On the road again posts have been a bit lax the last few days, but I promise I do have an excuse. Even as I sit here, laptop on my – well – lap, in a two-person tent with all the flaps closed, it is hosing down with rain and up to 40kph winds.
These started on Sunday when we left Kalbarri for Carnarvon; Kalbarri weather was fine but as we neared the end of the 450Km journey to Carnarvon, clouds were gathering and the BOM were putting out dire warnings for the south west of WA and up the coast.
It seems that two huge fronts were about to converge – and converge they did on Monday afternoon. We were about 1 ½ hours from our final destination, Exmouth, and on the main road heading for Exmouth after a detour to have a gander at Coral Bay which had been recommended to us by good friends John and Peta Haenke from Fishing Tours Down Under (packed to the rafters with caravans and backpackers and blowing a gale).
Suddenly, bright sunlight became a white out. A massive dust storm hit us from the east with a howling wind swirling up the white sandy soil, and at times visibility was less than a car’s length. The attached GoPro imagery does not do justice, and while it only lasted 20 mins or so while we travelled at 50kph with lights on and hazard lights flashing, it seemed like an eternity.
Suddenly, it cleared as fast as it had come, and we stopped to take a photograph. You can clearly see that one side of the road is clear and the other side still covered in choking dust.
The wind was still at gale force however, and even as we got to the campsite, refused to abate as we set up the tent. Then the rain came. Buckets of it. 90mm overnight apparently and has continued all day today as well, and will do so well into the night apparently.
So, our trip to the idyllic sub tropics of Western Australia has been somewhat curtailed in terms of bright sunshine. So far anyway. Tomorrow promises to clear up and be fabulous by Thursday.
One anomaly of this area though, is that as Exmouth is on the east side of a large peninsula, the normal WA wind and weather patterns are sort of reversed. The wind coming off the Indian Ocean to the west, while still stirring up huge waves, causes a “flattening” effect on this side, the east side, of the peninsula. While the wind at your back is strong, the ocean is flat and so fishing is still quite possible.
We haven’t attempted that as yet due to the persistent rain, but did venture up to on the fishing beaches and a young bloke there told us he had just caught a Giant Trevally that was “this big”, showing us a good ½ metre length. So, tonight I’ll rig up some rods and reels with lures and give it a crack.
This beach we stopped at is in the shadow of 13 HUGE communications masts and these belong to the United States of America-land, purporting to be the main communications link to it’s nuclear submarine fleet. Which of course makes this a no-go area for Australians – or drones. You have to see the size of these masts to get the idea.
Further up the peninsula is a lighthouse on Vlamingh Head (Vlamingh was a Dutch explorer in the 1600s) and the video here was shot on the Panasonic GH5S. I used a tripod here, but even then, the wind was so strong, especially up this high, there is still camera shake.
Further along we found some wind surfers braving the gale. Still I suppose they pray for winds like this, and oddly, even though gusts were still in the 40kph area, it was 27 degrees and very humid and uncomfortable.
All hope for major camera testing, reviews, ideas on the techniques being used etc will rest on tomorrow’s weather.