Bought new fishing gear from guy named George… underneath a howitzer field gun mounted over shop front on Cavenagh Str. next to the RSL, (also an introduction given to us by Bill at Mary River) got some really good reductions from George and set ourselves up for next fishing expedition, got a new cheap camera , Olympus VR350 all in A$130, (that's card battery and zip up case, only unable to load the disc with the instructions.
Have now met up with Neal at our Darwin campsite,(the chap next door to us) nice guy, who has given us an introduction to Willy Pocock, a character living on a homestead out on the Wildman river, 50k from anywhere, lives off the land, sounds a good place to go fishing again…Neal has given us an introduction to Willy and we come bearing gifts, so off we set to 4 mile creek on the Wildman river, lovely spot, camp there the night, a couple to one side and a father and son to the other side, next day the son runs Geoff and Alf up to Willy's place ( I talk to the dad and find out he was a Banana plantation owner from Tully , one of the heaviest rainfalls in Oz.) They come back with the route into Willy's place via Shady Camp road. the gates will be opened for us, but it's some 50k of track driving.
Alf's back to his normal self
After a very long drive we get to Willy's…he's been out shooting buffalo (4 beasts I believe) and has set up a fresh steaks and veg for us , and beer to wash it down, he has a mate Mick staying with him, a retired deep sea diver and had worked in Peru in the early 70"s, shame I didn't meet him when in Peru. They are bushmen, living off the land. Excellent cooks, lovely meal
Willy's dad had driven up from Adelaide at the end of the war in a wartime Blitz truck forging a track up through Arnhem Land, basically it's the Arnhem highway, the Dad had married an aboriginal lass, I think Willy has four brothers, anyway a large chunk of the land here is theirs. The government has tried to claim it for a National Parkland, but Willy's dad took them to court and won his case, but they still hve trouble even today
We are invited to stay in his home, while they regale us with tales of their lives in Oz and Peru. Tmrrw will be shown a favoured spot Mick's billabong (seems he fell in, and Willy got him out) where we can fish for Barra..4/5k up a track
Alf's got his new helicopter out, set it up and charged up the batteries, instructions are minimal , but soon get it sorted…..
Mick shows the way and gives his advice, we take up the boat and launch into the billabong. Trolled up and down and cast using lures with very shallow tongue, caught a Saratoga, good size but no good for eating as has too many bones, also got a couple of bites but they slipped the hook, the fish seem to be slippery devils, croc's are around so very wary, Willy's on abt how dangerous the buffalo are and how diff they are to spot in the long grass, Mikes is on abt taking a torch out at night in order see the snakes, you do need to be careful, but this pair will enjoy winding you up, another lovely meal, sleep and try our hand again tmrrw.
Alf's chopper is fully charged, and Geoff gives it a go, it takes off like a rocket and must be 140ft up in the air over the house and heading for the trees, we are all looking for it and finally find it.. all OK and decide ..eexciting but enuf for one day. Alf's still laughing at us running around the house after it.
Mick's advice try spinning a little faster, Willy has to pop into Darwin, and stay overnight, we are more than willing keep Mick company and fish till Willy's return, start early foll morn back to billabong and Geoff's the man tdy catching two more Saratoga and losing a couple of bites, I get two Saratoga alongside and let them go, Geoff's next catch` is a Sooty Grunter or black bream, sadly to small to take back …but no Barramundi…we are catching fish… so we have to be close to getting it right
Willy's back foll day , and produces a light wood lure with a propeller at each end which you drag and twitch through water, beats the water like and egg beater and apparently wakes the fish up and also sounds like a fish in distress, it's back to the Billabong to test it out.