Home' Afloat : AFLOAT July 2018 Contents 56 AFLOAT.com.au July 2018
Books reviewed by Peter Campbell
BOOKS OF THE
Boat Books Tel: 1300 262 826
Being with Benny:
Inside the World of Ben Lexcen
This is the story of how Bob Miller, from a shattered childhood in
rural Australia and only four years of schooling, became one of the
world’s leading yacht designers. His creation, Australia II, won the
America’s Cup in 1983, ending the New York Yacht Club’s 132-year
hold on the world’s oldest sporting trophy. Miller, who changed his
name to Ben Lexcen before designing Australia II, also designed
three-handed lightweight 18-footers that changed the whole course
of skiff design, the Contender dinghy, and successful ocean racers
such as Mercedes III, Apollo, Ginkgo, Ballyhoo and Sydney-Hobart
race winner Ceil III. He was also a champion sailor and represented
Australia in the Olympic Games. Being with Benny not only tells his story, some of it in his own
words, but how he influenced the lives of the people around him, many of whom have helped
re-sail the adventurous course of his life in this book. PB 230 pages $24.95
Those Were the Days
This DVD captures the history of the tuna fishing industry through the
memories of those interviewed. The Australian blue-fin tuna fishery
involved every state, some 300 vessels, more than 8,000 crew and the
loss of more than 20 men. Check the first hand accounts of how the tuna
were found, caught and processed and also the very quick demise of the
industry as it was when purse seine nets were used. Port Lincoln became
the sole surviving tuna port in Australia but has had to go through the
transition from canning to tuna farming. Mr Kerr said the oral history had
drawn a line in the sand for those who were involved in the tuna industry
and would ensure their stories were not lost. DVD 115 mins $29.95
Waiting for the Ferry
by Bill Allen and John Mathieson
published by Transit Australia Publishing
RRP: $69.95 (216pp plus foldout map of Sydney Harbour
(21cm x 30cm)
I have to admit that I and two fellow sailors still owe Sydney
Ferries for a free trip across the Harbour more than sixty years ago.
Wet and cold from a capsize and dismasting near the Heads
in my aged VS dinghy, we were also allowed to go below to the
engine room to warm up as we crossed the Harbour.
We had been towed ashore at Balmoral Beach, forced to
leave the boat there and, without any money, hitched a free
ride on a tram down to the Taronga Zoo wharf. The ferry captain
and his engineer could not have been kinder and we ended up
at Circular Quay relatively dry and warm for the taxi ride home
(pay on delivery) to Double Bay.
Thus, I ’ve always had a great fondness for the ferries that ply
Sydney waterways, the famous Manly ferries, the smaller ones
that sailed up the Parramatta and Lane Cove Rivers and to the
upper reaches of Middle Harbour.
Waiting For The Ferry is a perfect title for this largely pictorial
publication, a wonderful record of Sydney ferries from colonial
days to the present day, in total some 500 photographs of the
ferries, the wharves from which they picked up thousands of
commuters each and also the trams
and buses that carried them down
to wait for a ferry.
Severalimages are quitegraphic,
such as an artist’s impression of the
sinking of the Greymouth and a photo
of the part submerged Kuttabul,
sunk by a torpedo from a Japanese
Anyone who has travelled on the ‘steamer’ to and from Manly,
either as commuters or visitors, will have fond memories of being
‘seven miles from Sydney and a thousand miles from care’. They
will enjoy this book.
Those Were The Days
A History Blue-Fin Tuna Fishing in Australia
DVD produced by Garry Kerr with Ros Haldane
RRP: $29.95 Set of two DVDs, duration 115 minutes
American author John Steinbeck’s
best seller, Cannery Row, set in the
Great Depression, created worldwide
interest into the pole fishermen
catching tuna off Monterey, California,
and the hardships of those who worked
in the tuna and sardine canneries.
Some 30 years later, Australian
fishermen saw the potential of
southern blue-fin tuna as great shoals
migrated through the southern waters
Port Lincoln became the major port for dozens of fishing boats
catching tonnes of tuna (40 tonnes in a day, some reported) for
the town’s canneries.
Those Were the Days is their story. From the fishermen to the
tuna spotters, the radio workers to the families and friends left
at home while the fish were being caught, the history of South
Australia’s tuna fishing industry has been preserved in this new
From humble beginnings grew a multi-million dollar industry,
only to crash when tuna stocks were depleted. Then came another
bonanza, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, tuna ‘ranching’
revitalised the industry.
Director Garry Kerr interviewed more than 30 people over
the two years it took to make the documentary Those Were the
Days, which looks at the industry from the 1930s to the 1980s.
“ We have tried to capture different facets of the industry from
the early days, from the big days when they were poling a lot of
tuna, to the women’s stories and their support being home with
the kids,” he said.
Kerr says there were many stories told to him and it was hard
to choose a favourite.
“Of course, there was the big story of a gun fight in the Great
Australian Bight which we got from the people that were there ...
a story that’s a very complex one and was still a sensitive topic
with some people in the Port Lincoln community.”
Links Archive AFLOAT June 2018 AFLOAT August 2018 Navigation Previous Page Next Page