Home' Afloat : AFLOAT March 2015 Contents 30 AFLOAT.com.au March 2015
consumables. Boxes of vegies, string bags
of citrus and onions, jars of condiments,
sacks of flour and rice, a cask of whisky
(yes, really), six dozen bottles of wine...
Solquest almost sank under the weight.
Garth’s sense of humour certainly did.
We had a land crew that followed us
around where possible in a (also fully
loaded) van. This meant that we could
get access to producers and the places
of interest located inland and also have
a mobile kitchen set-up for cooking and
filming off the boat.
Toby was our lovely land-lubber who
never failed to collect us or deliver us on
schedule, would always have the kitchen
set up before we arrived and did the
cleaning and pack down after we left. Toby
is also a qualified sound recorder so on
the occasions we had two cameras on he
was worth his weight in gold.
We circumnavigated the island in
an anti-clockwise direction, leaving in
February and arriving back at the end of
April. As we sailed back up the Derwent
and into Constitution Dock, I was struck by
the colour of the trees scattered through
It was summer when we left and
autumn on our return. The seasons had
passed almost without us knowing it.
Seasons are the domain of the land – at
sea, you are have a more myopic view of the
world; the wind direction, the current, the
swell and the depth. These are the things
that you are constantly noticing for any
sign of change. A change of season is too
slow a thing to notice when you’re at sea.
During our voyage we stopped often
and went ashore many times. I won’t spoil
it for you – you are going to have to watch
the show to see all the amazing places we
anchored and the incredible people we
met along the way. But I will give you a
few of my personal highlights.
Moulting Lagoon was life changing.
This is a place I had driven past dozens of
times and rarely stopped. It always struck
me as a benign backwater of little interest.
What a fool I had been. We were given a
welcome to country ceremony by a couple
of Indigenous guides who then gave us a
tour of the bush tucker in the area before
presenting us with a swan egg.
We kayaked the lagoon, dug for cockles
and slurped native oysters as the sky went
a dusky pink. One of my best days ever and
I can’t wait to go back.
Flinders Island never fails to impress
me. One of the best dives of my life, fish
galore and a bag of green lip abalone to
boot. On land Ross hunted the native
game birds and Matthew and I struck
a great patch of king flathead. This was
all cooked up over an open fire on Cape
Gliding up the Gordon, through the
morning mist is something I will never
forget. I was moved by the beauty of the
place and found myself saying a silent
thanks to those who fought to save it.
But the people we met along the way
are perhaps the stuff some of my greatest
memories are made of. The heritage spud
farmers in Gunn’s Plains who had to told
us to watch where we dug in case we
accidentally dug up his missus.
In Granville, on the west coast, we had
an abalone cook-off with a bunch of locals
who doused a pile of logs with a whole
jerry can of diesel, then poured a line of
it back to where they were sitting so they
could light ‘the fuse’ with a half-finished
Earlier that day, we stood on the edge
of Tasmania, looking west towards South
America, where Royce farms prime beef for
a Japanese restaurant. As we walked back
to his house to enjoy a t-bone I noticed a
rough-ended steel tube sticking out of the
ground. I enquired what it was for.
“ That was the Hill’s Hoist,” he said,
“ Yep, that was a windy one, that day. That’s
the third one we’ve lost.”
We returned all their wonderful
hospitality at the end of our journey by
hosting a dinner in the grand dining room
at Government House and cooking for
many of these great folk. In every sense,
our journey had come full circle. h
h Gourmet Farmer Afloat, SBS One,
Thursdays at 7.30pm.
*Nick Haddow. After growing up in Adelaide
in a house where everything was cooked from
scratch, Nick studied hotel management
while working in some of Adelaide’s best
restaurants. It was here where his passion
for good food, wine and especially cheese
was born. He is an accomplished sailor and
recently sailed in the Sydney-Hobart Yacht
Former Sydney Morning Herald restaurant
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