We picked up some provisions from the local Woolies and returned to the park for dinner and an early night.
Today we left Exmouth heading for Karratha, As Exmouth is a perninsulayou get to see things twice, once on the way there and again on the way back. Heading out I saw a sign saying "MV KRAIT MEMORIAL" this is the site where the MV KRAIT left for Singaporein September 1943 and returned in October 1943 after sinking 37000 ton of enemy shipping we found that as you get closer to the top everything is either a mining town or nothing, I wonder what these places would look like if the big mining companies pulled up stakes and left. We found a Big 4 caravan park and set up the camper.
We picked up some provisions from the local Woolies and returned to the park for dinner and an early night.
Day 23 has us heading to Exmouth, along the way we cross the Tropic of Capricorn, this tells us that we are level with Rockhampton on the east coast. Our first stop is Coral Bay, we had planned to stay here for a day and do some fishing, swimming and snorkelling, this changed when we drove in and the place was packed. We took the turn to Ningaloo but the road was terrible so we headed to Exmouth.
We found the Big 4 van park and booked us a site. After a drive around we found some very interesting things, as I am into radio type stuff I could not resist the amount of antennas that are around Exmouth, there is a site that was built by the US Navy and there are 13 towers, all over 300M high with wire going in every direction, I am led to believe that this is where they used to communicate with the submarines. There are also some large log periodics that are used by Air Services Australia, would have loved to been able to hook the 857 to one and say hello.
I will talk more about the antennas later when I get some more information about them.
Next morning I am woken to a soft voice asking Stacey if she is VK2BO, I hop out of bed and there is a tiny Japaneese guy standing there looking up at me. He had tracked me down using APRS and I must say I was rather blown away. He introduced himself and asked about my radios and stuff, he had a look at my set up then offered to show me his JEEP.
I thought he was staying in the same park that we were but this is not the case, so out the front we go and there is the JEEP, a 1979 model Army jeep, I thought at the time that it was a Willies, but he advised me that it was a GM. He has all millitary radios in the JEEP andhe is travelling around Australia also, he is using HF APRS and thought he would say hello, I am glad that he did.
He is heading to Perth and when he gets there he has to fly back to Japan. He returns in September to finish his trip, he asked if he could visit me when he comes through Sydney and I hope he does.
After our chance meeting we headed to a place for some snorkelling, Tourquoes Bay was the place for us beginners, but in no time Stacey had the snorkelling down pat. We put on our goggles and snorkel and head underwater to our amazment there are a few rather large fish swimming around looking back at us, then a nice size grassy sweetlip swims up and before long we are floating over the top of a couple of bommies, these reefs are loaded with fish and with the GOPRO we manage to get some underwater footage, again we are no Ben Crop, and we find out later that we need another part to the camera for better underwater stuff, we may look into this for further underwater adventures.
We had a blast floating around in the water looking at the fish, some rather large schools of fish and all the clown fish around the annenamies. This is a part of the trip that will be etched into our minds forever, and have vowed to return and do it again.
We will endevour to get some more video of the fish online soon.
We had some lunch in this beautiful part of the world before heading back to the van park.
We left Denham today heading for Carnarvon, we crossed the 26th Parralel a short drive of about 300Km. Once we got into Carnarvon we found a motel, as it is Monday night we had to keep up the tradition so we could watch revenge, great show.
We picked up a few essentials from Carnarvon and we were heading north again.
We got on the road about 9 after getting some washing done. The guy at the DEC told us that it was about a 3 hour drive to get to the the most westernly point of Australia, well this may have been a slight exegeration. We drove along what I would describe as the worst road in the country, and those of you that know about my PC09 experience, this is worse. We could actually see sunlight between the dash and the dash pod du to the corrugations in the road.
We got to the ranger station where we had to pay our $11 entry fee, they should have paid us for going there. I asked the ranger to keep an eye out for my teeth when they run the grader over the track next, her reply was it is almost a track. I beleive her now.
After the ride you get to the point where you see the sign and the whole trip becomes worthwhile, there are beautiful beaches and the view is magnificant. I know it sounds like a winge but it is well worth the trip, besides now I have both East and West photos, North and South to work on.
The trip home was a little quicker, and once on the sealed road again we inflated the tyres to highway preasures and we where back in the van park.
We have some video of the trip, once I can edit it I will place it on the site for all to see. I have also managed to get some photos on the gallery page, have a look.
We arrived at the Blue Dolphin van park last night, not as flash as it sounds, we are planning on spending a couple of days here as there are a few things to do.
We start today with an early trip to Monkey Mia, 28Km from Denham. We pay our entry fee and park the car, there are a few people already here. We spend some time looking around the displays and then make our way to the boardwalk as instructed. It is done this way to keep the dolphins out in the deeper water to feed longer.
We notice the dolphins heading in to the shallow water and watch as they play. Our position for the feeding was on the peir, we had a good spot and could see the dolphins quiet well.
There are only 5 females dolphins that get fed out of all the dolphins that visit Monkey Mia, this is to ensure that they don't loose the ability to hunt for themselves.
The first feed is complete and we decide that a coffee is required so off to the resort and have a nice coffee and some scones with jam and cream. We also did the tourist thing and got some postcards and sent them out to people back home, a new snow globe for Mum and fridge magnet for Dad and we were heading back to the car.
We noticed that the second feeding of the dolphins was about to start and with less people we went down to the beach, I had the new GOPRO underwater camera and placed it in to see what I could capture, I proved one thing, Jaques Coustaeu I am not.
I also need to mention that Stacey has been looking forward to getting a photo of an emu, well there are a few of them that hang around the resort at Monkey Mia, they seem friendly enough, but you are never sure are you. Photo taken, enough said.
I got close enough to the dolphin that I was invited in the water to see that I could have reached out and touched it, this is not allowed anymore, and I wish I had of waited around and had a swim in the allocated area, the dolphins will come up to you.
We left Monkey Mia and headed back to Denham, next stop was the Ocean Aquarium, this was very interesting. They have a great array of fish and sharks, all of them come out at feeding time, I would have loved to be able to feed them with my rod and hook. There are huge pink snapper, jew fish, mangrove jacks, and many more. A great display and well worth the visit, except the bridge that you walk over to the shark tanks is a little rocky under foot, maybe they are hopeing that they can save on shark food one day if the bridge falls into the tank.
We rounded of the day fishing on the Denham jetty, I as usual was out fished by Stacey who got a couple of cracker fish, as we were camping we did not really have the facilities to clean and cook fish so they either made it back to the water or got passed of to others fishing on the jetty. I managed a couple of squid.
A long day and a long post. Stay tuned for our trip to Steep Point tomorrow.
After a few photos of Geraldton and some medical supplies we were northbound again. and this time I was sure to take the correct road. Our first stop was Port Gregory where we had to drive past the pink lakes, this is caused by an abundance of beta carratine in the water and it makes the lake look pink. Once in Port Gregory we found this beautiful place right on the beach, white sands and crystal clear water.
Next stop Kalbarri, this place is also worth a look, very nice indeed.
From Kalbarri it was a race to Denham, we checked into the Blue Dolphin caravan park ready for the next few days of our great trip.
Today we got an early start and drove to Freemantle, we boarded the boat and went to Rottnest Island, the boat trip was uneventful and as usual I showed how easily I can fall asleep when there is a little movement.
We arrived on the Island and had a coffee, we can see how the Island is for tourists, as a coffee was well over the price you would pay anywhere else.
We decided that maybe hiring the bikes would be a waste of time as pushing them would be harder than walking, so walk it was.
We had a look at some of the buildings and read a little into the history of Rottnest. Very interesting and holds a dark past.
We walked out to a place on the coast they call the basin, a very beautiful spot where the limestone has eroded and the water looks like it has filled a basin, if the weather had of been a little better we would have had a swim.
We found some quokka, a small marsupial that are found on the Island, stacey as usual had to have a pat and a small feed of palm nuts and the job was done. Very cute little critter, I bet they taste great too.
Back to Wundowie and spent our last night with Aaron (Zed) great to catch up with him, and after all the years that have past he hasn't changed a bit. We made a promise to not let that much time get between us again.
Today was a rest day to get a few things done. We are in Wundowie at a mates place.
We went and put $15 into the local economy, lunch at the local community centre, great taosted ham cheese and tomatoe sanga ladies, complete with potato chips.
Tomorrow we are heading to Rottnest Island.
Busselton to Bunbury, after a look around Busselton we headed to Bunbury, then out to Harvey for a look at the giant Orange. What do we find? A cheese factory so another stop had us with some more yummy cheese and a stick of emu salami, I always said that the emu would be good for something, yes that would be food.
We hit the freeway and before long we have reached Perth, so a trip around the outskirts set us down at Cotesloe beach, people from over here rave about this place, I thought Manly looked better. Drove past Campbell Barracks in Swanbourne and wished I had the couple of log periodics thet where sticking up in the air. Campbell Barracks is the home of the SASR, I guess they need the antennas more than me.
From there we headed to Wundowie, a small town 75Ks from Perth, we are staying with a mate for a day or so, Zed has a nice house in this town, hope to get on the 80M net tonight and then tomorrow we are heading to