It was just by luck, that while I was checking the web for more information about boat ramp access at our proposed launching site that I stumbled across this:

screenshot announcing closure of Lock 8 for maintenance

Lucky I happened to read this... otherwise we'd have been stuck!

Our original plan involved launching the boat at Lock 9 from the Victorian side of the riverand then making our way down the Murray through NSW and Victorian National Parks. As it now appears that there’ll be no passage after the first 50km of travel we’ve had to rejig our plans.

There’s only one listed boat ramp below Lock 8 and it’s isolated, requiring a serious drive along a dirt track with an extra long trailer and a borrowed sedan. Exciting, yes, but not so good when the vessel to be launched requires a little more preparation than your standard “tinny” (ubiquitous small aluminium dinghy) with an outboard.

So we’ve had to abandon our plan of crossing borders and more importantly, drawing New South Welshpersons and Victorians into discussions about the river as a commons resource.  Instead we’ll be launching the boat within South Australia at Customs House near Murtho and all things going well, we’ll be past Renmark and moving onto Berri within a week.

On the plus side, 3 weeks of travel in a less than traditionally put together watercraft is far less intimidating when you’ve got roads nearby for emergency support and regular access to food supplies.

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