Any Crocs Around Here? No way…. Yes way!! Just ask my Dad.
Recently my Dad went crabbing in Murray Creek, whilst on a visit from Adelaide with my daughter’s partner, Tony.
Down at the boat ramp before they had even started to unload the boat, a guy told them a story about when his tinnie had gotten away from him on the ramp a while ago. He had followed it down along the mangroves trying to retrieve the escapee, when a small croc chased him and was nipping at his heels!
This fisherman said he will never go to that ramp again. Now I can kind of understand that you would be very apprehensive to do so, but really, why would you go into the water crawling along the mangroves, when you know there are Crocodiles in there? I think I would have waited for another boat owner to help me find my tinnie, rather than risk life and limb.
I’m not really into boats, but surely they are not worth that sort of adventure. Are they?
Naturally, my Dad, totally out of his element, was very worried standing on the ramp holding the boat, waiting for the driver of the car and trailer to return. His eyes were darting around at any small movement, knowing, feeling eyes upon him. To his relief they saw nothing at the ramp. Off they went to collect some mud crabs from the pots placed the day before. Our dinner.
I did however have some lamb chops for back up just in case!
Not far around the first bend, sure enough on the bank at a fairly low tide they saw a croc! Dad managed to get some footage on his newly discovered i phone video, but I guess you need to know where to look. However the audio is fantastic. They also saw some “slides” on the muddy mangrove banks. Perfect Croc country.
They did manage to catch 15 crabs, of which only 2 were legal size and of correct gender. I believe they lost 3 pots, but a great adventure was experienced, and I am sure many a Croc story to be told in full voice at the local golf club for years to come from Dad.
After much fuss about cooking techniques we had a lovely afternoon snack of fresh local mud crabs, and yes, the lamb chops from our local friends at Calen Butchery were yummy too.
Thanks to Fiona and Col at St. Helens Tourist Park next door for lending us the massive pot required!
There have been a few historical events in our area surrounding croc stories. One of the most commonly known was that of the two sisters taken on horse back in 1939 at Pindi Pindi in Alligator Creek.
There was a picture of the big croc under the glass on the bar at the Calen Hotel. Apparently I never read the story, as I didn’t know of this tragedy, until researching this blog post. Even my grandson knew. My bad!
I have heard a few stories of crocs in Murray creek, but didn’t know the stories about St. Helens Creek from years ago.
It was a long time ago, and as far as I know there have been hardly any more sightings this far inland, until I did a little research that is.
In recent years crocs have been found around the Mackay area. It is all too easy to become complacent.
In yet a another incident a man had his car attacked near Habana just north of Mackay.
Common sense must prevail.
- Follow the signs and guidelines.
- Don’t leave your fish skeletons at boat ramps.
- Keep as much distance as possible between yourself and the crocodile.
- Back away slowly. Any sudden movements might make it attack.
- If the croc is in a heavily populated area, report it to your local wildlife authority.
- Try not to provoke the croc. They may look docile, but will lash out if threatened.
- Do not feed the croc. This encourages it to return.
I know it is not in our immediate area, but a visit to Outback Jacks restaurant in Mackay was needed. Eat some croc for entree, and yeah the big croc on the roof. Perfect end for Dad to the story for the golf buddies, and the new owners of Kuttabul Hotel who heard the passionate story live!
Australian Law prohibits the killing of crocodiles in Australia.
To be honest I did wonder about putting this post on here. Other than the entertainment value from my Dad’s misadventures. Will it scare tourists away?
I think the opposite will prove more likely.
I guess only time will tell, but please people , when you are in the area, near water, be aware…:
“Achtung!” as all the signs say.
Even if your not German you should know the meaning. I do. How I know not.. I studied Indonesian.
Do you have any croc stories to tell from our local estuaries? Please feel free to leave a comment here or join our facebook page for a chat.
Update to this blog: June 2013
Sadly our Tony passed away suddenly just a few short weeks after my Dad’s visit. Tony and my daughter were soul mates. A long and happy future was envisioned, with many more boating stories yet to unfold.
Here’s cheers to you Tony. R.I.P.
Thank you for blessing us with your presence and loving, fun energy. You will be sadly missed by my family as well as the community at large, you were a true character, and an honour to have known.
Read more about Big T/Tony here
Cheers my friend