A pleasant New Years Eve day, exploring a short way along the Duncan Road again. Duncan road is not in very good condition at present. It was closed until the day before yesterday and though the rivers have gone down, the washouts are pretty rough and the road needs a jolly good grading.
I took my shorts and a towel along, intending to swim at Palm Springs, but in the end contented myself with just a paddle in the sandy shallows where the springs empty into the Black Elvira River. The water is still too murky for my liking, particularly since I do not know what logs or other hazards might be present. I was by myself and though I may be courageous, I’m not stupid. I was disappointed not to see any crocs, but then I am told one rarely does. The best time to spot them is at night with a torch, I understand.
I drove on a little way and turned off onto a track that is about 3 km long, leading to the gorge variously known as Sawpit Gorge or Sawtooth Gorge. A pretty spot and a terrific place for a picnic. One can camp there too. I carried my togs and towel down to the river, to see if it was suitable for swimming. It certainly would be once the waters were clear, but as yet the Black Elvira here was just as murky as further upstream.
Then I saw a croc. Floating over under the bluff. It was not very big, but from the narrow snout was definitely a Crocodylus johnstoni. Excited, I grabbed the camera from where I had left it on a log with my towel. I removed the lens cap, aimed and fired. Nothing happened. I turned the camera on, pointed it again, and pressed the button. After a second’s consideration, the autofocus was satisfied and agreed to take an exposure. Just as the shutter clicked, with impeccable timing, the croc sank beneath the surface, leaving only ripples.
I have a good shot of crocodile ripples.
I sat on a log and waited about half an hour for the croc to reappear, but it did not surface. At least nowhere I could see it. Maybe it headed off round the corner. They are very shy. I decided to go in for a quick swim, just so I could say I had been in with a croc. That should be a pretty impressive accomplishment even if it was only with a small harmless freshie. I have to be honest and say I did not go far from the sandbank, basically just as deep as I could sit on the sand with my chin out of the water. I still did not know what else might be out there. Like a tangle of roots or something.
I thought the water was actually too warm. I would have preferred it to be cooler.
On the way back I stopped off at Caroline pool, another popular swimming spot. It too was unpopulated by holidaymakers and was very murky, so I guess we shall have to wait until a few more floods have washed out the riverbeds.
Earlier in the week I drove up to the Ord river where quite a few people were swimming.
I didn’t swim that day because I had forgotten to take my togs and towel along.