Listen to the Fatman Basics
It’s a curious thing. Travel down Tasmania’s rugged west coast on a bike, as I did recently, and about half way down, the gravel road comes to an abrupt stop at the Pieman river. Full stop. No bridge. Some days there’s not even a safety barrier to keep cars from driving into the river.
Sort of like someone took the Pacific Coast highway along California’s west coast and removed a key bridge, making through-travel impossible.
How to cross?
Enter the “Fatman”.
The Fatman is a steel barge that carries cars across the Pieman river. Half Mad Max, half fish farm barge, it floats cars across the river so they can continue their journey.
I thought this unusual. Enough so that I spent two nights camped in Corinna, where the barge is located. While there, I got to know the Fatman’s crew. What emerged in those days was a curious tale of hunger, bridges unbuilt – and some heavy duty Aussie bush technology.
In the interview you’re about to hear, you’ll meet Blackie Stewart, chief ferry operator. You’re going to hear more from Blackie in the next few days. But here he covers some Fatman basics. Like how it gets across the Pieman river. How it got its name.
So, ready to hit the water on a marvelous mechanized creature? For a basic overview of how the Fatman works, click on the audio player below.
Wondering how the Fatman got such a politically uncorrect name? Then hit the play button below…
Can see he has Direct Dish (satellite) TV, or is that high-speed internet?