80 Mile beach, It's a pity i dont have any before photo's to show the amount of damage caused by the cyclone on the 21st December 2009 but the aftermath is easily seen on the 9klm drive in, the scrub land has been flattened and barely a tree left standing in the park itself.
The Van park is large and reasonably spacious, we asked to stay two night's and were given a site where we found two other Bushtracker Vans already set up opposite and beside our site, i wondered whether this was a coincidence or they group people together rated on what they towed ... As things turned out one couple kept completely to themselves whilst the other couple made the effort to say hello, we did feel the 'odd Man' out.
We had heard from other campers that a 4WD had been submerged on the beach that afternoon and another 4WD had rolled on the beach, a walk to the car park revealed the rolled 4WD, luckily no one was hurt as it had extensive damage to the roof and glass damage, most certainly an expensive repair bill if not a write off. The submerged 4wd was definately a write off, being left overnight due to the high 6mt tides it surprised me that it was still sitting on it's wheel's the next low tide more than 20 hours later. At first all we could see was the shape of the roof rippling on the outgoing tide, as the time ticked by it revealed itself with very little noticeable damage visually from a distance, of course being submerged in salt water for any time let alone nearly a day meant it was destined for the scrap heap but the owners were responsible to have the vehicle removed at their expense. I heard prices mentioned of $5k recovery and though it wasn't my decision to give it a go in salvaging it, i was one of many that leant some muscle in dragging it out of it's salty grave.
I didn't bother fishing at 80 Mile, i did see one Giant Threadfin Salmon caught of a decent size but that was it. I helped another Caravanner check his electric brakes and found the magnet had broken so it was disabled, sufficient enough to get them down to Port Hedland where it could be repaired properly.
Next stop was Port Smith, we have stayed here before and liked it enough to come back, we remembered the sand flies were bad back then and things were the same this time. Last time i paid my $2 and went on the Park's boat trip across to the point and spent 4 hours fishing before being picked up, Vickie was laid up with a sore back so didn't do it, this time all was good so we both took the ride over. The fishing wasn't as good this time but i did manage to catch two GT's and 1/2 dozen Longtom's which i released to swim another day.
With temperatures in the high 30's we found a lovely tidal creek and had a refreshing dip :-)
Interesting patterns in the sand as the tide went out took on the appearance of tree's
Having visited all of these places before we tossed the idea of staying longer and putting the Kayak's in but decided not to, instead we drove onto Broome where we intend staying a couple of days & re-stock before heading up the Gibb River Road.
We always give Broome Caravan Park a go 1st and have never been turned away by Graham the owner, he remembers us from previous visit's, even remembering what vehicle we drove at the time. The park is busy and site's are cramped but we are happy that we were not turned away, but two days here in Broome is enough and it's onto the GRR where hopefully things are less hectic.