Washed out at Roper Bar!

Submitted: Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 22:59
ThreadID: 77385 Views:4084 Replies:4 FollowUps:3
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Hi All
Just thought I would share a brief story of our fun times over the last few days. Last Saturday we drove from Darwin to Roper Bar, about a 7 hour drive. Sky grew cloudy as we headed east from the Stuart HWY, arrived and set up camp and threw in the Prawn pots. Next Morning we had enough Prawns to have a go at a barra, had three on but the only one landed was undersize! Rain started Monday and continued all through Tuesday and Wednesday. A large tidal surge due to Cyclone Paul ( a name we won’t forget in a hurry!)raised the river level substantially, winds were also high but despite a few scary moment our new Chinese tent withstood the onslaught . Tuesday afternoon we drove across the bar to flick a few lures, water level was about 30cm. By Wednesday morning the few people in camp were delivered a message from the local shop to pack up and move to the higher ground at the shop. The water level had risen several meters and was rising, (it only comes into the camp ground at about nine meters). The shop owners very kindly offered anyone who needed a room was welcome to stay at the Motel free of charge. By the afternoon the river had risen 6.5 meters!!!!!!!!!!!! We awaited the return of the shop owner who was driving in from Mataranka for a road report, by this time it was 4 Pm, as he is someone who knows the country very well we took his word to be good. “You have 4 hours to be out or you won’t get out” How long will we have to wait? “Minimum 2 weeks worst case scenario 4 weeks” Were out of here, I said. Two other guys followed us as we drove out, the rest were enjoying a drink and said they would wait and drive out in the Morning! As of this morning the river level had risen another 4 meters and was still rising ! You could now drive your boat through the camp ground. The drive out was a little hairy but were glad we did it, the entire country side was a river flowing on either side of the road, truly and amazing sight.
A Fishing trip completely stuffed but still and interesting experience.
Cheers Lyndon
Now is the only time you own
Decide now what you will,
Place faith not in tomorrow
For the clock may then be still

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Reply By: ctaplin - Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 23:41

Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 23:41
Hi Lyndon,

You're lucky you didn't loose the new, cheap, chinese tent!

I thought the Roper was your favourite place on Earth and you could have cleaned up big time with the fishing as that system has now passed and you could have absolutely cleaned up being one of the few guys fishing the run off, in that area?

Do tell me that it was that you work got in the way of a fishing bonanza???

Chris
AnswerID: 411366

Follow Up By: ctaplin - Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 23:49

Thursday, Apr 01, 2010 at 23:49
Sorry my last should have been...
Don't tell me that you let work get in the way of a fishing bonanza???
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Follow Up By: Member - lyndon NT - Friday, Apr 02, 2010 at 11:25

Friday, Apr 02, 2010 at 11:25
Sadly work was one factor for which we left, there were a couple of others though. My Dad was due to fly to Darwin Saturday and I was to meet him in Mataranka and give him a lift in, so thought it might be a bit rude to leave him sitting twiddling his thumbs in Darwin. Last but not least, stuck at the Roper Bar store for 2-4 weeks would not have been a lot of fun, 2 or 3 days would have been ok.
Re my beer calculations, my Dad never drinks more than 6 beers a day and Bernadette also had a Vodka supply that I failed to mention, so I think I would have scraped through ?
Now is the only time you own
Decide now what you will,
Place faith not in tomorrow
For the clock may then be still

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Reply By: blue one - Friday, Apr 02, 2010 at 08:14

Friday, Apr 02, 2010 at 08:14
Sounds like a hoot.

Cheers
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Reply By: Member - lyndon NT - Friday, Apr 02, 2010 at 11:44

Friday, Apr 02, 2010 at 11:44
The river came up another 5 meters on this and was still rising last we heard!Image Could Not Be Found
Now is the only time you own
Decide now what you will,
Place faith not in tomorrow
For the clock may then be still

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Follow Up By: ctaplin - Friday, Apr 02, 2010 at 12:10

Friday, Apr 02, 2010 at 12:10
Upstream of where you were at Bulman, they had 443mm of rain up to 9am on the 31st and several other places also got falls of around 200mm, so no wonder the Roper came up so much!
Here in Gove, we got next to nothing out of cyclone Paul with 80mm on one day and just drizzle most other days. Back to bright sunny blue sky days now though...

Chris
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Reply By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Friday, Apr 02, 2010 at 19:32

Friday, Apr 02, 2010 at 19:32
Hi Lyndon, we are down at King Ash Bay on the McArthur. Similar story here. Everybody camped on the river bank was extracted in a hurry late yesterday. The river at Borroloola causeway rose about 7m in 24 hours. It takes about 4 hours (varies depending of several factors) for water from Borroloola to get to KAB. With a very high tide due early this morning (even without the cyclone), it was a nervous night for many people.

The Borroloola Classic Fishing Comp was supposed to be on here over Easter, but has been cancelled. A few disappointed people who had travelled a long way for it, but safety is the top priority.

Hopefully there will be no more rain for a couple of weeks to let the river go down. It won't take a lot more rain to cause some serious problems.

Bit of a bugger, but it has to be expected occasionally at this time of year in the far North.

At least you have some memories, even if not of the fishing. Hope it works out better for you next time.

Norm C
AnswerID: 411449

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