Friday, April 20, 2012

The Cougar and Black Adder go North Part1

Finally got around to sorting out some photo's and thinking about my poor neglected blog, after I started the year so well!
 So who or what are the Cougar and Black Adder you may be asking your self.

Louise and Brad own a courier ute that has been named the Cougar and Black Adder is the name of our boat and as corny as it may sound, these are the names we use on the two way radios while we travel.  Our talk is very professional eg."copy there Cougar, you have a water bottle on your roof" or "copy there black adder, we're off to get the beers". But all joking aside, they are very useful and as we tend to go into some remote spots and use some pretty dodgy boat ramps makes communication between drivers and boating person quite critical at times.

View Larger Map

So our trip started with the dreaded drive up the Pacific Highway to Mermaid Beach where Lou and Brad were packing up there lives at Brisbanites to go on an extended trip, we unfortunately only had about three weeks, but we managed to pack a lot in as you will see.
So first leg of 715 Kms with a stop off and early morning surf at Sawtell beach saw us at the flat by about 2.30 in the arvo.

Some adjustments to Brads boat trailer took up some valuable packing time so around mid day the following day we left them to it and started the drive to Cania Dam with them hopefully an hour or two behind us.

This was a 600 km drive in atrocious weather. It was absolutely pouring by the time we got to Gympie and some of the creeks were almost at road height as we drove through. A quick call to Lou and Brad found that they hadn't left until nearly 6pm and we suggested that they didn't drive the roads that night as it looked like they would be well flooded by the time they came through. We slogged on and got to the cottage just after midnight after tackling steep twisty roads in thunder, lightening and torrential rain. But oh was it worth it to see the dam at 100% capacity.

Louise, Brad and the Cougar arrived by mid morning the following day and we were soon all settled into the cottage which involved covering the sitting room in rods and lure boxes, drinking lots of coffee and discussing fishing tactics.

The bass had been on the chew and fishing really well before our arrival, but the rain had taken its toll and try as we might we couldn't find them. With so much more dam  to cover and digging through our collection of lures and plastics, trying things that hadn't seen the light of day for years with very little result. Steve did however get a great hookup on what would have been a PB toga and landed a thumping great yellow and one decent bass.

One  very grey and damp day, on Brets recommendation we tried the pool at the bottom of the spill way. It was a magical little spot with the water flowing over the spillway and plenty of grassy banks to fish from.

And then it started to rain, but the boys were not put off and spent another wet afternoon fishing below the spillway which resulted in some nice fish. There were more can't find the pics.

Now it doesn't often rain at Cania, it usually goes around so after a couple of days of solid rain we shouldn't have been surprised to see this result.

There are now big fines for driving through floodwaters, not sure about walking through them :) But the water is moving fast and its not something you would like to tow a boat through.
We all went for a drive up to the spillway. I got the comfy seat in the front of the Cougar while Louise and Steve went up in the "safari pen"which we didn't realise we would be needing later in the trip.

That little waterfall had turned into a raging torrent and it was obvious we wouldn't be going anywhere for a few days. We were supposed to be moving on from the cottage on the Friday, but the new tenant couldn't get in and we couldn't get out, so our stay was extended until Monday, boy was that hard to take LOL. Even if we had managed to leave we wouldn't have got very far as the rain had been far worse than we realised and all the major roads heading North were closed.

Not being able to get to the shops did result in some strange dinners and we even ate fish! I know some of you may be wondering about this, but we usually put all our catch back and very rarely eat anything  with a few exceptions, Mangrove Jack being one of them. Here are the boys preparing some spangled perch and red claw for dinner.

Talking of dinners, Brett came down for dinner one evening, suppling the meat for a roast. A bit of beef he says, half a leg more like!  It was delicious but I can't remember how late it was by the time we ate. He also bought down a legless lizard that he had found while mowing, such placid little creature as you can see and seemed happy curled around the wine bottle or sitting in Lou's hand.

We had rain, sun and lovely sunsets.

And we did find fish.

So there you go, part one complete, theres a lot more to come.