Epic adventurer - Fishing gear theft

Someone stole all my fishing gear from my shed, so the epic adventure has been postponed at least for another year.


The only time I really shopped for quality was for my fishing gear. It was the backbone of the trip and had to reliably feed me every day I was away.

I hope whoever stole it cares for it as much as I did over the 6 years it took me to accumulate it.

It was around $500 dollars worth of small, light weight gear (4 lb line) that I had bought over the last 6 years, all based around what I would need to fish all day as I boated along. I bought reasonable quality stuff as I would have limited ability to repair it. Not "real money" quality, because that's way out of my league, but stuff that with a bit of care and maintenance would outlast me.

Now I spend my days wondering if there is any point trying to buy anything else because they will be back.

Even more sad, is the almost certain reality that the person who stole it suffered a desperation for the funds it generated for just that afternoon.

I guess their life probably sucks more than mine.

Epic adventurer - Solar fail-safe kill switch

I've been worried about all my dodgy electronics on my solar boat, so I figured I should have a master kill switch that couldn't fail, and came up with a fuse holder and a 6mm bolt, tied to some artfully arranged paracord in the form of a survival bracelet that my brother made for me.

Cut the threaded bit off the bolt, tie a nice grippy paracord handle to it, then put the bolt in the fuse holder that connects all the electrics to the positive terminal.

One pull and everything stops.

It should work.

If it does, I should also be able to clip onto it with with a 2m bungee cord when I want to move around the boat if I'm under way. That way if I fall off, the motor will stop. I think it's called a dead man's switch. I was originally planning to create one digitally, and I still might if it turns out to be a pain, but if I need it, I'll build it on the boat. If I did it digitally, I'd make a simple sonic tape measure with a PICAXE chip that would notice if I left my chair. Then it would beep in 60 seconds, then kill all power to the motor if I didn't wave my hand in front of it within 15 seconds.

I think I prefer paracord and my bolt fuse.

120 Things in 20 years realises a solar deadman's switch sounds like safety overkill, but I'll have junk everywhere, no side rails, and 2000km is a long way to chase a boat moving slightly faster than I can swim on the Murray River.

Epic adventurer - Lifestraw

My Lifestraw was delivered today!

A Lifestraw is a very cool device for personal water filtration. It's guaranteed to deliver 1000 litres of clean safe drinking water from any dodgy water source. The Murray River is one big dodgy water source, so a it fits the bill perfectly.

It looks like this, and weighs almost nothing.

According to the packaging, it does what all the other water treatment methods claim or better.

Apparently, my little Lifestraw removes 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria, 99.9% of waterborne parasites, and provides a minimum of 1000 litres of clean drinking water.

I also bought a PermaNet 2.0 mosquito net that not only claims to keep mosquitoes at a safe distance, but also kills them when they land on it. That means the world health organisation thinks it's ok to use me as bait.

Fair enough I guess.

So basically my Lifestraw is a stack of tiny straws crammed into a tube with a sippy cup mouthpiece at one end. You stick the blunt end into a stock trough, or creek you don't quite trust, and drink through the mouthpiece as if it were a gigantic straw, and bam! you keep living.

My PermaNet 2.0 is a mosquito net.

Aquaponics - Silver Perch

It's been a while since I paid any attention to my Aquaponics system, but it was nice to find my Silver Perch have been busy growing.

I wandered out to the Aquaponics system for the first time in ages because it was making a slightly different sound, and it turned out to be a partial blockage of the pipe work.

Blocked with tomato roots.

I've been expecting some problems because when I pruned back the four tomato plants that are still growing from last year, I accidentally killed one by snapping it off at the base. The roots are all meshed together with it's three tomato plant buddies, so there was no way to get them out. I figured it would work it's way out in the end. It probably would have. The system was still working, with some water going through my overflow. The overflow exits from the surface of the fish tank water, where in normal operation, the water exits from the bottom via a solids lifting overflow. As a result it's unlikely that both would be blocked at the same time.

Anyway, everything seems to be ticking along nicely.

I don't really know how big this fish is (I'd guess around 40+cm), but it's in really good condition. They're not just long, but really heavy as well. Heavy looking that is. I wouldn't like to try to catch one, I think it would be a little disruptive.

I'm not sure if this is the bigger of the two, but one of them now looks like this...

Epic Adventurer - The (revised) Murray river trip on a solar powered boat

I like walking pace.

In fact walking pace is my favourite pace.

I've mentioned that before.

I like it so much, that what I really, really want to do is travel 2000km at it, on an epic adventure on a river. 2000km at 3kph should take roughly a very long time.


It was originally going to take two and a half times that when I was thinking about going there and back, and when I thought I could travel the entire length of the river Murray.

That would have been 5000km.

That's why I now have a revised Murray river epic solar powered boat adventure plan.

Both 2000km and 5000km are probably a bit long to be travelling at walking pace unless I can figure out some way to make walking pace a little faster, or perhaps break up the trip into lot's of more manageable chunks.

Making walking pace faster would be pretty easy to accomplish by only going downstream when the river is in flood. As far as I can tell, it flows at around 1-5kph, so starting at the top might be a good idea if I'm only going to travel at walking pace. My little boat runs at around 3kph, and if the river is flowing at 3-5kph, 5000 km backwards might get dull after a while. And 5000km backwards from the Murray mouth is... well... the south pole, and those last few hundred kilometres would be difficult on a boat, what with all those rocks and ice. On the other hand, I don't want to tear along at the un-tranquil pace of as high as 8kph by going downstream.

Perhaps I'll just drift.

That would give me loads of spare amp hours to get up to water skiing pace and blare out music into the tranquillity.

The Murray river has thirteen weirs along the 1986km long stretch from the Yarrawonga Weir, to the Coorong where it meanders into the ocean. As far as I can tell the weir at Yarrawonga is the highest point up the river I can travel by boat. All the weirs along that stretch incorporate locks to allow boats to navigate it's length.

So, my revised plan would probably be to start at the closest boat ramp to the Yarrawonga Weir, then follow the river west, or as I like to call it, left. Then turn left again a thousand kilometres later or so, and continue south until I hit the beach.

Sounds like a plan.  

View Murray River National Park in a larger map

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