecking at bits of rubbish around her as she sailed by, probably quacking “free”.. It really was an amazing sight.


We can even get a reasonably good shot of Endellion floating on the swollen river and not 10 feet lower than land (the car park) making it virtually impossible to see her in full glory.


Over the next few days the rain didn’t come back with force and the flooded river quickly drained leaving us no longer able to see into Marie’s office across the car park, and once again staring at the grassy bank and steps up. That was an exciting spell.


Signing off .. Lesley