THE small tinnie floats through the inky black waters of a river in the Kimberley. A spotlight, held with grim determination by actor Bryan Brown, picks out two small yellow globes gliding across the surface.
Quick as a flash, crocodile hunter Nick ropes the prehistoric beast around its jaw and hauls it in. Brown swears and his wife Rachel Ward screams as the animal thrashes against the side of the open boat, its huge jaws snapping.
‘‘ You’re fascinated and terrified by the sight of the bloody things,’’ says Brown about the nocturnal crocodile expedition for new Lonely Planet documentary Free Rein.
Underlining the point, Nick explains that the next croc he ropes is so big that if he doesn’t let it tire itself out before he brings it in, it will capsize the boat.
‘‘ If you actually stopped to think ‘ I’m in a little tinnie here and I could fall in there’, you might never undertake it,’’ Brown says.
‘‘ So I just do exactly what I’m told.’’
Ward loved the experience.
‘‘ She gets