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#246296 - 15/01/2006 02:08 A near tragedy
Ripley Offline

Registered: 26/07/2004
Posts: 190
Loc: South Australia
The first time I surfed Cactus I took the ring off my finger and had it in my mouth for the whole time I surfed that first session. The reason for doing this was I thought the glint of gold flashing under the water might attract a big fish. The fear of the Big White is very common at Cactus and I don't think I've ever heard from anyone who's surfed there who hasn't had some respect for what lurks beneath those waters. About the only time one forgets that fear is when one is out there and locked into a Cactus Tube.

It's not just the sharks you've got to worry about at cactus it's mainly the flies and some of the locals. One in particular "Moose" who happens to be a mate of mine. Believe me, you wouldn't want him for an enemy. Even Mark Warren in his atlas of Australia surfing gave some friendly advice no to get in his way. Another dangerous creature to be aware of in this area is the March Fly which lands on any part of your body, completely undetected and then takes huge hunks out of your flesh. The March Fly is not a LITTLE fly; in fact he's quite big (some people believe he's crossbred with the Wedge-Tailed Eagle). The thing is he lands on you without you knowing it and starts a feeding frenzy and there is no buzzing like a normal fly. So you have a choice: you can escape his feeding frenzy by going in the water and taking your chances with Whitey!

And apart from what you heard or read, Cactus was first discovered and ridden by a guy by the name of Dennis (Snake) Ferret who was working in the area as a Wool Classer at the time.

And now the famous Mouse Plague...

The area around Cactus is almost a desert, nothing grows over a few feet high and looking at the place you wouldn't expect it to be over abundant with wildlife, wrong! On one of our trips turn promoted a lot of vegetation growth and as a result of this growth a few of the local creatures decided to increase their population. And as we were driving past some of the wheat growing properties we noticed some of the large wheat storage bins and silos seemed to be moving with a rippling effect. On closer inspection we discovered that the cause of this unusual effect was millions of mice. At night, while we were sleeping, these little cuties would be crawling everywhere and all over us. There where also these cute little Geckos that were enjoying their own little plague. Now you’re probably thinking "Oh yeah! Is that all! Only mice and geckos, surely a few little critters like that would be no problem" Wrong again! Other animals feed on mice and geckos, some of those include snakes, and in this area we have one of the world’s deadliest snakes going around, the King Brown. The whole bloody area was alive with the damn things and we had to be careful where we walked and sleeping became a bit of a nightmare (excuse the pun). I’d like to point out that anything like civilisation is miles and miles away from here. There’s no Motels, electricity, phones, fresh water or help if one gets into any serious strife. One morning I went hunting with a mate of mine Ian"Bongo" Bradley for some rabbits with our Rifles. We climbed to the top of a sand dune and as we looked across a small valley we could see two of our acquaintances that were doing the same thing. They were walking within a few metres between each other. Bongo spotted a snake in the middle of them, raised his rifle and fired a shot at it. These two mates of ours thought that we were shooting at them and to my horror returned fire and for the next two hours we were dodging bullets. I guess we were lucky that they were bad shots, even so it took our minds off the snake population for a couple of hours.

Cactus was also known as Rosella Point (A brand name for canned food here), because of all the empty cans left lying around the joint before the guys that frequented the place heard about the word "ecology".

#246297 - 15/01/2006 17:50 Re: A near tragedy
Adiabatic Offline

Registered: 01/09/2001
Posts: 14190
Loc: Knoxfield 96m: 120.2mm
Sorry wrong thread but will read and reply to this interesting topic shocked

#246298 - 15/01/2006 19:20 Re: A near tragedy
Petros Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 30/12/2002
Posts: 8071
Loc: Maffra, Central Gippsland, Vi...
Good read Ripley - whether we believe it or not, surely this story will help to reduce the board-riding competition for your favourite surf?? wink

#246299 - 16/01/2006 07:01 Re: A near tragedy
Gabby Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 23/03/2002
Posts: 2868
Loc: Yarrawonga/Mulwala on the Murr...
Enjoyed reading the story Ripley, even though i don't surf. I don't even swim in the ocean - too scared of sharks. Where exactly is Cactus? (if there is such a place) When you say there is not much vegetation then I picture possibly somewhere on the Yorke Peninsula???

#246300 - 16/01/2006 08:53 Re: A near tragedy
percy_04 Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 22/05/2004
Posts: 1653
Loc: Unley, SA, Fine weather bubble...
laugh ripley i see the funny side of that....brings back memories and family stories! the locals out that way certainly do things different to say the least! Gabby - thinking YP wouold b close but it may be sayfer to think more along the lines of Nullabor!

Sorry to hear about your misfortune there tho! sounds like something from the family hahaha!...y can i picture that as being me! cactus beach is not a beach that can be tamed


#246301 - 28/01/2006 23:12 Re: A near tragedy
thunder Offline

Registered: 18/01/2003
Posts: 906
Loc: Mt Warrigal, NSW
I never got to surf cactus back in surfing days. A friend did. He had a great surf than promptly found a shady rock and fell asleep, except the sun moved. He ended up with very severe sunburn, could not lay down and hardly walk, so he hopped into his car and drove non stop back to Sydney - 26 hours I think.

#246302 - 17/05/2006 14:53 Re: A near tragedy
Vinnie Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 17/05/2006
Posts: 6821
Loc: Mulambin , Yeppoon Central Qld
thats crazy

#246303 - 18/05/2006 17:54 Re: A near tragedy
tekNique Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 16/01/2006
Posts: 178
Loc: Port Noarlunga, SA
Mate i commend u on Surfing Catus and i must admitt im too scared to surf there. Not because of the waves but the Noah factor. Ive heard to many nasty stories about that channel between the "catus" break and "caves". Been to yorkes at least 10 times tho but never had the guts to go catus.


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