David Bowie Starman (The Eta Aquariids) Trip - 6 May 2016

This was just an overnighter up to Mount Useful to watch and witness one of the most active nights for meteors in 2016. Fourteen of us in nine trucks started the Friday night at the Erica Pub for a counter meal. We all slowly filtered in for a feed and then headed off around 9.00pm up through Walhalla to Mt Useful.

We decided to take the long way turning off to just check out the road to Seaton and we found out it was still there. By the time we were meant to get to Mt Useful, we were checking out the fence posts and bitumen just out of Seaton. The decision was made then to turn around and double back to the correct road and up to Mt Useful we made it. After sifting through the crowds of spectators there, we managed to nail a great viewing point on the top and made a top notch fire. The old bag of wood per vehicle worked well and Bruce cut some more up along the way. By the way…there was no one else up there…it was just us. We settled in around the fire and after a couple of bourbons, it was time to set the camera gear up and wait for the spectacular meteorite storm scheduled for this year.

This was now around 1.00am and our enthusiasm was waning very much. I think we saw a total of around 5-6 shooting stars and they were nothing to write home about. Regardless of this, we couldn’t have picked a better night to just star gaze anyway. The night was crystal clear and the stars were putting on their own show. The fire tower we camped under also took the stage with the stars as its back drop. This show on its own was enough to keep some of us up to 4.30am. Overall the night was absolutely perfect. You could go back up there a 100 times and not get a better night. We finally crashed around 4.30am and was back up around 7.00am to a glorious morning and again not a cloud on the sky. The sun was blazing and the views from the top were magnificent. We gradually packed up and left camp around 9.00am. Mapo and Terry turned left along Binns Road and made their way back to Seaton and home that way. The rest of us made our way into Walhalla for coffee. Bruce, Tim and Shane took a slight detour down Deep Creek Track 5 and myself and Brett took our passengers up to the old Cricket Ground for a bit of a look. After a coffee and double chocolate milkshake at Walhalla we made our way home. I showered and crashed for a couple of hours kip when I got home and I am sure most others on the trip did the same. This was a great short trip and once again the weather was the icing on the cake and nailed it.

GfwdcGippsland four wheel drive clubMount usefulStargazingWalhalla

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