Weipa 70798

Living in Weipa ?

Verena Above the water, Uncategorized 0 Comments

Heading South !

From the Torres Strait our way turned to the south, along the western coastline. We had 2 nice and calm days including good holding and calm anchorages. On one of these days we caught 3 mackarels within 2o minutes !

Weipa is the capital of the Cape, a very small city, south of Dyufken Point, where the first contact between the people of Western Cape York and Europeans took place in 1606

The dutch explorer Willem Jansz saw for the very first time the Australian coastline in 1606, which is 164 years before Captain James Cook arrived.

Weipa’s township started growing in 1965 when Comalco began to mine the extensive bauxite deposits that had been discovered in the area.

A good of 2000 people are living here, 90% employed by Rio Tinto, who owns and operates the mine today. They produce 26 million tonnes of bauxite annually.
We found one supermarket in a tiny shopping centre together with a news agency, a bakery, a bottle shop and a pharmacy. Opposite of this there a bait and Tackle Shop, a post agency and 3 tiny shops, who are open sometimes and sometimes not….we’re not sure what they’re selling as we arrived there always wen it was closed….
For your entertainment you’ll find a pub with Hotel, a Bowls Club and a Golf Club – there must be another pub somewhere, I guess….
From our anchorage at Evans Landing to that “entertaining area” it’s roughly 6 km …for the people who are living in the mining accommodations next to our anchorage here there’s nothing to do. Just to make it clear : nothing means really NOTHING to do. Same for us….
 


Arriving at Weipa we dropped our anchor at Evans Landing, which is quite close to a public boat ramp and also the fuel station.
A short distance further is the place where the big cargo ships are loaded, so they are passing us several times a day, mostly pushed through the deep but narrow channel by pilot boats.

The next day Never Land had a fuel appointment, which was really a pleasure : as the fuel dock is made for true high speed refueling of Cargo Ships and not for small pleasure crafts, the loading dock is quite high. We needed to climb up a ladder to step onto the dock. Saying that, the two men working the fuel pump stopped the pump and just let the diesel flow by gravitation into our boat…. our diesel tanks and inlets would not been able to cope otherwise – very smart !

Returning to our former anchor spot a bloke from another sailing cat just shouted to us that we’re better of here in using his second mooring, as boats tend to drift in the heavy current and general bad holding. Just whilst talking to us he already jumped into his dinghy to untangle this double rope mooring, which I couldn’t manage with my boat hook.

So Never Land was safely moored in a real “catamaran way”.

Chris Holbrook

Chris Holbrook

Later that day we invited him for dinner. Chris Holbrook is his name, originally from Mission Beach, QLD,  and for another 2 years living in Weipa, on his boat,  working for Rio Tinto.

But more than that :
he is a real artist :




His pictures are made just by fine-liner dots


Millions and millions of single dots…

stunning ! 


Chris has an old Ute which he normally only drives in the rainy season or for transporting bigger items. Mostly you’ll see him riding his Suzuki bike. To top all of his friendliness he handed us over his car keys so we didn’t have to ride our pushbikes along all the gravel roads. All these days here we had a fab “LIMOUSINE” waiting at the beach. She is not going any long distances, but for our daily entertainment, means going to the supermarket and “shopping centre” it was very pleasant !
Around Weipa you’ll have a maximum of 20 km of bitumen road, the rest is red dust & dirt…

Living in Weipa ?

No, that wouldn’t be a place for us !

In our eyes here’s nothing to do, even if Weipa has a well-know fishing competition once a year and is described as a “vibrant community”, which we wouldn’t be able to confirm.

To buy fresh veggies for dinner ? Yes, that’s possible on the first 2 days after the barge is arrived….on day 3 : take what’s left over, which is not much…Btw : the barge comes roughly twice a month and yes, other items – long life ones – are delivered by truck

Spare parts for whatsoever ? Can be ordered in  and will arrive – if in stock somewhere – between 1-3 weeks or express by plane….think about those costs for yourself !
Buying some clothing ? Order online or drive to Cairns…

As mostly everyone is working for the mine, people are not “living” here, they have a place to sleep and hang around on their days off.




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