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Motorhome Travels - November 2012

26/11/2012

I'd like to say that it has been a relaxing return to normality - but that would just not be true.

We set course for Stannage - a tiny village on the coast about 100k north of Rockhampton. We had been given warnings about the road out there - 100km of gravel that winds its way through salt pans and low lying bush. It turned out that the road had been graded fairly recently and was in very good condition. The main reason for the bee-line for Stanage was that we had been told of great fishing there. To be honest we were a little skeptical about how well the location would suit our mode of fishing (spear fishing) due to its proximity to a large muddy estuary system - but we decided to go and take a look for ourselves.

We spoke to one of the local fishermen when we arrived and he told us that the recent heavy rain had produced some very dirty water - not what we wanted to hear. Despite this bad news, we launched the boat and headed for the clearest water we could find (without going to the islands many kilometers out at sea). The clarity was good enough for us to return with four decent fish including a coral trout and a tusk fish - not bad for a mornings work in fairly dirty water. We had high hopes for the coming weeks. The weather however had other ideas.

For the next 6 days the wind turned the sea from a moderately grubby color into something like coffee with milk - no point in spear fishing in that. The one day of diving that we did have triggered some issues with my right ear - so a visit to Rockingham (and the continued uncooperativeness of the wind) cut short our stay at Stanage.

Our Notch Point Office - [Click for a Larger Image]
Our Notch Point Office

After a bit of a detour to deal with the ear problem (which sorted itself out) we headed further north to a well hidden camp area called Notch Point. This is one of the nicest free camps we have been to on the east coast. The track into the camping area is quite narrow and winds through trees and rocks. It was a slow process getting Hobohome past all the obstacles without damage - but time is something we have plenty of. The difficulty in navigating the track was rewarded with a great place to camp - just 10m from the beach.

Hobohome at Notch Point - [Click for a Larger Image]
Hobohome at Notch Point

The rocks looked like a great place to do a quick dive and Tracey quickly got the diving gear out of the rear of the bus. The doctors had told me to refrain from diving for three months after the ear issue - so I would have to just watch from the shore. As Tracey was readying the gear and putting on her wetsuit, I spotted a "log" that seemed to be moving against the current. When I showed Tracey the "log" through the binoculars she decided against going into the water. The log was in fact a very large saltwater crocodile. We estimated that he was between 2.5 and 3 meters in length. We watched him for some time as he lazily made his way along the beach, no more than 10m from the sand. He turned the corner at the point where Tracey was planning to enter the water and then sank below the surface. Perhaps it would be better to stay out of the water here!

About 3 hours later a family arrived for a picnic - we took very little notice until I saw the father and the two pre-school children swimming exactly where we had seen the croc. There was a mad dash from the bus to the beach, some frantic arm waving followed by a very rapid exit from the (I swear slightly browner) water. The two small girls were dressed in black Lycia stinger suits. If they continued swimming there, stingers may be the least of their worries. During the next few days we warned no fewer than 5 groups people who entered the water (to swim or fish) - all said they did not think there were crocs in the area.

While the fishing at Notch Point has been non-existent, we have  managed to catch up with a flood of web work that seems to have arrived quite suddenly . What better office could you ask for?

We are leaving Notch Point today and heading south. We plan to "hide" back at Mt Perry for the holiday season before moving south in search of  (hopefully croc free) clear water.

 

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