Man Down Under – Tasmania

Welcome to the Roaring Forties

Roaring Forties. The words conjure images of the salt captain braced against the ship’s helm, sparks flying from his pipe. Sails tattered. Lee shore looming, hard and horrible, under the dolphin striker stay.

The skeletal remains of a fishing boat driven ashore by high winds (Killiecrankie, Flinders Island, Tasmania)

But just what are the Roaring Forties? Where do they lie? What do they sound like?

A few years ago, I got close to them in my sailboat “Sea Bird”. Sailing… Continue reading

Ripe Peach Bike Transport

It’s the little luxuries that bring the most pleasure. Out here traveling Tasmania on my junk store bike, I have to dispense with most of the fancy pleasure in life. Refrigeration, showers, internet, single serving yogurt, underwear, 10 year scotch, a bed….

But that doesn’t mean I’m immune from extravagant pleasures.

Like a perfect Flinders Island peach.

Recently, while traveling Flinders Island, Tasmania, on my bike, I was given a perfect, tree ripen peach. Trouble is, it was the end… Continue reading

That Old Buggered Hat

You see them here in Tasmania. Hats so beat up the only thing keeping them together is gravity and nostalgia. But really, it’s sorta rude to ask a guy “hey mate, why’s your hat all wrecked lookin?”.

A hat with a story (Outside Deviot, Tasmania)

No matter. I ask anyway.

This week I had a gam with Mark, a fruitpicker looking for work in Tasmania. Me met along the Tamar River outside Deviot where we’d set up our respective travelling… Continue reading

Heading Back to the Tassie Mainland

Cow (Flinders Island, Tasmania)

After 3 weeks on Flinders Island, it’s time to point the handlebars south and, reluctantly, head back to the Tassie mainland. My transport across the almost 10 hours of ocean? Either a cow or log boat. Not sure which one it will be yet.

In the meantime, for those of you who ordered a Postcard from Tasmania one’s heading your way bearing an authentic Flinders Island postmark. So if you’re a dog in Oriental, NC, a… Continue reading

Greetings From the Five Dollar Shack

The shack

Out here traveling Flinders Island Tasmania on a ten dollar bike you learn to cope with changeable weather as follows. Sunny skies – hang your hammock and swing in peace. Rainy skies – sling your hammock, then hope your rain fly sheet holds up to the Roaring Forties set to drown.

Sometimes, though, you get lucky and find a shack right before rotten weather strikes. Then you run like to hell for cover and, once holed up, figure… Continue reading

Still Rambling on Flinders Island

Waiting for a tide: a steel cruiser waits for the tide to lift her (Bridport, Tasmania)

Hi there. Seems the island ramblin’ urge has hit pretty hard. Like in the photo of the tide above, I haven’t returned online yet. Yep, I’m still out on Flinders Island having a look-about. Check back in a few days – now go do some rambling of your own!

(Flinders Island is on the map below.)


Patsy Nugent
2011-02-26 05:22:05

Hi Bernie, got your… Continue reading

Ian Summers Plays the Twelve String Guitar

This week I’m rambling on Flinders Island, off Tasmania’s north-eastern coast. But instead of island life, because so many of you enjoyed a recent post on Tasmanian music, I’m going to feature another tune.

In a recent post, you got a chance to listen to Ian Summers’ play and discuss his banjo. In this update and audio recording, he talks about his twelve string guitar. How it came into his life in a sorry state. How, like my bike,… Continue reading

Postcard From Flinders Island, Tasmania

It happens. I get to a really remote part of Tasmania and decide it’s time to write the folks on the Postcard from Tasmania list. That’s right, I break out the pen, some local postcards, get writing and bike those cards to the nearest post office. Then, about two weeks later, those postcards show up in letterboxes all over the world. Some, like those that end up on the US east coast, travel around 10,000 miles.

The morning after: the… Continue reading

Ian Summers Plays Tasmanian Bluegrass

In my early twenties, I ran out of money, girlfriend and plane ticket in Tuscanny, Italy. For just on a year, all I had to my name was a few lira, a jug of chianti and a battered copy of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”. Over and over I’d listen to that tape. I especially enjoyed the parts where the band is sitting around talking with other musicians. You get snippets of legendary voices –… Continue reading

Another Sea Ramble

Thinkin’ of goin’ to sea again (Moulting Bay, St Helens, Tasmanania (Joel Buckwell photo))

The rash from my recent leech bites has faded but the travel itch hasn’t. Yep, that means, as I do from time to time, I’m going “bush” again. It’s too soon to tell where I’m ending up. All I know is I’ve a hankering for the sea and am thinking of heading off to Flinders Island off the north east coast of Tasmania.

Oh, and I’ll… Continue reading

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