Well, sweet Planetarians, I’m delighted so many of you enjoyed our stroll around ‘the market’ in my last post. It looks like Hideyo and Rebecca Roth have some fans out there! Now I’ll show you what I did after the market. One marvellous thing about Hobart is how compact and convenient it is. That means that only a short stroll away, I could take in the magnificent Australian Wooden Boat Festival. A biennial event, it’s been running since 1994 and bills itself as ‘Australia’s premier celebration of maritime and wooden boat culture’. And this was my first time. I was blown away. The diversity of vessels on display, the sheer wizardry of the woodwork, the colourful bunting, the fascinating maritime history explained – oh, where to start?! I’ll let the photos do it justice. Come on, let’s go!
Ah, be still, my beating heart! The vexillophile in me can only glance skyward at these vibrant flags.
It is everywhere. Adorning these gorgeous wooden vessels – yachts, clinkers, dinghies, trawlers – you name it, they are there. Most of the time, the skippers and their friends are aboard, enjoying a cold ale or glass of wine on this sparkling Hobart summer’s day. Most are very personable, answering queries from passers-by in a good-natured fashion. Quite a few yachts are for sale so there’s a bit of banter going on.
Now, let’s wander around the corner at Constitution Dock (remember that’s where the Sydney-Hobart yachts end up?). This is chiefly for Ann’s benefit, to remind her of the fresh seafood available in her old hometown. This is what ‘The Fishman’ had on offer. All fresh off the boat. Yum! I think I’ll buy some trevalla – what about you?
Now, around the corner here, we can see some wooden dinghies built by school children. Impressive, aren’t they? I think I’d like the blue one, the second from the right. How about you?
Just look at the simplicity and beauty of the wood. Ah, exhale!
Then compare that rustic simplicity to this luxurious little number!
Yes, it’s quite swoon-worthy, don’t you think? The front feature is a little Rolls-Royce-like, maybe. Ah, the gleaming wood. The polish. And look at these leather seats, will you?!
Now that is cruising with style! Now if we wander a little further along, here’s the perfect juxtaposition – a working trawler. In its home port. Having a little rest today.
Now that is some mighty net!
Reminders of Hobart’s maritime history are all around us. Now, don’t trip on the cray pot there!
Or those old abalone shells! Mr Wikipedia tells me that ‘Tasmania provides approximately 25% of the yearly world abalone harvest’. Abalone divers lead a dangerous existence but the rewards can be spectacular.
And how about these old photos, showing a hardworking fisherman at work in the early 1900s. Cleaning all those scallops must have been back-breaking work.
And for my fellow flag-lovers, here’s the Australian Red Ensign. Are you familiar with it?
Now this little stand has caught my eye. Let’s have a look.
Talk about a cute idea! I’ll take three for the pixies, thanks. And look at the volunteers from the Wooden Boat Guild of Tasmania helping these youngsters sand off and make their toy boats. Bless them!
Here are some of the more modern yachts moored nearby. All worth a pretty penny!
And here’s a contrast – the Young Endeavour, an Australian Tall Ship which was a gift from the United Kingdom to the Government and people of Australia to mark Australia’s Bicentenary in 1988. It was named after HMS Endeavour, commanded by Lieutenant James Cook on his first voyage of discovery to Australia and New Zealand from 1769 to 1771.
Now, tell me, do you have a head for heights? Fancy scaling this ladder?
Here’s another grand old Tasmanian lady, buffed to perfection.
Now watch out, there must be pirates about!
And to finish, here’s some perfect rope work. Sigh.
Now, I’m getting a little weary – how about you? I vote we repair to one of the nearby restaurants for dinner and a cheeky Tasmanian riesling or two. So, lovely Planetarians, are you in? Tell me what your favourite sight was – let’s compare notes!