Trip Leader: Malcolm Harrison
When: 29th May, 2011
Location: Whitehills Beach WA
Participants: Malcolm and Trish Harrison, Judith and Bruce Brinkley, Richard and Helen Kingston, Rick Lazar plus kids and kids’ friends, John Jnr & Snr Holbrook (visitors) and Greg Watts and son (also visitors).
Trip Leader advised us to meet at the Bouvard Tavern by 9.00! Thought that was a bit early myself, seeing as it wasn’t a long trip and it is starting to get a bit nippy in the mornings, but I was told that it is the early worm that catches the fish.
Six vehicles turned up including 2 visitors, Greg Watts with son, Lachlan and John Hollbrook who brought his father John Snr along. Also along for the day were the Brinkleys, Kingstons and Rick Lazar plus entourage of kids. A straight forward, short drive down to the beach, stopping to air down just before the track became soft. It had been high tide at 7:30am, so we were not expecting to be able to get very far along the beach, especially after the extremely high tides experienced the week before. However, what others might deem a little too risky, was no obstacle for Trip Leader, who pushed on along the ever narrowing strip of beach between the dunes and ocean – whilst TL’s passenger sat quietly with teeth, jaws and stomach gripped tightly in a vice of ‘concern’
After much stomach churning (probably only 10 minutes or so) the beach started broadening out a tad, and TL decided to pull up for us to do a bit of fishing, just as the radio crackled into life advising Bruce had become stuck with his wheels pointing towards the dunes. After airing down a little bit more, a straightening of the wheels and a little bit of beach ‘reprofiling’ (digging ….. in other words!) he popped out and the rest of the group caught up.
The wind was a bit fresh but the sun evened things out a bit. Our Queenslander, Jude, was keen to show us she had had a fine upbringing and was well acquainted with fishing rods and tackle and in no time had her jeans rolled up and was casting out a fine lure. Determined as she was, nothing was biting. It might have had something to do with the couple of dolphins we spotted close to the shore, followed shortly after by something else ‘large’ – I heard someone murmuring – possibly a shark? Richard delighted some of us by unzipping the legs of his trousers, and exposing strong masculine calves, however, his perseverance for fishing was outmatched and it wasn’t long before he was seen to be packing up his gear (left the calves out though! 🙂
Rick earned himself brownie points, allowing his kids to bring along friends (a tribe) and in no time they were swimming and exploring the dunes. Rick’s daughter, Chelsea came out trumps with the largest fish of the day. TL couldn’t help himself by commenting it still wouldn’t have fed a midget!
Other than that, there was not even a nibble and both the herring and salmon were nowhere to be seen, so from a fishing point of view it was quite disappointing. TL and Richard however did manage to get rid of some stinky bait which had plagued their freezers for some months!
It was nice to get to meet our visitors. John Holbrook and John Snr, who are keen fishermen. Greg, not a fisherman, was content to enjoy the drive and scenery. When Jude eventually gave up on the fishing, she could be seen entertaining Greg’s son, Lachlan, with a beach nature lesson. Not only a keen fisherman, but natural grandma!
We enjoyed a good social lunch and decided to press on and see how much further we could get towards Preston. Groan, I had thought we would be heading back. But, turned out to be fine and the beach was navigable all the way through to the Preston exit. We pulled up to the car pack to re air the tyres and Helen brought out a lovely home baked cake for arvo’s (TL will love you forever). After a couple of group photos on the back of our new camp vehicle (just checking it would take the weight of our soon to arrive camper) we called it a day, and not a bad one at that, just as the rain clouds crossed the coast.
Some of us, not in a rush to get home, made a small detour to “Brew 42”, a microbrewery at Lake Clifton. TL wanted to make sure they were still brewing up to their usual standard. They got our vote of approval and after savouring our pints, and discussing the possibility of a future club camp in their paddocks, we said our goodbyes and headed home.
All in all, I think it turned out a very pleasant and social ‘”anniversary” run.