I went for a walk early over to Stanleys tiny port.
I noticed a whining sound coming from a pump house beside a building where water was being pumped in huge volumes straight from the sea into the building and then back out to sea.
A bloke came up to me from inside and commented that he thought they were running a bearing in the pump.
We got to talking and it turns out that the building houses 16 seawater tanks full of live crayfish.
The seawater is circulated through the tanks keeping the Crays live and healthy.
They are shipped live to Launceston where they are flown directly to China – about 800kg per week!
None of these Crays find their way to Aussie plates.
They are all locally caught from about 8 Stanley Cray boats.
I then went and checked out the fishing boats and talked for ages to a crewman on one of the big ones who told me heaps about the boats, fishing in general, the new technologies now used the potential and many other things.
He was aghast when I told him I was a Fishing Skipper 35 years ago running the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand without a GPS!
He showed me the new laptop system that combines the chart of the area with radar images and bottom readings all at once.
In his words, “The fish don’t stand a chance”.
We met a bloke who owned a Danish Seining vessel, about a 45 footer, who operated it alone (no crew).
When I commented that I often operated the old Kia Ora (about the same size vessel) out of Lyttleton on my own but it was a “Bit Hairy” at times, he said, “My oath mate, I once had a line wrapped around me gumboot and over the bloody side I went. Had to swim like crazy to get back on board and my bum cheeks were so tight they squeezed the water right out of me daks.”
When I got back to the Van Chris was there (Chris and Fay from Sulphur Creek).
It was good to see him and talk to him again. They are staying 2 days in Stanley.
Kerrie and I went for a long walk up the pretty little main street and had a cup of coffee before walking back past an old bloke who owned one of stunning cottages overlooking the bay.
The cottage was built in 1850 and he bought it 50 years ago after coming to Stanley for a holiday and never leaving.
We just keep commenting to each other on how truly lovely this place is and how fitting it is that we spend 3 of our last 6 days in Tasmania here.