Trip Diary

08-2012 Peel Island (An Ekka tradition)
08-2012 Moreton Island
07-2012 Rocky Point
06-2012 Blakesleys
06-2012 The Bedroom
05-2012 Breakfast on Karragarra
05-2012 St Helena
05-2012 Perigee Bedroom
02-2012 Queen Mary II
02-2012 Mud Island
11-2011 St Helena
11-2011 Shorncliffe to Redcliffe
10-2011 Weinam Ck to Dunwich
10-2011 Peel Island
10-2011 Breakfast on Karragarra
10-2011 St Helena and Green Island
09-2011 Wivenhoe Dam
08-2011 Fraser Island
08-2011 Canaipa Passage
08-2011 Karragarra
08-2011 Stradbroke Island
07-2011 St Helena
07-2011 So long, and thanks for all the fish.
05-2011 Green Island
05-2011 Wivenhoe Dam
04-2011 Upper Noosa River Weekend
04-2011 Easter at Woodgate
04-2011 Mud Island
04-2011 Karragarra for Breakfast
02-2011 Bongaree
02-2011 St Helena
01-2011 Weinam Ck to Blakesleys
10-2010 Moore to Blackbutt Rail Trail
10-2010 Whitsundays
09-2010 Mud Island
09-2010 Redcliffe
09-2010 Girraween
08-2010 Upper Noosa River
08-2010 Potts Point
08-2010 Peel Island
08-2010 Gateway to City Bike Ride
08-2010 Mud Island
07-2010 Blakesleys Afternoon Paddle
07-2010 Kedron Brook to Scaborough (and return)
04-2010 Colmslie Beach
04-2010 Brighton Park
01-2010 Nundah Creek
01-2010 Blakesleys
01-2010 Upper Noosa River (with a difference)
01-2010 New Year Paddle
12-2009 Potts Point
08-2009 Raby Bay to Peel Island
08-2009 Wynnum Creek to King Island
07-2009 Sandgate to Redcliffe
05-2009 St Helena
04-2009 Wellington Point to Peel
04-2009 Breakfast on Karragarra
03-2009 King Island
03-2009 Mission Point
03-2009 Mud Island
01-2009 Morning Tea at The Pin
01-2009 Circumnavigate Macleay Island
01-2009 New Year Recovery Paddle
12-2008 Caniapa
12-2008 Pine Rivers
11-2008 Coochie Night Paddle
10-2008 Breakfast at Karragarra
10-2008 Girraween
10-2008 Coomera Falls Circuit
09-2008 Hinchinbrook Island
09-2008 Manly Harbour Festival
09-2008 Linville to Blackbutt Rail Trail
08-2008 Weekend at Blakesleys
08-2008 Old Woman Island
08-2008 Circumnavigate Macleay Island
07-2008 Upper Noosa River
07-2008 Weinam Creek to Dunwich
06-2008 Scarborough to Bongaree
06-2008 Wellington Pt to St Helena
06-2008 North Stradbroke Jazz Weekend
05-2008 Point O'Halloran to Blakesleys
04-2008 Upper Noosa River
04-2008 Aquatic Paradise to St Helena Is
04-2008 Eprapah Creek
03-2008 Paradise Point to Moreton Island
03-2008 Wynnum Ck to Tangalooma Point
03-2008 Amity Point weekend
03-2008 Bremer River
03-2008 Brisbane River - Gregors Ck to Barneys Rocks
02-2008 Play Day - Coochie Mudlo
02-2008 World Wetlands Day Paddle
02-2008 Brisbane River night paddle
01-2008 Australia Day Week
01-2008 Blakesleys 3/4 Moon Paddle
01-2008 Shorncliffe to Nudgee
01-2008 Brisbane River - Barneys Rocks to O'Sheas Crossing
12-2007 Raby Bay to One Mile via Blakesleys and Potts Point
12-2007 Diamond Head to Tipplers
12-2007 Wynnum Ck to Green and St Helena Islands
11-2007 Bike Ride Bay Islands
11-2007 Tingalpa Creek
10-2007 Potts Point Night Paddle
10-2007 Return to Gilligans Island
10-2007 Salt Water Creek and Coomera River
09-2007 Elimbah Creek
09-2007 Scarborough to Caboolture River
09-2007 Fraser Island Whale Watching
09-2007 Circumnavigate Russell Island
08-2007 Pine Rivers Night Paddle
08-2007 Linville to Blackbutt Rail Trail
08-2007 Brisbane River City Reach
08-2007 Peel Island
08-2007 Brisbane River
08-2007 Green Island Day Trip
07-2007 Pine Rivers Night Paddle
07-2007 Mooloolah River
07-2007 USS Kitty Hawk in Brisbane River
06-2007 Black Tie on Peel Island
05-2007 Harrys Hut Camping Weekend
04-2007 Theodolite Creek
04-2007 Upper Burrum River
04-2007 Circumnavigate Big Woody
04-2007 Walkers Point to Toogum
03-2007 Boat Passage to Big Sandhills
12-2006 Woodgate to Mon Repos
10-2006 Fraser Island Whale Watching
04-2005 Keppel Islands
12-2004 Fraser Island
10-2004 Munna Point Camping Weekend
10-2004 Mooloolaba to Maroochydore
09-2004 Coochie Mudlo Island
08-2004 Karragarra Island
07-2004 Wellington Point to St Helena Island
06-2004 Noosa River Camping Weekend
05-2004 Brisbane River Night Paddle
04-2004 Budds Beach to Moreton Island
10-2003 Bulwer to Tangalooma
05-2003 Eatonsville to Harwood Island


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Adventurer Anthony Malloch

Wivenhoe Dam
Date: 13-05-2011
Sure, sure Phil - those aren't red claw, those are lobsters. After all Mark's Mum had sent us pictures and a video of her preparing a catch they had landed at Boondooma Dam. Their red claw looked nothing like that. According to Ann they didn't rate highly on the taste stakes either, she described them as bland and quite forgettable.

The planning for this weekend had not got off to a great start. Unbeknownst to me the Fun Police had long ago quashed the idea of a moonlight paddle across Wivenhoe - even the Ranger was not allowed on the water at night. Fortunately Phil had spotted the error and bought it to our attention. Next stuff up was my idea to head out via Mt Nebo and Mt Glorious to avoid the Friday traffic crawl on the Ipswich Motorway. We encountered little or no traffic as we wound our way up the forested road. Near the top a car towing a trailer was coming back down, possibly because he like us, paid heed to the sign saying that the road ahead was unsuitable for trailers. Having been warned, it would not be a good look ending up off the side of the mountain with trailer still in tow so we headed back to Brisbane via Samsonvale. The descent was steep. Some of the corners were taking second gear braking and suggested we had made a good decision. Turning right into Settlement Rd, then left onto Waterworks Rd we were caught in the burl of Friday night traffic. In the unfamiliar western suburbs we were soon wondering where Frederick Street had gone. After some stressful moments of "where the bloody hell are we" and no where to pull over, somehow we fluked it onto the flyover and were merging from the right into the flow along the Western Motorway then onto a now deserted Ipswich Motorway.

The scenic route had turned a one hour journey into three so it was well and truly dark when we pulled into the unfamiliar camp ground. We had been given up for good. Phil and Fay were comfortably set up as expected but our eyes just about popped when we saw Ray's princess tent. Perched under the shelter of a giant fly was a tent you could stand up in and swing a Manx. Certainly not the kit he would be stuffing into his kayak in five minutes.

Phil kindly produced an LED array (he claimed it was under my command, not request) which cast a broad light for the pitching of the Taj. An exercise made easier (and hopefully less traumatic) by the recent purchase of Easton Poles. While the price of the poles was more than the equivalent of a new alternative tent, it seemed sacrilegious to toss a little used Macapac onto the scrap heap. We hungrily ate our dinner while everyone else tried out a new blueberry muffin recipe recommended by my Mum.

Against a beautiful still sunrise streaked by a pink jet stream we were off to check the pots Phil and Fay had set yesterday afternoon. Phil and Fay have this red clawing down pat. Fay had a bucket that sat snugly in her front hatch whereas Mark had a wide mouthed yellow bucket strapped into his rear hatch. Having never lifted a pot before my courage deserted me when I found myself facing off a lobster. Well it was the largest red claw I had ever seen. It had attitude and making a rapid beeline for my end of the pot. No bloody way was I getting near that critter - it was armed and dangerous. Squawk was soon followed by "RAY". Now Phil, THAT was a command, not a request. The lively lobster was unceremoniously lobbed into the yellow bucket with the casual expertise of someone who handles the real deal - muddies. Following pots had smaller critters which Mark suggested could be shaken from the pot into the yellow bucket - no contact required, although towards the end I had enough pluck to handle the smaller ones.

We returned to camp with our remarkable booty of lobsters and red claw to find Carol had arrived. With growing courage I picked up a trophy speciman for Carol, all the while not realising I was about to have one dropped down my britches. Nice one you lot. We settled into breakfast while Carol pitched tent. The Australian minors were precocious and quite happy to use a foot as a step to hop up to the table top, sit on the back of a campstove, look inside an open tent or exploit any opportunities, including my porridge. We went to Fernvale for the essential fresh bread, more bait and coffee while the men were left to cook the critters. On our return a giant pot of little lobsters was ready and waiting. The claws were munched on first, then when time lapsed within a reasonable proximity of lunch it was onto red claw sandwiches. All was quiet as we savoured the sweet and tasty delicacy in the shade with a view over the lake accompanied by a glass of white wine or home brew. These were not the same bland critters Ann had eaten.

With the SW picking up we headed back to re-bait the pots. At times like this the need for a snug fit rather than a round bucket in a rectangular hatch shows itself. The anchor (Yip Yip) came into its own as it helped hold position while rebaiting the pots. Now knowing how good these critters were had me plucking them out of the pots. Phil didn't expect to catch many during the day and we were all surprised by the haul - certainly enough for everyone to have some for dinner. Lobsters trying to reverse engineer an escape from Fay's forward hatch bucket were promptly bought in line by her finely tuned forward paddle stroke. Called the red claw stroke it is a deft flick of the enforcing paddle across the offending tail just before placing the paddle in the water. Coming into camp a steady gust almost blew Ray into a knockdown and had Mark bracing to hang onto his cargo.

Much to my pleasure there was a place where I could light up the pine cones and rafters from our house without unsettling the group or fauna, although the fixed plate was a size limiter on my aspirations. While the pot came to the boil exquisite entrees including pesto dip and fried haloumi were served. Dinner menus were amended to include the lobsters. Some were cleaved in half then grilled on the BBQ with a dash of lime and cajun, others served in laksa or with a rice noodle, spinach cashew stir fry. All came with a white wine or a home brew. Great stuff - I think we will be doing this more often.

As the fire started to settle marshmallows were toasted over the embers, or for those with more courage, the flames that licked out the back of the fireplace. There will be an enduring supply of firewood as many trees have died around the perimeter of the lake, likely drowned during flood mitigation which had the lake level within inches of the amenities block. The height of the flood waters was amazing, just look for the rubbish about 40 feet high in the trees above the main road as it swings down and around to the right to cross the Brisbane River as you drive west out of Fernvale.

It was not all that cold overnight, not as cold as it could have been but cold enough to keep Dave Stokes in bed. Before breakfast we paddled upon a mirror to check the pots. Each pot had a leaner haul, but Carol and Ray's additional pots made up the difference. Location was important. When Ray put his pots out next to the camp he only pulled two red claw that were hardly worth the effort. In Phil's chosen location there was one pot that returned a big haul or 9 or 10 medium red claw, twice. We had put it down to having missed that pot, but with another standout performance the following day it seemed that that particular location scored the jackpot, a jackpot not repeated either side a mere 20m away. Another observation was that if you had a very large red claw in the pot, it seemed unlikely that you would get anything else aside by-catch which included shrimp, cat fish and talapia.

We circumnavigated Pelican Island and it's distinctive fragrance on the leeward side returning to camp where I happily started up the fire having been unfairly chided for neglecting my duties. With the red claw ready for a late lunch we headed out to have a look at Hayes Inlet. Here a large number of picnic shelters similar to those at Logan Inlet would have you think it was a public use area, not locked off for exclusive use by members of the Brisbane Valley Sailing Club. Phil and Fay headed back to check and rebait the pots while we went south to look at the interesting forms of Platypus Cliffs. For some reason I thought they had large caves in them and they certainly looked fascinating from a distance. Up close and personal all they turned out to be were large scalloping indentations in conglomerate rock. Tick.

By now the breeze which had promised us an excellent sail home was petering out. While it was only an hour's paddle to camp, it certainly felt longer and we thought Phil and Fay would have been in long before we got back. Carol overheard a conversation about people having chicken parmegiana for dinner and she piped up saying we were having red claw to which the chap said "red claw, bloody red claw I am sick of the bastards". Turned out we had our boats loaded and were tucking into a late lunch red of yes, you guessed it, red claw sandwiches when they pulled ashore carting yet another bounty. One was put in the pot some children had set close to their campsite. Their joy was complete when they pulled in the pot to see a decent sized critter eyeing them off. They sensibly squatted down next to the pot and tucked their little hands close to their bodies calling for Dad to get it out of the pot..

The moon was not far off full and high in the sky as we headed out leaving Phil and Fay with the campsite to themselves. It was Phil who made the weekend. After 20 years of camping at Logan Inlet it was Phil knew the drill with being on the water at night. It was Phil who knew what to bait the pots with. It was Phil who knew where to put them and it was Phil who knew how to cook them so that they were sweet and tasty. Much of the catch may as well have been called lobsters, their size only limited by the 10cm opening in the pots. Where, why and how you catch such lobsters is not for me to divulge. As an initiate of the Annual Red Claw Convention, this weekend will certainly be back on the agenda. Not only was it great fun, the food exquisite, held in the setting of a shady camp ground with superb clean and tidy amenities - it came with a waterside view and the bonus of boats and gear with no sand or salt to wash away.

So here's to the next Red Claw Convention on the full moon. Be sure to book your campsite early and bring a recipe for red claw, or with the right advice, lobster.
Sunrise at Logan Inlet.
The camp (Ray's princess tent in foreground).
Getting ready to set off.
Yellow bucket in a rectangular hatch.
One efficient team
Phil and a lobster.
Getting braver.
Photo by Phil
Ray and a popular pot.
Armed and dangerous.
Photo by Phil
Red claw should now be afraid, very afraid.
Cooking up a banquet.
Photo by Phil
On the menu . . .
Heading back to re-bait the pots.
Why a snug fitting bucket could be a good idea.
Mark and Ray setting the pots.
Fay untying and baiting a new pot.
Sailing return.
Around Pelican Island.
License to burn.
Logan Inlet locals.
Do you like your marshmellow flame grilled ?
Paddling upon a mirror.
Done and dusted.
Lone paddler.
On the menu . . . you guessed it.
Carol serving up lamingtons.
Platypus cliffs.
Conglomerate rock.
Back to camp.
Contemplating a great weekend.
Catch of the day.
Phil, the redclaw king.