Stockton Beach was excellent...almost !

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 19:44
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Just got back from stockton beach, left on Tuesday moring. Was hoping the deflators (4WD Monthly thingo) arrived before leaving but not to be, missed it by that much !!! Would have come in handy though.
Anyway, Interesting drive in from the fuel station side, 3 cars in our group, GQ (me) Hi Lux ute (new) and one of those British made tanks (Land Rover) with all the comforts of home.
We get in about 2 Kms heading down the winding path that takes us onto the sand and BINGO, Tank gets bogged BIG time. So I come to the rescue...well that was my intention. I get bogged too, I should have known the sand was extra soft as we passed 4 bogged vehicles before we got bogged ourselves. Anyway to the credit of my "never before been offroad" brother in law in his brand new hi lux ute, He stopped on the edge where the hard stuff was. After a couple of hours digging, he got us both out. Embarrased..... NO ! relieved...YES, was stinking hot.
Finally get to the beach, hoon around for a bit then find a spot to throw some lines in. Near the wreckage was great, good fish down there on the day. Had us a great dinner with what we caught.
Sunday comes around and Tank had to head home due to a family problem, so now its down to 2. So off we go after breakky and head back into the beach, no boggs this time, we used speed to move us through. Get to the beach for a day of fishing, in 5 hours we caught 2 fish so one of the younger boys decided to take a swim while we packed up, nothing wrong there you say...well.....your wrong !
as he was swimming, i was packing rods and stuff and i noticed a shadow in the water that was heading towards him, Put my sunnies on and BINGO, what i believed to be either a grey nurse or a white pointer that was hungry, This thing wasnt big but 1.5 to 2 mtrs long but is enough to cause some damage. so just as i was about to call out for him to get out of the water, He was walking out anyway so i didnt say a word until he came along side of me. I gave him my sunnies and told him to look where he was swimming, he did and almost fainted (he's a bit of a whimp anyway).
So we watched it for a while and noticed it hanging around, and started heading up towards the noth end of beach just 5 to 10 meters from the shore. I looked up and notices kids swimming alone so i jumped in the GQ qand warned everyone of what was heading their way. After that , the water was empty, not a swimmer in sight, word gets around fast.
No point to this story, just wanted to share it with others. We had a fantastic time though. Now i got the brother in law very interested in 4wd'ing too. And the kidsjust thought it was the best.
Cheers all angelo
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Reply By: Willem - Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 20:42

Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 20:42
I am sorry Son, but you have let the GQ fraternity down by getting bogged....LOL
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Follow Up By: cokeaddict - Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 07:41

Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 07:41
Yeh,
I kinda figured you would be dissapointed Dad. Well as you once told me long ago.....life is a learning game and on Tuesday i learned something.
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Reply By: Rick Blaine - Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 20:42

Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 20:42
So I guess you did'nt find Samurai Beach.... would have kept you amused for hours...
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Follow Up By: Extreme RAVer - Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 21:14

Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 21:14
Amused or in therapy ?!?!?!?!
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Follow Up By: cokeaddict - Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 07:44

Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 07:44
Hi Rick, No mate we didnt go there this time. But I will check it out next time I head up that way. We were having a great time at stockton and didnt want to waste time driving up to a place none of us knew anything about. But I will probably head up that way for a day or weekend just to check it out and add it to my list of places to go back to.
Thanks for your input though.
Ange
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Reply By: stitch - Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 22:56

Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 22:56
Great stuff, will be heading that way in couple of weeks.What sort of fish were caught near the wreck??? Mate, you should have rigged a rod up after getting the young fella out of the water and caught the bastard shark.
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Follow Up By: cokeaddict - Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 07:51

Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 07:51
Stitch,
If ya never been there before, its an amazing place. from memory the beach is 34 kms long (dont quote me ok..had sun stroke too :-) ) It just seemed to go forever. we saw a few cars that were overheating on the Wednesday. Was a very hot day out there and worse on the cars as they loaded them up trying to get throught the sand.
as for the shark, well the In-Law did quickly set his rod up and tried to get it to go for the bait, but the shark wasnt interested. Would have been a great catch though. Personally, I dont like doing things unless its for a good feed, so i really didnt want to kill the shark for no reason. After all we were in his turf, and he was just looking for food.
Hope ya have a great time up there mate. Bring heaps of drinking water.
Cheers Angelo
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Reply By: Member - Brian (Gold Coast) - Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 08:04

Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 08:04
Sounds like you had a great time there Angelo!!! Good on you! Pity you didn't CATCH the shark.... most sharks make a good meal, not sure about Nurse or Pointers though......

Good on ya mate!
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Follow Up By: cokeaddict - Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 13:17

Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 13:17
Hey Brian,
Happy new year to you mate.
well i have never tasted shark myself so i dont know what it would have tasted like. As i am starting to get back into the fishing again, (been missing it for over 15 years now) I probably will taste it one day. but I doubt we would have landed it anyway as we didnt have the right gear for something that big. i'm sure it would have taken everything it swallowed...hmmm there's a line there for my SWMBO......no i wont go there.
Im outta here mate
Angelo
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Follow Up By: Member - Brian (Gold Coast) - Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 17:42

Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 17:42
Angelo
Happy new year to you too mate.
Try a piece of Flake at the fish shop next time you're there.... it's shark! IMHO the best tasting fish in the ocean!!!! We have caught little blue sharks and shovel nose here on the coast, they make good eating too! I haven't fished for a long time but planning a trip to Yamba mid February, will wet a line then!

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Reply By: Member - Paul J (ACT) - Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 09:03

Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 09:03
Sounds like you had fun, i go there every time i head up to Maitland, never swim there, too many rips, and i usually go straight to the bottom.
Only ever got slightly bogged once, and that was due to lack off sand driving experience, and was in my old Hilux, soon got the hang of it. Never been bogged since, even in my Patrol.
What pressures were you running? What fish did you catch? When you coming down to Bendethra again?
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Follow Up By: cokeaddict - Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 13:30

Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 13:30
Hi Paul,
Yeh its a great place. No problem people there, everyone was friendly and things just went well. We (they) caught whiting & tailor. As for tyre pressures, I told them all to drop pressures to 18psi. I usually go 22 to start with but after walking in the sand, I figured 18 was needed. It was really soft sand, much softer than we usually encounter. But it was only on the path into the dunes, once we got to the open spaces, things started to ease up heaps. Bendethera is a place very close to my heart as u well know Paul. after a few years of doing places and finding new ones, you come across one that is exactly what you want, well Bendethera to me is that place. I dont know when i will go back down mate, i need to save my dollars for these trips organised through this forum Murry Sunset Nat Pk 11th March & the one Baz is organising July 9th Birdsville track. ( not sure if i can make that one yet.)
Other than that mate , I am looking for a new job so i need to get my priorities in order until i find work.
Take care
Ange
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Follow Up By: Member - Paul J (ACT) - Friday, Jan 07, 2005 at 09:49

Friday, Jan 07, 2005 at 09:49
I used to run at 12 psi in me old hilux, last Nov 1st time in the Patrol i ran 15 psi, had no drama's.
That first track in is very tricky, especially when it is hot, i think momentem is the trick, but sometimes you have to stop because someone is bogged, or coming the other way and not sticking to the left.
Ill call you before Murray Sunset, might be meeting up with Baz, and whoever else from this side, and travel together, will have camper by then, so cant wait.
Were they good size whiting, and were they caught around the shipwreck? Might take rod with me next time.
Cheer's Paul..
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Reply By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 12:16

Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 12:16
Not that I would test it but chances are good that it would have been a bronze whaler they are often seen cruising the shores edge you probably would get scare if you knew how many of them have swum nearby when you are taking a dip. as for getting bogged on a sand track what tyre pressures were you running? As you can see I own the mutha of tanks and have never been bogged on a beach or track (sandhills and mudholes - now that is a different matter) I have embarresed far more capable vehicles by towing there trailors along soft beaches for them and there is one word TYRE PRESSURE despite what you hear you can let tyres down below 15psi if neccessary. Last week i came accross a guy in a 4 runner with a massively overloaded trailor blocking a quite sandy track when I dropped his pressures from 18psi down to 12 he had no problems at all .I have gone down to 8psi when needed.
Having said all that I wasnt there
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Follow Up By: cokeaddict - Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 13:46

Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 13:46
Hi Davoe, compliments on your excellent looking 4b mate.
Definately wasnt a bronze whaler. She had the distinct sharp lines of a killer machine. very aerodynamic and you cant forget the sharp lines heading down to the tip of its nose.
Tyre pressures were 18psi. That was my suggestion to the other 2 as they havent driven on sand before. So i figured i usually run 20-22 so i went for 18 as the sand felt very soft. Not the usualy feel i get walking on sand.
I shudder to think the tyres will stick to their rims at 12psi, i dont doubt you at all here but i will try it next time and see if i can feel a difference. I just cant imagine 12psi let alone 8psi with a 2+ton truck swaying from left to right as it stays in the previously made tyre ruts. The only thing i noticed that was a huge difference was the fact that i run a front diff lock. I tried driving on the sand with and without it and noticed a few differences. Definately glad i spent the money to have it fitted now. I never used it on sand before. But it proved itself when we did morton national park a few months ago with 12 cars, after 1 river crossing we had a steep climb, first car was ok, track was dry, after that the wash off from river water comming off cars caused it to turn into a mud hill. Most couldnt make it without a tow. but with diff lock on, mine went up without any problems at all. Its nice to know your car is capable of doing things even the owner doubts. The sand thing (bogged), was my mistake, i should have followed the basic rules and stayed on the edge where the hard stuff was. but we all make mistakes. Another lesson learned for me.
I see your into the fishing. I Just started it again so im learning it all over. New beach rod New Alvey reel, new everything. Now i have my 4wd set up for long trips, I want to just head off and find me that secluded spot where just a few can get too. I think i will enjoy it heaps.
Take care Dave.
Ange
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Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 14:13

Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 14:13
scarey killer machine. 18psi can be way to high for soft sand and from my experience it is only from about 18 down you will start to notice a difference eg bogged at 18 then down to 15 and drive over it like bitumen. 8psi is to low for any length of time and is strictly for getting out of bogs. A few christmasses ago I towed a trailor olong very soft sand at about 12psi full stick with that big camper banging from side to side in the ruts. I can assure you tyres do not rip off the rim particulary easily although the potentiol is there. (btw the trailor was towed for a guy in a pajero running 22psi and should have had no problems with lower pressure)
I was fishing on the beach at witacarra creek Kalbari and got sick of telling bogged tourists that digging wasnt neccassary and 30 seconds of letting air out of tyres wasnt even close)
I cant stress enough the differnce between 18 and 15 is huge and 15 to 12 is 2wice as huge it is like a squre root thingo 32 to 18 25% 18 to 15 100% better 15 to 12 200%better 12 to 8 400% better. Trust me my big beasty has been stuck on sand enough and I never failed to get it out on level tracks - beaches by reducing pressure and not even digging
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Follow Up By: cokeaddict - Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 14:58

Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 14:58
Davoe,
thanks very much for that info mate. I will definately experiment with my tyre pressures next time and get a better feel of things. I personally dont care what others say about your rig, I think its fantastic....lol...just kidding ok.
Cheers Ange
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Follow Up By: Mark - Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 15:23

Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 15:23
Agree with Davoe got badly bogged on Stockton a few years ago. After spending an hour digging around the tyres to no avail decided to drop from 18psi to 10psi, drove straight out. Lessen learned, now run at 15psi & no problems since.
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Reply By: Member - Chrispy (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 14:39

Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 14:39
Great spot Stockton..... :)

Did any of you have a snatch strap between you?..... or the within the other group that were bogged?
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Follow Up By: cokeaddict - Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 14:56

Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 14:56
Hi Crispy,
Yes mate i carry 2. But once i hooked it up to the tank.....i couldnt reverse out...she just sank. Actually used my straps to pull others out further down with a guy who had a winch on his MQ...kept him busy i can tell you. He had no choice really, as he couldnt get out until all the bogged cars were moved :-)
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Follow Up By: Member - Chrispy (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 15:02

Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 15:02
hehe... :)

You just didn't mention any in your initial post, that's all....

I know what you mean. Not always possible to snatch.

Where exactly were you? It sounds like you came in on the Lavis Lane entrance and got bogged once you were just past the rollercoaster section (after where the road veers left past the wooded section) and just onto the clear sand. Lots of people get into strife there...... been there, done that :(

It's a really crappy spot to go through sometimes... as you can't get the fourby revved up for the blast past the rollercoaster for fear of slamming into someone stuck. It ought to be widened someday......
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Follow Up By: cokeaddict - Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 15:38

Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 15:38
Chrispy,
Thats exactly where it was mate. Somehow the sand seems different there, different in colour and texture. Had a great time though, and was nice to toss a rod in the water again after so many years.
Hope to see you out there sometime mate
Cheers Ange
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Follow Up By: Member - Chrispy (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 17:31

Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 17:31
Ange

You're dead right - the sand suddenly changes texture and dryness for some reason. Aren't the rollercoaster bumps fun ;)

I'll be along on the Sydney Jeep Club trip on Sunday 30th of January if you want to come for a blast...... got a few mates coming too (with cars other than Jeep :) )

Anyone else interested in going too?

Cheers
Chris
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Follow Up By: cokeaddict - Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 19:06

Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 19:06
Hmmmm chrispy,
Now you know offers like that are very tempting mate. Can you give me more details on times, meeting place. Also SWMBO wants to know if its a boy and his toy thing or are the women comming along with the shovels? Any info would be great, I can see some serious dunes being challenged here. As long as the club dont mind, I'd love to come work permitting.
Thank you for the offer
Ange.
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Follow Up By: Member - Chrispy (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 19:22

Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 19:22
Ange - it would be cool to have you along! It'll be a mixture of people/motives coming, but most blokes will bring their favourite handbrake along... including me with the wife.

Hope the link below works (details and starting times/places)!

Cheers
Chris

Details are here on our SJC website.
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Follow Up By: cokeaddict - Friday, Jan 07, 2005 at 12:22

Friday, Jan 07, 2005 at 12:22
Hi again Chrispy,
I just checked out the jeep site, pretty well set out too. I read the details on the trip, but as a visitor i couldnt ask a question as to meeting place. So i was wondewring if youd be so kind as to fill me in through here. Im assuming from what i read in there that it may be the servo before the entrance at lavis lane. They seem like a good bunch too, and that hill challenge sounds interesting.....:-)
Stay safe Chris
Ange
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Follow Up By: Member - Chrispy (NSW) - Friday, Jan 07, 2005 at 12:45

Friday, Jan 07, 2005 at 12:45
Hey Ange :)

Yep - the SJC blokes are all top-class. It's a really friendly club.

If you keep monitoring that thread, I'll make sure that you are kept in the loop. I'll also post the final details here as we confirm. Hope you can make it!!

Cheers mate :)
Chris
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Follow Up By: Member - Chrispy (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 12:19

Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 12:19
Hi Ange

Right - we now have 12 cars from our club going - so far :)

If you're still coming, we'll be meeting at Thornleigh Maccas for departure at 8:00am on Sunday the 30th and/or then next meet up point at the sevice station at Lavis Lane at 9:45am , so either of these two places.

Cheers :)
Chris
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Reply By: Mark - Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 15:44

Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 15:44
Good to see the weather improved. We were all set up camping on the dunes day after boxing day when a big Southerly came in very suddenly. We had planned to stay for 3 days but after the camp site was demolished we made a hasty retreat to Anna Bay & then to a friends place nr Newcastle. Stocktons a great place until those big Southerlys come in & theres nowhere to hide. Seems everyone was leaving & we passed several abandoned 'flatened' tents on the drive out & a lot of confused drivers trying to find there way off the beach at Anna Bay end, very poor visability (blowing sand & darkness). Only thing that stayed up at our camp was our Howling Moon rooftop tent, must say I was surprised as I often wondered how well it would withstand big winds, being so high up and all.
BTW. Lots of people caught out when the bloke at the Anna Bay servo turned the compressor off & locked up whilst they were lining up for air, he apparently mumbled he'd been there since 6am & was going home leaving several stranded (nice guy). Moral - Always carry your own compressor.
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Follow Up By: cokeaddict - Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 19:13

Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 19:13
Mark, I heard about the winds on that day, I was wondering how the tents survived if camping on the beach was still allowed (now i know it is accepted) I can only imagaine what visability would have been like driving through that. Ona good day most cant find their way off the beach, imagine the chances with a wind storm like that. Sad to hear about the servo closing his doors. I'd be a bitbleepoff too but then again, u got the compressor under the seat, would never go anywahere without what i believe is things i may need to use.

Actually i just remembered.....while we were driving the length of the beach, up past the middle exit heading towards the north end, We spotted a 4b which some how managed to tow a full length caravan in there, I had to look twice as i cannot work out how it got in. Sat the thing between two sand dunes and facing the ocean, great view i recon.
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Follow Up By: Mark - Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 19:46

Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 19:46
Angelo,
Yeah it was a pretty wild evening, the sand actually hurt it was blowing so hard, I was running around with my scuba mask on while chucking stuff in the car, the others had sore eyes for days after. We sat in the car for about 1 hour after the wind hit hoping it would settle down, we lost one dome tent as it got buried & ripped as we attempted to pull it from the sand.
I also saw a bloke towing a van, in fact we followed him up the beach as he was also trying to get out of there. It was a reminder of how quickly weather conditions can change, a nice day earlier & I have never seen the ocean so flat at Stockton with a light westerly blowing. Sitting there with with a G&T preparing dinner & bang in came the Southerly buster hit, like someone threw a switch. Easy to see how boaters get in trouble.
Cheers
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