Thursday 26th April – Fishing

Murray had gone to launch the boat while he waited.
We quickly changed clothes and Hazel drove us over to the launching ramp.

It was unusually cloudy and a bit breezy but we were happy with that.

The water here is very very shallow for a long way out.

We negotiated our way through the sandbanks and reefs and finally about a nautical mile offshore the lines were dropped.

It was still only 17metres deep!

The fish they were catching were whiting.
They are quite small but give a good feed.

Murray is quite the expert at filleting them quickly.

Hazel pulled up a flatfish.

They have lethal spikes on their backs so have to be handled with extreme care.

Finally there were enough fish in the bucket and the daylight was disappearing so Murray headed over to Penguin Island.
We beached the boat and went off for a walk.

There were birds everywhere.
Penguin nesting boxes were hidden all around the undergrowth.
There is a penguin viewing building
The Camp School where hazel works takes care of the penguins during the winter months.
This is the largest population of penguins in Australia and the northern most colony in the world.

Masses of seagulls, terns, rails, and pelicans!!
Pelican viewing is a treat for us as we don’t get them anywhere at home.
This island is one of nine breeding areas along the Western Australian coast.
This colony consists of over 500 birds.

There are limestone caves which are now signposted to stay out of due to their instability.

But during 1914-1926 a Canadian, Seaforth MacKenzie squatted in them.
In the 1920’s the island was a popular holiday destination.
MacKenzie operated a library and small store where customers could help themselves and run their own accounts.
He decked out one of the caves with roughly made furniture and rent was paid with ‘comradeship and jest’.

Nowadays the caves are only inhabited by sea lions.

It was an interesting walk.
The 2km of board walks have been well built to prevent destruction to the flora and fauna.
There is a lot of dune restoration.
On the outside of the island the tide alters the sand levels heaps.
Where we were walking on the beach Murray said last time he was there it was mostly rock, he had not seen as much sand there before.

Light was dimming so we hoofed it back to the boat.
Hazel navigated the very very shallow waters over to a neighbouring island to see the sea lions.
They were sleeping so were just blobs on the beach amongst the birds.
We did see dolphins and heaps of penguins heading out to fish for the night.

This is how Murray scales his fish!

It was dark by the time we got back to the jetty.
Murray loaded the boat on the trailer and we all headed home.

It was a lot later than he anticipated getting back and we had a lot to do to get ready for tomorrow.
First thing though was to prepare the fish and cook it.
Murray makes a delicious Whiting omelette which we enjoyed with salads left from the previous night.
As it was our last night with Murray & Hazel we talked till quite late.
Tim & I were nodding off so called it a night around 11pm.

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