Day Trip to Paradise Valley

Brad and the girls (and the other Brad and his girl) was going to Paradise Valley. Although I had university and could not actually camp, I decided to go down for a day trip. It was a very hot day, and it was so great to be able to enjoy the water – I haven’t done so since I was a kid. It was also fun to see the kids play there the same way that I used to.

Camping in the summer seemed like a great idea – though I have to say the wind was fierce at times. Once destroying a tent. Not sure if that is something that occurs in the summer, but that was the only drawback that I could see.

Maddie summoning the courage to jump!

Cape Conran Again – Day Two

5am start again and it was the much the same theory as the day before. The gummy shark were not there again, so we went to the flathead spot. They weren’t there. What was there was a seal who decided to follow us around for a bit, before realising how useless we were.

The third place we tried yielded results all day. We had to leave at 1.30pm as we needed to drive back, yet we caught flathead after flathead after flathead. It was crazy. I got a gummy but we couldn’t keep it as “it still had afterbirth on it” (f- off, it wasn’t that small).

I would have won an award for the most varied catch, getting octopus, kalamari, the small gummy, gurnards, flying gurnards, and some barracuda.


The best flattie I have caught, there was no tape measure on the boat!


My calamari, along with the flying gurnard next to it. Flying gurnards are surprisingly nice to eat.

At some point the skipper nailed a large gummy, which was great to add to the flathead. When we left at 1.30pm we had 49 flathead, 3 flying gurnards, 1 gummy shark, and two calamari.

Caught:
Me: 15 odd flathead, 2 calamari, 2 flying gunards, variety of non-keepers
Dad: 15 odd flathead, 1 flying gurnard
Skipper: 20 odd flathead 1 good Gummy shark

All in all I have 22 vacuumed sealed fish packets in the fridge that will feed 2-3. So a very productive trip!

Cape Conran Again – Day One

5am start and we headed out to get some gummy sharks at the turn of the tide. Nearly as soon as we had dropped anchor the skipper pulled one up. However, from there on our it was slim pickings.

Soon we moved to the flathead spot and tried that for a bit. We got one or two, the highlight was the skipper pulling up an enormous flathead.

The skipper and my dad continued to pull up flathead. I wasn’t having a problem getting fishing – but they were nearly all gurnards. The other would get one or two, but for me it was nearly only that. We also got a few Morwong. I was getting frustrating I think the culmination was this bad boy:


Yup, a double header of gurnards!

Soon a seal came by to check our fish out. I finally hooked a flathead, and I was sure the seal was going to appear from nowhere. I kept my rod tip in the water, soon enough I got the flathead to where I could see it, and presto a massive brown shape charged at it. I launched the rod tip upwards and the seal only just missed by centremetres and it burst through the surface.

Interestingly, the skipper got a gurnard soon after that, and the seal swam straight to it, changed its mind, and just hung around. Not interested in the spikes I guess.

We hung around for the next change in tide, marking 13 hours on the water. I got back extremely knackered and was barely able to make it past 9pm. Of course I got to wake up and do it all again the next day.

Caught:
Me: 3 flathead, a couple of Morwong
Dad: 5-8 flathead
Skipper: Gummy shark, 7-10 flathead, a couple of Morwong

Story of the trip:
I thought I had seen idiocy before at the boat ramp. Nothing compared to what happened when we got back. There were spearfishermen and snorklers getting around the ramp and boating channel with no markings, nearly invisible. Kayakers were launching there. One launched and fell out of their kayak about 2 metres from a running prop (why wait until the boat is out of the water?). Someone drove their boat trailer directly onto rocks while he was going forward, he wasn’t even near the part where you need to start reversing.. and he struggled to get it off (and this is a guy the swimmers are trusting not to run over them!).

Mt Buffalo – Day 4

Not much to write about for this one!

We woke up after the very loud thunderstorm and it was raining good!

We crammed everything into the car and basically took off straight away. The wet stuff made for a difficult clean up. Claire discovered quickly there was a “big thing” for us to stop at on the way home. If you didn’t know, she loves Australia’s Big Things. And so we did.


The Big Ned Kelly

I’ll leave this write up with the best photo that I got from the trip – taken by the wife actually! Love the moon in the shot.

We spoke about how we could make this a yearly thing. Of course, Claire and I will have a 6 month old by then…

Mt Buffalo – Day 3

Woke up after a warm night thanks to cloud cover and it wasn’t long before it started to rain. I got a bit of reading done in the car, and soon we decided there wasn’t much to be done but make the best of it. We went to where there was nice view and waterfall (Brad walked, the rest of us drove) and the waterfall was pretty cool. Given the heavy fog/cloud we were in, the view wasn’t to be seen.


Claire and I at the lookout

Towards lunch the weather started clearing and we were able to enjoy things a bit more. The kids were very keen to fish again, we went on a long walk around Lake Catani. The fishing was fun, some unknown campers from the other sides thought it would be fun to coo-ey us, and what followed was around 20 minutes of the kids coo-eying back. The day before Maddie had said “Dad taught me how to coo-ey, but now he says it’s annoying”. Classic gold from Brad.


Some more fishing

On the walk

And that was mostly it, Marshmallow time seemed to be the highlight of the kids trip, and probably Claire’s too. Even if our weirdo mate decided to join us in silence. Anyawy, figured I should throw in a photo of the kids loving it:

Only just got to bed before the rains started. It was a pretty wild night, we were right in a thunderstorm which wasn’t ideal.