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Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Derby
June 27th 2007
Published: August 8th 2007
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Sunset whilst CrabbingSunset whilst CrabbingSunset whilst Crabbing

You can not get a better view whilst catching a feed.
Okay, move along people, nothing to see here!

There are not many things to do in Derby, except fishing or crabbing or drinking and well, that’s about it really.
“I’d like to lock in B for crabbing thanks Eddie”, and off we went to try our arm at crabbing. We had to buy all the gear (net, bate bag, bate bag hook and some lamb off cuts from the butcher), at a total cost of $15. The crab nets up here are a bit different to those back home, they have to have an open top and lie flat on the bottom with flexible sides, so if you are not watching the crabs can duck in, grab a free feed and escape. We checked out the price of crabs before heading down to see what we would need to spend on the way home if we did not get lucky. They were $22.50 each and only just larger than legal.

But we were in luck, way in luck. Going off the jetty as the tide was coming in, the crabs were jumping in the pots. Had 2 within the first 30 minutes. The legal size is 120mm, so out
Crabs Anyone?Crabs Anyone?Crabs Anyone?

Our feed of Crabs, made great eating.
came the tape, and they were just in. With Corrie and Ian from Manning Gorge joining us for support and competition with their newly acquired crabbing kit, we were in for a good night. As the tide came in the crabs were getting less, so after about 1 hour, we had 4 and chucked back several undersize ones, then all dried up as the sun settled for the evening. So we decided to have cheese, biscuits and wine on the jetty, whilst watching the sunset, and hoping to get more crabs. Not a bad way to spend an evening.
Back at the camp site, the really big decisions were being made; how do you cook crabs when all you have is a gas burner? Answer: Take off their shell, clean out the guts (Amanda did all this because see was very much the more hungry than Bruce), fill the cavity with butter and garlic, put the shell back on, wrap in tin foil, and place in the communal camp oven for 10 minutes, and you have garlic crab, pretty much the best crab either of us has ever had. How do you eat crab when you have no tools? Very carefully, using multi-grips (or Amanda’s teeth) to break the shells. Very nice meal.

Other things in Derby’s history to go and see; there is a giant Boab, known as the Prison Boab. It was used to hold prisoners that were being transported from Fitzroy Crossing (and elsewhere) on the way to Derby for processing. Also used to house the Aborigine slaves that were going to work on the pearl farms, by the pearl masters. The Boabs hollow as they grow and age, that is why you can never tell their age, so with a small opening on this otherwise massive hollow tree, it was a great place to house prisoners. Now there is a decent colony of snakes in there, apparently. Neither of us checked.

To help with the transporting of cattle to the wharfs in Derby, a giant water trough was built near the Prison Boab. The trough is roughly 120m long and can feed 500 bullocks at one time. The trough used to be filled by a natural bore water under its own pressure, but is now water is fed by windmill pump. Farmers could stop here overnight and let their cattle have water before the last run in to Derby. Both the prison tree and water trough are only 7km from Derby.



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Water TroughWater Trough
Water Trough

Imagine this with 500 cattle drinking at it, what a sight.


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