Easter 2018 – Maggie’s first camping trip

Easter and we decided to camp with Maggie – she had just turned one. I expected it to be difficult, and it was. The worst part of camping I think is nap time – on a warm day it is too hot to nap in her bed which was in a tent. Yes, you can nap her in the pram or the parent’s caravan etc, however, she will only sleep 30 minutes in that circumstance and it isn’t ideal.


Biccies and drink by the fire

So anyway.

We got there on Friday after a long day stuck in traffic (we usually try to avoid Good Friday traffic but it couldn’t be helped). Papa and Nanny had decided to come with us for a night – their first camping trip ever. We got there and Maggie was super excited. Pa and Grandee had already set up nearly everything for us, so it was a lot of fun around. We were a bit nervous about the night but Maggie slept very well. It is looked like everything would be smooth.


Swimming!

Action splash shot

The issue of napping arose on Saturday. It was a very warm day, lots of fun at the river. But it was very difficult for Maggie to nap. Plus she loved everything so much, she was very stimulated. That night was terrible. Firstly some horrible people in the camp site next to us were blaring music. The rule of the campsite says “All noise such as radios must be turned off by 10pm. Please be considerate of your neighbours”. They read this as “noise can be unlimited until 10pm”. I complained to the new owners who said they would act but didn’t until around 10.30pm. On one hand I don’t blame the campers, that rule is very ambiguous. On the other, they certainly had a red hot go at us and the onsite managers, so I hope they aren’t allowed back. But anyway.

That night was horrible for us. Maggie was completely overtired and just not herself. She only slept for small stints and basically slept on Claire most of the night.

The next day, Easter Sunday, half of the horrible-camp left, so we were tempted to drive back to sale but thought we would give it one last crack. We were glad we did. Maggie slept well until 3am, but was difficult from there. Which isn’t too bad. And it was a lot of fun sitting around the campfire. A few people suddenly came down with gastro… we got hit too, but not until we had arrived back home on Monday.


Easter egg hunt on Sunday

Happy Easter!

So, overall, it was a lot of fun during the day. I think we made the correct decisions based on the information we had at the time. But gees it was a tough work. Not sure when I will take Maggie camping next, earliest I think at 18 months, perhaps not until next Easter.

Cape Conran – Boo the BOM

One of those trips.

Was supposed to be Wednesday Thursday. Next thing you know its Sunday and the weather says the only good days will be Monday Tuesday. I pack the car up and just before I leave the weather has changed again. Now Tuesday/Wednesday. So on Monday I drive 5 hours to cape conran… BOM update is issued 5pm Monday to say that there will be no fishing on Tuesday.

But come Tuesday, the weather is actually pretty good. Nevertheless the boat ramp is really prone to westerly wind and we aren’t going out. Instead we target bream and fail in the river. Quite annoying as we easily could have got a sunrise to 4pm fish in, when the wind hits. Or even midday you know?

The next day is 50/50 according to the BOM, but when we wake up there is zero chance of getting out. So I go back. My wife and future deckie are away so this is the only chance I’ve had in a while.

Ah well, nothing you can do about weather.

Caught:
Skipper: Nothing
Dad: Nothing
Me: One mullet


Got off the boat and tried the channel thinking some flatties might be about

 

One good story of the trip was seeing a seal pop his head up from about 1 metre of where a guy was hitching his jetski back up to his trailer. The seal watched him intently. When the guy realised there was a seal right next to him he got a big fright.

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:

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!).