Feb 15 – Ardrossan

We headed south to start our Yorke peninsular adventure and fairly quickly reached one of the larger towns at Ardrossan. We did a drive around and saw there wasn’t much to the place although the main street had a certain hustle and bustle to it in a quiet coastal village type of way.

We tracked down the caravan park and found that it had a small but nicely grassed non-powered camping area. A couple of playgrounds for the boys and easy walk 200metres to the jetty and beach. We booked in for a few days and quickly picked up the vibe of crabs, blue swimmer crabs, crabbing, crab trapping, crab raking, crab cooking facilities, chest freezers full of people’s crabs. We headed to the jetty to see what the fuss was all about.

Lining the jetty were dozens of people with crab traps thrown out and tied to the jetty with rope – a fish head the bait of choice for most. Every five or ten minutes they’d pull them in and see if a crab had gone in the trap. The people we spoke to were amazed at the season they were having and the numbers of crabs around. To get the quota of 20 crabs per person sometimes took hours whereas many people were pulling in 2 or 3 crabs a time and getting their quota in 20 minutes. We could see crabs walking on top of the seagrass.

Not having any traps we started to find out more about crab raking – a simple process of using a metal garden rake to disturb the crabs hiding in the sand in shallow water. As we walked back along the main street we noticed every shop was selling rakes. We decided to investigate more before buying something that had to fit in the car so we put off crabbing until tomorrow.

A very quick description of Ardrossan – coastal village with a few pubs that looked deserted but probably had the regulars hiding away in there somewhere, nice supermarket and shops along the main street, good lookouts from atop these steep, high orange cliffs that are eroding and collapsing with the tide and wind-generated waves constantly lapping at their base. A long jetty almost solely dedicated to fishing (we saw one nice garfish landed) and crabbing (of course). Amongst a lot of natural beauty, the thing that stands out is the massive silo complex to the south of the town with another large industrial-scale jetty and conveyor belts to load the grain harvested from the farms that ran right down to the coastline.

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