Wednesday, August 14, 2013
I was able to listen to Macca on the radio this morning, the last couple of weeks all we have been able to pick up is Asian stations and that's what appeared to be happening again this morning then I decided it may be time to change the batteries in the transistor radio and we got Macca on Australia All Over.
We waited for the tide to change before leaving which was around 1000 hours. I went for my exercise pulling the anchor up and as we did Nancy spotted a croc a distance away from us, we seem to see them around high tide. As we motored out of Silver Gull Creek Nancy called Squatters Arms and told them we were leaving and wished them well.
As we pulled out of the bay we set the trolling line and soon after pulled out a nice sized Spanish Mackerel which will be nice for dinner.
Our plan was to go to Crocodile Creek and when we got there, there was a large tourist boat anchored we tried to anchor and found that we were above coral or rock so I had to pull the anchor up again manually. So we gave this creek a miss and went to Coppermine Creek and anchored there.
As we approached the area my old phone that I had attached to the outside antenna suddenly went into tunes having phone service for the first time since just after Darwin.
My first call was to my sister Jeanne as a while ago I had some inside feeling that Mum was not well, Jeanne told me that Mum had not been well as she had a hernia break through her bowl and had a three hour operation but she is on the mend. I then rang my dear Mum she sounded good, she is a tough one she never complains.
(Once again a difference in chart plotters, lat/longs are basically the same but the position is way off)
At this anchorage we occasionally get internet coverage so we caught up with other information.
Coppermine Creek is where copper was mined at the Yampi Mine which I believe is now heritage listed. There is also a boat fishing club located at this creek and probably only opened during fishing competitions.
(At the beach of the fishing boat club, I don't think this boat has seen the water for some time going on the tree growing through the transom.)
We are right into Dampier country now, whilst mentioning Dampier which I will go into a little more detail. I have recently read a small book 'The Voyage of the Endeavour' published in 1926, I found it very interesting how different parts of Australia was discovered by different people, the first known European to see Australia but was not sure at the time was the Dutchmen on 'Duyfken' in March 1606 six months before Torres sailed through now known as Torres Strait, Then Tasman in 1642 sighted the southern end of Tasmania and 1644 went from North West Cape WA through to Cape York QLD, many Dutchmen had seen the west coast of Australia calling it the southern land some ships were wrecked off the coast and Dutch geographer drew an accurate map with information given in 1628 detailing from Cape Leeuwin to Willems River near North West Cape. Captain James Cook completed the picture of others prior work by discovering the east coast from Point Hicks to Cape York.
William Dampier first visit was on a pirate ship, not that he was a pirate he went with them because they travelled places of adventure the ship 'Cygnet' pulled into a bay a little further west from here now known as Cygnet Bay and the islands around the area are called Buccaneer Archipelago, this was no new discovery as it was part of the coast that Tasman had discovered. But Dampier wrote a great account of what he saw other than the way he described the local natives which was not endearing. His story was found interesting by the men of the Royal Society that they persuaded the government to give him command of a ship to investigate further. But he was unfairly treated when they gave him the ship 'Roebuck' which foundered on the way home as the timbers were so rotted. He first started to go south around the southern coast but changed his mind as he hated the cold weather and decided to head north and see if Tasman's information on the coast could be improved thinking then he would go along the north coast and then see what was on the east side travelling south as by then the weather south would be warmer.
He landed in now known Roebuck Bay and continued around the north but by the time he went to try going south along our east coast he found it too dangerous and his crew were home sick and probably causing problems. On his way though he found the now known Dampier Strait and a beautiful island New Britain off the east coast of PNG.
Although it was Dampier and of course Cook and Banks that gave good reports of the country all the others that visited the land said it was barren and had hostile natives, many of the early visitors only saw the west coast and mainly to the north which would have been dry country.
(Couple of friends came to visit, two gummy sharks)
We had a quiet day and had a nice fresh fish dinner, we also had some visitors three very large Gummy Sharks they swam around the boat all night they are so graceful when swimming around. During most days lately we have seen dolphins swimming close by usually around sunrise and at high tides looking for a feed of fish no doubt.
We had an easy morning waiting for high tide to go out and do some exploring and hopefully get some fish as they say this is a good fishing area. So at near high tide we lowered the tinnie and off we went , they say there is an old copper mine around here but we could not find it. We trolled a line as we went and I had a few strikes but without it getting hooked then on the way to another inlet we had a good strike another Spaniard, he put up a good fight and I just about landed it when it thrashed around and broke free, I would have had to let it go anyway as it was undersize.
I think I mentioned earlier that you need a fishing license in WA and there are four types of license, also I don't think I mentioned this that their legal sizes of fish are different to Queensland, a Spaniard here has to be 900mm in QLD it is 750mm. The rules are if you catch a fish and put it straight into a freezer you have to leave it as a whole fish other than cleaning it. If you eat some of it the remaining fish has to have the skin left on and size of fillets have to be 300mm.
It was a good job I did not land the fish and decide to keep it as this afternoon our friends from the Fisheries boat arrived, we were on the beach at the time and there were two small motorboats that have been in the area fishing the last few days and Fisheries checked all their catches. They came over to us at the beach, it was the same crew we saw in Rogers Strait, their comment was you haven't got far, then they asked if my fishing had improved. I told them I had a score of one Spaniard that had already been eaten and had one on the line this morning but it got off and it was undersize anyway. They wished us safe sailing and went to one of the other boats.
We were ashore looking for black oysters as they say they are plentiful here, when we first arrived I thought I could see some at low tide but when we checked it out they were a black sea urchin and the oysters had been cleaned out in the area that we looked. Blokes on the other boat were in another area and they were in knee deep water and I think they were getting a few, but that is not for me I saw a croc swimming around this morning and movement in the water at other places and I'm no Crocodile Dundee.
Another easy day today, we did lower the tinnie and go fishing at high tide without any luck whatsoever. We will sail tomorrow although it may be with iron sails as the wind has gone for a few days which probably will work well because we have to head south and winds are generally from SE and we would not be able to sail on those winds anyway.