Saturday, 11 September 2004

ANJO BAY TO GEORGE AND MILDRED BAY 11th September

Arrived at Anjo Bay 13 56 970S 126 34 084E
Into the dingy and ashore to look for the Macassin,  Beche de mere processing site. It's not difficult to locate. Right there on the beach just above high water. all that remains are the 9 raised sand mounds arranged alongside each other. They are about 2 to 3 Meters long about 500mm high and have scattered rocks on top. They apparently once served as tables for processing sea slugs. They were cleaned here then boiled in huge pots, probably copper, then smoked for packing. Just at the end of the row of tables is a large depression in the sand. This is where the boiling took place. Ashore further in from the processing area is a large sandy flat treeless area of about 1 acre. It would have been a great campground. Many boats would come here and anchor for the season before returning to  Sulawesi. Mathew Flinders encountered a large fleet of  trepangers here when he surveyed the area in the 1700s   We couldn't find any evidence of fresh water but there is as all creek in the west side of the bay. We tried to walk to it but it's very rough so we went fishing instead! 3 Spanish Flag and one Bluebone and a heap of oysters again. Pickled, fried, crumbed and omelets.
Remains of the Macassin Traders processing facility/


Saturday 11th September
Remember the towers?  Several years ago we were reproaching this island from the west and spotted 2 very tall towers There was much conjecture as to their purpose. As we rounded the headland we came across Blue Gold. An enormous super yacht at anchor near the entrance to this bay. 
We are starting reasonably early with a fishing trip  Tas and Pearl found a likely spot on the north side of the peninsular and David and I are trolling in the dingy. No luck but bouncing those little rubber fish around in the reef crevasses is pretty fun and pretty productive for fishermen or women who like to keep "office hours"  so we missed the "best time" this seems to be the reason we don't catch more fish. More effort this afternoon and no fish but more oysters! This is a great spot and fishing is there if you research, oysters good and  we eat fish again.
Sunday 12th September 
David saw a dugong swimming in a pool of phosphorescence last night. Lasted for ages. The black-fellows still spear them for food. So we are hush on their whereabouts 
Off early towards Koolama Bay at the head of the King George River. One of the best anchorages in the Kimberley and at the entrance to one of our u and most spectacular places.
Strong wind warning! Abandoned attempt to round headland and instead anchored in an unnamed bay at 13 56 155S  127 09 260E south of cape Londonderry and in the Blowen apart  Gulf! 25 knots on the nose and unpleasant. 
The steep rocky headlands are made up of blocks of stone which seem to have been carefully arranged. A work of Mother Nature though. The evening softens the light and there is a sharp contrast between the midday color and the softness of the early evening washed in pinks and pale blues. As the skies darken, the stars are bright pin pricks across the sky, shooting stars are common and on a still night the water sparkles with their reflection.
Monday 13th  September 
Strong wind warning again, from Kuri Bay to the Queensland border. Well we go out and give it a shot but it's 35 knots out there and we're making 2 knots in the teeth of it. Back again.
On with our explorer gear and off we head to explore this bay.  We can't get Taipan on far because the tidal range is 6m and the bay is fairly shallow. Ashore to the beach and we drop Tas n Pearl so they can walk up an interesting looking creek. It's steep and rough country don't know how far they will get.
David and I are of fishing. I think we got that wrong somehow! Trolling along the edge of the fringing reef. Wind is a little moderated by the huge cliffs. Two hours later and still trolling to no avail  There are two beautiful Brahminy Kites perched together in a nearby tree, one does an occasional fly past. There's a huge nest of sticks precariously stuck on a rock pinnacle. Large numbers of turtles and even dugong pop up for a look.
Back to pick up the explorers. Drama they have walked along a high rocky headland to a creek and fortunately overlooked it from a high vantage point. Their intention was to go up the creek on foot and explore a rocky pool. As luck would have it, they spotted a very large croc (18 to 25ft) swimming just off shore where we had recently been trolling!  So they decided to explore upstream on the high side instead of the creek. On the way back they must have spooked another one because a very large lizard came stumbling out of the undergrowth and ambled off into the water to join his mate. Just off the beach where we had planned our rendezvous. Tas and Pearl could see from their high point what was probably a nest in amongst the grasses and mangroves just if from the beach. Much gesticulating and making of crocodile signals as we approached had us on high alert. We spotted those monsters and they were both over twice the length of our dingy, which is 12 feet. The biggest crocks we've seen. George and Mildred name the bay! We snatched Tas n Pearl off the beach in a haze of sand and spray and bolted to the boat for wine!
Fortified and undaunted David went off to explore a channel to the south east as a possible short cut out of here and Tas went fishing again but surprised his friend again who arced up and Tas was off like old meat! We hoisted the dingy and we're all feeling somewhat uncharitable towards our scaly mates.

Tuesday 14th September
Strong wind warning still current. A red motor boat with sun covers appears around the corner. Probably from the Faraway Bay Resort in the next bay. They head straight into where we know the big crocs live. I wonder if they feed them to entertain their guests? Then they headed over to the big hawk nest. We dropped Tas n pearl off so they could try to get some live action movie of the big crocs and followed the tourists. Down into a shallow gorge where two Jabarus are giving a wedge tail eagle a strafing, very shallow water and we come across two Jabaru "dancing" in the shallows.a spectacular display of spinning twirling jumping flashes of black and white feathers on red legs as they attempt to herd and then snatch the little schools of fish for dinner. Lucky to spot this performance. We've never seen Jabaru before. Returning is slow as a falling tide has made it very shallow. Must come back in Wombat and explore further up this gorge. Tas couldn't get a shot of the crock but we saw him in the shallows just outside his creek. He submerged when we were about 100M away. He's huge!
Back aboard and we are going to try to make Koolama Bay. The wind has dropped to around 25kn the sea is still standing up quite well but we made it in at 400 pm anchored in the bay because there is not enough tide to get over the bar into the river mouth.