Caroline and I both had a good nights sleep, still waking up a little sore from Caroline’s previous exercise escapade. Before leaving our sleepy cocoons, we had planned the perfect agenda for the day – girls play time at the beach, while I would supervise from the shoreline, fishing rod in hand.
Ava was first to spot Trixie, noting that Trixie was holding both Dolly and Baby’s hands perched high above the kitchen table. “Trixie has done that before daddy’ Ava commented, “He was with Baby and Dolly a few weeks back in the playroom”! Ava does have a fantastic memory it seems!! When Audrey say Trixie, she was a little upset – requesting that I fetch Baby for her, but “don’t touch Trixie, because you will hurt his magic!”. “Yes, Audrey” I replied. I distracted Trixie with my right hand and grabbed him with my left. Baby was back in Audrey’s possession – she was happy once again.
Taking the girls to the toilet for their usual morning antics, the weather outside was not suggesting a beach day would be the best option. Breakfast outside, under the protection of the awning, we all ate, the girls then played on the play equipment with our neighbours children, Jake and Max from Perth, while Caroline and I cleaned up after breakfast and packed the bag for an excursion. I wasn’t going to let a little bit of bad weather stop me from enjoying a little fishing!!
Before leaving the park, Caroline and I were determined to complete another training session (in actual fact I was a little more reluctant than I seem to recall). Boxing followed by a few push ups, dips and planks. I started with the gloves, Caroline assumed the role of trainer – telling me how to improve my technique. As some of you may know, it is pretty annoying being told what to do when you are mid exercise. Fortunately I got through the boxing sets and returned the favour! Caroline changed out of her ‘active wear’ and we prepared for our day.
We headed down the road a little to a small beach we noticed yesterday, appropriated named “Fishery Beach”. A jetty extended over the right hand side of the beach to deeper water, where a yellow IRB and an old rusty dingy were tied up. There were around three large commercial fishing boats tied up in the inlet, presumably ‘resting’ from an early fishing adventure. I thought to myself, there has to be fish here, fish I can catch. Fish we can eat for lunch or dinner. Not too much of an ask is it?
Within moments of casting, I had a bite! Waiting for that second fatal bite, I patiently readied my finger on the line. Would there be another ‘tug, tug’ at the line? The answer was no. Smaller fish seeking shelter from the jetty had stripped the pilchard off the hook! I baited the hook and tried again. A tug at the line and I raised the rod in an attempt to secure the fish. Success! I had caught the first fish of the day, within 15 minutes!! It was quite a pretty looking fish, very colourful and fun to bring out of the water. Caroline referred to Google and identified it as a Southern Maori Wrasse.
Feeling triumphant with my first catch of the day, I tried using one of the girls hand reels to catch more fish. Same thing. ‘Tug, tug’ and I pulled another fish in. This time it was a Tommy Ruffa. As the fish was a little smaller than the Wrasse I had already caught (and recalling what they tasted like) I returned the Ruffa to the water and watched it swim away.
Bait on the hook again and ‘strike’ another fish was on the line. The second Wrasse for the morning. By this stage Caroline seemed a little more keen to try her hand at fishing. As she was concerned about getting fishy fingers, I gallantly offered to bait her hook. I returned to old faithful, my fishing line. Once more put bait on the hook, losing a few pilchards to the smaller fish that were now swarming at the base of the jetty. I decided to change my strategy, casting a little further out away from the jetty.
Within moments, another fish was on the line – a smallspotted Dart. Once again it was a little on the smaller side, so I returned the fish to the water to be caught another day. Almost two hours of fishing, I had a ball. Four fish caught, two that were too small, two that were inedible (to be used another day for bait). Looks like we need to get something for lunch today other than fish!
We left the beach and headed to Wellstead Museum. I had read somewhere that they make fresh wood fired bread onsite on Fridays and Sundays. Not exactly the same as eating fish, but fresh baked bread was a fantastic substitute! Still warm from the wood fired oven, I purchased a wholemeal loaf along with four ham and cheese scrolls – which the girls happily devoured on the return trip to the caravan park. Reflecting on our holiday so far, one thing that we have been pleasantly surprised by are the many varieties of rustic artisan bread we have been able to discover and devour!
The girls bellies were full and they once again headed to the play ground to play with their friends. Caroline put together a ‘tasting plate’, including some lamb ham, cheeses, green tomato relish and the fresh bread. Yumbo! Eating at a leisurely pace, the girls entertained themselves. “We are going bug hunting” Ava proclaimed, leading the two ‘neighbourhood’ boys and Audrey on a search around the park. Ava found a little orange ladybird initially and gently led it to her hand for further inspection. Another breakthrough for Ava on this trip – she is being much more adventurous, willing to learn and take risks. Fantastic preparation for school time, meeting new friends and learning how to play in the playground.
After lunch we decided to do a little exploring. Caroline as co-pilot had a drive for us to explore the area – the Point Henry Drive Trail. Starting just down the road from the caravan park, first stop was Bremer Point Rock Cairn. Driving out to the headland, we had 270 degree views of the coast of Bremer Bay, extending westward to the estuary. Similar fantastic sands and colours from the ocean. Soft white sands and ocean that spanned in colour from almost translucent through the spectrum to turquoise to dark blue. Bremer Point Rock Calm was known to be a good place to spot whales during July and October. ‘Missed it by that much’!
From Bremer Point Rock Cairn we headed in a southerly direction to a few more beaches, Little Boat Harbour, Blossom Beach and Native Dog beach. Spectacular stunning seascapes at each location, the first location with a few fishermen trying their luck from the shoreline to a few surfers getting ready to brave the cold waters – pulling on an orange wetsuit to repel the cold. Not sure whether orange is a good colour for repelling sharks?! Apart from the fantastic scenery, our drive along Henry Drive Trail gave us our first taste of driving on the sand, for ‘four wheel drive only’. While we did traverse the track, admittedly we didn’t venture too far down the track, in fear of getting bogged!
From driving around Bremer Bay, I am not surprised by how beautiful it is, possibly a little shocked that it has a population of around 300 people. We drove to another headland and saw some amazing houses that were making the most of the their vantage points. Sweeping ocean views, land for sale that already came with great access roads, water and electricity connected. Pity I didn’t win enough on Powerball, while the land here is extremely affordable from a ‘Sydney’ perspective, the $26.20 I won on Powerball was a little short to say the least.
After taking in the sights, I encouraged Caroline to agree that we should visit the local vineyard, Gnornbup Wines to sample what was on offer. A single vineyard, sourcing their own grapes for Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, SSB, Pinot Noir and Merlot, this 7 hectare vineyard claims to be the most easterly of the Western Australian Great Southern Region. Rather than the loamy soils of Margaret River, this vineyard prides itself on a more sandy soil, attributing the taste of it’s wine on the soil and grape maturation techniques. A lovely talkative lady greeted us at the cellar door, encouraging me to work my way through their wines. I graciously accepted her offer and commenced with a tasting of the 2012 Reserve Chardonnay. Moving through the vintages to 2014, both Caroline and I unfortunately weren’t blown away. There was such variation between each year of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, SSB and Pinot Noir. From the last fourth odd vineyards we have visited I can usually taste or smell similarities between the wines of each vineyard, at this particular vineyard I could not. I am confident there are people whom could appreciate the uniqueness of the wines I tasted today, unfortunately Caroline and I were not blown away – reluctantly we left Gnornbup Wines empty handed. A real pity as I have concerns we will run out of wine just after Christmas! Shock Horror!!
We went to the General Store to stock up on a few supplies (and discover that we hadn’t become overnight millionaires!) and retuned to the caravan park for more play time for the girls, while Caroline and I sorted out dinner. Tonight’s meal is a Jamie Oliver inspired pasta dish including sausages and what vegetables I could put to hand accompanied by a bottle of 2014 Windows Estate Basked Pressed Cabernet Sauvignon. When Caroline asked me for my comments on this wine, I replied “Dracula’s blood in colour, soft French oak with hints of blackberry”. A lovely way to end a fantastic day!