Monday, 18/08/30.

Blakeley and his mates have a final cleanup at the waterhole, it is only making 10 gallons per hour, collect the last of three hundred gallons of water required for the trip west, leave half on the staging in 44 gallons drums for Colson to bring on later.

An early lunch and leaving the camp unguarded, the Expedition gets underway to have the start delayed by the arrival of an Aboriginal wearing nothing but a battered felt hat. Sutherland immediately christens the old fellow 'Rip van Winkle. Blakeley is pleased, here is a chance to learn something of the language and waters to the west.

All attempts to communicate fail, neither Blakeley's hand and water signs or Mickey's Aranda and dialects are understood, disappointed Blakely signals the truck to move on. He is not impressed with the natives after his first contact, leaving with the feeling that Rip van does know something about waters to the west.

The Expedition makes little headway, matting through soft sand and cutting tracks through dense mulga. Blakeley spends much of the day on foot finding the best way forward and late in the afternoon returns to the vehicle  to find Rip van and his family entertaining the waiting men. Blakeley tries again but has no further luck with communication, they struggle on to an early camp.

Although a hard day it's a happy enough camp tonight and the light burns late in the cab of the Thornycroft as Lasseter writes up his diary, to Blakeley's surprise Lasseter discusses some of the contents with him, not all of it complementary towards the Leader.  After some sly questioning of Lasseter's 1897  journey Blakeley still has his doubts and concludes Harry is suspicious of everybody.

Blakeley's first first attempt at baking while on the track rises nicely and three days bread is baked by 10 O'clock.

Just before sunset Rip van returns to the vehicle after matches and another handout, Blakeley concludes that Rip van's surreptitious approach and disappearance means that he too is out of his country.

Sales tax imposed for the first time by the Federal Government, the C.A.G.E. team lucky to purchase their supplies and equipment when they did.

LASSETERIA