Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Sounds like a brim-full day at Mallacoota

Every day begins with sunrise.  Down at Mallacoota, with a house that is high upon a ridge (like one in Memphis Tennessee), this can be spectacular.
On this morning there was much action at the foot of the ridge, before the sun really rose.  This was the bream fishers gathering for the start of the comp.
The sunrise really kicked up just before 0700.
So did the number of boats.
At 0700 they started off, one by one, at 10 second intervals  Apparently they used to all go at once but it was too noisy.  I reckon it would also have been lethal with about 60 high powered boats charging off to any point of the compass except West!  Here is a set heading East.
Incidentally, it was a bugger getting Blogger to stop switching the orientation of that image.  As usual the developer of Irfanview has very promptly given some advice on what to check in that part of the process to solve the problem.

Back at the ranch a dozy Wonga Pigeon was sighted.
We then took the small dog for a walk seeing a feeder popular with Galhs and Rainbow Lorikeeets
Some Grevilleas growing in gardens along Karbethonig Ave.

Our main aim was to walk along Bastion Point sand spit.  The beach West of there has been closed to allow the construction of a breakwater, to support the abalone fishermen and to stuff things up for everyone else. (A wikipedia article suggests that abalone fishing is the biggest employer in the town.  I suspect this is a very dodgy bit of statistics, relying on the act that most businesses are very small but neither primary nor secondary industry are as big as Construction or Health Services. A blog post will be created soon.)  I was astonished at how small it is: unless they really make it a lot bigger,the first decent Southerly storm will trash this thing completely.
A White-faced Heron was more focused on getting its breakfast.
There were few shorebirds around.  This Red-capped Plover was trying to hide.
Returning to the house it was time for a little lawn mowing.   In Tanzania this would be panga time, but in Mallacoota it was fire-up the Victa time.  Here is before ...
... during...
 .. and after.
I then rumbled into the town to watch the weigh-in of the Bream comp.  En route I found the Royal Spoonbills which caused me grief yesterday

Getting to the weigh in site I found a Pelican getting clean for the event.
A passing stingray had obviously been caught by someone and had its sting removed.  It didn't seem to have impaired it greatly but must have been very painful.
There were a lot of boat trailers lined up from the competition.
In contrast to some of the amateur efforts we have seen these guys really load the boats very efficiently.  Presumably have a 150 HP motor assists the process.  (I was talking to someone later and the boats cost $85k plus all the depth sounders/GPS etc plus the trailer.  I reckon you can get one for about $40k, but it is still a lotta loot.)
The whole business was very organised and polite.  Here is part of the line of folk returning for the 2pm finish.
By chance this image shows the winner of day 1.  Not only did his 5 fish (the maximum to be checked in) weigh most but he had the biggest fish at 1.37 Kg.
Here is part of the queue of anglers waiting to get their fish weighed,
The idea is that they keep the fish in aerated water in the boats, transfer them to standard bags which are dunked in more aerated water while waiting  and then off they go to the scales.
The fish are then released while a guy in a tinnie keeps the Pelicans away!

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