Cape York - 2006

Day 21 - Cooks Hut Camp - Laura


Ivan and Lea (Seisia):

Friday today, and unfortunately a public holiday in Cairns - so no car repair action - unfortunately delaying us three days more.
Our day started at 7:30 when we met our guide Dan, and we set off for Possession Island - Matthew was onto a Tailor very quickly - his first fish of any decent size - he was rapt, see photo below ;-)

We trolled over to Possession Island where we did a couple of drifts, and before too long, Lea had a nice Estuary Cod - Adam still saying "Dad, I'm ten and I've never caught a fish!"    Maybe I'd done the wrong thing, but I'd told them that today was their best chance of a catch.

We got some burley happening, looking to hook up a shark, and pretty shortly we had a couple of Bronze Whalers interested.   The were hooking into the Tailor frames which Dan had over the side - Almost sporting, but they came away with the bait every time.

Just before lunch, the tide was slack, so we jumped in for some snorkelling over a reef - all of us appreciating the colored life we were seeing just off the island.   The fact that the water was 31 degrees didn't hurt too much either.   Adam and Matthew had no dramas at all, but Ben's snorkel mouthpiece was too big, so he rode on Dad's back and got a look as well.

Lunch was lovely, and a beer washes down sandwiches in the most amazing way ;-)   Then we went back to where we had hooked up the cod for some more drifting.   It was a very quiet afternoon, and just before sunset, Dan said we had better pull up stumps.

We hooked up pretty big twice again, and Adam jumped at both of them - they ran hard like a shark, and then spat the bait out - we figured maybe a ray of some sort, as the bait had been completely descaled by the time we got it back on the boat.

Adam, still disappointed he hadn't caught anything yet.... until..  whiiiiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrr..   Just between two rocky knolls, his line went off as if it had a shark on it.   We started to wind it in, with all expectations of the 50lb braided line being broken - and then the fish jumped about 100 m from the boat - in the light of sunset, it looked like a marlin, and it jumped over a metre into the air, arching its back and pulling back on the line.   We kept using the rod to pull, then to hold as the fish took a run, and then we'd wind - with several more jumps, we were all excited because we could see that the fish was a whopper.

We pulled him up to the boat, and Dan gaffed him quickly - a Seven Spot Oceanic Queenfish - the more common Queenfish in the area, and at a size of 1.08m, Dan, maybe with his professional qualifications as a fishing guide coming to the fore, termed the catch as a "Donkey".

Once on board, Adam struggled to hold him high while we got all of the photo's we wanted - but he wasn't going to drop him!   Matthew now wanting the lures back in the water so he could catch one too, but knowing that with Seisia wharf now in sight, he didn't have much hope..

A great day, and we returned after 12 hours on the water, absolutely buggered, but with enough fish for tea and more - and Adam absolutely chuffed.

After tea, a green tree frog came and visited us at our accommodation, which the boys got a buzz out of.

The Rest of the Crew:

The next morning we packed up and headed for Laura, with no rain the road dried out considerably and made the trip out much faster - 3 hours. We were to all stop at the Archer River roadhouse for lunch with the Everett's and Gunderson's arriving but no Bennett's and Rutter's. Steve R had electrical problems with a blown EFI fuse stopping him dead in his tracks. 

We had a long drive on the super highway (less water crossings on the way down as they had dried up) and, after seeing the locals in the pub, decided to stay in the camp ground away from there. This camp ground advertised a pool in their brochures and even had a sign up saying 'Swimming Pool', but alas, no pool!

Ivan and Lea's photo's:

Matthew with the first catch of the day

Ben sitting cool

Lea's nice Estuary Cod

Both boys looking for a nice catch

Ben's catch of the day - from the bait box ;-)

Having a break for lunch - snorkelling

As the sun set, Adam's rod 'went off' (WENT OFF!!)

Dad helping Adam hold the rod (it was heavy!!)

Catch of the Holiday! - a 1.08m Seven Spot Oceanic Queen Fish

"I might be gritting my teeth, but I'm gonna hold it all by myself!!"

Ben, Matthew, Dan and Adam with "Queenie"

A visitor to our villa that night

 Ben and "friend"

Photo's from the Rest of the Crew:

What a perfect spot to write LCOOL! - the broken down (and wrecked) Nissan

Rutman and Rene leave their mark

Not in good shape

The Mud Map at Musgrave Station

Ian took this photo

And then a winged friend flew in - he grabbed some more shots that follow

Everett's crossing the Pascoe River

The remains of the army built WWII bridge.