Murray Princess – Days Two and Three.
With the clocks back half an hour on NSW time, I was no surprise that I was up at 4.45am and ready to start taking photos. A heavy fog had enclosed the boat and visibility was restricted to less that 50 metres. I dressed and went ashore, the only silly person on board except for the night watchman. I set up the camera and took a series of photographs of the Murray Princess as daylight tried to penetrate the fog. I had to be back on board by 7.15am ready for a 7.30am departure.
We left on time but visibility had decreased even further and to steer the boat. It was controlled from outside the bridge or wheelhouse using the docking controls This way we were able to see the river bank but very little else. The captain was totally rugged up and it could have been a terrorist at the wheel. By 9.00am we had reached the Port or Town of Murray Bridge and tied up on the north side of the bridge. The princess was too high to clear below the bridge.
Murray Bridge was known as Edwards Crossing up to the time the bridge was built in 1879. This was the first bridge built to cross the Murray River in South Australia and the place became known as Murray Bridge. After tying up, we went ashore for a short bus tour of the town. Leaving the bus at the shopping centre, we walked back to the boat via the main street. Before dropping down to the river we visited the Round House, built in 1876 as a residence for the manager in charge of building the bridge and at the approach of the bridge. From there we walked on to the bridge to get photographs of the Murray Princess. We were back on board by 11.30am and well underway by the time lunch had been served. The afternoon was spent leisurely cruising back upstream past Mannum to our overnight stop at Craignook where we arrived under flood lights from the paddle boat at 7.30pm. The river gums looked spectacular under the flood lights with the dark night background.
The Sunday morning sleep-in allowed me to stay in bed a bit longer this morning but I still managed to beat the sun up and take shots of the boat at its mooring. There was also a colourful sunrise but not as good as some we have had. Today there was no fog but the weather was still cold. After breakfast we started on a bush walk buy Coba turned around about 200 metres after leaving the boat saying it was too cold to be out walking. I continued on but the photography subjects were poor and lacking. I returned to the boat as they were about to bring in the gangway.
It was a couple of hours run up to Walker Flat where we turned around and started back towards Mannum. Around 3.00pm we arrived at our camping spot for the night and were meet by the “Dragonfly” a small boat that takes 20 people for a nature trip of about 20 minutes. Then it was back to the Princess for nibbles and drinks before dinner which was served at 7.00pm. Tomorrow morning it is back to Mannum where we will disembark at around 9.00am and all go our own way.