Week 15 7/11/06 through 13/11/06
Day 99 Tuesday 7 November 2006
We waved goodbye to John and Margot as they headed to Dampier. About 11am we also headed off towards Dampier ourselves, with our first stop being Honeymoon Cove. This is one of the prettiest little beaches we have seen and is situated very close to where we stayed in Point Samson. The waters are calm and crystal clear with a small beach nestled between 2 impressive rock outcrops. Just a very short drive from here is the Point Samson Harbour which has some impressive fishing vessels in port. The fleet operating out of this port includes prawn trawlers, Mackerel boats, crab fishermen and deep sea trawlers. The stats say that this area provides 53% 0f the WA catch. This is the state's premier fish producing port. Pretty impressive, huh. While we were there, we found there were 2 vessels unloading their catch and preparing nets for their next trip. The name of the boats were the Ocean Raider and the Morning Star.
From here we bid Point Samson farewell and headed a few kilometres across the flats to a placed called Cossack. We had heard very little about this area, except that it had some interesting historic buildings. "Nice" certainly describes the area humbly. Someone has spent many hours lovingly restoring the last remaining building in the area and they have been done so beautifully. We walked through the old stores building, reading about much of the area's history and viewing pictures of a life past. Our GPS indicated there was a much larger town here previously. Sadly many of these streets are now gone.
When we inspected the old wharf area, where the local tour operator bases his trips to the light house, we stumbled across some aboriginal artwork on the side of a container. We have seen much artwork in our travels, but found the paintings here of an excellent standard. The tour operator purchased the container at auction and certainly got a bargain.
The last part of today we spent in Karratha where amongst other errands we posted last weeks web page update, a little late.
Day 100 Wednesday 8 November 2006
The North West Shelf Visitors Centre (which cost $1m to build) is an impressive building overlooking the mass of pipe work and storage containers where liquefied gas is loaded onto huge vessel destined for Japan. We sat in the large theatre room and watched a film call Elements which outlined the construction of the centre around us and the process the gas takes before it reaches Japan. Our friends John & Margot arrived shortly after we did and it was lovely catching up with them - this would be the first of a few times we would bump into them today.
Yesterday we saw some petroglyphs which we returned to today to investigate further. We are sure its like those puzzle pictures where the more you look into the rocks, the more you will discover. There were many different shape and sizes to find, with animals, boomerangs and even beer immortalised. If we remember correctly, 60 minutes did a segment about there being a great deal of concern that these petroglyphs and being slowly destroyed by the local industry emissions.
Those that know Alison, would be aware of her many years spent in the media industry. So when she saw a GWN news vehicle (a local TV station) near the petroglyphs she was off to investigate. Alison met Matt who was kind enough to let her watch on as he put the finishing touches to a story he was working on. With the advances in technology, a one man show can now film, record sound and present reports. Talk about multi skilled as these talented people also edit a lot of their own footage to ensure they meet their news deadlines. What impressed Alison most about Matt was his preparedness to talk to her and what a down to earth personality he was. We hope the world is at his feet and we see him in the not to distant future on our big city screens.
The temperature in the area around the petroglyphs is extremely hot so a swim in nearby Hearson's Cove was in order. It was here we met up again with John and Margot for a bite to eat and a refreshing cool drink. From here we headed to the local Dampier water hole called the Mermaid Hotel to finish last weeks web instalment and for Steve to sample some of the local beer.
Day 101 Thursday 9 November 2006
Before we left the Burrup Peninsular we decided to have one last look at the Northwest Shelf Project and to our surprise the ship that had been filling up with its liquefied cargo was gone. As we looked out to sea and we could see four tug boats returning to port and a ship making its way towards the horizon. We bid the peninsular goodbye as we made our way to Karratha and stopped at the Dampier Salt lookout. The size of the pits they use to crystallise the salt is enormous. The edges looked pure silica white with their greying waters lapping. At this point we noticed this car zipping down the train line next to the pits testing the line to ensure they were in tip top condition.
With the day heating up we continued to Karratha to the shopping centre and its sanctified air conditioning. Steve organise some minor parts for the vehicle and we posted week 14 of the web page.
With another full tank of fuel we turned the car towards 40 Mile Beach and said good bye to another wonderful area of the WA coast. We know we will be back to visit again in the not too distant future. 40 Mile Beach is a relatively unprotected camping spot about 70kms south of Karratha. It was nice to be away from the sounds of industry, shunting trains and other noises that plague civilisation. When we arrived the tide was on its way out and the wide flats were slowly being revealed, ideal for another WA sunset.
Day 102 Friday 10 November 2006
The drive from 40 Mile Beach to Exmouth is hot and flat, taking in about 500km.So to try and avoid the heat and the afternoon head winds we departed early. Not a lot to report except how much the approach to Exmouth township has changed. The property developers are carving up the land sadly and it certainly will become another Port Douglas. The are huge canals being dug to be filled with sea water and a new marina for some of the expensive boats that are expected. The White Rabbit was a huge boat moored in the marina and was easily much larger than most people's houses. Further towards town we came across a sight some people would not believe.... emus wandering the streets. A great view. Before we settled in for the evening we took a quick drive to the light house to check how windy the coastal side of the peninsular was. Yep it was very windy, such that attempting photograph was unpleasant experience.
We decided to camp in town for the night on account of strong winds, especially on the coast, and we met Theodor and Alicia. Theodor and Alicia are from Denmark and Canada respectively, and have been holidaying here for about 18 months. They are exploring Australia on a random basis. Now the story goes that Theodor caught a crocodile at Buffalo Creek NT - we did not believe him, but they were able to produce the pictures! So we have included them here because they really show what characters these two were. I am sure there is a job at Australia Zoo on the Sunshine Coast if they are interested?
Day 103 Saturday 11 November 2006
The wind refused to leave us last night and has stayed on today to keep us company. We would prefer not to go snorkelling in it so we played tourist today. On our way to Turquoise Bay we stopped at the Harold E Holt Naval Communications station. The base is like a ghost town with its buildings and amenities that are not being used. There was a bowling alley, diving shop, mess, quarters and a church, to mention a few. Next stop was Turquoise Bay where the water is just the most beautiful colour, even with windy conditions. From there we moved onto Oyster Stack where the rocks against the water is a wonderful sight. Whilst up one of our famous side tracks we came across some more emus who were more than happy to pose for us.
Our last stop for the day was a petroglyph site in one of the local caves. These seem to be carved into the soot rich ceiling and walls from camp fires of past; we could not make out what most of the engravings represented, but some were very distinct. Once again, as we do with these types of sites we encounter, we left it as we found it.
Day 104 Sunday 12 November 2006
Today is Steve's birthday, so the day was all about him. After a sleep in, we noticed the wind had dropped from yesterday so first stop was Turquoise Cove to do some snorkelling. We lost track of the variety of fish we saw and Alison managed to swim with a turtle for 10 minutes. The turtle munched away on sea grass unfazed by the attention. While rinsing the snorkelling gear we came across these 4 little emus who were desperate for a drink. With a morning of snorkelling and emus watching behind us we then headed back to Exmouth to do some supply shopping. Low and behold we bumped into John and Margot. We invited them to dinner to help celebrate Steve's birthday at Graces Tavern which they agreed to. We then settled down at the tavern to work on the web page and some other computer projects. Dinner was a wonderful affair as we really enjoy John and Margot company. We then went back to their caravan for coffee before we headed back to our campsite.
Day 105 Monday 13 November 2006
Another day snorkelling and Alison was excited to find her turtle again and swim with it. With the morning passed we headed back to Exmouth to fuel up and do some more project work on the computer. We passed John and Margot on the road and stopped to catch up and thank them for a wonderful evening. Some how we knew we would see them again today - and this happened when we passed each other on the road abut 6pm. So what is this project we are working on the computer all about? Well Alison produces a DVD with many of our photos put to music which we send back to family in Brisbane. The DVD is like a modern day photo album which we will keep to remind ourselves that there is a better reality in the world than working towards a retirement.
Stay tuned as the adventure continues......