'Swim-Ex' in Croc Creek

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Lana Emery (author), CPOCIS Simon Bagnall (photographer), PTE Julia Whitwell (photographer)

Location(s): Yampi Sound, WA

Topic(s): HMAS Choules (L100)

ABBM Paterson navigating through Yampi Sound to find Croc Creek. (photo: PTE Julia Whitwell)
ABBM Paterson navigating through Yampi Sound to find Croc Creek.

Hidden along the Western Australian coastline lies a little-known oasis called Croc Creek—a little inlet located in Yampi Sound, north of Broome. Not to be deterred by its name, however, the crew of HMAS Choules decided it looked like a great place for a swim. 
 
After confirming the safety of navigation of the inlet, Choules - a 16,000 tonne, 176 metres long, Landing Ship Dock - launched two of her Landing Craft Vehicle Platform (LCVP) to take crew members ashore for some rest and relaxation.
 
HMAS Choules' Executive Officer, Lieutenant Commander Chris Doherty said that the Royal Australian Navy had had a long history with the area.

Crew members of HMAS Choules making their way back from Croc Creek, via landing craft.

Crew members of HMAS Choules making their way back from Croc Creek, via landing craft.


 
"The Navy, along with the local mining community, has been visiting this site for a very long time," Lieutenant Commander Doherty said.
 
Croc Creek itself flows down into a rock pool and, depending on the tide, either feeds a small waterfall into an inlet or joins with it completely – leaving behind fish, and sometimes other marine life, when it recedes.
 
Surrounding the creek is a dramatic landscape of rocky terrain, which some crew members could not resist exploring.
 
Leading Seaman Underwater Medic Dave Cusack said the view from the top was unbelievable.
 
"The terrain was so harsh, but worth the hike. I had a 360 degree view of the whole area up there, and it was just stunning," he said.