Thursday, 4 December 2008

fishing in robin hood's point

Archer Point about 20kms south of Cooktown is famed for fishing. So on a Sunday (a day-off to keep the sabat day uli, as you do), we drove down there for a bit of sight-seeing and fishing. 

There are no houses/residences in archer point but we saw a few residents (transient campers not a band of outlaws) and about a dozen vehicles. We also met a couple of guys collecting trash and litter along the coastline. I don’t know if today was clean-up oz day. What we saw later along the beaches - tons of litter including beer cans and the ever present plastic bags, the unfortunate evidence of human waste pollution in the middle of uninhabited coastline, is truly disgusting, but reminds a gesture of acknowledgement to the effort of the guys doing their bit to clean up the environment.

There's a couple of small lighthouses in archer point, one of them in an island a few hundred meters out from the mainland. There were boundary markers around the lighthouse on the Point, perhaps marking out the area leased for lighthouse and marine safety purposes. There was also the remnants of a jetty long since abandoned. The views from the lighthouse were spectacular. You could see where the rainforests merge with the eucalypts up on the hills that drop steeply to the sea.
A few secluded and inaccessible beaches with white sands beckon to the north and south as well as on the small island on the southeast. In another time, with another partner, it would be nice just to camp out in any of them for a couple of days.
At the lighthouse we met a pair of couples (retirees out for a Sunday drive).
One of the men told a story about how the jetty came to be there. Apparently in the early 1960s an Englishman invested in growing grain in Lakeland (about 50km inland to the southwest) for export to Japan. The government refused assistance to his endeavours, so he forked out his own money to build the jetty and roads presumably to transport his grain from the field to the bay and for shipping to japan. Our acquaintance said that in the end the Englishman lost 10m pounds sterling in the venture ( i hope robin's hoods didn't rob him).

Since we came here for fishing, we drove down to the jetty site from the lighthouse over an old disused and deep-rutted rocky road, and then clambered along a narrow precipitous path to the rusted ruins of the jetty. We then tossed our fishing lines in along with a wish or two (for a big fish or two). We had some tugs on our lines, which may just be snags but may also be the fish that got away (yeah i know - there's a few mebbes there but wait here's more). A school of medium-sized fish (maybe tuna?) swam past and a really big one (maybe a shark?) glided along just off the coastline. We did catch three small (baby) cods in about a couple of hours, but no major whoppers to tell tales about. We also had a solitary turtle entertain us. It frolicked along near our lines for a few minutes before going along its unhurried merry way. Some white butterflies flew past too just a few meters above the water.
Alas nothing to make merry men of doleful fishers.
so what was robin hood's point?
go figure...