Location:  Port Douglas

Last time the program was in Port Douglas, I had the flu.  I decided that it was best to skip the Walker Brother’s Walk, talk, and hunt on Cooya beach.  This time I was not going to miss it; and I didn’t.  I spent the day hunting crabs on Cooya beach mud flat.  I only caught two crabs (Okay speared one and let a student spear the other), but the group caught over a dozen.  We also saw puffer fish, sea snakes, sand crabs, and signs of many other kinds of life.

Part of the experience included hearing stories about aboriginal culture and habits.   The lands have been inhabited for tens of thousands of years.  The stories include when the aboriginal tribes lived on the Lower Isles and Bat Reef and they were part of mainland Australia.  The “great wave” and rising seas created the reef and the separation of the island from the mainland.

Turtles seem to be part of the culture also.  The Walker’s showed us several green turtle shells that are legal to hunt and eat in Australia.  It takes a full day to catch, clean, cook, and eat a sea turtle.  They only do it for special occasions.  I wondered if they were going to do it tonight as there were celebrating one of the children’s 18th birthday.

The Walker Brothers are very interesting.  They not only do cultural tours, they are involved in a project to record the oral stories of their family and clan.  In the basement they have a small studio were they bring in the elders and storytellers to record the stories.  They also record their family band.

Spears on Cooya Beach

Green ants.  They taste like a lemon lolly.  One of the final treats that everyone got to try a green ant.  There was a nest of them in the tree just outside the gate to the Walker Brother’s home. You old them by there heads and lick their back ends.  You get a burst of lemon flavor.

One of the final really positive parts of the morning spearfishing is that everyone finally put aside their electronics.  There were no mp3 players, ipads, ipods, or computers.  It was just people, spears, and the mud flats.  It was rather refreshing.