Lincoln National Park - Fisherman's Point camping area

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 22:20

Member-Heather MG NSW

Yesterday we arrived at Fisherman's Point camping area mid morning and were ecstatic to discover a large vacant area along the cliff with views out over the clear azure waters and sweeping curve of the beach below. After some manoeuvring around and between the trees we managed to park the van almost in the same place as we had occupied two years ago.

There were only a handful of other campers and today the number has reduced to just three including us so it is very quiet. One couple Bev and Bob from Brisbane, were staying beside us for two of our nights in Louth bay and we have struck up a friendship. They arrived about half an hour after us and set up their van further along the headland with a good space and the picnic table between us. I hate people camping very close to us in a place like this and it is one reason why we choose not to stay in van parks.
Facilities are basic here - just long drop toilets so I guess it doesn't appeal to some, but it is our idea of heaven!

It didn't take John long to drive down to the beach and unload the tinnie however there was a strong wind blowing so he spent the afternoon fishing off the rocks and around the point, unsuccessfully.

During the late afternoon while we were having 'happy hour' with bev and Bob we were intrigued and surprised to see a large number of emus - close to 70 - come wandering down the track to the beach and take a leisurely stroll along the sand for some hundred metres before heading back up into the scrubby vegetation which fringes the beach. I managed to get a couple of photos after attaching the big lens to the camera despite the fact that they were hundreds of metres away, maybe more. Didnt have a chance to set up the tripod but now have it ready should they re appear. It is by far the biggest number of emus we have ever seen in the one group.

This morning the wind had dropped and the sunrise was spectacular.

When I tried to light the gas to make coffee around 6am, I realised that the bottle had run out overnight so we had to change over to the new bottle. We must remember to refill it when we get back to Port Lincoln at the end of the week.

I sat outside savouring the quiet and had a coffee as the clouds and sky lit up with colour and the birds awoke. We can hear the hum of the tuna boat motors as they leave Port Lincoln early every morning and then again when they start returning around midday, and at night the lights of the town are visible across Boston Bay from here.

John was up relatively early too, keen to try to get some razor fish out of the sand at low tide. He arrived back with the bag limit of 25 and we spent the next three quarters of an hour on the water's edge while he removed the edible 'meat' - a small dish of of white flesh rather like a scallop and about the size of a 50c coin and approximately 1 cm thick, from the big black mussel shaped shell. He also kept all the other bits for burley and bait. We have yet to taste them but imagine they will be similar to scallops.

About mid morning we took the boat out and fished but caught only under size or unwanted species, some of which were used as bait. It is the first time I have fished for over 40 years however I soon got the hang of it and really enjoyed the feeling of hooking a fish and pulling it up to the side of the boat. I was hoping to hook a whiting but maybe tomorrow....
However I did hook the first fish - a stripey trumpeter which was also the biggest fish of the morning, and at least equalled the number caught by John. He was baiting both his and my rods as well as pulling up anchor and in charge of the boat so I guess he was rather busier than me though. It was very pleasant sitting out on the water viewing the coastline and islands in the bay from a different perspectiive.

I declined the offer of going back out this afternoon, feeling sunburnt and weary and took the chance to read some of my novel, had a 'nanna nap' and then a stroll along the beach and back with Bev. John took Bob out instead. The men had slightly more luck and arrived back with one legal sized king George whiting, caught by John, and a couple of Australian salmon.

The four of us sat at the picnic table sharing nibbles and having 'happy hour' and waited for the emus to re-appear but were disappointed. Perhaps it is not on their usual path. We will look out for them again tomorrow evening.

We ate the razor fish for dinner tossed in flour and pan fried until golden, with potato wedges and salad and it was much like eating scallops we thought. Quite tender and tasty. John is keen to get another 25 tomorrow morning at low tide.

Afterwards we put the hot water on, washed up and showered. It feels so good to be clean! We are trying to conserve water and so the shower only gets used every second night. We make do with an all over wash every other night and it does make a difference to the water consumption.

1st April 2009

Sunrise this morning was even better than yesterday. I took some pics then went for a walk to the end of the beach and back, around the headland and through the camping area. It was cloudy and great for walking. Low tide on the sand makes it easy, and much of the beach is thick with tiny white shells which makes the surface even firmer.

Since then we have collected another meal of razor fish which has gone into the freezer.

April 2nd
Yesterday afternoon I used a few spare hours to knead and then bake a loaf of bread, prepare a casserole for dinner and get some of our food stores rearranged. Also enjoyed some reading time and another nana nap!

John and Bob went out in the boat mid afternoon despite the strong wind blowing, and returned around 6.30pm with 5 whiting and a salmon so it was a more successful trip.

We ate late then washed up the days dishes, not getting all the chores completed until close to 10 pm.

Maybe this is why this morning I was later than usual out of bed. Cant wait until daylight savings ends on the weekend as it isnt really light until almost 8am!
We farewelled Bev and Bob who we will probably see further along the track, and went for a walk for a few kms along the Investigator trail towards Cape Donnington Lighthouse.
Waiting for the tide to come in so we can take the boat out for one last time.

3rd April

Our fishing trip yesterday afternoon did not yield one whiting but we caught plenty of small trumpeter, a couple of leatherjackets (one was goldfish size) and other unwanted varieties. The water was so choppy and rough that we couldn't hold anchor at the preferred whiting spot and I felt very anxious that we would be washed up against the rocks. (I am not a swimmer and always wear a life vest when on the water). John moved closer to the campsite and out of the wind and we had a couple of hours fun mostly baiting the hooks and feeding the fish!

We were very lucky to be the only occupants of the camping area last night although there were two fishing boats anchored in the bay.

This morning John was out of bed surprisingly early and had the boat washed down and loaded by 10am. We decided that we may as well pack up and move on as the wind was starting to increase once again, so we bid a fond farewell to our much loved camp and left around 11.

After shopping and attending to another few chores in Port Lincoln we took the Flinder's Highway toward Ceduna. We lunched beside the road north of the Coffin Bay turn off and arrived at Elliston around 4 pm. where we have booked into the caravan park overnight. The weather is cool and very windy so we didnt think staying on a headland somewhere in a free camp would be very pleasant. Besides, I needed to do the washing and our water tanks were getting low. We stayed here a couple of years ago and found it to be sheltered from the wind and with good amenities.

I was chastised by the park owner for not having booked ahead. However if we hadnt been able to stay here we would have moved on and stayed somewhere further north. I didnt have the guts to tell her that we havent been staying in parks.

Tonight I have printed off a few postcards to send to friends and family who arent online. I had to buy a printer cable in Pt Lincoln today as it was inadvertantly left at home.

Tomorrow we are looking forward to seeing some new country.

Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. John Muir
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