One afternoon during our long tour South of the Swan river, we pulled
into a car park alongside a small estuary at Walpole and I got out to stretch
my legs. There was an old and well weathered tourist advice board erected near
the remains of a now derelict jetty. It showed photos of the area when it was
obviously a much more attractive place, and the jetty was still in pristine
order. As I started to read the information displayed, my jaw simply dropped
open. Evidently at this very spot back in the 1950's a giant mud-crab was caught
measuring some 55 inches across it's shell and weighing something absolutely
horrendous. It appeared to be the diameter of a good size dining room table.
Also, at the same spot, a huge shark was landed. I stared at this board for
ages in disbelief, then called my friend over just to verify what I had read.
The photographs were very clearly genuine, and it showed them hauling the shark
in with a crane. I will re-iterate, this was a tiny little estuary where you
wouldn't think twice about sending your kids in for a paddle to go crabbing.
God knows what damage the claws on a crab like the one displayed could do to
a small childs leg, (or a mans leg for that matter) and I won't even think about
the implications of a monstrous shark prowling amongst them.
I now understood why the area had been abandoned as a picnic spot.