May 24, 2011

South Lefroy Bay Ningaloo - 25th May 2011

Another week has gone by, life here in Paradise continues to roll along. Some days are very groundhog day but even then there is always something to do, catch up on little jobs, go for a drive, kayak & beach fish or just relax and read a book. I am reading an excellent story written by Hugh Edwards titled 'The Reef, The Range The Gulf' it is all about the history of the area and gives a great insight on how life must have been for the early explorers, i can recommend it.

We all had a Gourmet Pizza night with the girls all making a couple of pizza's, Trev and Ashley made their own separate versions and they were all fantastic! better than any Pizza Shop!

The weather has not been the best with windy day's and some overcast sky but it hasn't stopped Vickie from getting out on her Hobie Kayak, she loves being on the water and throwing lures around, she does very well with a couple of Queen Trevally [Queeny's] being her latest catch.

Kimbo and i have been squidding most days and though we haven't scored a bag like we did earlier we have still caught enough to keep us in bait for our beach fishing. The moon and tides have changed and we have not fished for nearly a week, we did catch another five Spangled Emperor between us on the wane of the full moon and Trevor caught another big Spangly the next night but nothing since.

We have driven into Exmouth again and also we took a drive to Yardie Creek along the coastal track, one section had thousands of locusts swarming out of the grass as we drove by, fortunately we were only going slow and they didn't splatter when hit. Coming back we had to deal with lots of Roo's jumping across the track, they didn't splatter either so all was good.

Last night Kimbo tried cooking us a camp oven roast Pork but had difficulty with getting enough coals hot enough so he admitted defeat and we stuck it in the Webber Baby Q and cooked it to perfection.

Tomorrow we go into Coral Bay along the track exploring the many side tracks to the ocean for a spot of beach combing.

May 16, 2011

South Lefroy Bay Ningaloo - 17th May 2011

Almost another week has gone by, we had another Birthday celebration with Trevor turning 26 unfortunately the weather wasn't as nice and we had rain during the day but we were lucky it held off during the evening when we all had a BBQ down at Camp Meercat Manor [The Billy's new name for their site] Dave cooked the best Rib Eye Steaks and along with potato bake & coleslaw, Vickie made vanilla slice and apple turnovers, and Jo made Chocolate Mousse for desert. We all got into the spirit of playing Celebrity Head, even Kimbo who had kept saying he would only be the referee enjoyed the game.

Kimbo's hair was looking a bit wild so a new haircut was required,

Us blokes had a beach fishing night where we had a purple patch catching some Spangled Emperor, between the 4 of us we caught 10 with the smallest measuring 550mm, four of them were absolute stonkers all over 700mm.

Vickie bought the camera down when we had caught 5 and took the camera back so you will have to take my word.

Photo of Dave with one that went back to grow bigger.

Last night we had the best camp cooked Fish & Chips at Camp Meercat Manor, i didn't set a new record only managing to eat 10 portions of fish - they must have been larger sizes LOL - With lots of time sitting and watching the ocean we have been lucky to see some whales jumping out past the reef, plenty of dolphins cruise past along with many turtles & a few large stingrays.

The weather has been teasing us with one perfect day followed by 2-3 not so good, we have been collecting the rain as it has fallen so that's been good.

May 12, 2011

South Lefroy Bay Ningaloo - 12th May 2011

Yesterday was the best day weather wise so far, we all got out on the water with Dave & I venturing out near the main reef in the kayaks. The fishing was good with large Golden Trevally taking the plastics and Dave caught a good sized Spangled Emperor which he was rapt about. Trev & Ashley have their camp set up next to Dave & Jo's and are here for the same length of time. We have heard that friends John & Wendy are also making their way up and staying at Billie's Point for 4-6 weeks in a couple of weeks time, so looking forward to their arrival.

We have been for a drive to Norwegian Bay and the old whaling station,we have been visiting it for many years, each time we have stayed at Ningaloo a visit to the Whaling Station is a must. Years of Salt, wind & cyclones have almost destroyed the area but still some old rusted machinery & boilers remain. The girls did some fossicking along the beach and i found a 3mt length of timber that i took back to the camp and used it for a base pole for my Internet antenna. Things have improved in that regard and i am able to connect on to the NET most times.

May the 7th was my Birthday and Vickie made me a lovely meal of Lasagna with home made sausage rolls for entree. We had Dave & Jo & Ned & Kimbo over and had a few drinks. Joanne made me a beautiful cake which is simply the best!

Kimbo's 200 Cruiser broke a rear shock absorber and luckily we were able to organize for Trev to get two new ones and bring them up, Yesterday we changed them over, not an easy job when you don't have a hoist or air tools to get into tight places. Perseverance and a few bruised knuckles and couple of hours later the job was done.

The weather forecast is for thunderstorms this evening and rain for the next few days, the sky is dark and cloudy so they may well be right. If they are we go into water collecting mode.

May 5, 2011

South Lefroy Bay Ningaloo

We have been camped at South Lefroy Bay, Ningaloo for the past nine days but this is my 1st chance to upload any updates and check email. We have driven in to Exmouth today to buy another Next G Antenna so hopefully that will give us greater signal strength. A trip into Exmouth isn't complete without visiting the Bakery and re-stock on the essentials like Beer & Wine.

The weather so far has been a pattern of mostly windy days but drops off enough to see us out in the Kayaks everyday. So far the fishing has been quiet, i have caught a small shark of the beach and a couple of small spangeld emperor, the Shark fed us all, the spangled went back in the water to grow a lot bigger.

Kimbo and i had a good afternoon squiding, between us we caught 10 squid ranging in size from large to medium, I cooked up a couple of tubes to go with our battered fish and Vickie's yummy coleslaw for tea the night Jo & Dave arrived.

Vickie has had a couple of experiences with having two sharks swim close to her Kayak, one was a Hammerhead and unsure of the other species. I spotted a very large Tiger Shark swimming past our camp in shallow water a week ago, we have seen a large Tiger Shark cruising in shallow water at previous times we have been here so mostl likley the same one.

The Mozzies and bugs have been a nuisance, one evening we had hundreds of Dragon Flies circling around our camp, we hope they were there to eat the bloody mozzies.
Other than that life here is enjoyable, we are certain that we will have perfect days to come and even the worst day is better than any alternative.

Buntine Rocks - Ningaloo - 6th May 2011

Our 2nd night on the road was spent at Buntine Rocks, a camp spot in the bush 18klms NW of Wubin. The bush flys were in their thousands and very friendly, our fly nets came in very handy.

We were on the road around 8.30am the next morning and heading North on the Wubin / Mullewa road, I had the GPS waypoint for Wilroy Nature Reserve programmed in to the GPS and it lead us up the path again, approximately 3klms before the camp area the GPS directed us to turn right off the road and turn onto a dirt track, immediately it then directed us left down another narrow track. We followed the track for 3klms not being too concerned as the moving maps showed that we were on the correct track and heading in the right direction, - it was just that we were driving alongside the bitumen road we turned off from .. sure as eggs we arrived at our camp for the night only to be confronted by large rocks stopping our access, the camp was only accessible from the main road! So on we went another klm before we could turn around and finally pull into a recently upgraded road side camp. So recently upgraded the grader marks & tracks were clearly visible.

Our afternoon was spent either chatting or reading & listening to the local radio 666, that broadcast lots of good music. Kimbo and i were sitting under his awning when we spotted a dog wandering through the bush, oh no i thought – In our travels we always seem to come across lost or abandonded dogs and i didn’t want this one to add to the collection, i was hoping it would spot us and take off but of course it did the opposite and came over tail wagging, just then Vickie came out of the van and i knew we were in trouble.

A bowl of water was consumed and then some cut up chicken, How Good Is This the dog must have thought, it was a nice looking Kelpie with a chain for a collar and a couple of cattle ear tags and we figured that it had wandered off from a local property. I tried calling on the UHF but didn’t get an answer, we decided to drop it off in Mullewa the next morning but when we awoke it had gone, perhaps it was just a local dog that got what it wanted and went back home to sleep.

Fuel consumption with the V8 Toyota Ute has been very good considering the weight of it and the Van, it is easily under the 20lt per 100klm figure and a few times it has averaged in the 17lt / 100. Kimbo’s 200 series hasn’t been too much different but the manual V8 certainly has it over the more powerful twin turbo auto in overall figures.

We called in and visited mates Geoff & Vickie at Geraldton, we have known them for 30 years and way back then went camping with them when we both owned VW Kombi’s. They now own a 20’ Bushtracker and last time we caught up with them was at Gregory River in the NT when they were heading back West after taking delivery of the van. It was lovely to catch up again and introduce them to Kimbo & Ned, their is a very good chance we will meet again in SA where we will both be in September.
With our due arrival date at Ningaloo still four days away we decided to head to New Beach / Bush Bay 30klms south of Carnarvon, a 12 klm drive in on a corrugated track and a T junction decision by Vickie and we turned left to go to New Beach. The area had recently received rain but nothing to be concerned about and we soon found ourselves camped just metres from the Ocean edge, the flys were not as bad and we had a lovely evening by the kimble fire counting satellites – before the rain started.

We listened to the rain pelting down for most of the night knowing that the track out would be a challenge, up early we left and with the track already cut up and slippery we came across a ‘Wicked’ Van that had left the track and was firmly bogged in the bush, they were very lucky not to have rolled it. This was something we didn’t need but could not ignore them so i drove forward and un-hitched the van and turned around to winch them out. I soon had them back on the road and with instructions to them from Kimbo to drive slower they were on their way. I hitched the van back up and continued on, i was very glad i had the mud tyres on the Ute as we were able to get reasonable traction and maintain control. Watching Kimbo in front slipping and sliding reminded me of our time at Cobold Gorge in 2007. The ‘Wicked’ Van was having a difficult time being two wheel drive and tyres plugged with mud, at one stage two of the guys jumped out and had to help push the van up an incline, once moving the van didn’t stop and they were left running after it.
Back on the highway it was pleasing to have it still raining as it helped wash off a lot of the mud under the rig’s, on the 30klm drive into Carnarvon the highway was flooded in sections, another good opportunity for an underbody wash. Apparently the area had around 45mm of rain overnight, not a lot compared to say Qld but the area had already been flooded a few weeks back and didn’t take much to re-flood. The Shell Servo was closed due to the past floods and i think also the BP was closed also. We refilled at the Caltex at the junction and they were doing a lot of business.

Re-stock with provisions in town and it was on our way, i had decided to try and call the Ningaloo Homestead and see if we could come in a few days early, even though i had phone signal the calls failed so on we went eventually stopping for a night at Lyndon River rest area on the Exmouth / Minilya road. A quite afternoon before being joined by ½ a dozen WhizBang’s, they were ok though no noise apart from the sound of the door’s Whiz – Banging each time they were opened or closed.

Next day it was a short drive into Coral Bay, visit the Bakery and made a call to Phil at Ningaloo who said ‘No worries, Come on In’ and we did. Being 3 days early we were not expection to get onto our pre-booked site but luck was on our side with the previous campers leaving as we arrived. So now two nights after being at Paradise we have our camp set up, it is windy but not horribly so. No Kayak or boat action yet though, we have been happy to just sit and relax and watch the ocean. Phone signal is good in the car but Internet signal is low so unsure when i will be able to update the blog. Jo and Dave should arrive today, we are looking forward to that.