“Give and man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed for a lifetime”
Its been a week since I first arrived in Charters Towers. Every single day I have done something completely new and different. The last two days have been no different. Yesterday, was a prep session for what was done today. Yesterday,we dragged the bright orange boat of Bryan’s brothers out into the water for a quick spin. Bryan was water skiing, professionally I might add… I passed as I was still feeling quite ill and the water was what the Australians consider cold. I also passed because the last time I tried, oh about, 7 years ago, I seriously twisted my ankle and was excluded from group activities for the rest of the weekend while I limped around, pathetically. I told him that my goal before I leave Charters is to get up on the water skiis and actually get off the wake, without so much as a bruise, scrap, or twist.
So, today, we decided to go Ocean Fishing. The previous night we prepped the boat. Loaded it with fresh food, fishing tackle, 5 fishing rods, nets, and all safety measures. We also decided to stop by the pharmacy where I would buy two packets of motion sickness tablets. After taking the night ferry from Zanzibar to Tanzania about a month and a half before, I have decided I would never be caught dead on a boat without it. It was hands down, thee WORST experience of my life. 8 hours on a ferry, even though it was a two hour journey, puking my guts out at the back of the boat for seven hours. Bryan also informed me early this morning that another ferry in that exact same area has just sunk and that the water there is very unstable. It is not the first one to go down and I dare say it wont be the last. Even sitting here typing this my body is swaying back and forth from today’s trip and even thinking about past trips. Feels like I am still on the boat… Anyways, we were headed for a salt water river near the area of Townsville named Haughton Riiver. We left at 6:00 this morning and got into the boat and into the water two hours later. I was given one rule and only one…
1. Never go into the water
Apparently this place was home to salt water crocodiles. One of previous entries I wrote mentioned crocodiles and every since that day I have had a slight fear of them. I am happy though they decided to mention this fact to me, rather than me hanging a limb of mine outside the boat and learning the hard way… an
The Haughton River had multiple different points and paths, all with particular names. Stingray flats, Connors bank etc. Every spot was different from the other. It was confusing. So many paths which to go down. We tied our lures on the rods and casted our rods in the water, we were practising a tactic called Trolling. Trolling is when the boat still moves while the lines are in the water. Bryan’s father, Peter, explained this to me as being lazy fishing. You literally stick the rod in the side of the boat and watch it, without so much as holding it. Rather, you could hold a cold beer instead. We did this for two hours and caught nothing. Clearly, something was not working. Peter and Bryan decided we needed to do some Bait Fishing.
Peter parked the boat on a sandy shore, Bryan grabbed a huge net, and him an I hopped out of the boat. The net was cleverly crafted. The technique is to through the net, like your throwing a lasso. When the net is thrown, it drops immediately to the sand due to the weight evenly spaced out at the bottom of the net. You slowly rap the rope around your hand out of the water and lift it into the boat. If the fish is to small, it is not used. If the, whatever caught, is big enough it was thrown into a small compartment at the back of the boat. If the, whatever caught, was dead than it was considered utterly useless as it defeats the purpose of live bait. We got about 20 prawns. This was also my first chance to touch a prawn. Ugh, it was slimy, and completely creeped me out. haha
Well, two hours later and after trying live bait, floating lines, floating lines with bait, sinking lines with bait, just bait… nothing was working. The other boaters on the water weren’t catching anything either. The water was just to cold for the fish this time of year. Although I was disappointed, I have come back home with a nice tan on my face, good food in my stomach, 80’s songs stuck in my head and fresh air in my lungs. I had an amazing time on the ocean today.
Bryan and I have spent the rest of the night packing. Packing for what will be an epic adventure road tripping around North Queensland. Nothing is planned, all that is planned is we are getting in the car tomorrow and going climbing. Everything past that point is completely spontaneous. I will keep people posted in the next couple days of the adventures
Song of the Day: Wild Horses by The Rolling Stones