Monday, 16 August 2004


Cape Leveque to Silvergull Creek
17th August 2004
Cape Leveque
Tas and Pearl boarded yesterday and we spent a rolly night at anchor in the bay. Morning was blowy and rough but gradually the weather moderated and we headed out towards Coppermine Creek. Disaster level 3 struck just after 4pm when the fuel filter on the engine stopped progress. The wind of course had died completely by this time. Short work was made of the replacement with a new filter and no harm done even though we were of course in a fairly tricky passage at the time. We still made the anchorage before dark and a successful fishing endeavor by Tas the all time expert fisherman provided three nice small sharks for consumption. I have been trained as bait catcher. My fish are all so small!. We have modified a bit of old basket to make a bait fish cage and we are gradually putting together the wherewithal to have a proper fishing trip this time round. Tas the instructor. 

Wednesday was oyster catching and mud crab catching but the crocs gave the mud crab traps a hammering so we didn't do any good there. Oysters were big and plentiful and we had a feast on them.

Here is the channel in, seen at low tide.
On Thursday we motored off to Dog Leg Creek to pick up fuel but the place was deserted so we went  back to Crocodile Creek. Having once again successfully negotiated the entry and tied securely to the walls the fishing was excellent with Tas providing some lovely Mangrove Jack for dinner. It is a spectacular anchorage, with Taipan resting sedately in a small pool surounded by towering rick walls. Only one small entry and only navigable at high tide, it looks pretty forbidding when the tide is out. You can just see the ladder which covers at high tide. Up to 11m tide.
We spent the afternoon swimming in the cool clear fresh water top pool surrounded by pandanus palms, ferns and small white flowers,  set in a cleft between towering red and yellow rocks. Not a croc to be seen.

Friday we reluctantly departed this delightful spot to head again to Dog Leg Creek and find Curley to top up our fuel supply. Its expensive here but why wouldn't it be with all these crocs to negotiate and its a million miles from anywhere. Fuel's all bought in by barge. We are very happy to pay the price for this service. The next fuel is a long way away.
Water at Silver Gull Creek
After refueling we headed down to Silver Gull Creek again for the big wedding of the Kimberley year. Phil and Marion the resident caretakers at home at Squatters Arms, and here for many years, are well known in the area and  are being married!!  Quite  a party to be sure. People have come from far and wide and it turns into a late night
Saturday we went back up to the water pipe to wash and fill the boat and have a swim in the tank again. Still a few people lingering. managed to get to Dog Leg Creek entrance to anchor for the night.
From Raft Head to Steep Island

Dog Leg Creek to Raft Point
Mirror calm morning and we motored over to Kulin Island to commence the navigation of  the notorious "Gutter". So named for its very narrow entry / exit. Our arrival as the tide turned was fortuitous and also planned because even with it in our favor it was not without excitement. Whirlpools and rips in the confined channel with the plotter about 200m out is pretty disconcerting and doesn't leave much time for sight seeing. We emerged unscathed and headed toward Raft Point, passing through the Kingston Island en rout, for Raft Point anchorage.  Upon arrival we packed refreshment and made the trip ashore to climb up to view the rock art in a gallery overlooking the bay. This is a spectacular site and the works are superb.

Monday early sparrows.. not on office time when you have fishing to accomplish...on an outgoing tide the hunter gatherers headed off in the dingy armed with rods, throw net, pots, lures, buckets and all manner of associated fishing paraphernalia. Some time elapsed but they were soon spotted returning, not exactly laden but with a good showing of Mangrove Jack and 3 neighbor fish.

Rock Art Gallery at Raft Head
We headed off to explore the Sale river later in the day and it took several attempts to find a deep enough channel for us to make the river by half tide. We anchored in 7 meters just inside the mouth. We spent the afternoon motoring upriver in the dingy exploring. There are good depths and we didn't see anything less than 8 meters with our soundings. There are some lovely patches of isolated remnant rain forest which is threatened in the area by pigs and buffalo, and although we didn't see any of these we did see where they had been.
Red Cone Creek

The Sale River deserves more time than we have this trip. It looks like we could probably get about 12 NM upstream in Taipan. The fishing is excellent and more Mangrove Jack was bagged to be washed down by the tired and satisfied crew with dinner.Tuesday we set off once again in the dingy to explore and area of big timber near a terraced outcrop of rock on the north side. Boabs and vine thickets on the left and we landed the dingy to the right where we pulled it well clear of the water and the possible attention of a curious croc. We walked on towards the very tall trees and were rewarded when we entered  a stunning rainforest complete with winding fresh water stream, giant  ferns, and ancient paper barks stretching to infinity and draped with enormous vines and palms creating a cathedral like space below. Emerald green light shed an unearthly glow. We disturbed two large birds which took to the air. The sported magnificent pheasant like copper plumage. Perhaps wild turkey?

Swimming at Red Cone Creek

More Photos Fremantle To Darwin Incl Kimberley