Lewis' Exploring Oz

On and off the beaten track…………………….

Port Lincoln and swimming with the tuna – Nov 2011

Posted by lewisfamilyexploringoz on December 7, 2011

Panorama of Redbank Beach

Fishery Bay

Where's that crevasse

Ah that crevasse

Hi Everyone,

Well we left Port Gibbon relatively intact after a bit of a storm last night.  We travelled down the Eyre Peninsula coast and landed in Port Lincoln and are staying at the Port Lincoln Tourist Park, once again on the water’s edge.  We have sunshine and good weather at the moment so we chucked on a few loads of washing after setting up the van and had some lunch.  After talking with our friend Eldo, whom we had met on the Cape York Trip, we decided to visit the Tourist Information Centre and pay a deposit for a key

Cape Wiles

Sea spray at Cape Carnot

Warning sign

to allow us access to Whalers Way and Cape Wiles, which is about 32kms SW of Port Lincoln. It’s a 4WD access track and Whaler’s Way is so-called because of its close association to the whaling operations carried out in Sleaford Bay.  First stop was Fishery Bay, which was quite beautiful but windy as hell today.  It is quite sunny but the wind is very chilly.  We drove to some of the lookouts for a peek then stopped at Whalechaser Crevasse.  We couldn’t really find the blowhole till we realised it was on the other side of the track. Cape Wiles to check out the NZ fur seal colony.  At first we couldn’t see any seals but after watching the water we spied

Oldest rocks in SA

Theakstone's crevasse

Only sign to Redbank beach

them playing in a pool near the rocks.  There were only about 3 or 4 but they were very playful. We continued along the track and stopped to check out Cape Carnot which is the most south-westerly tip of the Eyre Peninsula. There is like a blowhole here only it is the spray from the sea against the rocks which gets pretty high and loud. It was fantastic to be there to see it, but it’s very rough and there are warning signs not to go any further as loss of life has happened here.  It is also the oldest known rock in SA, estimated to be around 2,643 million years old and was discovered in 1876.  We oohed and ahhed here for quite a while then drove a little

Sand dunes at Redbanks

Redcliffs-banks hence the name

No swimming today brrrrrr

further around the corner to Theakstone’s Crevasse.  It is a fault fracture, occurring millions of years ago, measuring some 13m deep and 9m high walls and upon navigation by surfboard, was found to extend 30m underground! Impressive! Next stop on the tour was Redbanks and the beach.  You can only drive just so far then you have to get out and walk across the sand dunes.  Only problem was there are no signs or directions, you just have to guess which of the 5-6 options will get you to the beach.  We split up and eventually found our way over to the beach side, which looked very nice and fairly protected too.  We admired it

Wind farm at Redbanks

Swim with the Tuna Boat

Tuna Platform

from atop the red cliffs and then returned to the car and retraced our steps back to Fishery Bay.  As we crested the hill we saw a few kite surfers out in Fishery Bay and they were hammering, which wasn’t that surprising considering the wind today.  They looked pretty awesome actually.  We returned to the caravan park for showers, dinner and an early night as tomorrow we are swimming with the Tuna.  We were up nice and early, breakfasted and in our bathers and off to meet the boat.  It is a fantastic day to be out on the water as it is sunny and there is little wind today. We met another two families on the boat, who were also travelling

Swimming with the tuna

Tuna Spa

Dan dodging the tuna

around Oz with their kids and amazingly all the kids, on the boat were all boys.   We met the catamaran out in the Lincoln Cove Marina and 15mins later we were out at the tuna platform which sits just inside the last island before the open sea.  The tuna platform has a double skinned edge and it’s like having several, contained swimming pools around a circular jetty.  We boarded the platform and everyone who was swimming got fitted for a thick wetsuit, sorted out with booties, snorkels and masks and gloves as well as the tuna can’t tell the difference between your fingers and the fish we’re feeding them.  Daniel is not a huge sea-faring lad and

Surrounded by tuna

Wade feeding the tuna

Big tuna underwater observatory

Wade is usually chomping at the bit to get in; however Wade took awhile to get geared up so he and I were the last ones into the pen.  Joel and Daniel were 2 of the first to get in and the guides had already started to throw fish into the water to get the tuna swimming around us. OMG! They are huge and move so fast that Wade and I struggled to actually get in the water, but we did and just had to push our way through the tuna to find a free space.  Trouble was they were so big and fast and they really knocked poor Wade around due to his size.  Most of the tuna were as big as he was. Mostly they have remarkable sonar so they don’t ever run straight into you but they dart off at the last-minute and holy shit, it can scare you.  We stayed in the pen for about 30mins while these massive fish just darted around us, then we all got out to feed them by hand (gloved hands ‘cos we’ve seen the teeth!).  They have

Wade with Port Jackson baby shark

Casing full of shark eggs

Scallops - yummy

an underwater observatory for getting a different perspective when they feed the tuna.  They can get into quite frenzy when they are eating.  One of the other pools/sections has different types of local fish, like snapper, salmon, morwong, nannygai and even a couple of Port Jackson sharks and we could get into the tank and swim around all those fish as well.  Another call to jump in with the tuna for a little while then it was time for the tuna spa.  The kids all jumped in for the tuna spa and once they were in the middle, the guys threw heaps of fish actually onto them or very close to them and the tuna just went crazy around

Green-lipped abalone

On the tuna platform

Two big ships in for loading

them.  The water was white and bubbling, like a spa and the kids were screaming – all in fun of course.  It made for some great entertainment for the adults I can tell you!  Once the tuna spa was over, we all got out of out wetsuits and changed into some dry clothes.  They also have two large touch ponds on board with sea urchins, abalone, starfish, scallops, crayfish, small port Jackson sharks, etc.  The kids all loved touching everything they could and asking heaps of questions too.  There was a sausage sizzle on board for lunch then it was time to move on out.  The catamaran took us into the Port Lincoln Harbour and up to the jetty, then with

Port Lincoln Jetty

Viterra grain storage silos

Port Lincoln Marina

commentary, took us along the foreshore describing the people, places, owners of boats, etc.  There were two large ships in for loading and we saw the huge white Viterra grain silos as well.  It is a massive operation with conveyors out to the ships from the silos.  It was a great day out and we were all a bit tired from our day in the sun. We all had showers and felt more human again so we stocked up on some shopping, collected our mail, returned the key for Whaler’s Way and went out to the Marina for dinner.  We packed up the next morning and headed over to Cummins, a small wheat farming community about 60kms away, where we will

Sunset at Port Lincoln

meet up with our friends we met on the Cape Trip at Dulhunty River.

Till Next Time

Ciao`

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