Trip Leader: Tony Weldon

When: 6th – 8th November 2009

Location: Leschenault Inlet

Participants: 17 Adults,  3 Children.

Ten vehicles made the trip to Leschenault for the pre summer working bee at the Conservation Park. The new Forrest Highway makes the driving a pleasure and the trip about 30 minutes shorter.  We noted the Gull servo at Myalup sells fuel at city prices or better than the average at least. The weather was pleasant; there were few flies, few ticks and more mosquitoes.  The short shower of rain on Saturday evening made us glad Martin had brought the gazebo.
A total of 17 adults and 3 children assisted in the work planned. After the work was completed there was plenty of time to relax. Too lazy to find the fish, the adults unwound around the camp fire while the children played or attempted to catch fish from the jetty. The camp fire cooking show-offs made the rest of us think that some people are born to cook while others are born to enjoy their efforts. You need plenty of guts for the latter.
The tasks set for the weekend were the regular beach cleanup which was done in two stages, Belvidere to The Cut before lunch and Belvidere to Buffalo after lunch although someone was needed to remain at camp to ensure the fires were ready for baking later. The Buffalo roadside was cleared of bottles and cartons on the morning and Belvidere Road through to and including the campsite at Belvidere were cleared in the afternoon. In the morning four of us took turns at using the whippersnippers to cut the high grass in the fenced area at J B O’Reilly picnic area. Replacement signage was also installed and some signs were repainted. We were pleased to observe that the amount of rubbish has not increased over the time we have been doing this work.
The clearance of the walking trail from Tuart Grove West campsite was considered, however, there were not enough guide posts to complete the task on this excursion. It will be on the list for May next year.
On Sunday, after a leisurely start to the day, the happy campers gradually packed up and set off for Perth. The Theunissen children with Trevor’s guidance enjoyed the dingy and swimming in the estuary and stirring up the mud before being packed into the car for the journey home. Last one’s out were Guy and Wendy.
If you are wondering if we saw larger animals than insects, the answers are yes! There was a bobtail or two, a kangaroo or three, some dolphins near The Cut and, to our surprise, a beached baby whale on Belvidere Beach.
The story of the whale, as far as we know, is that it was sighted by fishermen at around 7am on Saturday morning. Fisheries and Wildlife people came and cordoned off the area of the beach on which it lay and a Vet from Busselton arrived about 10am. We were asked to be on standby with snatch straps if these were needed as DEC and the other agency are not issued with these and neither do they have recovery points on their vehicles. However, as the animal was too weak for recovery and needed to be put down, our assistance was not required. Later at around 2pm we saw the whale lifted onto a truck for dry land burial. The truck driver is the Cousins’ cousin so is he now an honorary Club member because he helped with the beach cleanup?
The Fisheries and Wildlife people said there were lots of humpback whales out at about the 30 metres  deep line and probably this one had not sufficient body weight when the pod started their southward journey so it couldn’t keep up. This means he slowly starved to death, poor thing. It was about 4 months old, about 6 metres long and estimated weight about 4 tonnes.
Stella and Tony

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