Written by Kylie Savidge – Owner, Southampton Station.
Hello once again from the crew at Southampton, St George.
I cannot believe it is time for me to write about our year and what has happened since I last sat down at my computer and thought, “what in the heck will I talk about now?”. Apart from everyone being a year older, it really is the same old, same old.
I have managed to put it off until the last minute, similar to how I deal with tax time and then once it is done, I wonder why I didn’t just get on with it already! Sigh, well here goes.
Finally I can say with a great big smile on my face and a happy heart that we have had some good rain. It only fell mid-June and whilst it is winter rain and not so marvelous for growing grass, it has filled all of our dams for the first time in three years!! Woohoo!!! We have water, water that will see us through for at least 18 months and hopefully enough soil moisture to kick off the grass when it starts to warm up coming into spring. If we can score the early spring rains then for the first time in a long while we will have grass too! It would be nice, really nice.
These last few years have been very tough on us and I will talk about this a little later in my blog, BUT it is nice to be feeling positive again.
So let’s start with water seeing it is a topic dear to our hearts and, as a mother, dear to me for hygenic reasons, having three children who delight in getting as dirty as possible!
Water has been a precious commodity and any loss is felt keenly as you then worry as to whether there will be enough water for the livestock troughs that the bore pump services or enough water to do the washing and water the few veges I have in my garden.
One marvellously sunny winter weekend in June I drove out to start the bore pump as per usual and found that it would, when started, just completely rev itself up to a point I was wondering if it weren’t either . . .
A) Going to take off to outer space; or
B) Blow up in a spectacular mess.
Neither was a great option so I turned off the pump and went home to speak with my Dad to find out what was wrong.
Dad wasn’t home having gone off up the paddock with our backpackers to cut firewood, and hadn’t turned his UHF radio on (this is not unusual for Dad), so it was up to me to trouble shoot and see what I could discover and then see if it were possible for me to fix it. After phoning a friend and travelling back out to the pump to try that idea (remember we don’t have mobile coverage unless you have a car kit, which I don’t in the ute) and finding that idea didn’t work, it was back to square one again.
After talking to the very helpful and patient gentleman at Pumps and Solar in Roma, it was decided that the fuel pump had lost teeth off the rack and these had jammed the lever that controls the revs open and as a result the pump was over revving. Goody, now I knew what the drama was but that still didn’t solve the water dilemma.
In 2013 when our house dam had gone dry we had changed the house watering set up over to the bore and had enjoyed a really nice change of clean water that didn’t smell and that washed things clean! The old dam water system was still there but had not been used for some time but I thought it would still work and give us water until the pump could be fixed. Yep, good plan until Ben, youngest son, came racing inside yelling “MUM! MUM! MUM! the high tank has a great bloody big hole in it and water is pouring out!!!” Say what?? Sure enough the old high tank had given out and water was pouring out in a great waterfall from 20 feet in the air. Oh just great. Back to square one again!
By this stage Dad had come home and had been promptly informed of the water dramas. After much muttering about pumps etc, he and Olly (our English backpacker) took out one of the twin impeller Honda pumps and jury-rigged it up out at the bore and got water back through to the houses and troughs again.
This worked well for the week it took to get the fuel pump fixed and back on the bore pump.
I now know more about Yanmar fuel pump systems and solenoid gaps than I feel I ever needed to know 😉