Friday, January 21, 2011

Oh yea thats right I have a blog to update!

Leaving Cape Leveque.. I had seen a similar sign painted on a 44 gal drum on the Birdsville track some years before.  Today will be a full days driving as we stayed a day more than anticipated at Cape Leveque & a mate in Port headland was expecting us. 

Heading south we try & make 80 mile beach. There is a Telstra site near by were a installation crew I used to liaise with was meant to camping out at the site. One of the boys used to fly model aircraft with me in my teenage years in Perth and another member of the crew used to be the WA state manager & owes me a few beers. Can wait to catch up & have a beer

The 80 mile beach tower. I was sweating on this one. We only just made it before sundown.  I didn't fancy our chances trying to locate the tower in the dark. As it turned out it was literally 20 meters off the highway so finding it wouldn't have been a problem.  It was just at about this point I realised the temp gauge on the patrol was off the scale. The tower was still 5 km off so I crawled into camp.

On arrival at the tower  it was obvious that the boys were no where to be seen. It turns out they didn't attend the site as planned. Bonnet up & wait for the engine to cool down.
Beer O'clock
This split was obvious with the thermostat to radiator overflow hose letting go. By the time I pulled out the tools & located a spare it was all cool enough to work on. Troy by this stage was well on his way care of the warm Coronas that he had been drinking most of the afternoon.

Look !
Zorro was here!

What a sun set.  The turn off for 80 mile was only a few hundred meters down the road so once it was all repaired we headed for camp. We set up camp & saw regular processions of crew heading down to the beach. We figured it must be a beach party & headed down to check out the action. Turns out it was laying season for the turtles and one had set up camp on a dune out the front of the caravan park. It was my first time seeing a turtle lay eggs & it was an impressive sight. 
Turtle tracks
One headed up the beach & the other for the return to the water

BFG's new mud terrain???
The process can take several hours. Tide was out so the old girl had quite a return journey to the water.

The beach was littered with thousands of shells of all species. The kids ended up with quite a collection. 

One of the local residents of the caravan park comes to say hello. Birds claws freak me in a good way.
Nervous laugh as its claws lock in while walking my hand  

The birds care taker. She cruises the caravan park with her mate on her shoulder like its normal.  What a classic

The area took a direct hit by Cyclone Laurence back in 2009. The dirt road in the photo was a tree lined boulevard with the trees now reduced to splinters. The Install crew i was hoping to meet had a job to install new solar panels as the cyclone blew away all the existing ones

The cattle forage for feed in amongst the destruction

Off to Hedland & to catch up with Hazza

While Troy scours the local tourist information centre for a local map I do a U turn at the local break wall & stop to take a photo of a bulk oar carrier in the harbour

They hold 190 000 tonne of ore.  With the current price of ore this ship would be carrying approx $36,000,000 worth!

Salt is another export from South Hedland
That afternoon we camped out at Hazza'a place. I had a score to settle from many years before & the next day when Hazza left to go to work I got busy. He had "borrowed" a favourite stubby holder a long time ago back in Melbourne & refused to return it.

I left him  the best quality one I could find!
The shelf above the microwave cupboard was full of stubby holders just prior .
The stash

The hiding spot

You wouldn't ever find it now would you?

Hazza's hound! he stands waist high & then some more. None of the locals dare enter the yard.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Head north to Cape Leveque?????

Here is the Dilemma After being stuck on the Gibb for more than we had planned we were not to keen on doing the same and be stranded care of the dirt road that leads up to Cape Leveque. After all the recommendations from locals & one of my now retired Telstra workmates "Neville the nudist" I just had to go & check it out for my self.
 We had a HUGE night at the Roey the night before & got home at 3am. We had to pack up camp & be on the road by 8am to make the 9am tour of the Willey creek pearl farm. I stopped drinking early in the night so that wasn't a problem but the 4hrs sleep didn't help at all!

Here we have a resident crab who helps clean parasites from inside the oyster shell

The tour at Willy Creek was worth the early morning wake up. Rachelle ran us through  the cultured pearl industry from start to finish. All of the staff from the Pearl lugger tour the day before & todays tour at Willy creek were hilarious. The gave a very informative & entertaining run down of the industry. 

Not quite a cruise on a pearl lugger out in the ocean but still good value

The buoys that suspend the nets that hold the pearl shells. We saw a decent size croc just near the buoy that we were  pulling up. hhmm that swim the day before at cable beach... hhhmmmm

At the end of the tour Troy chose to do the optional chopper ride around Willy creek. It was Troys first time in a chopper and he loved it 

After a 3 hr drive up the track we arrived at Cape Leveque. The visitors centre was pretty flash. Hopefully an indication of how special this place is.

Can it get any better than this! I can spit onto the beach.. look mum!

There was a small swell running & the point almost looked surfable on high tide
Just for a contrast this photo was taken a few days later showing the exposed rocks. Maybe not such a good spot...
aahhh Beer o'clock...  The shelters have running water with a shower in one corner  and a table &  bench seats.  Fireplace with swing away BBQ hot plates. Firewood supplied.
Basic but awesome 

The colours would change minute to minute.

Dinner was a roast in the camp oven. Absolutely magic..

When I had the facility's available I would take a night time shower just before bed. Tonight I had some guests join me on the shower base. The place was littered with crabs of different sizes . Some small & some a little to big for my liking. Good news for me they didn't like my torch or the fresh water splashing down on them.  I didn't have the heart to tell the Irish lady's camped in the shack next to us. They had another night to go and with only swags on the ground I didn't figure it would make the nights sleep very pleasant knowing what they were sharing the ground with.What they didn't know wouldn't hurt them..
Sunrise. Troy up at 5am to catch this 

Low tide at the point. No good for snorkeling. Time to go for a fish..

While I was setting up my gear the local ranger drove past & told us something big & dead was floating in the water with some large predators having a bite. He suspected it was a dolphin or a piece of whale. He advised we should go for a flick with a lure down that end of the beach as we could hook something worth while . We rigged up as quick as we could & made a bolt down the beach. It turned out it was a turtle that had been attacked by sharks. Not much left by the time we got to it.

A couple had been snorkling & saw the turtle flapping about only a few minutes earlier. At that point it was still looking intact . 

I couldn't help myself & still threw about the lure for a few minutes and nothing was interested. We could only see sharks swimming about a few meters off shore and nothing worth while.

We decided to go for a walk around the point on the low tide  and go for a fish later on the incoming tide

Some of the views from the point
what the? Man made or natural?? looks good 

We went for a fish that arvo but all we would hook apart from Garfish for live bait was sharks. Troy was on fire and hooked a 6ft hammer head that menaced the shore line. It ended up almost beaching itself. At this point we were shocked at how close it came into the beach.. Not even little pinkie deep is safe.

The hammer head threw the hooks after a 5 minute fight. We then baited the hook and casted it out for another go. This time Troy hooked a bigger one that just kept on running. With only a few feet of line left on the reel it bit off thankfully. I didn't feel like winding 300mtrs of new line back on the reel.

Next day we went for our daily swim & snorkle. No sharks or turtles to report.

This wasn't my cast but I did catch it. Troy had just got this cast snagged a few minutes earlier & was going to swim out to the reef & unhook it. Nature called & he decided to do it later after he took care of business. After 5 minutes his rod went mental & I noticed something jumping out of the water from the corner of my eye. A Long Tom had taken his bait & set free his line from the snag. This one jumped with more energy than any of the other Long Toms we had hooked in the past.

What a beast!. 70cm of muscle... with a mean set of teeth

Troy got stuck into the Queenie's yet again. 

This Sea Eagle got excited every time we dragged in a fish. 

I filleted the fish & hung the carcases on this stick. After a few minutes the Eagle got up enough courage to come & take it for lunch. 
Sequence #2

Some of the upmarket shacks have fridges and ceiling fans. No generators out here just one hell of a solar farm. 
Word got around that we would put out.........
Another smaller eagle comes by for a feed

We would fish on the beach to the other side of this reef 

We had only intended on staying 2 nights but loved the place so much we had to stay for a 3rd. Next morning more  snorkling,swimming, fishing , all the usual.

Our other neighbours Peter & Jo would take their inflatable canoe out a few hundred meters off shore. They would then open up an umbrella to use as a sale.  Clever or what! 

Warp speed Captain Solo... This time for real. 

The wind blew parallel to the beach so you still needed to paddle in to shore.

Last swim for the day. Back to Broome in the morning & then on to Port Headland

The next morning when we woke the ground under the shade of the shack was covered in all these awesome tracks left by the crabs during the night. 

Tell me that this isn't part of the inspiration for modern day aboriginal dot art ??


Last view from the door before we leave camp. I will be back for sure..

The Troll & Tommy make the accent out of camp headed for  the next adventure. 

Livin the dream ( Just don't wake me up)