By the time we had finished in Derby the next day, it was early afternoon. We didn't want to risk going to Gnylmarung in the dark, because the last time we had had to plow through the sand on the last track in, where signage is not so very obvious.
This meant that we took a free camp spot near Willie Creek Pearl Farm. Here we found Neil, someone we had met three years earlier and who has now been on the road for 17 years!
The campsites were filthy and whilst we collected as much rubbish as possible from our own site, still left toilet paper and other unmentionables behind. It still didn't look or smell much better after our cleanup!
This stop enabled us to get to Gnylmarung later that morning.
We needed time to stop for a while, so at Gnylmarung we were directed to the most beautiful campsite overlooking the small bay, right above the beach. We put up the awning and lazed about, enjoying the serenity, sights and sounds withlots of swims in between, for four wonderful nights.
Sunset on Gnylmarung beach at low tide.
Unfortunately Delma and Alfonse (the owners) were not here this time, having gone to Broome to celbrate their 39th Wedding Anniversary. We were looked after very well by Grant, who was pleased to welcome back past visitors.
One of the innovations to Gynlmarung included a Satellite phone station. This phone was for everyone to use and allowed you to make fee phone calls to any landline in Australia. This proved to be a godsend as we could ring Mum and Dad in the hospital, right to the patient's phone in Boxhill Hospital.
From this phone we were able to call all members of the family and to find out the results of CT scans and other tests. Dad has advanced stages of Lymphoma, and was much relieved of nearly three litres of fluid from his lungs. He was very resentful of being in hospital, believing that he had been locked up without consent.
We will now try to phone Mum daily to ensure that we are able to get back in a hurry should we need to.
Nigel and Zalea have been amazing, visiting Dad every day and preparing food for Mum. Nigel took Mum back to Healesville one afternoon so that she could get some extra clothes, pay bills and catch up on much needed phone calls! Pricilla and Laurence, particularly 'Cil have assisted in so many ways and been there for Mum all the time. Mum stayed with Cil and Laurence whilst Dad was in hospital. Cil wrote emails detailing the treatment, which was really kind and made sure Mum got enough sleep etc.
On our last afternoon, Grant offered to take us in his boat to catch some fish. He took out into the very deep channel that runs from Middle Lagoon to Beagle Bay. On the way we watched a mother Humpback Whale with her newborn calf and adolescent calf searching the water for small baitfish. We managed to get very close and waited for her to come over to the boat. Unfortunately the shutter on my camera and the lack of telephoto lens meant the photos are very poor, so they're not worth keeping.
Then off we went the what Grant refers to as the killing fields. This where the Spanish Mackerel live, and also Bull Sharks! When you get a fish caught on your lure, you literally have one minute to reel it in! Otherwise the fish is bitten off by the sharks! This sort of fishing was more like the Quick and the dead! Peter caught a huge mackerel, didn't pull it in fast enough, so the mackerel was torn apart by this massive three metre Bull Shark, who then decided to eat the lure himself. Grant grabbed the rod, only to find that the shark had snapped the line, so losing wire trace and lure.
Grant said he would show us what to do. Well he caught three mackerel, but all escaped or were seized by the sharks before we could get them on board. These mackerel are at least one metre long, can swim at 60 klm per hour and weigh a lot, so to catch them is quite a feat!
We returned back to Ngylmarung empty handed but having had a very exciting afternoon.
Catholic Church in Beagle Bay decorated with pearl shells.