Monday, December 04, 2006

December already

A month since the last post - time goes quickly when you're busy. Terry Pratchett wrote that Four-Ecks (the Discworld version of Australia) is cursed with an over-abundance of space at the expense of too little time - some places have historic sites and events falling over themselves, while Aussie has vast areas where nothing ever seems to happen or have happened.

So what's happened since early November? Hmmmm. I'm working back up at Moranbah, on the same vast cattle farm I started on. The ground's drier, the sun's definitely hotter, and the local council have put up their Christmas decorations. Holly, Father Christmases and reindeer are a tad anachronistic when the temperature's pushing 44!

Work's interesting and challenging, drilling 4" coal quality holes instead of the earlier HQ (63mm) exploration holes. We chip down to about 10 metres above the target seams and then core through the roof, coal and floor. This assumes the coal seams are where they're supposed to be, which they aren't always. I started on some easy holes where the geology's pretty well understood, but am gradually moving onto more disturbed and less well understood ground.

The Depco rig I'm working on doesn't stop at the end of a hitch, they just change crews and keep going. They don't change the geologist though, so I got 27 days work in November. The only break since Newcastle was a night in Mackay - I splashed out on a beachfront hotel room at the Dolphin Heads Resort. Still woke up at five though...

I'm heading home on December 16th for the first time since I arrived in Australia in May. Twelve sleeps to go...

Below is a photo from Winchester Downs of smoke from a grassfire, somewhere to the west.


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