Monday, 28/07/30.

A cold clear morning at the C.A.G.E. camp, the place is abuzz with the promise of good water this morning, a quick sparse breakfast and on to Colson's horse tracks from yesterday. Within the hour they arrive at the Dashwood. There's a certain enthusiasm in cutting down the creek banks and corduroying the sandy bottom, it's a big creek!. The convoy is soon across.

The first order is water and Colson selects the best place and digs down through the sand, he is soon knee deep in muddy water that quickly clears, the city bound are amazed.  While the vehicles are unpacked the soak is dug out and timbered, the Captain impresses with his axe work and he and Mick keep up a steady supply of logs, (the A.D.C. just wants a wash!) In short order the water supply is no longer a problem and a substantial breakfast is next. Coote names the place 'Houston's Soak' in honour of the amicable hard working Captain.

Later in the morning Coote and Blakeley scout the area for a landing field and soon mark out a suitable patch of ground with few bushes and shrubs, Blakeley puts Lasseter to the test with his sextant and the precise location of the airstrip for future reference. Blakeley is not convinced of Lasseter's calculations and asks the Captain to check the figures. Blakiston-Houston, who has some expertise in navigation disagrees with Lasseter's calculations, Harry is miffed and Blakeley more unconvinced. Sutherland prepares a good hot dinner and after the radio is unpacked.

The radio is an embarrassing failure for Lasseter, the loudspeaker and some vital valves are missing and during assembly of the complicated gadget part of the wiring fuses, it will only receive through earphones and not transmit. Taylor loudly reminds Lasseter that it was he who recommended purchase of the radio and checked and packed it in Sydney, furthermore he attended three weeks of lectures in it's use. Heated words pass, Taylor is now convinced that Lasseter is nothing more or less than an old humbug. The Captain is not overly concerned about how tonight's cricket score is received.

But the good natured Captain runs foul of Lasseter later in the afternoon, he dismisses Lasseter's claim as the designer of the Sydney Harbour bridge as nonsense and walks off, leaving Harry shouting his veracity and abuse and waving a magazine article as proof of his claims, the Captain snorts derision.

150 miles south at Oneri Spring Terry and Williams point the Morris west and do battle with the sand hills, the camel team will remain here for another day. It's a day of zig-zag progress searching for gaps or low points through the irregular dunes, occasionally they find Rawson's tracks, 25 miles for the day although not that closer to the 'Rock.

LASSETERIA