A man exploring WA's remote north has told of his three-week ordeal stranded on a small island and stalked by a giant crocodile.
Ryan Blair was flown to Kununurra last night after being rescued by a boatie who spotted him on West Governor Island, about 50km north of Kalumburu.
Tired and weary but otherwise unharmed, the 37-year-old survived three weeks on the island after being dropped off with 160 litres of water, food, tools and camping equipment.
After 2½ weeks on the island and with his water running short, Mr Blair attempted to paddle 4km to the mainland in his 2.5m kayak.
"That was when the crocodile made himself known," Mr Blair said. "I had seen something in the distance but at that stage I couldn't be absolutely sure. I felt like I was being watched."
Mr Blair said he got his best view of the giant crocodile when he was paddling.
And he saw it again when he went down to the water's edge.
He said it was like being stalked.
At his first attempt to reach the mainland, Mr Blair found he was being weighed down by equipment and paddling against the current.
He abandoned the crossing.
A second attempt a couple of days later also failed.
"At that point I was starting to get pretty concerned," he said. "I was already fatigued and run down.
"My water supply was also running quite low. I knew once I ran out of water it was going to get quite serious.
"I didn't panic too much when I failed first because I knew I could turn around and try again another day.
"It was the second time I failed it really hit me. It destroyed me emotionally but also physically.
"The next day I was aching all over. I had to just sit down and rest so I could gather my strength to start signalling for help."
Mr Blair did not have a satellite phone or EPIRB.
Dizzy, dehydrated and with a sore back and arms, Mr Blair was fortunate enough to attract the attention of Don MacLeod, who lived at a camp near the mouth of the Drysdale River.
"My first thought was had this guy actually seen me," Mr Blair said. "It was only when he got right up to the beach and I was waving and waving did the relief hit me.
"It was pretty unbelievable but I kind of thought because I was close to the mainland and in an area there were fishing trawlers and planes, I was confident enough someone would come, I just didn't know when that would happen."
Mr MacLeod said Mr Blair was extremely fortunate not to have been taken by a crocodile, which were often up to 6m long.
"The large croc that lives near there has been there for many years," Mr MacLeod said. "He's a very big animal.
"It must be getting towards mating season because the crocs are getting more aggressive. That tiny kayak wouldn't have been one-third of his size.
"If the first croc had not got him, there are crocs all down the coast and even a couple of tiger sharks spotted the past couple months."
Originally from New Zealand, Mr Blair has lived in Melbourne for the past 10 years.
He set out on his trip in March, travelling by yacht from Queensland to Darwin.
But when the owner of the yacht was jailed, Mr Blair was left stranded for two months.
Eventually he found another yachtsman who took him to West Governor Island.
Mr MacLeod said it was completely by chance that he saw a flash of light from the crest of the hill on West Governor Island and went to investigate at 10.30am on Saturday. "I headed over there and saw this guy come down out of the Spinifex," he said. "He unleashed this big story and basically said get me out of here, I've had enough.
"I took him at Honeymoon Bay at Kalumburu, where he stayed the night at the mission and was checked out medically and given some food."
Mr Blair said that, despite his ordeal, he was not deterred from future trips into Australia's remote regions.
"I'm a city boy but it (the trip) is something I had been thinking about doing for a while," he said. "And I did do a bit or research prior to heading out.
"On the boat ride back, Don told me a little bit about the area, including the ins and outs.
"It probably would have been nice to meet Don before I jumped off on the island.
"My advice to someone who's mad enough to do what I've just done is to spend a great deal of time researching."I think everyone has seen Bear Grylls and Man vs Wild but being out there for real is nothing like that. They're definitely playing it up for the TV."