Stop the night Daly Waters an odd sort of place, bit of an out of the ordinary place to set up camp, apparently it is the overflow campsite for the Hi Way Inn Motel across the road, where we have a few bevies and a meal before calling it a day. Set off early foll morn for Pine Creek, via Katherine ( for lunch stop) and then Pine Creek for the night, a nice meal and an excellent country and western show from two singers, both having just the right touch of comedy and melancholy plus history of Oz.
Everything is very dusty, we head into Darwin and spend day washing clothes and ourselves, and setting up our crabbing trip to Mandorah, we have jabbies nets but need stronger and larger nets for crabs, buy a set of five and head out to Mandorah, fair old distance abt 100k, there's a very nice pub looking out over the bay toward Darwin, with glory Lilies flowering in the borders, such a beautiful spot, but the camp site is derelict, we move along the beach to camp alongside the creek, and launch the boat with our new crabbing nets, and proceed upriver into the mangrove swamp lined creek to set our nets, leave them overnight, pick them up in the morning…. expect crabs for breakfast….??
Geoff and Alf set off in the boat to collect nets and return within abt 30 mins, minus crabs, seems some croc had chomped before us and left the nets in a very bent and sorry state. we don't give up easy, it's off to Darwin to regroup and rebuild/strengthen our nets…bought stronger wire and set to repairs, now decide try fishing again, so gone abt 200k from Darwin to Shady Creek (eastward toward Kakadu) to try out our luck with the fishing on the Mary River, I went out in the morning with Geoff to troll the river and look at the crocs, These are not fresh water types but big salt water lot, 10/20 ft jobs, we have a 10ft dinghy, so feeling a bit inferior, didn't catch anything, but saw 3/4 big crocs on the bank look at us and all slip into the water` ahead, so gunned the engine and took off, back to base, got some good photos, but sad to relate, Alf and I went out in the afternoon to do some more trolling, but the tide had turned and was on the way out,, so we decided slip into a small creek, tie up and cast out, after 5 mins we found ourselves eaten alive by mozzies and sand flies, so untied and turned to rejoin the main river, Alf opened up the engine, but it seemed to lock and turned boat into itself and on its side in 2 secs flat, we are both in the water hanging onto the overturned boat mid river, we swim it across to the far bank, it,s all steep sided, but luckily we spot a small inlet, Alf is telling me to get on the boat and give him an oar, abt 4/5 mtrs away a croc is coming straight at us, but it dives before reaching us, I got one oar from under the boat the other was drifting to Alf's right, which he grabbed, the croc came for a second look and I slapped the water with the oar blade, which might hve scared him off, but more likely he didn't like the look of Alf's legs, whilst this was going on we also were trying to drag the boat up this small inlet and turn it on its side to let out the water, strangely, I hadn,t lost my baseball cap, so we used it to empty the boat, we take stock, everything in the boat is lost, rods and all tackle plus my camera and new glasses, but we have the oars , an anchor and the boat, outboard still attached and the fuel tank floated so still have that. Alf now realizes he has a lure hook deep into his neck, I can't help him Iv'e lost my glasses, Got the boat back onto the river and anchored up mid river, tide was going out so nothing we could do till the tide changed, we cannot row against the tide, we calc we were abt 8/10k from base, with an incoming tide in 5/6 hrs, which wud be a great help tp assist rowing back, Alf,s trying the engine but it,s drowned itself, we are wet with salt water and just have to sit this out, with fresh water your clothes will dry, but salt water it stays wet and damp and its cold so not pleasant, but nothing we can do but wait, now we start worrying abt Geoff and what he is thinking/ doing.
Abt 2.30 am we find the river is slack enough for us start rowing back, (still think the incoming tide is coming soon ha ha), Sort our rowing order out and set off, very fortunately there is a near full moon, so we can see where we are going, the tide is well out so the landscape is totally different from when we set off, the river has changed to a series of very steep banks and sand bars which we now have to find our way around, Geoff heard us coming in and was there to meet us, we saw his light which guided us in, I got out of the boat and fell over, we all dragged boat up the bank and Geoff put out the anchor on the bank, the tide is now coming in .
Geoff thought we had probably run out of petrol, and had met up with a couple, called Bill and Bunty, Bill had got his boat on the river and took Geoff abt 12k down river, searching for us, (we thought we had only gone abt 10k), appears we had more likely done abt 14k, all I know is we both rowed a long way, and got back safely, Alf and I did well, but it needed the two of us.
We'd got back about 5.30am and tottered across to Bill's caravan to tell them we were back and to thank them, Bill has remarkable skills but is a quiet unassuming man, direct and forthright, he set to sorting out the hook in Alf's neck, so quickly and easily Alf didn't even know he'd done it.
Whilst Alf and I slept for a bit, Geoff and Bill looked at the boat and engine, we woke mid morning, Bill arrived to check Alf's ear was OK and invite us to dinner to celebrate our lucky escape, Bunty did us proud foodwise but also put dressed up for the occasion, we had a wonderful evening, lots of laughter
Back to Darwin to regroup and sort things out (this time we've have lost the lot). Def very low on success ratings
Darwin campsite…not you lot again… surely we now count as regulars and deserve a discount also we are aged….No…… so back in Stalag Luft 29 …find shower unit with no curtain..but a luxury of a shower mat…have a sat dish on roof.. but no magic connecting box…suppose u cannot have everything. Geoff's put our stuff in the washer and went back to collect it only to find it's been locked up for the night, they holding us to ransom
Just seen some chap with what looks like a trenching machine…probly trying tunnel his way out.
Alf's a bit odd and has taken to wearing his underpants over his trousers, tmrrw we will be shopping again, must get cheap camera plus new fishing gear, (Bill has given us a place owned by a chap he knows who will gives us discounts, Thanks again Bill. Alf's insisting on paying…I told u ,he's a bit odd, anyway will test his prowess tmrrw to see if he can leap a tall building in a single bound…that should him out
22nd Alf has failed his tall building test, working on his underpant fetish