Jun 26, 2011

Ningaloo South Lefroy Bay – Departure

Yesterday we left our piece of Paradise at South Lefroy Bay, Ningaloo. Early plans were to stay at least until the end of the Month with the choice then to stay on a further fortnight if we wanted, Whilst camped we received the excellent news that our Son Daniel had become engaged to his gorgeous girlfriend Elle and they were celebrating with an engagement party next weekend! Well with that news we could not bear to not be there so the decision was an easy one to leave a few days early and head back to Perth.

The Billys had left 3 days earlier to pick 'Big' Pop up from the airport after being away staying with one of his other daughters Sue in Victoria and Son Alan in Alice, He will stay with Jo & Dave for a couple of weeks before Sue fly's over and gets home & community care organized. Trev & Ashley stayed on and left with us as Trev has another medical appointment to complete for his application to re-join his mining job after having a year of travelling 1/2 way around Australia with Ashley.

Ashley, Vickie, Maddison and Joanne

We don't plan on being back in cold wet Perth any longer than we need to be, we have to have the rear suspension on the Ute fixed, we want to fit a 3rd solar panel and another deep cycle battery to the ute, giving us 3 x 80w panels and 2 auxially battery's which should help fix the problem we have had trying to run a fridge & freezer in the ute.

So where to next? We don't feel inclined to turn around and head North again so our initial plan is to take the Great Central Road across to Alice Springs, spend some more time around the MacDonnell Ranges before 'slowly' making our way down to South Australia and attend the BOG Muster at Quorn end of September, they are the loose plans, we will see what actually pans out, LOL



Our nine weeks at NING was lovely, we had a great time with great mates & family, The weather wasn't perfect with wind most days, the occasional rain storm, and overcast sky's - BUT when we had the perfect days everything else didn't matter. Fishing started off HOT before tapering off to a struggle to catch a fish but again we didn't really care, we still sat on the beach untill the late hours of night waiting for the BIG ONE to take the bait, it happened a few times and we all got onto some big fish, some beached some were unstoppable, all were great fun and the stories will continue for a long time. Thanks eveyone for sharing it with us.

What we do know is we will again call 'Ningaloo Paradise' Home next year for 10 - 12 weeks, who knows we might see 'you' there.

Jun 16, 2011

Ningaloo South Lefroy Bay – Continued

The past week, in fact if we think back to before May when we 1st arrived the weather hasn't been "paradise kind' to us, sure it's better than anywhere else in Australia but it would have to be the most unsettled weather conditions we have experienced here in the past 15 years. Windy days, cold nights, overcast sky's and a few rainy days, fishing has slowed down considerably and we haven't had a purple patch like we [I] experienced in the 1st couple of weeks.

We had to say goodbye to our mates, Kimbo and Ned who left yesterday for the long trip back to Newcastle. It was not a planned leave but the EPS struck .... Yes Elderly Parent Syndrome.... Ned's Mum hasn't been well and they thought it better to start making for home now. We hope they enjoyed their time here, even in the less than perfect conditions.

Ned and Kimbo, [Sis and Bro]

Of course yesterday we had the best weather ever! Dave, Trev & I paddled down to the Point and did some fishing which caught us some good sized Charlie Court's [COD] The tide was going out and the inner reef turned into a millpond with water crystal clear, superb Kayak conditions.

The Sunset was beautiful, i had the fish to fillet so didnt worry about the camera so i cannot share the amazing vista. One downside was the midgee's came out and both Vick & myself got attacked with numerous bites on our arms & legs.

Up early this morning as we are driving into Exmouth, the Ute is booked in to have the rear suspension leaf springs removed and new bushes fitted, hopefully that will fix the problem of a twisted spring pack and clunking noise.

Our Beach Camp

Vickie and Slender Sucker fish

Ashley and GT

Jun 10, 2011

Ningaloo South Lefroy Bay – Continued

Not much to write about except we had a decent down pour of rain between 70mm - 90mm and we were able to collect enough to fill the potable water tank. We have met some people Bob & Sue whom we 1st met back at Kenilworth last year, they were walking along the beach just as Vickie and i went to sit on the hill and watch the ocean. They also have a Bushtracker and are camped on the flats in the same site we shifted to last year for our last two weeks here then.

John and Wendy have settled in at Point Billy and also know Bob & Sue from a previous Bushtracker Get Together, We were invited up to their camp for dinner and we had a great night. A few days later John & Wendy reciprocated and had us all up for sundowner drinks at their camp, lots of laughs from the girls as Vickie kept them entertained with the stories only she can tell. Us blokes stood around the 4WD's and compared canopy's, fridges, solar set ups & Kimbo demonstrated his HF radio features.

Last night everyone came to our camp and bought a dish and shared our meal, No one went hungry and the food was delicious. Trev made his Chocolate Mousse for desert. I had the TV set up outside with a slideshow of travel photos flicking through, along with a fire and some Creedence, Van Morrison & Chris Rea for the back ground music everyone had a great time with lots of laughs.

Some rough photo's of some rough heads :-)

We are all hoping the weather improves and the wind drops enough so we can get back on the water. Vickie's back is still very fragile so she won't be doing to much. Tonight we have a progressive dinner between our camp & the Billy's ... Camping can be so hectic some times.

Jun 3, 2011

Ningaloo South Lefroy Bay – Continued

A lot has happened in the past week, yet not a lot is any different to what our previous weeks have been. I have mentioned Groundhog Day previously and it certainly can be like that camped along the Coast, we fall into a routine of Kayaking, Fishing, Swimming, Snorkeling, collecting water, emptying the toilet cassette – the last is not the most enjoyable but needs to be done, actually since using nappysan [home brand] as a sanitizer in the cassette the odours have not been greatly noticeable, plus i empty the cassette every couple of days ... a great topic huh? Bet your pleased you checked out what we are up to now ... lol

Getting back to the fun stuff, we have had mate’s John and Wendy arrive in the area last week and we caught up with them on the weekend. They are camped near their mate’s at Point Billy, not our ideal camp site with very little beach and but each there own. They came to our camp area and liked what they saw, being with other friends makes decisions difficult. Regardless they are loving the place and we expect to catch up with them a few times while they are here.

We were surprised to be contacted on the UHF radio one day by the adult children of friends Barry & Kerry whom we know in Mandurah. Vaughan and Rennae along with baby Shiloh and other family, Craig and his G/F and Leon are camped up the beach from us, We have known Rennae and Craig since they were baby’s and we attended Rennae and Vaughans wedding so it was a lovely surprise seeing them here with their bub.

We have had a few night time fishing sessions but none produced the results of our earlier attempts, the tides are all different along with the moon so hopefully things will swing around as the weeks roll by. Not sure if i mentioned about the huge shovel nosed ray that i caught, certainly the largest we have ever seen caught with friends over the many years we have been coming here. An estimate of 3mt long with a head almost as wide it took a while to reel in and when close to shore Kimbo attempted to grab it’s tail and haul it in the last few feet but was thrown to the ground by the force of it’s tail, with Big Trev and Kimbo grabbing the tail they managed to drag it in with Kimbo getting thrown again at the last few metre’s. A few quick photo’s and we dragged it back in the water and spent some time allowing it to get it’s gill’s flushed with water before it slowly swam away.

Trevor and i had a near death experience when we and Dave decided to go and check out the surf with the kayaks, we had been fishing and with nothing happening we thought some wave catching could be fun. We started off small and kept getting closer to the bigger rolling waves, i had broken my paddle and was having to use the pedals & rudder to keep me straight, the 1st wave i caught was a ripper, i went flying past Dave and Trev, hooping and hollering like a teenager, it was very exciting but on the fine line of ‘Ooops this could end in tears’. Peddling back out i saw Trev catch a beauty but within seconds it turned him around and dumped him, i shouldn’t have laughed but it did look funny. It did cause me to think about securing the gear i had on and locking it away in the water proof hatches, luckily i did because the next wave heading our way was a lot larger than the 1st, I called to Trev to start paddling and he did only to be dumped again, no time to laugh this time as that wave was followed by an even larger one and i was in it’s path, all i could do was start peddling and hope for the best. 

The wave picked me & the Kayak up and sent me flying down the other side, the nose of the kayak was dangerously close to burying itself and i was laying back as far as i could to counter the balance, all went well for around 10 seconds and then i was broached with me chucked off the kayak and the kayak spiralling away. Unbeknown to me Trev was fighting his own survival with his anchor rope caught around the reef he was trying to free it, his paddle had been torn from his hands and the strap broken. 100mts away i was being dumped by a succession of large waves, coming up for air i called to Trev & Dave to come help, Trev of course couldn’t, Dave started paddling towards me and caught his one and only decent wave and went flying past ..... See You in 5 Minutes he called out .... i started swimming towards my Kayak but the waves kept pushing it further away, finally Dave turned up and was able to hold it still and i got hold of it and we both turned it over and i climbed back on. 

Trev had sorted his own problems out and Dave found his paddle floating and took it back, the three of us headed back to safer waters. I must have swallowed some water and i was having difficulty getting air into my lungs but after a short time it came good. Both Trev and i suffered numerous cuts to our feet and Trev a nice graze across his back, i have also aggravated a shoulder problem. I think back and still enjoy the moment of that 1st exhilerating ride and if we were to do it again we would be better prepared with life jackets and leg ropes & stronger paddles. But perhaps i should just stick to fishing ......

Yesterday Kimbo and i took the tinny outside the reef, the ocean was reasonably calm but it was a new experience for Kimbo and rightly so he was a bit anxious heading out to Sea in 180’ of water in a 3.45mt tinny. There were other tinny’s already out and about and though we didn’t venture out as far as them, we did have a good time hauling up Gold Spot Trevally, Red Throat and unlucky for me a huge ‘something’ that took the bait and towed us around a while all the time ripping of line on my Saltiga reel. I knew i would win if i just took the time BUT sometimes things just don’t work out and this time it was my fault with a knot that seperated either by breaking or coming loose, either way the fish left with a brand new Owner Circle hook and 30cm of line in it’s mouth, everything else was undamaged.

Vickie had more luck with ‘keeper’ fish than us fishing from her Kayak inside the reef, catching another good sized Queen Trevally, unfortunately Vickie has hurt her back and today it got a lot worse after we drove into Exmouth so we went to the Hospital. The staff there were very helpful in having her seen by the Nurse’s straight away but frustrating that the Doctor couldn’t find the time to check her over and left the Nurse to relay her diagnosis to the Dr. They decided a pain relieving injection and some panadol and muscle relaxent would help and sent her on her way. Lets hope that she gets better and it’s not another 400klm round trip back to town. Vickie has also had another eye bleed, her 4th now and not much she can do about it, so things are really not that crash hot at present.

The positives are we are still in love with this place & [each other] & enjoying the lifestyle.