I did and I survived
Day three of “chicks on holiday adventure in Darwin”
Wow what a day.
Adelaide river here we come. I loved the drive inland. Only a couple of hours. Great roads, easy driving. Peaceful! It was wakeful meditation.
Mum and I head out with to meet Captain Harry, a fervent conservationist on the Adelaide River to watch him feed the crocodiles, learn and just be in the croc moment.
I pre-warn them about my mums mobility problems. She was met and escorted onto a boat by Captain Harrys son Sean. I look at her with much love thinking jeez you’re a quick worker mum. “Look at you” I say to her, “you’ve got a man on your arm within five minutes of getting here.”
I’m about to meet mine, “the dominator”a 5 1/2 metre long 80 year old, more mums vintage but I was intrigued.
Harry told us “ we have to watch this one” he is an aggressive bugger, cranky, and will eat anyone or anything who comes into his patch.
Now Brutus, while still the old man at 100 years young, larger than the dominator, was reported to be gentle and beautiful, for a crocodile that was, he would reportedly pop his head up and look into the boat to see what was going on and if there was any food for him. Gentle and beautiful is more up my alley, At 100 he has barely any teeth left but could still crush you between his jaws mind you. I chose not to test out this theory! Who knows that song, “never smile at a crocodile? “
Well I did. I smiled at Brutus, I talked to Brutus. As I do, crazy animal lady, I talk to animals. I spoke to Brutus, I smiled at Brutus, I was enamoured by Brutus. I do believe Big old Brutus smiled back at me.
Or was that him sizing up his next meal?
Captain Harry did remind me, not to hang over the side of the boat as they may confuse me with food. Do I resemble a buffalo?
I was amazed by these creatures, there very size and magnificence. The dominator and Brutus were the stars of the day for me, We did meet a few others along our path, females only 2.5 metres, young males a mere 3.5 metres, tiny! A mother protecting her babies. She did at that. As we drifted into wards the bank, she flew through the water, up onto the bank and protected. A mother is a mother human or animal. The river calm, still and peaceful even in the moments as the croc approaches, silent, a splash as he erupts from the water and the smack of jaws slamming shut on a poor unsuspecting bird. They are quick!
Captain Harry shared his part of the river and it’s history, now in his 80s, he is still trying to protect crocodiles and their babies from the money makers exploiting these “protected” animals from government which allows egg collection and the use of their skins for the luxury goods industries.
In their efforts, they try to cover the nests of croc eggs so they are not in visible from overhead. The commissioned groups that fly overhead looking for nests. Crocodiles lay round 50 eggs, only once a year, these stealers of life, come in and take every single egg, not even even leaving a few for the poor mother. It’s heartbreaking what we do to animals. But you all know how I feel about that.
The day was fabulous backed up by a beer at the famous Humpty Doo Hotel. Most famous for its hamburgers, which I did not indulge in. Buffalo, Barramundi, and crocodile burgers were not for my palate. I scoured the menu for a vegan burger. Not one insight. But jeez that beer went down well.
Now I’m looking for Duncan, coz I need to have “a beer with Duncan me mate!”