Michael, His Tropic 14 and His Cape York Adventure
WOW, The last few months have been very hectic busy finishing the boat, prepping for the big trip to the Cape, working, studying... the list goes on, but I have returned alive (ha ha).
I named the tropic HOLDFAST, .as a tribute to my old army engineer Corp, holdfast is their radio codeword. I also read that this term was used in old maritime days to warn people to take a firm grip if a rogue wave was about to hit.
The trip was absolutely awesome. The very first fish caught in the boat was a barramundi just a few minutes and casts into its maiden fishing voyage. My mates first fish on a lure and first ever barramundi! He was wrapped with the 59cm model, only just legal, so we returned the fish to the water as a little sacrifice to the fishing and boating gods.
The trip was full of fish and fun times with mates, some laughable incidents, including not having a working camera at the time of me catching my best salt water Barra at 71cm and the moment I washed one of the fillets off it over the side of the boat and watching it sink straight to the bottom of the deep blue.
I hit (yes hit) not one, but TWO BIG CROCODILES while in less than a meter of muddy water, without even knoing they were there. The boat took it like a champ. I'm just grateful the big bastards didnt have a go at us, as the bigger model was easily bigger than my 4.3m boat and over a meter wide. Scary to see the raw power of one of those push a wall of water in a huge bow wave as it took off in a hurry.
Such a great trip. HOLDFAST'S first of many!!!
Cape York - Princess Charlotte Bay
Cape Melville and surrounding Islands
I've got heaps of good stories to tell you both good and funny kind of bad.
The boat handled exceptionally.
Made it across 1000 kilometres of corrugations and hard 4wding tracks without any dramas.
Also, the little trailer ate it up with no problems as well. !!
The pics dont really do the poor weather justice.
It was absolutely howling winds up there. We initially went to Cape Melville, but 4 days straight of 50k/hr winds made us relocate to Bathurst heads. It's only about 100k drive, but a lot of 4wding involved, so took us a full day to get there.
We did do a small trip across to Blackwood Island, but the close range choppy metre swell, 3 guys and another 200kg of gear put me off going further to the main islands. Even with all that gear and blokes aboard, we did'nt have any waves crash over the bow, thank God, but we literally had to just idle across. I thought the wind alone was going to flip us over, it was pretty nasty.
For that reason we spent most of our time up the rivers and small creeks which is exactly what I built it for.
Man, this boat is a weapon. It's so stable.
I walked the plank the whole time I was up there fishing from the side decks a lot of the time, just to get the best position for that pin point cast. The boat barely moves !!
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Bowdidge Marine Designs
Far North Queensland