I must admit that the last five weeks’ articles were pre written and re-edited versions of articles posted over the last seven years, because Sea Soaring Marine was in a remote location without reliable internet access. Now I am back in ‘real time’, with much to tell about our latest northern sojourn in the Kimberley region.
All families go through tough times and I won’t retell my family story, but what better way to pull through then a coastal adventure in a remote location with a family reunion. My elder sister, Colleen was designated tour planner for the group of four that came across from NSW, which included her husband Neil, my younger sister Sharryn and uncle Kerry. Now us Baddock’s have a bit of a reputation for being fastidious organisers, some may even say manic at times, so when I say we had a list for every person, every activity and then a list to remember the lists, you better believe it. The group spent five days in Broome seeing the sights, including a one day trip to Mitchell Falls, before hiring a four wheel drive to meet Viv and I and a few other friends who were with us at the time, Jungle Jim Nilsson, John ‘Donkey’ Duthie and his wife Bella. The drive into our coastal hideaway was 180km, with 120km of this dirt and corrugations. So when the group of four arrived at our camp with the bull bar dangling by two bolts, we knew they were lucky to make it in.
With so much to do and only seven days with the family, I was in turbo mode right from the start. With the group in a chalet, and us in nearby camps, I supplied them with two way radios for land communications and VHF marine radios for comm’s with the boat. Tour organiser Colleen impressed us all, having learnt the phonetic alphabet before arriving. We had erected our own private beach shelter, collected enough firewood for the week and of course the boat was ready for some serious fishing and touring. And anytime you sat on the chalet deck, from the high vantage point, the whales would put on a spectacular show.
Cols and Kerry were the keen fishos, with Cols soon nicknamed ‘Cobia Cols’ after catching the fish of the trip, a 35lb Cobia ( pictured ). It was mayhem on the boat when landed, but all worthwhile and she couldn’t keep the smile off her place when the locals at the filleting bench asked who had caught the fish! Kerry’s then took up the challenge on his next trip, landing eight different species including mackerel, estuary cod, snapper and bluebone. Later that night we relived our childhood days on the east coast and cooked whole fish on the coals, stuffed with herbs and spices. Sharryn ( soon to be nicknamed Shiraz Shaz ) was less inclined to fish from the boat, but enjoyed a great snorkelling session one morning and also came out for a very special boat tour trip with Colleen and I. This trip was to remember our amazing mum and dad, Bev and Jack, spread some of their ashes in these pristine waters and thank them for making this all possible. On the last evening we ran a photo slide show of the past week, Cols sang a trip song and Shaz did a ‘handover’ of my dad’s Akubra hat, which I had delivered to her with some Kimberley spirit when she needed it earlier in the year. As they drove off into the distance, we were already planning the next reunion trip!
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