Poly panga trip to town'

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woylie
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Poly panga trip to town'

Post by woylie » Tue Nov 22, 2016 7:43 pm

Tomorrow I leave the camp for Wyndham 200 miles away away.I am driving the 20'polyurethane panga, "Meg'' and the grandson is driving the 14' tinny.
Not ideal conditions but there's been a death in the family and we want to attend the funeral so I have been looking at Google to note down a few hidey holes along the route.
Some sections have nasty cliffs which generate a nasty chop if you encounter a squall.
I'm allowing 400l of fuel for the 90hp Honda and 100l for the 40hp Honda on the tinny.Should give us a safety margin and I will use two props so I can change over as the fuel burns off.Carrying a couple of jerrycans of drinking water from the near empty billabong behind the camp.Looks like whiskey with a fair bit of wildlife zooming around in it when you hold a glass to the light.
We will leave the Drysdale river at sparrow fart and hope to get around the infamous Cape Londonderry after dawn.From there we'll have the tide and wind behind us for the run up to Adolphus Island. The last stage is 50 miles up to Wyndham and the tide might be against us for the last few miles.
A six metre tide is nasty as it squeezes through the rugged terrain.If we are late I wont try to cross the shoals at the mouth of Cambridge gulf.We'll pull up at the Helvi River and have a granny nap until the tide turns.
Will take a few photos along the way and post them if anyone is interested.Cheers!



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peter-curacao
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Re: Poly panga trip to town'

Post by peter-curacao » Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:00 pm

I'm sorry for your loss, have a pleasant trip and be safe, looking forward to the pictures 8)

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Re: Poly panga trip to town'

Post by Fuzz » Tue Nov 22, 2016 11:57 pm

peter-curacao wrote:I'm sorry for your loss, have a pleasant trip and be safe, looking forward to the pictures 8)
I too am sorry for your loss.
Would love to see pictures of the boats and your trip. 6 meter tide, that feels like right at home :D When the tide stacks up against the wind it do make for some lumpy traveling :help: It sure sounds like you live out in the boonies. Quite the journey just to go to town.

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Re: Poly panga trip to town'

Post by cape man » Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:11 am

Had to look that all up. What a trip! Not a lot of anything out there...
The world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before - Neil Gaiman

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Re: Poly panga trip to town'

Post by woylie » Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:55 pm

Thanks for the kind thoughts gentlemen.
We got up about 0300 and finished packing up the camp pumps, generators, phone cables and secure the camp with rope braces for the cyclone season.They're forecasting up to five this Wet season.
It was 32C and humidity off the scale.We were saturated with sweat as we set off down the gorge and out to sea about 0600.Lots of baitfish in th gorge wit big fish arcs amongst them.Probably mulloway and trevally.
After a couple of hours I started to get cramps in my hands and legs due to dehydration,Had some light beer with no effect.
Saw a few wild cattle and kangaroos on the beaches .They are drinking seawater as El Nino has caused a terrible drought and wildfires over millions of acres.
It was calm with a slight land breeze and we tooled along about 16 knots.Passing Cape Talbot we kept wide of the coral reefs as there are a lot of room sized bommies that make it tricky to cross unless the water is clear.Plenty of small turtles and jellyfish.
Threading between the Stewart Islands we encountered the overfalls off Cape Londonderry and surfed down the faces of the swells.
Here the Timor Sea turned a deep violet colour but no signs of pelagic fish and very few seabirds.
I was expecting offshore winds here but instead thunderheads started to form above the cliffs along the mainland and we soon had a 10 to 15 knt onshore wind feeding these storms which caused a choppy sea which was enough to keep us soaked for the rest of the day.At least the cramps that were locking up my hands and calves were fixed by sucking the spray off my whiskers.
Cape Ruhlieres was the next obstacle as the tide was strong and the waves built up so the load required readjustment to keep the bow up in the tinny.
On rounding the cape we saw a coastguard vessel anchored in the next bay and I could see someone waving and dancing about on the bridge but I kept on course.
The grandson waved me over to say he had sprung a leak along the keel and his bilge pumps were playing up.
We managed to get to a little beach inside Elsie Island,cleared the pumps and replaced a fuse.This spot is used by yachtsmen and it was not long before a crocodile came to check us out for fish carcasses or our carcasses for that matter.
After a rum(for me)and some biscuits we continued along the coast passing cliffs then high sand dunes near the Berkley river resort.
The scenery here was spectacular against the thunderstorms and occasional sunlight. My El Cheapo Canon camera died and the grandson took no photos after we left Cape Londonderry as he was soaking wet.
The thunderstorms started to break down and a strong sea breeze backed around to the north just as the tide poured out of Admiralty gulf.This generated a following sea which peaked up in places through the King Shoals.In the dark you felt as if you were climbing a hill then dropping down a mine shaft.Heavy cloud obscured the horizon so we had no light apart from a few stars overhead.
We turned into the gulf ,the young fella felt the pull of the furry lasso and wouldn't think of stopping in the Helvi River so after another rum and some biscuits we were off again.
This is where I made a bad blunder.I was using the COG extension on the Lowrance plotter.I had the magnification set to medium range coming through the shoals and should have turned it off coming through the narrow passages through the reefs and islands.The course marker obscured a small rocky island.
I noticed the light disappear and saw the silhouette of the rock and got into reverse. The hull bumped but no damage to the motor.The grandson also escaped unscathed as he was off to starboard.
Charged with adrenalin, I had another rum to ease the aching back and headed towards the lights of Wyndham town.
We eventually found the mate's little cabin cruiser.It had been dragging its mooring around the harbour the past month and was about thirty yards from the mangroves.No sooner had we got onboard when Wyndham's famous mosquitos and sandflies attacked.
A freshwater shower, a couple of rums and I was in the Hennessy hammock sound asleep. It was 2100 hrs
The fuel consumption was good,a bit over 200 litres for the panga and about 80 for the tinny.
Got the boats 100kms back to Kununurra, unloaded and washed them and have booked them in for a service tomorrow.
My arthritis is slowly responding to panadol,codeine and for the cramps, bananas, not to mention a Coruba or two.
We'll see if my camera file was corrupted or what the grandson has got of the start of the trip.
On Friday I'm going to get in the old ute and head south east staying inland, striking the Pacific north of Sydney.I like to get lost and being Australia you eventually find an old time pub and enjoy a few yarns with the locals over a couple of pints.Camp under the stars and cook some steak over gidgee wood coals.

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Re: Poly panga trip to town'

Post by Fuzz » Sun Nov 27, 2016 1:43 am

Man none of the rest of us can ever complain about our trips to go do something. That is one heck of a trip you made. Glad it all worked out. If you do have pictures please post them when you get time.

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Re: Poly panga trip to town'

Post by Jeff » Sun Nov 27, 2016 3:48 pm

Woylie, wow, now that is a trip!!!! Glad you guys are safe!!! Jeff

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Re: Poly panga trip to town'

Post by Southern Gent » Sun Nov 27, 2016 4:30 pm

Woylie, a man of adventure for sure. I regret your loss but I love the spirit.

A favorite Uncle of mine died many years ago before the Internet : I searched two in trade magazines for a Tradeshow to attend ( on the date of the Funeral ) It was a business trip,

PS: Take 1000mg Magnesium with your rum each morning. Magnesium is great for leg cramps.

woylie
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Re: Poly panga trip to town'

Post by woylie » Mon Nov 28, 2016 8:09 pm

Mornin' all.
Off to the hospital this morning to see the grandson who was admitted last night with some flesh eating bug in his elbow.Hot estuarine waters are bad for fish spikes ,cuts or heat rash pimples. Important to advise the doctor that you have been exposed to seawater.
Will get some magnesium as advised(and some Coruba)as prescribed and get a new seat cover made.
will get some photos up soon.Cheers!

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Re: Poly panga trip to town'

Post by Fuzz » Tue Nov 29, 2016 2:03 am

Hope your grandson gets well soon. Is he the one who made the trip with you? Post pictures when you can but no rush. sounds like you have your hands full now.

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