Gone Fishing

Published: May 24th 2009
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Baiting UpBaiting UpBaiting Up

Josh and Andy get ready to feed the fish at Eighty Mile Beach.
DAY 196

Andy was up nice and early this morning, he offered me a cup of tea at about 6.30 but I said it was too early, he was off fishing with Ken and Josh this morning. I heard Ken arrive at the door to the tent, he was whispering thinking that I was still asleep, it was 7.15 and they were just leaving to get onto Eighty Mile Beach and join the masses that would probably already be fishing.

Andy gave me the rest of his cup of tea and disappeared. It was a beautiful hot morning, it started with a sea mist so everything was very damp. It felt lovely being in this environment, we are actually on a station, it is just that the station takes up most (if not all) of Eighty Mile Beach, there is no free camping here you have to use the caravan park.

When we drove in last night we could see the palm trees silhouetted against the sky as the sun was going down. This morning palm trees surround me, and if I was a little bit worried about getting a spot to camp, I should not have been as this place is huge, and when I say huge I mean HUGE!

I do a few chores, have a little bit of breakfast, I do make a cup of tea for myself but I did not drink it as I was so busy, once I was washed I felt ready for the day ahead, Jodie and Kahlia turned up, they were going for a walk on the beach, so I grabbed my camera and off we went.

On the way down toward the path before getting onto the beach, there was a chap heading towards us with the biggest fish I have ever seen, I am not sure if it was a catfish, but I will try and remember to check.

We are over the dunes and onto the beach, wow, this beach is beautiful and full of 4x4’s and people fishing, the beautiful white sand is dotted with mayhem and fishing rods. There are people catching fish nearly every minute. Someone had told me that if you weren’t interested in fishing then don’t bother going to Eighty Mile Beach, however you should really see it, the beach is beautiful, the water is turquoise and there

Ken lands a fish
are shells of every shape, size and colour.

Swimming is not recommended here, because you would have to go out very far to get water deeper than waist deep and because this beach is not patrolled by lifeguards, so your safety is up to you. I have asked about crocodiles, but am told that every now and again they may see a crocodile swim past, they won’t come up onto this beach because they don’t like sand and they travel further down the coast until they find a suitable river.

They have a chap here doing coastal watch and he has been for some 35 years, not funded by the government, he just does it because he enjoys it, not to mention apparently the stunning views of beach babes that he gets on a daily basis. If he sees a crocodile it gets reported, so someone comes out to remove them and put them back where they should be (sounds a great idea to me), however recently a crocodile has been reported at Karratha and Dampier further down the coast, which also may confirm that the De Grey River where we free camped the other night, may and
Cat FishCat FishCat Fish

This one went back in the water, I don't think it was big enough
I say only may have the very occasional crocodile in it.

We walked up the beach, the day was scorching, I was pleased for my factor 30 sunscreen and my hat, this is a day to burn if you are not careful. We catch up with the guys who are all standing there happily with their fishing rods in the water, it seems weird to see Andy standing there fishing and for a man who loves animals and cannot bear to see them hurt, I cannot imagine him pulling a hook out of a fish.

The news is good, Andy actually caught a fish, I have yet to see the photographic evidence. However during the couple of hours we spent on the beach, I think Andy is spending more time feeding the fish than catching them.

Andy tells me that he is enjoying his morning of fishing but says never in his wildest dreams did he imagine that he would be standing knee deep in the Indian Ocean fishing.

Ken pulls in a couple and if my memory serves me correctly so did Josh, they are not as big as the fish that we have seen

Ken displays his prize
people catching this morning, but hey, there is plenty of fish for a couple of decent meals.

Jodie, Kahlia and myself wander around looking for shells, you can get some huge shells on this beach, however I cannot find any, but am told that you need to wander or drive a long way down the beach to find them. Probably just as well as we cannot really pick up too many to carry as they will take up valuable room in the trailer and our philosophy has really been not to pick up too many souvenirs on this trip as we do not have the space to store them. In a way it is a pity as there are some things that we would both have loved, but at the risk of breaking things it is not worth it.

Time to go back to camp and pack up, Ken has organised a late check out for us both, we are heading up the coast to Barn Hill Station, which is just about 100 kilometres south of Broome. It has been recommended to Ken. Before we head back Ken drives us all down the beach with Kahlia and Josh
Legless LizardLegless LizardLegless Lizard

We did not know what this was, it was about 6 inches in length. Common to the Pilbarra
spotting shells, we find some good ones and head back, there is a single Pelican bobbing around on the water doing his own fishing.

Back at camp I find a cold cup of tea waiting for me, Andy and Josh go to the chap on site 63 to pay $5.00 to get the fish gutted, the $5.00 gets donated to the Royal Flying Doctor Service. In the meantime Ken goes to the car washed to get all the salt and sand of it and I go back to camp to start packing up.

It is hot, really hot and with no shade on some of our site it makes packing up hard we are doing this late morning, the heat of the sun is searing. Soon we are packed, Andy has a shower, we use the Travelin Trueys caravan, knock up some ham sandwiches for all of us and soon we are on the road, it is midday and we are heading back down the 9 kilometres of red dusty track.

Onto the bitumen and Andy has an idea for a game to while away the next couple of hours, using the UHF radio (it really is
Bruton's Legless LizardBruton's Legless LizardBruton's Legless Lizard

A bit of research shows that this is a Burtons Legless Lizard.
fun when you have someone to talk to), he has set the trip meter so we have a competition to guess what the mileage is when we come to a standstill at Barn Hill Station.

We discuss terms with the Travelin Trueys via Josh on the UHF, the mileages are recorded, we confirm each one back to the Trueys and Josh comes back over the UHF loud and clear “Let the games begin,” this is fighting talk so we know that this is a serious game between the Travelin Trueys and KangarooJack.

I am busy on the laptop again, catching up on blogging and hoping for a little bit of network to upload some photos or check email.

We are listening to the radio and hear that there are severe storm warnings between Kalbarri to Jurien bay. The Sunshine Coast has recently had bad weather and has caused severe flooding. At the moment Andy and I feel very glad that we are up North, it is baking hot here on Eighty Mile Beach.

As the kilometres ebb away, we keep the Truey’s abreast of the mileage, so it’s all fair and reasonable. The journey is fairly uneventful but the landscape changes quite dramatically.

We find ourselves just over 100kilometres from Broome, but Barn Hill Station is suddenly signposted and Ken turns, we turn to follow, there is a gate into the station, I am sat updating the blog on the internet, I said to Andy that Josh or Kahlia will get out and do the gates, but no, it is Jodie who gets out and opens the gate, there is a sign that says “Close the gate, even if there is a car behind you”, laughing Jodie goes to close the gate behind Ken, but relents as Andy continues to drive through.

The dirt track is long and we are finding the red dust is once again whipped up, the road is very sandy and there are 2 more gates and some speed humps to go over. We arrive at the station, there is a reception desk underneath a corrugated roof.

Jodie and I go to check in, not too bad a price for me and Andy at $24.00 but Jodie and ken have to pay an extra $10.00 for Josh and Kahlia. She tell us which way to drive to the site and say that she will meet us there.

Driving in Ken works out which way he can go in and then Andy takes up his space, it is a little bit awkward, we are not quite the right way round but we are only there for one night. However we could not find the power to hook up. I pop back to reception to ask about the power, she tells me that she does not know, it is her Sisters station and she will have to come over to help us work it out.

We are told that “you are on a station, this is not a caravan park” however we do think that perhaps they should not charge caravan park prices if they are only a station, we are told that we cannot use any air conditioning, microwaves etc. which for me and Andy is no problem, but they should tell you that you cannot get full power when you check in. for us to connect to power we plug into Kens caravan so that we can have light and charge up camera batteries, laptop etc.

The shower and toilet block does not have a roof so you can sit on the loo and look up at the stars, or likewise have a shower under the stars, or sun, your choice.

We meet Carl and Carol, who the Trueys met at Cape Range National Park, happened to be at Barn Hill Station, we are all parked up together, so we all sit down and chat over a cup of tea.

Jodie, Kahlia and I go to the beach and watch the sunset, not so spectacular tonight as there is not much cloud, but nonetheless it is a sunset and it is beautiful. On the way back I nearly step on a tiny little, what looks like, legless lizard. It stayed there for ages why we all took pictures.

It gets dark very quickly here, once the sun has gone down you are plunged into darkness, I am not sure why but I have noticed that the further north we travel the quicker the night falls once the sun has set.

We have a great evening chatting and laughing, but once again by 10.00 we were all tucked up in bed.


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