Today is a public holiday in the NT so Col had the day off. We decided to take the boat out and go fishing at Dundee Beach which is about an hour and a half drive from here. We would have gone away camping this weekend but unfortunately my first Woolies shift happens to be on a Saturday, so no camping for us this weekend. Still excited to get the boat in the water.
Unfortunately the trailer tyre locked up when Col was putting the boat in the water on the boat ramp and the car got a bit bogged trying to pull it out. I had to stand and hold the the rope and was very aware that there are warning signs for crocs at this beach and felt quite nervous waiting for Col to return. As it was a long weekend, this place was very busy and people were fairly snappy. When the tyre locked up on the trailer, Col was trying to free the brake by smashing it with a wrench when someone else was coming down the ramp. They were yelling at Col to move the car and just drag the trailer up with the locked wheel. It was pretty stressful. This place is busy at the best of times but throw in a long weekend and it was manic.
We finally got underway and the fishing was fantastic. Col managed to find a couple of reefs to fish at and we caught some awesome eating fish which included a Cod, a Golden Snapper (Fingermark Bream) and a few Javelinfish. Apparently the best eating fish is the Golden Snapper and we are looking forward to both trying this one. All in all it was a fantastic day out on the water and we headed back late in the afternoon to bring the boat in.
We hadn’t really though this part through. There were people everywhere, about 50 people sitting on the bank watching, about 6 boats in the water waiting to get out, cars lined up at the top to put their trailers in and bring the boats out, a serious production line. Two cars at a time next to each other on the ramp. There was a bit of a swell that was making it difficult for people to get dropped off out of the boat to run up to get the cars and Col dropped me off to get the car. I was feeling sick, this scenario is waaaaaaaaaaay out of my skill set. I have not backed a trailer down a boat ramp on my own ever, let alone in this sort of environment. I was seriously panicking. I got the car and lined up and pulled into a parking area opposite the ramp when I realised this is seriously not something I feel capable of attempting under these circumstances, so I got out of the car and walked back down the ramp, waved Col over and explained the situation. You can imagine how impressed he was I offered to hold the boat in the croc infested waters with the swell but it was too difficult. Other boats were getting in trouble just dropping people off. So we were in a pickle. Luckily someone asked Col what was happening and a very kind man offered to back the trailer down for me and I was very, very, very grateful. I am happy to back the boat down a boat ramp, but I would like to do it at least once on my own without and audience and not under that kind of pressure and not next to another car already on the ramp. Anyway, I totally choked and Col handled it really well. There was a lovely lady up the top who said she had been in the same situation and had tried three times to back the trailer down. She said that people come out to sit and watch and film any disasters for entertainment. A seriously intimidating place, especially on a long weekend. I said to Col I am happy to go practice putting the boat in before next time. But we need a plan B next time in case I freeze again.
We were not organised with photos or video of the trip today, so I downloaded this picture of the Dundee boat ramp off https://www.enjoy-darwin.com/darwin-boat-ramps.html to give you a visual. Just picture it with a million people, cars and boats around!
Here is a photo of our catch for the day. Looking forward to trying the Golden Snapper and the Javelinfish, I already know that the Cod is fantastic.