Photos and text by Roderick Smith
This was my fourth Goolwa.
Having purchased an SA-built Tennessee, which had been at the display under earlier owners, I felt morally obliged to exhibit at the 2005 event. Great camaraderie, but horrible moorings; my boat was damaged. I sent a letter of complaint. I came back for 2007, got the same mooring, and more damage. I vowed 'never again'. I was back for 2009, as I was taking the boat to Duck Flat for maintenance, and had it at Mt Barker. I drove to Goolwa for the day. More relaxing and just as friendly, and no responsibility, and I cruised in other boats. I wouldn't have gone to 2011, but I met Moonshine at Robinvale; it was planning to cruise over the lake to get to the event. A great chance to go in tandem. I did book, but too late for a mooring. My smug comment 'why do the Halvorsen's get the good moorings?' didn't sit well with the organiser, a Halvorsen owner. I was too late to accompany Moonshine across the lake, but did have the boat on the grass ready to launch on closing day and cross the lake with Moonshine returning.
The weather turned rough, and I didn't launch at all. I positioned the boat back to Colignan, ready to retrieve for the March - April Industry centenary. Moonshine's owner was taken by a friend to get his car and trailer from Wellington, and came out of the water at Goolwa. Solway's owner was still building in 2005, and came aboard for ideas. He was on display in 2007, but didn't like the mooring. In 2009, he stayed on the grass. In 2011, he was back in the water.
Nomad III was an elaborate retirement vessel, solar powered. The owner's wife has had medical trouble and he is forced to sell. He had a professional crew bring it from Renmark to Goolwa. I deckied for him on Monday to the marina pumpout, then back to the marina at which it could be inspected.
The following selection includes a couple of wooden ancillaries, but not the railway or helicopter aspects. Each festival, a helicopter is deployed to the local citizen force, and performs search and rescue demonstrations, just part of the great mood. 1950s wooden teardrop caravans have a cult following, and appear at a lot of technical-hobby rallies.