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Tales of the travels, trials and triumphs as we explore Australia in a converted bus
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Motorhome Travels - March 2011

12/03/2011

We are STILL at Cliff Head - it is quite unusual for us to stay this long anywhere. I must confess that I am starting to be ready to move on. Regular readers of our blog will know that we have spent a lot of time here in the last few years. One thing that this allows is a unique view into the changes in the sea and its inhabitants over time. About two weeks ago the water temperature was quite unusually high - it was like getting into a warm bath. We have two crayfish pots out and while the sea temperature was so high we found that the bait was very putrid after just one day (to the point where I was almost throwing up when we pulled the pots). The warm water in the bay was probably caused by a run of unusually warm weather combined with very calm conditions.

The Orange Army invades the bus, WA - [Click for a Larger Image]
The Orange Army invades
the bus, WA

At the peak of this warm water time, the normally clear water suddenly went very brown. At the same time we saw hundreds of dead fish on the surface. WA fisheries have said that the fish deaths are as a result of the unusually warm water coinciding with large quantities of coral spawn. This has reduced the oxygen in the water and asphyxiated some fish.

The next result has been that we have not been in the water for about 12 days! I think my scales are starting to dry out!

While fridge and freezer fish stocks have taken a bit of a battering (pun intended) the crayfishing has really picked up in the last couple of days (as you can see from the photo). These all came out of our two pots and were not caught by hand.