Man vs Wild @ Ningaloo - Part 5

Wednesday, Jul 15, 2015 at 10:00

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

Wed 15th - and still the weather is poor but there is promise of improvement this afternoon. Sun is out but windy and cold enough for jackets. Too windy to use the boat or kayak. Too windy to sit comfortably outside. Too cold to swim. Confined inside tents means cross legged on floor or laying on mattress. But we are all enjoying card games and I've now started reading my kindle. I have already finished a short story by Judy Nunn that I'd forgotten I had downloaded in a rush as we passed through Carnavron and now reading Game of Thrones (have watched it all over a short period of time over the last few months but not had time to read it yet).

David and I took a very long morning beach walk (6km) and were followed by a happy little dog named Marley - he is a Westie. As we passed back by the area where he joined us, he leave and we couldn't work out where he was from. He came all the way back to our camp. Upon our return we gave him water and didn't let him settle into our camp to ensure he headed home. Harry wasn't too impressed so he only stayed a while but then moved on and we thought nothing more of it.

We cooked fish wraps for lunch and David tried to kayak despite the strong wind and rough water just to do something. We have very little available power from the solar panels due to the bad weather so not able to recharge devices. We are not picking up any 3G reception so have no access to a weather forecast. A few other campers have setup tall antennas to get 3G service and we've heard that the rain would stop Wednesday and Friday would be good again. But its Wednesday now and the wind doesn't look to be holding off yet. It even rained again just after sunset just to be annoying but at least we have plenty of fish and enjoyed a big green fish curry but it was too spicy for Chardae.

Thurs 17 - David went for a run but I will wait for wind to back off more. I don't enjoy running into a head wind - soft sand is hard enough. We heard an animal scratching around last night and we got up to investigate with our headlamps and spotted a little dark grey mouse trying to get into our food boxes I've got stored inside the tent so I did a clean up this morning to remove any access to food and sweep up any crumbs. After making my morning cuppa I sat out to watch the morning light and activity when a passing camper walking his dog stopped for a chat. He told me a dog had been bitten by a snake yesterday. Turns out it was little Marley. A King Brown got him. Horrific! So, I went back through all my food storage to make sure I wasn't inviting mice. Don't want to temp the snakes to mice in our tent that's for sure!

David and Leah braved the ocean again - I don't think we'll get Chardae out again until she gets some good days on the inside reef. They returned with a really giant Giant Trevally! Leah was so happy and was gushing fishing stories as they'd had a very eventful afternoon out there.

Just at that moment we turned back to look at our camp and noticed a new vehicle pull up into the camp immediately beside ours but what really took our attention was that we recognised it! It was ExplorOz Members - Navigator 1 (Rob and Chicka)! Wow what a surprise. We last saw them 5 years ago but of course time flies when they are regular travellers and good Members who contact us from time to time and write blogs, share their stories and photos and use EOTrackMe. After feeling quite isolated with the bad weather and not having another family with us for company, we were thrilled to see them. After tending to the immediacy of filleting the fish on the beach in the rush before sunset, we settled into socialising, enjoying stories and a few snacks before dinner. As they returned to the motorhome to cook dinner, we cooked a red pesto fish and gnocchi pasta dinner and enjoyed a lovely sunset.

Fri 18 - awoke to the promise of the long awaited perfect day but it was not to be. The sky was gloomy and the wind, whilst only light, looked like it would build before long. I took the opportunity to get another run done - going the 8km to the gate again and improved upon my time by 4minutes. I returned from my run to find David chatting with Rob n Chicka pondering if we could get the boat out to tow Chardae on the biscuit. He blew it up but by then the weather had already deteriorated past the point of making that seem like fun.

Instead, David decided to fish and he and Leah went out about 10:30am. Rob and Chicka stood at the waters edge with me as we waved them off. We were then approached by a fisherman walking up the beach offering us his fillets of sailfish just caught! I encouraged R n C to take it, but I said I didn't think it was going to be great eating. They headed back to their camp and I spent some time contemplating what had to be done to pack up as today is our last day here. Chardae went to play with the group of kids and I played with the kites and then started the packing. David and Leah returned 2 hrs later with tales of the big fish that got away and a beautiful dolphin fish.

Everyone was excited about the fishing, so lunch was leisurely. I prepared fish patties using shark mackeral, grated zuchinni and mash potato. Plus Chardae made a beer batter whilst I prepared oil in a small camp oven on the gas cooker to deep fry the calamari rings.

Next job was to pull the boat out of the water. Dave took Chardae Rob and Chicka in the car and empty trailer to find a suitable spot on the beach where the sand was not too soft, while I took Leah with me in the boat to motor down to the spot and drove the boat onto the trailer. We've done it a few times but there was still a bit of wind about so there was a chance it would be tricky. Thankfully the car pulled the trailer and boat up and out with no dramas. Dinner was a very simple affair of chicken schnitzels and garlic bread and red wine. We had pulled down as much of the camp as we could before sunset so it was a restful evening.

We are very sad that we've not had good weather this trip. We feel as if its been Man vs Wild and the Wild tried to win. We did not get to snorkel. We did not get to do any skiing behind the boat and I only got out on the kayak twice and I didn't even swim. It's a lot of effort to bring all the gear and not use it. But at least the fishing was good and we had great bonding time with the kids and the dog loved it. We didn't catch any giant spanish mackeral as we have in the past, but it was fun to have a greater variety of fish and all were good quality catches. We'll be going home with some fresh dolphin fish and fresh GT so we'll freeze them when we get home and enjoy them over the next few weeks as we reminisce about our trip and decide if we'll back the trip back again next year. We think the Martins did win over the wild but only because we didn't give in to the hardship of it and didn't let our expectations spoil the experiences we were having. The kids were disappointed like us in having some fun spoiled by the weather but they agree everyday in a situation like this is an adventure and that's what we do it for. You can make life very hard for yourself if you set high expectations. Happiness is found when you just live in the moment.
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
Always working not enough travelling!
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