outbackjoe

a camping trip of ridiculous proportions

easter australian salmon deepdene


2 Comments

Easter Camp Deepdene Beach

For Easter I teamed up with Hongo (again) for a traditional Easter salmon hunting mission in southwest WA. Our location of choice – Deepdene Beach, near Augusta – the place where both Hong and I landed our first salmon many years ago.

For this camp, for food, we decided to take only potatoes, carrots, onions and flour. The idea was spawned from Spudshed’s 9 cents per kilo sale on potatoes, carrots and onions and the desire to do away with the old wussy excuse of “Wah Wah Australian Salmon aren’t very nice eating fish I’m a big fussy baby” and actually eat the salmon we catch, along with any other fish we managed to land. This would be a good motivator to actually get off our ass and do some fishing. And maybe, when we’re hungry, Australian Salmon might actually taste good. That’s what we hoped.

food for easter camp

The food we took for a six day camp for two people.

Despite not being on the 9 cents / kilo list and being quite expensive (at a cost of several dollars), we included flour in our menu so we could cook up some beer damper to add some variation to our diets. So armed with Hong’s fish smoker and less than $15 worth of food, we set off on our six day adventure (we also had condiments like salt, oil, chilli powder, garlic and tomato sauce and of course a couple of cartons of beer).

First day on camp saw a salmon caught and immediately filleted and put into the smoker. It’s been a few years since last eating Australian Salmon so I had forgotten it’s unique smell and flavour. As soon as that smoker cranked up I was reminded like a swift punch to the face. Damn that stuff stinks like sh!t when cooking! A pungent, asphyxiating fishy bouquet that permeates far and wide. The taste is similar. We struggled through eating most of what we cooked and I suffered the rest of the day with a rotten fish taste in my mouth. How much more salmon did we eat for the remainder of the camp? ZERO.

smoking australian salmon

Lift the lid and the campsite is engulfed in the pungent aroma of Australian Salmon.

smoked australian salmon The occasional, rawer chunk of salmon tasted not too bad. We made a mistake with the smoker, putting it on the fire instead of using the little metho burner. This turned it into an oven and overcooked the salmon. The more cooked, the worse it tastes. We planned to try again but were somewhat disillusioned by the experience and managed to catch plenty of better stuff to keep us fed (mulloway, wobbegong shark, silver brim, herring and whiting).

Check out these dudes who rocked up in their V8 powered four wheel drives and set up shop right in front of our camp. Out of several kilometers of empty beach! And proceeded to fish and make noise into the early hours of the morning and then pack up and leave. Nice one. That’s our tent in the left foreground.

friendly fishermen at deepdene

Did we make it on the news? Whilst Hong was battling to land a large salmon this helicopter hovered above us for a bit. It was a pretty big salmon, I’d say yes it was newsworthy. I hope my hair looked ok in the shoot.

salmon season news helicopter

Some friends joined us for a few nights. I reluctantly admit we did steal some of their sausages, baked beans and Easter eggs to supplement our diet. Some other noteworthy events include assisting a four wheel drive recovery for some dude who thought it was a good idea to do a u-turn into the water, a trip to Augusta for beer and lunch at the pub on Easter Sunday and an Easter egg hunt around our camp site.

Simple food was fun. Easy to pack, no lengthy food prep, no washing up. Plus it’s super cheap. Next year I think we need to toughen up and eat a bit more salmon!

heat trap for night fishing belvidere beach


Leave a comment

Leschenault Penisular Beach Camp

Ol’ mate hongo, of BFC fame, joined me for a quick camp down at Leschenault Peninsular on Belvidere Beach. Having hit up spots north of Perth so many times over the years, we thought we’d try somewhere we haven’t been before. It’s a great beach – deep, clean, hardly any weed and protected by the rocky groin that forms the Leschenault Inlet cut at the southern limit of the beach. There’s lots of small fish around – we caught some small herring and tailor but nothing worth writing home about. A few tailor were just legal size so we promptly cooked them in Hong’s fish smoker.

The area is renowned for dolphins and we saw a butt load of them around the joint. Some came so close to shore we thought they might beach themselves. Then we would have heroically rescued them. Unfortunately got no photos of the dolphins.

It was pretty cool at night so we constructed a sand shelter. It is a wind break and heat trap for comfortable night fishing. It was hard work escavating a few metric tonnes of sand by hand but was worth the effort. Thanks to Nathan for lending us the wood that his house used to be made of for firewood!

horrocks jetty


2 Comments

New Years Geraldton and Horrocks

For the new years break we headed to Geraldton and Horrocks north of Perth. New years itself we were in Horrocks relaxing at a friend’s beach shack which was great. It was blowing a gale most of the time so despite it being the middle of summer it was quite chilly. Sharni brought no warm clothes so can be seen sporting my favourite fishing beanie (which she hates). We took a drive out of Horrocks to the Bowes River mouth to check it out then on the way back tried looking for the aboriginal rock art at Willgully Caves. Couldn’t find anything apart from some extremely faint stick figures. Took us longer than expected whilst we scampered around the caves trying to find the art – we were hoping to get back to Horrocks to watch the New Years home made yacht race but we only caught the aftermath.

Back in Geraldton we hung out with Uncle Mick and the rest of Sharni’s family. Uncle Mick has a large property just out of town in Moonyoonooka. It was interesting checking out his property and looking at the animals and wrecked vehicles and tractors.

On the way home we took the standard photo of the Greenough leaning tree. Proof that it really does get windy up there.

Thanks to Tegan and Liz for letting us stay at their homes in Geraldton and Horrocks!

 


Leave a comment

Ledge Point Camping

Over the Christmas break I headed north to Ledge Point for a couple of days bush camping with mum and nonna. Some other chaps met up with us, some for a day on the beach and some for a night or two camping as well. We did a bit of fishing and managed a few small whiting and herring but nothing more.

A bunch of highly intelligent professors thought it would be funny to light a flare off at night into the dunes. As expected it started a fire which then spread towards town due to the blustery winds. The fire brigade had to come out to fight it and luckily later into the night the winds died off and it was under control. It pissed off the locals and the ranger pretty good. Over the next couple of days the ranger was pretty cranky, giving people fines and stuff. Can’t blame him I suppose when he needs to cater for the all the thoughtful intellectuals who start fires and leave rubbish behind.

Apart from the fire and cranky ranger we had a jolly good time. I’ve always said that you feel a million dollars when camping out in the bush and this was verified by nonna who said her aching bones and arthritis seemed to subside whilst camping out. Just another reason why we should all be doing a lot more camping!


Leave a comment

Four wheeling – Mundaring Power Line Track

Time to show off some macho mastery with a boys day trip to the power line offroad track through Mundaring. It was an exciting day with Mark nearly rolling it on a deeply rutted section of track in his Landrover Discovery. Later on he rolled backwards attempting a steep incline that the Hilux had just driven up, damaging the rear of his car and requiring a pull from the Hilux to get out. Although I’m the first to admit that a Toyota Hilux is a superior off road vehicle in every possible way, in this case it’s down to diff locker vs traction control. The Hilux makes it through smoothly and easily with a rear diff locker whilst the Landrover hesitates due to traction control. Check out the videos below the photos.

Further excitement was had when the dude with the Ford Courier broke a few of his engine mounts. The Hilux didn’t get off scot-free either with some nice new dents added to the already bent up side steps plus a good dent on the fuel tank. This sort of off roading is not something you want to be doing too often unless you have very deep pockets! I think I’ll stick to the much tamer bush tracks that take me to camping and fishing spots.

 

 


2 Comments

New Front Bushes

I replaced the rear suspension bushes a few weeks ago but the front bushes were still those that we originally set off with on our trip around Australia about 45,000km ago. Although there were no handling issues with the front end of the Hilux I thought I better take the front struts out and have a look since collapsed bushes have lead to strut failure with the bottom stem of the strut shearing right off.

Turns out the front bushes were partially collapsed. A few thousand kms of corrugations will do it. So I bought myself a new set of bushes, strapped the struts to the back of the bike and rode down to the local mechanic to have the bushes changed out (special equipment is needed to press the bushes out of / into the strut). Then got home and slapped it all back together ready for the next camping mission.

 


4 Comments

Wilbinga Beach Camp

After a bit of a camping and fishing drought we headed off for a quick midweek camp to Wilbinga, just north of Perth. Along for the ride came two past outbackjoe visitors – Hong, of BFC fame, and Malcolm, who met us for a tour around NT a couple of years ago (the trip that landed my first barra). Plus one other chap, Bruce, came along. All four of us in the Hilux.

It was bullcrap windy the for the entire camp. The southerlies kicked and, along with a beach inundated with weed, blew our fishing hopes away. We knew the southerlies were picking up so we camped on the south side of a dune. It helped but the wind wrapped around from the beach so we parked up the hilux alongside. Still not good enough, we partially buried the hilux to make a nice air tight wind break. You can see in the photo the wind eventually worked its way through the sand below the rear door.

We tried fishing but after a couple of casts in the gale force winds only to retrieve seaweed after seaweed we retreated back to the shelter of our camp. Bait was of no use to us so we chucked it all for the pelicans.

A camp oven roast was cooked up on the second night. We forgot to bring salt but luckily Hong had some cup-a-soup packets in his backpack. Worked a treat. Unfortunately without Sharni’s expertise in camp ovens we ended up burning the vegies pretty good. The chicken withstood the heat ok and was quite delicious.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 831 other followers