Day 52-56 Smoky Bay
Trip Start Dec 01, 2008
91Trip End Nov 08, 2009
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Where I stayed
Smoky Bay Caravan Park
Smoky Bay approx 20km along the road from Haslam was meant to be an overnight stay only, as we moved closer to crossing the Nullarbor. Instead it provided us with our first adopted community experience. We became so enamoured with the town that our stop turned into a four night love affair!
The jetty became Greg's third home - second only to the community sports ground/pub! At the jetty Greg met Lew; a retired professional fisherman of some 38yrs. Max managed to snag an ocean trout on his line after the first cast. Unfortunately they lost it on the way up, so Lew offered his opinion on the best way to set up the line to avoid future occurrences!
Lew was initially hanging about the pier to kill time before his morning paper arrived. At Greg's insistence Lew gave further insights as to the best way to land a fish in Smoky Bay
The weather wasn't overly hot to see us hanging at the beach all day. As has become the norm in the Eyre Peninsula a shark cage swimming area presides beside the jetty, which is opposite the caravan park here. A ladder accesses this cage from the jetty as well from the water beach side. We swam to the shark cage from the beach on our first day. Greg also swam along the beach some 400m and return during one of his exercise bouts.
Next day, Greg left early for the jetty with Max to fish and Lew was there waiting. His exercise regime was shunted to an afternoon swim to accommodate his fishing session. I would bring Maegan up later (she always slept in) once she had brekkie. The boys were catching Tommies easily now, Lew loved them (apparently they have a strong taste) and would often sell them to a local fishmonger. Greg was proud to say he contributed 3 of 15 this morning. Lew hadn't fished much since his retirement and Greg felt he reignited his passion for it whilst in town because he was asking so many questions of him.
Greg and the children left me at the van for a swim about 4pm on our third day; I was catching up on my blog
Apparently her husband had called her in as he thought he saw one while she was swimming - in exactly the same place Greg had been only the day before and would have been if not for his neck. They baulked at a swim that day and made note to only swim within the cage in future!
The steps into the swim cage housed several blue crabs and lots of red sea stars. It was a really pretty spot, but we avoided standing around and swam only regardless if the tide meant is was shallow in one end, for fear of being nipped by these abundant crabs.
We also enjoyed hanging out at the sports ground social club; it opens daily in summer from 5pm and every second day otherwise. We were there by 5.30pm each day of our visit, except on Friday night. There was a huge flat screen TV for us a chocolate machine game that the local fellas loved more than Maegs and Max and a kids lounge that had 2 couches, a TV, computer games and so many videos the kids would not have been able to watch them all even if we were there one month
It was here, at the sports club we met so many of the locals - a lot are from Alice Springs with holiday homes here because the 12hr drive sees Smoky Bay as the closest beach! Most others are oyster farmers; Greg bought me a doz when we first arrived and I ate the first half doz at the club with a couple of yellow piccolo bottles out front with the smokers!
Greg was keen to make contact with the family of a potential top recruit whom hales from Smoky and was enquiring after them at the general store. They willingly passed on the mobile contact and Greg organised to meet at the Ceduna pub on Australia day eve.
The Australia Day festivities were fast approaching. We were keen to go to an official breakfast and the closest one was in Ceduna. Smoky Bay had planned a progressive dinner on the Saturday night and at $20 per head for adults, the temptation was too great not to be a part of this inaugural community event - it caused us to postpone leaving for Ceduna til Sunday morn.
We headed to the shop (a general store/liquor outlet/post office/take away food, the only one in Smoky) to try to buy something to help us dress according to the Aust Day theme. We were told there would be prize for best dressed and for best dressed trolley.
Trish seeing and hearing our concern offered us half her esky space for the night. Her husband was away with work and so hers wouldn't be full. Problem solved! She and her husband used to manage the caravan park and had only moved on some 4 weeks prior, so she knew exactly where site 29 was and offered to pick us up on the way so we could put our booze in her trolley. Gotta love friendly locals - we were really looking forward to the dinner!!
Entrée was served at Brian Rocks place (a kangaroo's supporter who as an interstater had not much idea about the team other than their colours!). They served vegemite sandwiches, sausage rolls, prawn and bacon pieces, cold chicken drums and asparagus rolls! The kids were happy...all 3 of them!
Main course was at Clare's a short walk away. She cooked the lot, including roast beef and vegies in several camp cookers out the backyard- it was tasty and a priceless experience. The roasted home grown pumpkin, carrot and spinach were absolutely sensational. Dessert was at an elderly ladies place (whose name escapes me) and consisted of Pavlova and lots of it - I was in coeliac heaven
We all ended up back at the sports club as planned. Greg had made himself known early by getting a town stalwart who was dressed up as Lleyton Hewitt and her sidekick Gwen (as trainer) to give him a rub down on his legs. Gwen took no time to delve a little higher up his leg and had the crowd roaring with laughter. At 82 yrs of age she had his measure for comedy capers! Spewing I didn't bring my camera...
Let's just say we had a huge night and Greg was feeling very ordinary next day. I woke early to skull lots of water and thus avoided a hang-over. We had to pack up and move to Ceduna; Greg had to meet a bloke at the pub at 4pm. He was adamant there would be no beers for him that afternoon, just a strong coffee!
We managed to get away at a respectable 10.30am despite our condition. So our one nighter turned into a fantastic community experience of 4 days...