When you are a keen boatie, I reckon you are always looking for ways to enjoy the past time, right up until your eventual demise, if you will excuse the terminology. Pounding away in the 5-6 metre boat offshore fishing will eventually wear a little thin once that body starts to deteriorate. There are a few options available and trust me, I have explored them all over the years, but yet to settle on the final solution.
Option one is just moving down the road to what many still regard as the secret jewel in the Capes region, Augusta. Besides the attraction in our later years of a hospital nearby, the Blackwood River is the perfect small boat option, where you can chase the elusive black bream, prime king george whiting or just go for a cruise with the grandkids. And if you are still up for it, you could head out from the mouth and target a snapper or two in close.
Option two- perhaps you could head in the opposite direction with canal frontage at Port Geographe Bay Marina or even Mandurah. Imagine having your boat and jetski (for the grandkids, not you), moored right at you back door ready to go at a moment’s notice. Better still have them both up out of the water on air support docking systems, many of which require no rope supports and you can just drive on and off at your leisure. No growth on the hull, no anti fouling required, less maintenance means more boating.
What about the option of actually living on the water permanently, as a bloke I met last week intends to do. He was keen to get back to his roots and nearer extended family, so is buying a houseboat to live on the Murray River. I remember a trip on a houseboat there many years ago and it certainly had the attraction of peace and tranquillity, just so long as there is enough water in the river these days.
So up here in the Kimberley, the Ord River provides another option that is utilised by those that have the luxury of owning property backing onto the river. Many people here in Kununurra have up to three boats for their activities. Firstly, the dinghy for the kids or shallow creek fishing, then the 5-6m boat for either water skiing or more adventurous trips out from Wyndham. But then there is the easier option of the small pontoon boat, being anything up to 5m, usually with twin hulls for stability and room for bbq and table. So Viv and I just had to accept the invitation from a lovely friend up here, Judy Hughes and also local doctor and soon to be a semi-permanent Margaret River resident, Ann Ward, for a late afternoon soiree on Judy’s pontoon boat, appropriately named ‘Blossom’. Blossom was complete with a new pink canopy and seating fitout and Judy loves nothing more, sometimes on her own, then just quietly motoring up the river to watch the sun go down. No fishing, no smelly bait, no other boats and just a little bit of adventure as we spotted the local large saltwater croc meandering down the river in front of us. Very relaxing and most importantly time to chat with friends and soak up the atmosphere. But now I’ve got that out of the system, I am keen to get muddy again chasing barra up the Keep River or mud crabs out of Wyndham, because I’ve got a few years left in me yet before I intend to take up any of these options on a permanent basis.