Monday, July 26, 2010

Second time up the Dampier Peninsula - a time to remember

We roared (in our snail paced way, with our new sports muffler) up the Cape Leveque road for the second time in about half the time it took the last time as it was a lot drier now to stop at an Aboriginal camp called Gambanan.  It is just short of One Arm Point which is on the tip of the peninsula. 

We arrived to find that our friends, the Brieffies, had caught fish aplenty that day, so it was fish for dinner!  Yummo!  We had a room with a view of the Indian Ocean and it was great to be camping with the the Brieffies again.

Lyndon took the boys and another boy, Ryan, from another family, the Sharples, out fishing in the morning in the boat, but they came back empty handed. 
At the first low tide, the kids all ran down to look at the natural fish trap to see what had been caught and Frank slipped and gashed his leg open to the bone with a 20cm cut from just next to his knee.  We were very lucky to be with two other families.  Ryan (a 12 yr old) yelled for help.  The other 2 dads, Lyndon and Chris, ran down the cliff to the kids where Frank had ripped his t-shirt off to wrap it tightly around his leg to stop the bleeding and they carried him up to where they had told me to wait with the first aid kit.  I had been warned that Matt & I would need to take him to the medical centre and quickly, but I was not prepared for what I saw. Frank was a really brave boy.  We had a short drive to One Arm Point where there was a small medical surgery and Brett and Dean, the Medico's in charge did rock, paper scissors to decide who was going to treat him. Matt had a "quick" drive down to Lombadina (40min) to pick up the stitches while I let Frank squeeze my hand until Brett was able to start the process of 20 local anisthetic needles in preparation.

Thirteen stitches later and a lot of breathing to get through it, we could no longer see his bone, muscles, fat and everything else.  We were very thankful to Brett (who worked on Frank) and Dean who popped his head in and out and provided lots of support.  We were also very thankful to Jude and Lyndon who took care of John and Pete, and Lyndon and Chris and Ryan for their great first aid.  There are times that we are very thankful that we are talkative people who make friends along the way.  This was certainly a day that we needed a friend.

Frank is continuing to heal, but it will be a very long road as the nerves and muscle have be cut.  His leg has lost feeling in one half it and this may take a year or longer to come back.  I don't even know what the damage is to the muscle.  Once the wound heals, we will begin to try to exercise it slowly.

Catch of the day

Frank's fish filleted

Frank's fish

This did not stop Frank having a great fishing moment thanks to the lovely generous Lyndon who took him out in his boat enabling him to catch a beautiful Golden Trevally.  Lyndon that day also caught a 1.3m spanish mackeral - certainly making him the provider for the 3 families!

Jude made twisty damper sticks for everyone that we filled with honey and butter!  Yum!!

We also visited Lombadina which is a beautiful Aboriginal Community and had a great picnic there meeting some other Melbourne couples who had travelled up and across.

Peter and John also caught Trevally and Queen fish to feed us the day before.  It was great eating so much fish and great for the boys to catch fish to eat for the first time.

Beautiful sunsets again and then the wind whipped up so we decided to make our way back to Broome to keep Frank's leg clean and get out of the wind.  Sad to leave the Dampier Peninsula, but now we will certainly never forget it as we start the road to recovery for Frank.
Cape Leveque Road again, this time hard and corrugated and lots of dust


  1. great to hear and see more pictures. praise God for Friends! love Becca

  2. Whew! I feel the moment. Brave boy, Frank and your Dad and Mom moved swiftly to fix it up, now rest, rest, rest and heal up. xo Janice

  3. Thanks! Frank smiled, Janice, and asked all about who you were which sparked so many lovely memories. xx

  4. Thank you Becca, it was certainly great to have around. love meg