Man vs Wild @ Ningaloo - Part 4

Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 10:00

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

Sunday - 12th - It rained. Cold and blustery. Never been so cold. Put on all our layers. 4 tops (2 of which were thermals) plus windstopper jacket 2 beanies a scarf and long ugh boots. Played Pontoon for hours and hours. With the rain and wind, there is no point trying to cook over a campfire and no point trying to use the gas cooker. That's why I have a back up - the Cobb cooker. Ours is old and has broken all around the sides but I figured we could bring it into the tent and it would double as a heater - good thinking mum!! So, pizza on the Cobb for lunch. Rained on and off all day so we watched the movie "Focus" in our tent. Much better than I'd expected. Bit of break in weather and calm seas so took a walk. More card games and reading. For dinner, we cooked roast lamb with potatoes and sweet potatoes in the Cobb. Mini brussell sprouts too. Chardae baked a sticky date pudding in the Cobb too. More rain and hellishly windy through the night.



Mon 13th - we are all nearly over it. Very difficult night. Extremely windy everything flapping and snapping and more rain but not heavy. This morning we thought it was starting to clear but still windy. Cooked kids noodles in jetboil with cabanosi and terryaki sauce for breakfast. I had fresh fruit and yoghurt in a cup sprinkled with muesli and David his usual bowl of muesli in milk. Played canasta with David then we drove to collect water - letting the kids each have a turn behind the wheel just along the flat section of track before the needing to engage low range and head up into the dunes.



Leah's driving is terrible. She is 14 and she can't follow the road and she went up some embankments. I don't think I will be able to teach her to drive at home - she scares me. Her reaction times are just so slow! Chardae however has got the hang of it and at 11 yrs old she showed up her sister. Funny since Leah is the tomboy and Chardae the princess. I think the problem is Leah is at the age where she knows everything, where Chardae is still young enough to listen (and absorb) instructions. We enjoy the trip out to collect water. it's ground water that has been piped and covered. It's totally concealed under the sand. We don't have a GPS mark for it but just follow our nose and have been here enough now we just pick it and start digging. After not being here for two years, we were pretty happy to get it again first go. We had spent a little more money on a better quality 12v water pump this year and the water flow was fast and strong. We filled 2x 20L water jerry cans, 2x5L cans, and filled our 65L stainless inbuilt water tank in the 4WD all in about 30mins. The kids took Harry for a look over the next dune and were dismayed to see how few of the quality shells have been left. People have taken all the good ones. The aboriginal site is still there and marked but we fixed up the sign as someone had driven over it.





On the way back, we took a diversion to a look out from the top of the dunes above the beach and let the kids and dog play rolly-pollys down the steep banks. Poor Harry used about a year's worth of energy running up and down the sandhills trying to keep up with the kids. He was exhausted when we got back and couldn't get out of the car. After an hour I went to check on him and thought he was dead - he was so totally unconscious and when I tried to lift him he was floppy and unresponsive. He woke up in my arms but just looked at me with that look of "leave me be". He was best left in there out of the wind and comfortable but I later carried him back to the tent, gave him water, and let him lie on my bed on my new fluffy doona! Poor Harry, but we could see the funny side.



Weather suddenly calm so David took out the boat with Leah, while I taught Chardae how to play Pontoon. The fishermen came back much quicker than expected and I knew that meant only 1 thing - fish! Sure enough they had a nice shark mackeral. At least 8kg after filleting - it was a fat fish and would provide plenty of meals. We then all played pontoon together at the table for ages using the counters from another board game as our chips.

We cooked the spanish mackeral for dinner in a mango curry (packet) sauce with rice. More rain but only very light & intermittent. On our sunset walk we met Jimbo and Helen from site 31 who invited who were setup for a 3 month stay. They had internet and brought us up to date with the weather forecast. We also discussed the noisy neighbors - those with the enormous boat - Ranger. The big boat camp has 2 families with 8 kids, 4 men, 2 mums and they visit another family down the beach with 5 kids. The kids roam around in a massive group of 15 or so with a little dog and seem to have a good time and are no trouble to anyone but the camp but the parents (the men's) behaviour is totally inappropriate and truly dangerous and antisocial. I'd prefer not to say much more in my blog about it, but let's just say I believe they were evicted after Phil heard about it.

After dinner Chardae, Harry and I went crab spotting (chasing). No wildlife is harmed in this activity but everyone has a lot of fun. Then it rained again so we watched the movie The Kingsman, another that I thought would be inappropriate but turned out to be clever and entertaining for us all, but we only got through half of it before we lost battery power. To be continued next rainy day...

Tues 14th - Guess what? The windiest night yet. Broke gazebo but makeshift repairs kept it up for the day. Windy till midday. The Ranger was beached so we watched the unfolding drama.



It was not a day to stay outside so watched the second half of the movie huddled inside our tent. This has become the Ningaloo Man vs Wild trip. How much can we endure? But the weather cleared at lunchtime and David and Leah cooked massive fish wraps. I was so full and doing no exercise I felt sluggish. Did some washing then decided the only way to fix feeling sluggish was to get out for a decent run so I went out to the gate (8.5km return). My pace was slow in the sand but I felt the best I have in ages. Sometimes I forget how much I love running. It fixes everything. It straightens out any stiffness in my back and the heavy breathing flushes fresh oxygen into my bloodstream - you can literally feeling all the sluggishness being washed away and I feel like I'm flying over the ground (the reality is I am a slug and I plod one foot after the other, but hey it feels good right?).

Came back to find boat out (D & L squidding) & Chardae playing with the kids from the Ranger camp! I had my first wash using bucket and warm water & washed my hair. Felt fantastic. I then went to check on Char and to meet the mums (the men were out fishing). They are 2 families from Perth but are all Sth Africans.

David and Leah came back with 4 squid, which I had to de-head - ruining my clean hands!%$*@ but the kids pitched in to help now that they've seen how it's done I think they wanted to have a go but no one else can stomach pulling out their heads when they're still alive. Their tentacles curl up around your fingers and it feels like they're begging you to stop. It feels cruel but its food so I don't think about it too much and get it over and done with as quick as possible. I think the kids are quite shocked by it.

I was still feeling too full from the big lunch, despite the run and wasn't in the mood for dinner so I delayed cooking a meal to see how others felt. David & Chardae liked my idea of a bucket wash and I washed Chardae's hair and used a treatment to get out all the knots. She is keen to play with the Ranger family again tomorrow as the girl her age has beautiful long tidy hair and I think she wants to show her that she also can have nice hair! Eventually I managed to cook - a small pkt of Ainsley mushroom & leek risotto with a small fillet of mackeral plus added left over rice from last night and sloshed in a splash of my wine I was drinking. Lovely. Topped with parmesan cheese. Crabbing again and then bed - feeling tired.
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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Always working not enough travelling!
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