West Coast Day 130 - Coral Bay

Sunday, Nov 29, 1998 at 01:00

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

Rotten noisy kids waked us this morning at 6.30am. It wasn't Jackson or David but the kids in the tent behind us. I had complained to management yesterday when we came back and found two new tents had set up around us and one was literally 2 foot from our tent! The manager made them move but unfortunately, they weren't the ones with the noisy kids.

We set off this morning bound for The Lagoon again and after we'd told Dorothy and Rob about our find, they decided to spend the day with us. Yesterday, Dorothy had taken little David out on a coral viewing boat and they did a little snorkelling. From their reports, the coral was not very colourful, the operator was a bleep , and the water was too cold to stay in for longer than 10 minutes at a time.

We had to let down our tyres again to negotiate the sand dunes to access The Lagoon but Rob's 100 series Landcruiser made it in one go. We were a little disappointed to find 3 other vehicles were also there but then the male occupants of 2 of the cars all got into a tinnie and went fishing, leaving the females and children. The two girls took turns fishing whilst the other kept an eye on the children.

Dorothy and I worked on our tans for a few hours while the boys tried fishing. They caught lots of little snapper and a few big garfish from the rocks that we had dived around the previous day. Meanwhile, one of the girls was catching huge squid from the beach. We all had a look at her catch and David got the low down on what tackle and technique to use. He then went for a snorkel to determine whether the windy conditions were unfavourable for diving. He soon surfaced with a lure that someone had lost by snagging it on some coral. The lure was a squid jig - the same as what the girl was using to catch the squid.

Our next bit of excitement was looking on irritably as a silly Queenslander in a Troopy bogged himself in the sand at the shoreline for hours. He refused to let down his tyres (probably didn't have a compressor) and insisted on driving up the beach instead of taking our advice and pointing his vehicle down towards the water. The result was that he spent hours getting nowhere. He even made a sand anchor with a rock and used his electric winch to no avail. Finally, he listened as David gave advice through his driver's window and miraculously drove himself out of trouble! He left the beach churned up with deep wheel ruts in the sand, which made it difficult to walk up the beach. They were so deep little David could stand up to his waist in them. I think the driver was too embarrassed to get out of the car and cover in the holes. His wife certainly wasn't looking too happy!

The local guys returned in their tinnie with a large bag full of crayfish. The girl who caught the huge squids didn't even seem excited at her catch and then didn't bother to ask how many crays were in the bag. We had to assume that they caught a lot of seafood regularly and just took it for granted. We however, still hadn't caught anything worth eating for our dinner and I had told David that it would be just another pasta dish for us tonight unless our luck changed.

David continued to fish from the rocks but after a while the temptation to try the squid jig got the better of him. Maybe we'd have better luck catching squid for dinner than fish! Within a few minutes of casting he was reeling in an enormous squid about 1kg in weight with all its tentacles. We squealed with glee as it squirted its ink sack as it was hauled from the water. I rushed back to the car to get a bucket and then set about cleaning and gutting the squid. Before I'd finished cleaning the first catch David had another - this one a little larger. Jackson and little David ran up the beach and wanted to stroke the back of the squid. As they did so it changed colour from white to a dark spotted brown and then finally returned to white. I had the messy job of cleaning another squid and was amazed at how much black ink they squirted! Within an hour, David had caught 3 enormous squid. The last squid was more than twice the size of the first and we retired happily knowing that we had enough food to feed both the Adcocks and ourselves.

For dinner, we used 2 of the squid to make a Squid Laksa. I couldn't believe I had a jar of Laksa paste and coconut cream and noodles in my almost depleted pantry. We gave the other squid to Dorothy and Rob who cooked theirs in Odon Japanese noodles as soup.
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
Always working not enough travelling!
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