Email This Page to a FriendThe Australian Wooden Boat Festival, Tasmania’s Warm Embrace
December 16, 2015
The Australian Wooden Boat Festival in "Tassie" is remarkable for its size, the quality of its boats, and the beauty of its location. But what will keep bringing us back is the warm hearts and generous humor of its people.
For a more complete historical perspective of Tasmania from Steve Stone:
From Off Center Harbor Guide Kaci Cronkhite:
ADDITIONAL VIDEO FOOTAGE BY:
Doug Thost (timelapse)
STILL PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF:
OCH TASMANIA CATEGORY:
– [Narrator] It’s easy for us in the Northern Hemisphere you know to think of Europe and the East Coast of the U.S. as the spot as far as wooden boats and classic boats are concerned. So when we started hearing about the Australian Wooden Boat Festival it kind of came as a surprise, especially when we heard it was one of the largest festivals in the world for wooden boats. Yeah, so we started looking into it where was it in Australia. And it was in Tasmania, well where’s Tasmania Lee? Tasmania’s a separate island state off the coast of Australia, separated by the Bass Strait. This is, this is one short hop from Antarctica how could a huge wooden boat festival be in such a remote location. This is an island centered initially around whaling and fishing. Then when you start looking at the terrain it’s rugged, and the water is cold, and the weather is intense. The island of Tasmania was covered with fantastic wood for boat building. The combination of these conditions has created, you know, generations of sailors. Real sailors, and bred a culture of self-reliance. It’s a wild place. And for sailors today, the southern coast of the island is known as one of the world’s great cruising grounds. And all of a sudden all of this maritime culture descends upon the cosmopolitan Port of Hobart in a day from other places in Australia and New Zealand, and internationally and it’s not easy to get there. I mean that, that strait to come across there is rough. The docks fill up, and the festival is on. Imagine over 500 boats on display most of which you can get on board, talk to the owners, the people are welcoming and friendly and there’s music playing and kids are having fun. And 220,000 people walking through and checking it all out. There’s tall ships, there’s tiny boats, power boats, sail boats, there’s cuda boats, pinors ponts, there’s yachts, there’s working boats, all kinds of boats. And every boat has a story. Cuda boat is one example. Cuda boats were great Australian fishing boats and they pretty much completely died, and they were all gone, except a boat builder in Southeast Australia picked up a couple and fixed them up and then they started winning races and everybody figured out, wow, these are great boats. The boats are fantastic, but really it’s the hospitality and the people that are just phenomenal. The Aussie hospitality is legendary, and it’s there in force. â™« When the moon is covered in clover â™« And the stars are a lazy shade of pale â™«
– There was no better example of the hospitality of Australians than Gypsy. Some of these guys have been sailing together on this 100 year old yawl for decades. But they welcomed me aboard for an afternoon sail, handed me a beer, it was as if I was one of the crew.
– There’s just years and years and years of history. We’ve had a lot of, that’s what I was just mentioning.
– An office in the harbor member steered us to Ned Trewartha, just a guy building beautiful boats in a very humble shop, who’s the real deal. Tasmania is known to have one of the best fisheries in the world for fly fishing. So I was, I was hoping to go fly fishing, and sure enough at the festival there was a drift boat. Ten minutes later I had booked 2 days fishing in the Northern Islands with Peter and Karen at Driftwater. Again, just the hospitality is, was pretty incredible, I felt at home in a place I’d never been. â™« Embrace, your embrace, â™« your embrace, your embrace â™« â™« How I would like to, â™« I’m going to fill your empty space â™« Over and over, your embrace â™« Going over warm embrace â™« When the moon is covered in clover â™« And the stars are a lazy shade of pale â™« They don’t shine quite like they used to â™« No one told me there’d be so much space â™« No one told me there’d be so much space â™« No one told me there’d be so much space â™« Won me over with your warm â™«
– So the festival’s early February you really got to go for a month, so just, just plan on booking the whole month of February for Tasmania.
– Thanks guys.
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