Milikapiti # 17

13th May found us driving to Paru approximately an hours drive from Milikapiti, it is opposite Bathurst Island where the ferry from Cullen Bay, Darwin arrives. The ferry ride takes about 2 & a bit hours. My cousins Danny & Julie Boshie from north QLD arrived via the Sealink ferry & are visiting for 6 days -very exciting. Once you arrive at Bathurst Island you either jump on the dingy or the car ferry which ever is crossing the channel to Melville & hopefully your lift will be waiting. Along the way we passed one of the locals ‘holiday houses’, there was quite a few of these sea containers set up with a tank, outhouse & concrete patio – pre-covid, but of course once covid struck the locals couldn’t go bush to these holiday houses as the health centre staff said they wouldn’t be able to find & treat people if they were covid positive ……????

We stopped at the local freshwater swimming hole which is currently quite nice because of the rain we had, it dry’s up over the dry, Danny spotted a skeleton of some sort!!! don’t know what it is. any ideas would be appreciated. The countryside is full of flowering wattles at the moment, they are truly beautiful & smell great too. We had a quick stop at Family beach & the tide was high still very nice.

Early next morning, we had a quick breakfast & headed to the creek, WOW! what a beautiful looking day. The weather & sea ended up being amazing – soooooo nice. We put crab pots in & then went out fishing, we had great fun, saw dolphins, sharks & a few birds. Came home, cleaned fish, ate fish & played cards. Had an awesome day with awesome people.

Sealink ferry
Bathurst Island where the ferry docks.
car ferry which also carries passengers
Julie & Danny arrive
one of the local holiday houses
& they have an outside outhouse too
the local fresh water swimming hole
not sure what this was?????any ideas?

Sydney Golden Wattle
Family Beach
Family Beach
sunrise on the way to the creek to go out fishing
Putting the crab pots in
great times out on the water
Woo ho – really good day on the water, Danny -Golden snapper. Kerry-Golden trevally
Julie -Maori sea perch
Golden snapper
our keepers 🙂

Milikapiti # 16

Last Sunday 24th April we took the boat out to a place called Cook’s reef( supposed to be good fishing area) & while fishing we saw lots of birds diving onto the water, big splashes etc so we thought it would be good to check out & maybe catch some mackerel. As we got closer there was a large dark mass in the water, the closer we got you could see heaps of fish & sharks, the dark mass was bait fish – 1000’s of them. The fish & sharks were going crazy, we stopped & threw lures in trying to catch some mackerel, Peter caught 2 sharks, I caught a tuna mackerel & 2 sharks – we gave up as it took ages to get sharks off our lines without losing our lures but it was fun & interesting. We then went back to another reef where we frequently fish, Peter caught a Tricky snapper(our dinner) & also a Epaulette shark (a real cutie).

Went out again on Monday – its so nice going out on the boat. We went to our usual reef area & tried a few different spots with success, 5 keepers – 2 x Golden snapper, 1 x Spangled emperor(also know as Green snapper), 2 x rock cod & 2 muddies. This time when we collected the pots the crocs had only played with 2 pots so not too many repairs. Not long after we got home, the boat cleaned & fish cleaning time – the rain started…..haha

Went for a walk Thursday morning, the bird life at present is amazing (all too quick for any pics) but the parrots are gorgeous & there is an abundance of sulphur crested cockatoo’s.

A mass of bait fish.

sharks chasing bait fish
Tuna mackerel
Epaulette shark
She is such a great boat.
Another day out on the water.
Golden snapper – 53cms
Spangled emperor
Ornamental pincushion

Milikapiti #15

Time is going so quick, mid April already.

Took a drive out to ‘Pretty Flower’, this place is high cliffs overlooking Shark Bay & the locals come here & fish, apparently lately they have been catching a few bara off the banks, we thought we would try our luck, no joy for bara, I caught a trevally & released it, but the walk back up hill was short, steep & interesting. Drove out to Karslake, a very popular camping spot for the locals, very nice area. Its currently very overgrown with cane grass which the many birds thinking its paradise although the seeds are very friendly & kept jumping onto our clothes….hahaha

We flew to Darwin for 2 nights, my turn for having dentist visits, one of those things we should do more often. We fly out of Milikapiti Sunday 1.30pm & fly back Tuesday morning 0800hrs. I got a few pics from the plane flying over the south coastline of Melville Is & the channel between Melville & Bathurst Islands, quite interesting I thought.

The next days off back out in the boat, come across some interesting looking jelly fish & YES, Kerry caught a bara…….hahaha, had to let Peter have a hold. Went out the next day but we had to get fuel first, found some lovely vegetation. While out fishing 1000’s of little crabs were swimming out to sea with the tide, I have never seen that before, they were everywhere. Once the tide turned – no crabs. We caught a few mangrove jack for dinner, collected the crabpots – no joy but the crocs played with a couple of them – more repairs. Still had a great time out on the water.

Looking out over Shark Bay – quite specki
Bit steep but good for the heart…….
Flowering legumes found while walking up the hill.
cane grass flowering everywhere at Karslake.
Looking for dinner.
So beautiful, they are flowering everywhere.
Bathurst Island in the background.
southwest coast of Melville Island
sun has gone for another day, overlooking the oval next to the club at Milikapiti
beautiful & unusual looking jelly fish
Yea, I caught a bara
Had to let Peter have a hold.
yellow alder- flowering everywhere at the moment
Beautiful flower of the rosella plant
They are fruiting profusely.
Lotz of these critters swam past us.

Milikapiti #14

WOW! We had visitors. Brother Rob & his son-inlaw Frankc both from Kununurra arrived on Friday 1st April, they caught the Sealink ferry from Cullen Bay(Darwin) to Bathurst Island (one of the 2 islands of the Tiwi Islands) then jumped on the tinny ferry to come across the channel to Melville Island approx 10 minute ride. Peter collected them & drove back to Milikapiti, approx 1 hour drive. It was awesome to have them here for 5 days. We went down to Tim-ram-boo, a tidal creek that goes into Snake Bay, the locals come here a lot for fishing. Took a drive to Family Beach approx 5klms from community another popular place with the locals, obviously no one had been down after a few storms because the boys had a little track maintenance to do. While they were doing this I took a few pics of the vegetation….It was low tide so the boys had fun in the mud, the mangrove roots are their own little forest-quite amazing really.

Sunday morning early we took boat to the creek, it was early & a beautiful time of day, the boys launched the boat, they will put crab pots in & hopefully catch some fish while having a great time. I walked back home (5 klms easy walk ). They didn’t fill the eski but had good fun, will try again tomorrow. After they returned & a rest we played cards & enjoyed fresh fish for dinner.

Early Monday morning we fueled up the boat & set off to the creek. Launched the boat & the boys were off, this time ‘old mate’ was there to send them off to, Frankc pointed him out….. I started my walk home, not quite as dark as we were a little later this morning. They returned home mid-afternoon, a few fish & 3 crab pots in need of lots of repair……oh well, no crab for dinner but fresh fish again & they get to take some home to Kununurra, Rob & Frankc flying out tommorrow morning, 30 minute flight to Darwin. It was wonderful having Rob & Frankc visit. 🙂

Tim-ram-boo tide was low
the creek enters Snake Bay
The boys make the track a bit more accessible.
Family Beach
mangrove country
the boys are off
bit dark for start of my walk but didn’t take long to lighten up
Saw this fellow on the walk back.
Quite a beautiful wedgetail.
The hibiscus plants are flowering profusely at the moment.
Nearly home.
Fueling up before the sunrise.
Frankc pointing out our mate – the croc
there he is
time to walk back again, not quite as dark this morning.
time to walk home…….

Milikapiti #13

On one of the walks we do is over looking Shark Bay, WOW! it is really quite beautiful. Saw a few different fungi & flowers along the way which always makes the walk more interesting.

Took a drive out to ‘Family Beach’, quite a lovely spot. There were some dolphins having some fun but my pics do not justify them……haha. Lotz of hermit crabs on the move in the shallows.

Peter & I out boating (27th & 28th March), we put the crab pots out & threw a few lures, got a few mangrove jacks but released them. Monday out boating again – this time went out to a reef we visit regularly & I caught a nice parrot fish, they are so beautiful & yummy, there were quite a few jelly fish like critters around, I hadn’t seen these before & not easy to get a pic of. We collected the pots – no joy except for one cod, not a bad size so a keeper.

Indian cork tree
Woolly frogs mouth
Yellow adder
Yea – fungi
Family Beach
Looking out at ‘family beach’
a mob of dolphins were having some fun times (left edge of pic)
hermit crabs were on the move

Parrot fish
Peter in action……..
Some type of jelly fish???????
Got this fellow in a crab pot.

Milikapiti # 12

As we were putting the boat in, ‘old mate’ was not far away, I think there must be a couple of them as this fellow wasn’t that big. Successful day, 2 nice mangrove jack keepers & 1 muddie. It was beautiful out on the water, clouds started to build up so not long after we headed in, just got in before the skies opened.

While out walking came across a few nice things, flowers & fungi in full swing.

Last Sunday (20th March), Peter took our a contract worker & his son(they live in Darwin), left before the sun came up, they managed to catch a few Golden snapper(fingermark) but no keepers. I went with them to the creek where we launch the boat then walked back, 5.2klm, it was nice walking as the sun came up.

Peter & I went out boating on the Monday, we caught a few keeper Golden snappers & a Sea bass (we released him), another beautiful morning on the water.

‘old mate’
clouds starting to build up a little
yummy jacks
only 1 but he was delicious
Something this fungi edible
Azure bluet – flowering everywhere.
Hibiscus are flowering in abundance.
Full moon just as dawn is breaking.
Peter, Mick & Jacob heading out.
quite a few puddles on the road from the rain
Pomaderris kumuraho
3 golden snapper
Sea bass – 1st one we have ever caught

Milikapiti # 11

Its that time of the week again, boating & fishing time, we saw some live bait around the launching area so Peter thought he would try & get some mullet. He did manage to get a couple of small mullet but ‘old mate’ was hanging around so we didn’t stay there too long. We went upstream this time as there was high winds predicted which makes it not so nice in the bay, the creek is like a maze, so many little creeks running off in all directions. We had a great day, caught & released several mangrove jacks as well as some cod although we did keep 2 cod and Peter caught a bara on one of his live baits.

The 2nd day we went out early & got to view the beautiful sunrise. Went up creek again, caught & released quite a few jacks, we didn’t stay out too long as we had enough fish from yesterday, we collected the crab pots with good results but unfortunately we lost one pot, ??? maybe a croc or a local…..

While out walking found a pretty flowering parasite growing on a grevillea, this is the first one I have seen with an orange flower. Also came across a few of the locals, one poor old girl definitely has some posture issues.

After work the other night I managed to get a few pics of the sky (7.50pm) – quite spectacular.

Trying for some live bait.

‘old mate’

1 of the 2 cods we kept.

Bara – 60cm

Early morning fishing trip -quite spectacular.

Looking like a good ‘jack’ spot.

Not pretty but they were quite yummy.

Macrosolen cochinensis – a parasite shrub

Cool colours in the skies outside club- 7.45pm
Her posture doesn’t seem to worry her too much.

A pretty girl.

Milikapiti #10

Well, we are still in a ‘biological security lockdown’ but apparently that is supposed to finish this week……..who knows!!!

Didn’t change our lifestyle too much, the bar wasn’t open for 2 weeks but our section(food) was half open, not too busy but all back to normal now except the numbers are still down but that could be a good thing.

Last weekend (6 &7th Feb), we did our usual fishing days, put the crab pots out on Sunday with a little bit of fishing then returned early Sunday morning out to reef area in Shark Bay. We placed a few crab pots upstream in Samba Creek this time (we launch the boat in this creek), we haven’t done a lot of fishing & crabbing up here so we thought we would try our luck, decided to throw a few lures with no joy BUT while out, the skies opened……haha, not heavy torrential rain but heavy enough although we had plenty of cover under the canopy of the boat.

Day 2, Monday, out in the boat nice & early – WOW! so beautiful. There is quite a few pics of clouds – I was amazed by their formation with the sunrise, so nice. Fishing was real successful, Peter caught a queen fish & shark, we released them both, I caught a parrot fish – our dinner, very yummy. The clouds were forming, the wind & downpour started. Not an experience I would like to repeat too often but we got through, slow & steady. We collected the crab pots which gave us lotz of joy & we also released 3 of these as well (we had enough). They were very yummy….:-)

Live bait stirring up the mud, hard to see in this pic.

The skies opened.

Next day out – awesome.

Peter caught a nice queen fish, we released it
???? a happy snappper in the distance
Bit closer look & discovered a log covered in barnacles.

The skies opened again, this time with torrential rain & wind, not nice.

Milikapiti #9

On one of our walks to Timramboo, a creek that runs out into Snake Bay & where quite a few locals go fishing & crabbing depending on the tide, we came across quite a few Sea hibiscus (also has many different names), they are flowering profusely & are quite lovely. We come across quite a few different plants & flowers on our walks which makes it more interesting.

The last 2 week-ends (16/17th & 23/24th Jan) we went to Darwin, Peter had some dental appointments, the 2nd weekend was quite special as we got to spend some time with Ben, he is working on a cattle station not far from the NT/WA border, so it was great to be able to catch up with him. On both flights back to Milikapiti we had to undergo RAT tests, negative result to be able to board the plane – all good. We were on the ‘milk run’ for our last trip back from Darwin, flew to Bathurst(which is the other main island), then to Pirlangimpi(Garden Point which is the other community on our island) then to Milikapiti & of course the weather was interesting…….haha

A few hours after our return to Milikapiti we went into ‘lockdown’…..hahaha, the community has over 50% of positive cases of omicron at present, Sunday just gone we came out of lockdown & went into ‘lockin’…..haha. So at the moment although we are still working at the Club we have cut down a lot as 99% of our customers are the locals & they are not moving around too much (which is a good thing although its a bit late now); because of the lockin we haven’t been able to go boating but we have had a monsoon hanging around & its been quite windy so house hanging has been okay. We have had 8 extra nurses/health staff here from Darwin doing testing this last week & assisting at the clinic, they have been staying at the accommodation(where we live).

But we are allowed to go walking – 1 hour or up to 5klms. I usually walk for an hour & between 4 & 6 klms so I think I qualify……..haha 🙂

Sea hibiscus.
Morning glory – known as sweet potato
Pirlangimpi Community
Yea, I found some fungi.
Yellow alder – commonly referred to as a weed. Its everywhere & looks nice.
The ‘happy’ trekker.

Milikapiti # 8

Everytime we go out in the boat, the first day being Sunday we put some crab pots in & then collect them on the Monday. We usually managed to get at least 1 keeper which is nice, apparently the crabs are more active in May, June & July so that will be something to look forward to.

We have seen quite a few paperbark trees while out driving & walking & they are in full flower at present – very nice. I managed to get a few pics while out walking & just after a shower of rain. Quite a few different species flowering at the moment, majority of them probably classed as weeds but they stilll look good.

There is quite a few horses around the community producing quite a few foals as well, they run wild & the local people don’t touch them (although a few people might eat them, I don’t know). The photo below of the mare & foal I pass regularly on my walks, there is usually a stallion not far away, unfortunately the life span of the foal is not looking good, his front right knee joint is very swollen & he doesn’t bend his knee at all, obviously staked it somehow & has probably got an infection – the dingoes & wild dogs (there are a lot) will eventually get him.

The last 4 pictures are of the hibiscus’s that are flowering profusely at the accommodation area, photo taken just after a shower of rain.

He cooked up okay.

Punk tree a species of the paper bark also known as bottle brush tree.

Common morning glory

Johnstonella angustifolia (family of the forget-me-nots)

Flossflower a species of Whiteweed. Quite pretty actually.

This critter was trying to hide from the rain, not very successfully I think.

One of the many mares & foals around the community.

Hibiscus plants outside of our door.