Watched ‘The Imitation Game’ last night and loved it. Thanks to Bec and Phil for the recommendation. Good movie.
Today has been pouring with rain so we have been hanging out in the van. At one stage Col had a jumper and a beanie on, even though it was still 27 degrees in the van ha ha. It does feel cold though after the scorching heat. Nice to have a break from it. Continue reading “January 2018 Posts – 16 to 18”
Day 11 – 24th January 2018 – Streaky Bay Boat Launch
Today we took the boat out for another fishing day. We decided to use the shallow ramp near our caravan park and Col took my Mazda CX5 rather than his Toyota FJ Cruiser to put the boat in. It freaked me out a bit, seeing the back of my car in the water. On the first attempt to put it in, we realised that the trailer was sitting too high above the water to drive the boat off. So Col decided to reverse quickly down the ramp and slam the brakes on, to try and launch the boat off the back of the trailer into the water. My job was to hold a little rope to stop the boat floating off to sea….. yes, I was crapping myself. I am glad to report that this terrifying plan did work and all went smoothly. Not sure I recommend it as a way to launch boats, but in this instance it was a nice trick and it did work. We did manage to get GoPro footage of this launch and will put it up once edited.
First fishing day today! We took the boat to Farm Beach and did a beach launch. We had some challenges putting it in. We were trying to film it with the GoPro and took a bit too long and the jockey wheel completely sank in the sand which meant we couldn’t drop the large front wheel in place. Luckily Col and I were able to lift the trailer to allow the front wheel to lock in. By then the back wheels had started to sink and Col and I couldn’t budge the trailer. We had to hook the trailer up quickly to the car using some straps and pull it out of the hole. We were then able to push the trailer and boat out far enough to launch it.
If you are thinking that is all that went wrong with this launch, you are mistaken. We got out deep enough and the boat then floated off the trailer at an angle preventing us from being able to unhook the front clip securing it to the trailer. Col and I tried unsuccessfully to push the boat back on to the trailer, it was way too heavy. At this moment Col realised the bung plugs weren’t in and dashes to the back of the boat to stop it taking on any more water. He switched on the bilge pump to empty it out. We suddenly notice that the boat had managed to move clear of the front hook holding it to the trailer and we quickly moved the boat off while we could. In the meantime I managed to step on something in the water that was very painful, possibly a sea urchin. Not sure what it was, but it didn’t cause any issues. We were able to get the trailer back onto the beach without any further drama and both enjoyed the fishing day. It was about 35 degrees in Coffin Bay, but beautiful out on the water. Such a pretty place.
We fished the sandy spots for some whiting and managed to catch a couple of good sized fish for dinner. We caught a few smaller fish that we had to throw back. Not a great catch but a great day. The weather changed quickly and soon we were surrounded by whitecaps and had to head back to shore. I am glad to say that getting the boat out went way more smoothly than putting it in. A couple of nice guys came over to give us a hand too which was good as the water was moving pretty quickly and would have been a fair work out for just Col and I.
We headed to the Coffin Bay boat ramp to clean the boat. This is also where you can get drinking water and use the public toilets, RV dump point and fish cleaning table.
The evening was much cooler and we were able to have a camp fire and we cooked up the fish that we caught for dinner. So good. There really is something special about catching, cleaning and cooking your food. You appreciate it way more than what you buy in a supermarket.
We plan to pack up our camp tomorrow and head to streaky bay on Sunday. My Uncle Ian and his partner Rille are heading back from Perth and will be in Ceduna on Sunday, so we are planning a time to catch up with them if we can line it up.
Day 7 – 20th January 2018 – Coffin Bay
Today was mainly a pack up day of our Coffin Bay camp, but once the main pack up was done we decided to go and hire a couple of kayaks and paddle around Coffin Bay. You can get them from the Beachcomber shop near the caravan park. We also found that this shop had a better selection of bait for fishing and much cheaper than the general store. They sell a range of things, so it is worth having a look around.
We took the kayaks out for an hour around the bay. The coast line was really beautiful and the water surprisingly clear. We saw a razor fish, crabs and a scallop. I learnt a new fact thanks to Colin East, that scallops can swim! Even though they are in a shell. They open and close so they can move away.
On the way back we were followed by a couple of dolphins. These magical creatures are always amazing no matter how many times you see them. The interesting thing is it made a really loud sharp bark sound out of its blow hole and did this maybe 5 times in total, going back under water in between each bark. The first one nearly made Col jump out of his seat. It was very close and surprisingly loud. We were worried it might have been sick or hurt but it just swam along with us the whole way back. If anyone knows what that behavior is or have heard it before I would be interested to know. I tried looking it up. Neither Col or I have ever heard a dolphin make that noise before, it was very interesting.
Afterwards we went back to Beachcomber and had a steak sandwich which was really, really good. Possibly the best food of everything we had in Coffin Bay (except our freshly caught whiting of course!). They are also licensed which was nice to have a bevy with our meals.
The temperature had finally dripped and we had a refreshingly cool night. Ready for the move to Streaky tomorrow.
Day 8 – 21st January 2018 – Coffin Bay to Streaky Bay
The final pack up was going pretty smoothly. Col laid down the challenge for me to try and pack up the double privacy ensuite on my own the first go. I accepted the challenge and downloaded a video to watch how it was done (with much teasing from Col). But I am happy to report that I NAILED IT!!! Might make a video of this so Col can watch it any time he needs, haha.
Things went a little off track when we were packing up the Caravan awning and noticed that it was off centre and wouldn’t click back into the rails on the side of the van properly. While we were trying to fix it, one of the awning arms popped out of the other track completely and we couldn’t fix it. Luckily Col was able to get it secured enough to drive to Streaky where we would look at a more permanent fix for it. This did delay us leaving Coffin Bay much later than intended.
We did find this little guy during the pack up and decided it is a good reminder not to leave your shoes outside, or to check anything left outside before you put it on.
Once we were all packed up we headed to the Coffin Bay boat ramp to fill up the tanks with water and empty the port-a-loo at the dump point. For those of you that are not familiar with dump points or how to use them, there is a photo below (don’t be scared – I didn’t photograph anything graphic haha). You pick up the cover and there is a big drain underneath it. I bring disposable gloves, paper towel and pine-0-clean, also use safety glasses or sunglasses, and bring soap too (some public toilets don’t provide any). You will also need a hose and fittings (not the one that you use for filling your tank with drinking water, for obvious reasons). The drain is quite large, so I would suggest removing the cover off the port-a-loo well away from the drain, as you would be in a bit of trouble if you slipped and dropped it!!
Here is a pic of the fish cleaning table there too. It is pretty well set up.
Finally we were on the road and the only issue that we encountered was the shower hose door popped open and the shower hose flung out the side of the van and bounced along the road briefly. Thankfully we had our radios and I was able to let Col know to pull over. Unfortunately the shower head is now a bit buggered and we will need to work out a way to replace it. As we are staying at the caravan park for a few days, we have a bit of time. The rest of the drive went smoothly and I enjoyed listening to more of the ‘Silent Child’ audible book on the way and called, Erin, Jem, Sam and Steff.
We decided to stay at the Streaky Bay Islands Caravan Park in Streaky Bay. There were two caravan park options, but this was the cheaper of the two and only 12 months old. So we decided to give it a go and are very impressed with it. It is a 6 star caravan park (I didn’t know that was a thing), but the facilities are great. It is a bit out of the town and set on a beach. The sites are HUGE, 30 feet wide. We were able to fit both cars, the boat, the van, the tent and the awning all on the one site. We will get some photos of the place and post them before we head off. This park is only $30 a night for a powered site if you stay 3 nights or more. You can’t fill up the water tanks as it uses desalinated water, but you can apparently fill up in the town but it costs $1 per 25 litres to do so.
Ian and Rille came and stayed here for a night too, so we got to have dinner together and chat well into the night. There was possibly a few red wines involved too. Great to see family and get to spend some time together. Wishing them both safe travels on their way back to Adelaide today.
Day 9 – 22nd January 2018 – Streaky Bay
Just a chill out laundry day today. Hanging laundry out in gale force winds is an interesting experience let me tell you, ha ha. That probably would have made a funny video had we thought of it.
Also had a tech day and hung out in the recreational room updating the blog and Col was uploading the video footage as Jake Cunningham has kindly offered his exceptional media skills to help edit the films.
Interesting question Tania about whether I think the Islands Caravan Park would be a good spot for our camping Crew. It is a beautiful park and feels like a bit of luxury after roughing it with the free camping. It is also a great spot if you are into fishing. I feel like it might be too nice for the sort of camping we like, if that makes sense?We are heading into the town tomorrow so will let you know my thoughts from a Crew perspective after that. If we are honest…. The Crew will have fun wherever we go. But campfires are a big part of our trips and they are restricted in caravan parks. Are you really even camping if you don’t have a campfire?? Here are some photos of the park that I took.Let me know your thoughts.
Day 10 – 23rd January 2018 – Streaky Bay Boat Ramp
We are excited that the first video is ready to view on YouTube – the fishing day at Farm Beach. Thanks so much Jake Cunningham for your help with the editing!! We are obviously novices at the video stuff, but having lots of fun doing it and learning as we go. Hopefully they will get better and better as the trip goes on.
We headed into the town today to check it out and did a bit of a shop for supplies. It is a really friendly and beautiful spot.
We went down first to check out the boat ramps to see where we would launch the boat from tomorrow, as there are two options. One is close to us, just a few kilometers from the Streaky Bay Islands Caravan Park, but is a shallow and rocky launch spot. The other is on the far side of town and you have to pay at the Tourist Centre to use it. I believe it is $5 a launch, or you can get weekly/monthly permits as well if you are going to be staying a while. There isn’t anywhere at either boat ramp to wash the boat down, but we found you can do this at the dump point back in the town.
We decided we would launch from the ramp nearest to us.
We visited a place called Back Beach, not far from Streaky Bay and it was also very beautiful. A good Surf and fishing beach, but one to be a little wary of – some big swells and rips.
We spotted a beautiful bike track along the foreshore, so might get the bikes down off the car and take them for their first voyage while we are here.
We have decided to stay on here a few extra days, as there is still a few things that we want to do.
And so it began at 10.45am, Sunday 14th Jan 2018…..
All the planning, dreaming and waiting has finally paid off and the day has arrived.
My beautiful children and their partners and one of my grand kids, came down to help us pack up at the Christies Beach Caravan Park. They bought us McDonalds for breakfast and gave us a wonderful send off. We even got great coffees from our very own Barista, Erin Cunningham (spoilt!).
I was towing the boat and Col the Van, and the drive from Adelaide to Baroota went smoothly. We chatted on our UHF radios throughout the drive and it was a pretty relaxing and enjoyable start to the trip.
Pack up went well in Ceduna and we started the Nullarbor trek. We decided to do the Nullarbor Golf Links, but the weather has not been very conducive to this great plan. The Nullabor Links is known as the longest Golf Course in the world. The course spans 1,365 kilometres with one or more holes in each participating town or roadhouse along the Eyre Highway, from Kalgoorlie in Western Australia to Ceduna in South Australia. We won’t do all of them this trip, as some of them are not on the way that we have planned to go, but apparently you can do the hole and get your card stamped at any time in the future. Once complete you can pick up your certificate from either the Kalgoorlie or Ceduna Tourist Centre. We thought it might be a bit of fun along the way and break up the driving too. The first two holes were at the Ceduna Golf Club and Col has started taking footage of it on the GoPro. We got to the green, but they were black sand, known as scrapes. Neither Col nor I have had any experience with scrapes, so we are not sure of the etiquette. We flattened out a path to the hole and had our putts. Interesting experience. This is not the typical manicured fairways and well dressed sport that we have come to know . This is Golf, Australian Outback style.
Cold, cold, cold! 19 degrees but feels like 12 degrees after the heat. Funny.
Today we went for a bit of a drive and checked out Denial Bay, apparently it got it’s name from Matthew Flinder’s who hoped to find fresh inland water but that request was denied. It was incredibly windy, the photo doesn’t show it, but you had to lean into the wind to stop yourself being blown off the jetty. There were full white caps out there and I tried to get a photo but was having serious issues holding onto my phone. A stormy sea is so beautiful and powerful though, I love it. Continue reading “Day 17 – 30th January 2018 – Denial Bay and McKenzie Ruins”
Watched ‘The Imitation Game’ last night and loved it. Thanks to Bec and Phil for the recommendation. Good movie.
Today has been pouring with rain so we have been hanging out in the van. At one stage Col had a jumper and a beanie on, even though it was still 27 degrees in the van ha ha. It does feel cold though after the scorching heat. Nice to have a break from it. Continue reading “Day 16 – 29th January 2018 – Ceduna”
Just a chill out laundry day today. We were expecting another scorcher but it didn’t get there, thankfully. We have been enjoying the cool breeze. It has been really windy but we haven’t minded one bit.
Col wanted some time to work on the videos that I keep referring to in the blog. So we had a tech day and hung out at the van. This was our office…
The pack up went really well in Streaky Bay, we are becoming professionals at it now. The drive also went really smoothly and we arrived at the Ceduna Foreshore Caravan Park by 12pm. The issue with this (the camping crew will understand and appreciate this dilemma), there is a rule that you can’t set up camp without a bevvy in your hand, but we never arrive anywhere early so it was a dry set up at Ceduna. Just didn’t feel right. Continue reading “Day 14 – 27th January 2018 – Streaky Bay to Ceduna”
Today we headed off towards Elliston to do the Clifftop drive, but we stopped in at ‘Murphy’s Haystacks’ on the way there. We had seen a video about these and thought we should stop, but was not really expecting much. We were both really surprised, they are beautiful and we really enjoyed it.