I walked up the beach, around the headlands and hoped there was enough swell for a bodysurf. There wasn’t. The wind was up and the sun was dipping fast. It was as cold as I’d been since I left Tasmania.
Small swells rocked and flared in the wind with the sun behind it and I tried to relax and enjoy the time I had.
The whole coast had transformed. Sea Hawks circled above eerily as I made my way through the rock formations along the shore. So much of the sand was gone.
I dove into the shore-break and shot some photos. The wind chilled and the sun went away. Baitfish skipped along wherever I swam and my heart got up a bit.
It wasn’t bad.
The Malcolm Douglas Croc farm outside of Broome. It’s a Croc farm. Meat and Leather.
Dangerous Saltwater Crocs are trapped and released into concrete pools surrounded by chicken wire where they spend their days baking in the suns like leathery logs. They don’t move for much besides their bi-daily feeding and occasionally breeding among themselves.
So there’s a legend around these parts. It’s not much of a legend really. There’s too much truth in it for it to be relegated to the status of a folk tale. Its one of those ‘this happened to a friend of a friend of mine tales. Here’s how it goes…
At Divers Tavern, near the main beach in Broome one evening a bunch of lads from the area were having a few. The type of fellas who spotlight roos and hunt wild bulls with crossbows on quad-bikes when the mood strikes them. The regular type out here really.
So they’re drinking and they’re bored and one lad reckons he’ll jump the fence into the Croc Farm and wrestle the largest model they can find in the place. The rest of his mates reckon it’ll be good for a laugh and they all bail out to the Troopy and drive 20 k’s out of town to the park.
A couple of hours go by and the rest of the folk drinking in the tavern have forgotten about the lads taking off earlier when they come through the doors. The Lad who proposed the idea of drunken nighttime saltwater crocodile wrestling leans against the bar and orders a can of Emu Red. and an Ambulance.
He’s got blood pouring out of him from head to toe.
When it was slow going at the resort we got a few nights off a week and you’d find a lot of the staff down the beach. They’d be swinging in hammocks or casting lines into the still sea as the sun dropped behind the headland.
We’d all be drinking beers and talking shit. Getting to know one another. It was early days.
There were more staff than guests. The hours were light and the workload easy. I was still earning more than I was back on the Gold Coast doing double the hours.
And it felt like we’d all lucked out.