The breeze has pushed The Captain’s sails to many weird and wonderful destinations. Here are 21 of our favourites, in no particular order. Captain’s note: these are just the places we’ve been to. We know there are plenty more out there and look forward to your invitation to come along on an adventure. Just send us the GPS coordinates and The Captain’s crew will be there, rum in hand.
01 – CAPE YORK, QUEENSLAND
Cape York is notorious for busting up boats. It all began back when Captain Cook rubbed the Endeavour up against a coral bombora on the Great Barrier Reef. Whether he was shuffling his iPod or re-rigging his Pakula skirts is unclear, but many captains continue to tempt fate by towing tinnies into rivers and tributaries in the hopes of snagging a 1m barra. At Cooktown harbour, eager anglers clutching shiny new Halco lures clamber aboard old trawlers converted to live-aboard charters. Bearded sea dog captains turn up their noses at the shiny new coloured lures as they rig up 80lb handlines with their leathery brown claws.
More adventurous anglers bring their own trailer boats, leapfrogging the volcanic headlands in search of giant trevally, utilising carefully crafted poppers and hand-picked reels that wives/girlfriends will never comprehend. On the reefs, it seems anything red is doomed to the dinner table — from coral trout to nannygai and red emperor. Out in open water, you can barely keep a lure out — wahoo, trevally, longtail tuna and Spanish mackerel always come to the party, and marlin and sailfish occasionally join the revelry. On one session, we accidentally hooked a giant green turtle, winching it to the surface thinking it was treasure from a Spanish galleon. We released it unharmed, but The Captain’s Daiwa Capricorn 4500 hasn’t been the same since. The Cape is also the home of some of the world’s best big game fishing. At the Ribbon Reefs off Lizard Island, fit deckies wrestle 1000lb marlin on behalf of wealthy not-so-fit gentlemen, while the diesels on their towering game boats billow thick black smoke.
02 – COFFS HARBOUR, NEW SOUTH WALES
Roughly halfway between Sydney and Brisbane, Coffs Harbour is one of the fishiest and most popular fishing regions on the NSW coast. The Solitary Islands group goes from Coffs all the way up to Wooli and is a haven for all kinds of marine species. Cool, nutrient-rich water from the south mixes with the warm EAC currents and creates the perfect piña colada for tropical species like Spanish mackerel, tuna and wahoo, as well as colder-water species such as jews, kings and snapper. Scuba divers can explore the Solitary Islands Marine Park to check out grey nurse sharks, turtles and whales during the migration season.
To the east, Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve has a large population of wedge-tailed shearwater birds. There’s also the Dolphin Marine Conservation Park, and, of course, the iconic Big Banana. Before fishing and tourism became the area’s mainstays, a dependence on yellow fruit meant this region once rejoiced in the name “Bananacoast”. Catchy.
03 – DUNK ISLAND, QUEENSLAND
Then there was that time The Captain’s crew went hunting the warm waters of the Coral Sea and the Great Barrier Reef amidst incredible scenic beauty — and become stranded in a millionaires’ playground. Only a small speck on the charts, 4km off the coast opposite Mission Beach, the island had always been a food source for local Aborigines. An RAAF base during WWII, it then became a commercial tourist operation. But everything came to a grinding halt on February 2nd 2011, when the eye of Cyclone Yasi passed directly overhead and devastated Dunk. Some years later, The Captain would experience his own Dunk devastation. One of crew had a birthday to celebrate and our luck was in — Dunk had a beachside bar and tonight was party night. So the decision was made to don our favourite Hawaiian party shirts and storm the beach. Unfortunately, after nearly capsizing the RIB, we looked more like a boatload of refugees than cool-cat fishos. By the time we staggered ashore, the sun had set, but the dance music was pumping. Settling in with a beer and local calamari, we got chatting to island caretaker Angelique. She regaled us with Dunk Island tales, explaining that the expansive resort, once a hive of wealthy tourists, was now owned by a private businessman and used mainly for small private functions.
We persuaded her to take us for a midnight tour. She loaded us into a 4×4 buggy and, giggling like nervous schoolgirls, we whooshed down the island airstrip then zigzagged along a pitch-black sandy track to the resort. With nobody around, it had an apocalyptic vibe and we were starting to feel slightly spooked until Angelique led us to some cascading freshwater pools. To a bunch of salty sailors, this was like parading a wounded slimy mackerel in front of a famished black marlin. We stripped down to our jocks and leapt headfirst into the delicious water. From that point on, it was all a blur until we awoke the next morning to hangovers from hell and vague memories of beautiful blue Ulysses butterflies. Had it all been just a dunken dream?
04 – SYDNEY HARBOUR, NEW SOUTH WALES
We’ve been to waterways that never close down, but Sydney Harbour is still the best in the world. A drowned river estuary carved out of sandstone over millennia, it’s now one of the world’s largest natural harbours and the crown jewel of Sydney. It’s got dramatic headlands, picture-postcard turquoise bays, world-class fishing, awesome entertainment — and let’s not forget the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Who needs a beachfront house when you can have ocean views and fresh sea air aboard your very own boat?
5 COOL COVES OF SYDNEY
01 Manly Cove
02 Darling Harbour
03 Shelly Beach
04 Watsons Bay
05 North Head
05 – ROTTNEST ISLAND, WESTERN AUSTRALIA
“Rotto” — as the locals know it — is 10nm west of Fremantle. The 19sq m island is a nature reserve with 63 beaches, lots of coral reef action and damn good fishing. The local population of about 300 people, plus numerous marsupial quokkas, gets a boost when thousands of tourists invade during holiday season. And because it’s so close, Rotto has always been a favourite destination for any Perth local with a boat. As one of those locals, John Flay, puts it, they’ve only got a few islands in WA, but Rotto, with its crystal-clear waters, is the gem. “There are a few sharks, but they tend to leave West Australians alone!” he says. “We do lots of family holidays over there — I have the boat over to Rotto seven or eight times a year, as well as going across with the boys. We do a pub run, go for a fish, have lunch and come home. It’s a great lifestyle.”
06 – EAGLEHAWK NECK, TASMANIA
Nestled in the south-eastern corner of the Apple Isle is a remote stretch of coast guarded by an army of vertical cliffs standing proud against the Tasman Sea. Those stoic rocks — the tallest of their kind in Australia — are showing their age, limestone cracks animating the cliffs like the lines in an old sea dog’s face. A winding road leads into the game-fishing wonderland of Eaglehawk Neck, meandering between bays fringed with huon pines and bookended by rocky headlands. Timber boats bob at anchor in the swell, their scarred gunwales and chipped paint telling tales of a long, hard life at sea.
We motor out of this limestone fortress into a stormy orange sunrise. The ocean is alive with large, yellow-toothed seals and spraying baitfish. Massive sea birds dive-bomb their quarry. This is the fishiest water we had ever seen. After 20 minutes of trolling we’ve got a quadruple hook-up on a 15kg southern bluefin tuna, but the seals maul our fish. We’ve got stiff competition. Then the skirted lure screams, the TLD 50 offering little resistance to the blue-water beast. After a 45-minute battle, the Goliath surfaces. The seals pounce, but with the White Pointer hove to we manage to defend our catch. The flipper gang subdued, it takes four grown men to haul the behemoth 100kg bluefin over the gunwales. Those men then embrace. Heroic tales of this glorious day will be told for years to come.
07 – AITUTAKI, COOK ISLANDS
Aitutaki is a little dot in the South Pacific, part of the Cook Islands group, with a population of 2000 people who are mostly employed in tourism when they’re not enjoying the laid-back lifestyle. It has simple villages, churches on every corner and chickens roaming the roads It is also a fly-fishing paradise where giant GTs elbow eager bonefish aside in their rush to engulf saltwater flies, leaving anglers trembling on the sand flats.
It boasts a turquoise lagoon with a maze of channels that meander around white sandy flats interrupted only by small green islets. The goal for most visiting anglers is to catch a giant trevally on fly — and a ridiculously big bonefish while they’re at it. The fishing speaks for itself, but there’s plenty more to do — and non-fishing partners will also love the beaches, watersports and exploring the island.
08 – SOUTH ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND
The South Island of New Zealand is the pinnacle for fly fishermen chasing trout. Granted, that sounds like marketing spin from NZ Tourism, but this destination ticks all the boxes. The sight fishing is off the scale, the scenic backdrop is magnificent and the dry flies often come out to play. What’s more, trophy fish are often lolling just around the next river bend. The best part of fishing here is the freedom to roam, as no-one owns the rivers or riverbanks. And farmers will often allow you to access the river through their property — just ask permission first.
In most cases, you never cast until you see a fish. It’s not always that easy because these trout appear to have been trained by ninjas in the business of camouflage. This is where a guide will come in handy. You can stay in high-end lodges, but if you prefer more of an adventure, load up the pack and head deep into the backcountry. If you follow the marked tramping (that’s “hiking” in Kiwi speak) trails, many have huts available for overnight stays. However, the size of your trek isn’t always proportional to the size of your catch.
09 – LAKE POWELL, USA
Lake Powell is a vast manmade reservoir on the Colorado River, straddling the border between Arizona and Utah in the USA. “It’s like nowhere else on Earth,” local Gordon Chait explains. “Such a unique landscape with these huge sandstone mountains with flat tops called mesas (‘table’ in Spanish). The water is intensely blue because we only get clouds in Arizona during thunderstorms. In the shallow canyons, the water is so clear you can actually see the fish.”
With a 3200km shoreline, Lake Powell is one of the largest manmade lakes in North America and was built in the 1950s as part of a controversial hydroelectric dam system that submerged many Native American archaeological sites. With a maximum depth of about 180m, it features numerous narrow canyons and is now a hugely popular fishing and recreational boating destination visited by about two million people each year.
10 – KING ISLAND, TASMANIA
One of three islands in the New Year Group, King Island is the second biggest in Bass Strait (after Flinders) and was originally part of a land bridge linking Tasmania with the Australian mainland, submerged around 12,000 years ago by rising sea levels. The island is so hammered by the Southern Ocean that early Indigenous Australians gave it a big miss. The only crew that could handle the sou’westerlies were the sealers and a few unfortunate shipwrecked souls, ancestors of a current population of about 1500. With the seals now safe, these days the main trades on King Island are cheese, bottled rainwater, kelp and beef. And crayfish. Big ones. “The crays are in this beautiful, clear, cold water current that runs around the island,” Captain favourite Ed Richardson says on a recent KI mission. “I dunno if they grow quicker, or maybe there’s not as many people catching them, but they get massive.”
The Captain’s crew are already wet, enjoying the 10m visibility as Ed tells us where to look for these giants. “You’ll generally find them where there’s a bit of current running past, somewhere they can feed from their ledge. They like to be able to retreat and protect themselves. Try to grab them by their horns — if you grab their legs, they’ll throw them off.” As dusk falls, we sneak into a secluded white sand beach to tuck into dinner. Ed gets poetic as The Captain drools in anticipation of melting garlic and butter. “It’s beautiful to have a really safe anchorage and roll a swag out on the beach with the fire going. Fresh seafood, a couple of beers in a beautiful destination, it really doesn’t get much better.”
11 – COROMANDEL PENINSULA/MERCURY ISLANDS, NEW ZEALAND
The Coromandel Peninsula in the North Island is a place where white sandy beaches and rocky shoals nestle below mountains covered in native rainforest. Laid-back seaside towns are dotted along the narrow road that snakes along the western shoreline of the Firth of Thames. Small coves are fringed with flowering pohutukawa trees and tractors rust away in the well-kept yards of weatherboard homes. This sleepy scene wakes up at the change of tide when local fisherman launch their tinnies in pursuit of kahawai, snapper, kingfish, sharks and marlin out wide.
On the other side of the peninsula, out near the Mercury Islands, stacks of marauding kings sit above the pinnacles and every live bait we send down gets snaffled. After icing our swollen elbows, our thoughts turn to icy beers. Salvation is at hand at Luke’s Kitchen in Kuaotunu. This funky seaside cafe has hot pizza and cold German beer on tap — all served to the beat of rhythmic tunes by a waitress wearing a T-shirt advising us to: “Make Pizza, Not War”. In total agreement, we order more pints plus a delicious triple P pizza — prawn, pepperoni and pesto. Wallowing in German hops and kingfish glory, we end the day gazing out towards the majestic Mercury Islands.
12 – MONGOLIA
Known for its rugged steppes and nomadic herdsmen, Mongolia is also home to some of the world’s largest trout. Wedged between Russia and China, the country has endured a “difficult” history, its isolation and political climate meaning tourists only first visited in numbers in the 1990s. Today, the country is one of the most tempting travel destinations in the world.
Once known primarily for the exploits of the emperor Genghis Khan, who conquered a big chunk of the world in the 12th and 13th centuries, Mongolia is now fast gaining a big reputation for its extraordinary fishing. Taimen, found predominately in Russia and Mongolia, are the largest trout species (salmonid family) in the world and can grow up to 1.8m long. After fishing for trout his whole life, catching a taimen on a fly was an experience Captain crewman Josh Hutchins will treasure forever.
13 – EAST GIPPSLAND, VICTORIA
Many Victorian fishermen cut their teeth at sleepy little coastal towns in East Gippsland and places like Mallacoota, Bemm River and Marlo can hold their heads high in fishing folklore. The area is distinguished by tannin-stained water running down from the Great Dividing Range, finding its way to the Tasman Sea through the Snowy, Bemm, Cann and Wallagaraugh Rivers, to name a few. The region can also lay claim to some of the best bream and flathead fishing in the state, and The Captain loves nothing more than piling up the tinnie, grabbing a handful of bass yabbies, a few German breakfast beers and heading to a quiet channel for a flathead drift or black bream session at sunrise.
14 – FRASER ISLAND, QUEENSLAND
Fraser Island is full of salty drama. It was named after Eliza Fraser, who was shipwrecked off the coast in 1836. She took refuge on the island and was captured by local Aborigines before eventually being rescued. The geography is just as dramatic. The volcanic rock at Fraser’s core is disguised by 750,000 years of nutrient-rich sand. This sand contains a fungus that supports phenomenal plant life — Fraser has some spectacular growth rainforests, dense mangroves and crystal-clear freshwater lakes. But we weren’t here for the flora, we were more interested in the underwater fauna — black marlin, specifically.
Every year at Fraser Island, an amazing natural spectacle occurs. Juvenile black marlin head to the sandy shores to feed — and it’s not uncommon to see them in waist-deep water The crew from Simrad and JSW Powersports had their own adventure planned and The Captain’s crew came along. Our ride was a Sea Fox 220 Viper, but we spent more time in the water than out of it. We glided with giant turtles, explored sunken wrecks and cast poppers in crystal-clear, knee-deep water from the shore. We targeted small blacks on the flats while catching Spanish mackerel and red emperor in our spare time. The place is seriously versatile, not just from a fishing perspective, but from an adventure aspect. If you don’t want to go by boat, you can even take a 4WD onto the island and find your own patch of paradise. The place is more photogenic than Miranda Kerr.
15 – LAKES ENTRANCE, VICTORIA
Every morning, Far Out II skipper Tony Kemna walks outside his farm overlooking the Lakes coastline, takes a deep breath of fresh sea air and reminds himself he’s in God’s country. He considers the fishery one of the best in the world. The Lakes Entrance commercial fleet, one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, is his proof. The place has a bit of fishing for everyone. The lakes are flush with whiting and garfish, with black bream and mullet in the rivers. The inshore reef holds snapper and gummies. Offshore, you can troll for pelagics or drop for sharks, blue eye trevalla, gemfish, hapuka and ling. Then there’s the swordfishery, which many rate as the best in Australia.
Only 4.5 hours’ drive east of Melbourne, the region is well serviced with facilities for fishos, with hotels, motels and caravan parks. Captain’s Cove Resort is our favourite, naturally. After a day at sea, you’ll be pretty hungry. Thankfully, there are a few choice places for a good man-feed, including the Metung Hotel, only half an hour from Lakes. If you prefer food with purpose, try the Sardine Eatery and Bar in Paynseville. Closer to the Entrance, the recently refurbished Kalimna Bar and Bistro has an epic view and coffee drinkers won’t be disappointed. Albert & Co on The Esplanade is the place to go for a great spread and they may be partial to some fresh swordfish. If you can’t snare a fish on your own, buy some from the Lakes Entrance Fishermen’s Co-op on Bullock Island, where you can watch the fresh catches being unloaded.
16 – FLORIDA, USA
If you like Hawaiian shirts, Budweiser, pick-ups and huge centre-console rigs, then Florida is the place to be. Everything is big here. The tackle stores are bigger than Kmart — and also sell automatic weapons. There is a boat dealership with a 30ft centre console in the yard on every corner. We were looking for Contenders, which have a reputation as a good sea boat with a 24.5 degree deadrise. Some of the fishiest crews we know roll in them — sea dogs like Eddy Lawler from Peak Sportfishing and Jason Hedges from Unleashed Sportfishing. So we head to the boat ramp that Contender uses as its testing ground.
We initially get distracted by a sweet 28 Contender skippered by a former cop from New York. Memories are tattooed all over his body, including the GPS marks of his favourite yellowfin spots. We try bribing him with Contender hats to take us to some of them, but unfortunately he’s off to the Bahamas. So we sit around spotting manatees — an aquatic mammal that resembles a seal/baby hippo cross — until the biggest console we’ve ever seen rolls down the ramp, a 45ft SeaHunter sporting four Yamaha 350HP outboards. The dealer has a soft spot for “Ossseas”, so we hitch a ride around the bay, cruising at more than 100km/h and burning 400L per hour. Excessive? Indeed, but shed loads of fun!
17 – ALASKA, USA
We point our compass north-west to Alaska. The flurry of bearded, boot-wearing fisherman carrying polystyrene boxes full of fresh fish through the airport check-in indicates the local waters are plentiful. Wildlife is abundant and black bears roam as wild as the salmon. It’s a place where men puff their (hairy) chests out and hunt. But it’s not just a kill fest — you can also photograph bald eagles, dive with the elusive salmon shark or simply cruise around spectacular glaciers. And that’s just the tip of the activities, er, iceberg.
Our man on the ground has the keys to remote Ravencroft Lodge in Prince William Sound. It’s an eco-explorer paradise surrounded by glaciers and waterfalls cascading out of the Chugach Mountains. There are no roads in, so we jump aboard a Stabicraft 2500 Ultracab to nudge through the icebergs to our new home. The Captain’s Crew wants to cast a lure into the hordes of schooling salmon, or maybe drop for halibut, but our guide wants to show us puffins, humpbacks, sea lions and salmon sharks. A relative of the great white, salmon sharks can hit speeds over 80km/h. We eventually tease a few to the surface with silvery herring for a photo op. Alaska is without a doubt one of the most insane places The Captain’s crew have ever voyaged to and we’ll be back!
18 – EYRE PENINSULA, SOUTH AUSTRALIA
They reckon this is the seafood frontier of Australia, with two thirds of the state’s commercial catch coming into its ports. The place is famous for green-lipped abalone, scallops, prawns, oysters and tuna. But all we need are 100-odd whiting and a few Coffin Bay oysters to get the ladies in the mood for lurve. This place has amazing natural beauty — countless red dirt roads lead down to large white sand dunes that roll forever before cascading into the Southern Ocean. But don’t be deceived. This strip of coastline has claimed hundreds of boats and sailors over the years. Matthew Flinders, the second bloke to navigate his way around Australia, named a group of islands here after several of his seamen lost their lives exploring the local waters.
Chris Hank from Pure Coffin Bay Oysters takes us out on one of his tours in exchange for a few whiting fillets. It’s an awesome little on-water aphrodisiac adventure and we get to check out Coffin Bay and slurp down some delicious oysters — after we’ve learned how to shuck them, naturally. From Port Lincoln, we work our way along the west coast, stopping in at Woolshed Cave and Talia Beach. Every dusty road invites us to another coastal hideout and we are never disappointed at the end of the track.
19 – MONTEBELLO ISLANDS, WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Every fisherman has heard tales of the bountiful waters around the mysterious Montebello Islands in WA, but few have actually been there. This is mainly because the Monties are located 120nm north-east of the remote town of Exmouth — aka, in the middle of fuggin’ nowhere. Which is probably why the British military thought it was OK to detonate three nukes there between 1952 and 1956. They’re still, er, radioactive and on certain islands you’re only allowed to stay for a maximum of an hour. Craters and radioactivity aside, the Monties are spectacular, no surprise considering monte bello is Italian for “beautiful mountain”. Shallow blue water teeming with reel-busting brutes and colourful coral life contrasts with the barren, burnt-orange limestone isles.
A sailfish onslaught continues for The Captain’s entire trip. During four and a half days, we catch them on all manner of gear — double, triple and quad hook-ups the regular result. We also swam with them, filming from every possible angle. The total tally is 84 for the trip. Monster Sportfishing Adventures has done a killer job setting up this huge operation and we love every minute — well, apart from seeing Eddy Lawler’s cavernous arse crack far too many times!
20 – HAGGERSTONE ISLAND, QUEENSLAND
Every sea captain dreams of his own remote tropical island — with accessories like a jungle cabin adorned with hunting spoils and a twin-rigged, high-powered vessel. Well, one couple is living the dream. Roy and Anna Turner arrived on this isle 30 years ago, hitting Haggerstone’s white sand beach in a 70- tonne barge loaded with timber, fruit trees, chickens and an old tractor. Roy is a former rock’n’roll muso and crocodile hunter. His salt levels are pretty high and I’m sure we spot a few barnacles hanging off his extremities. Anna is his graceful island goddess. Together, they’ve created a tropical oasis.
All the buildings are Roy’s work, resembling something out of The Swiss Family Robinson. Six handcrafted huts are tastefully hidden away in the jungle fringing the beach. The ocean views could melt Instagram. There’s no itinerary on Haggerstone. It’s a tropical wish list — explore a shipwreck, hike to the top of the island, jet ski in the blue lagoons, snorkel the Great Barrier Reef or comb the beach for WWII artefacts. Then, of course, there’s the fishing.
21 – THE KIMBERLEY, WESTERN AUSTRALIA
The north-western tip of Australia is remote, wild and beautiful. Well, that’s what Malcolm Douglas had The Captain believing after an impressionable childhood spent watching his many videos. He traversed the Kimberley with his dog Boondie, a cameraman and his trusty old alloy Trailcraft. The legend of the Kimberley was imprinted on us at an early age.
Here are our Top 10 things to do in the Kimberley:
1. Bag a barra. You can’t hit the Kimberley without bagging one of northern Australia’s most iconic fish.
2. Jump in a chopper. The best way to experience its epic scenery is from the sky. If you can’t afford to jump in an R44, buy a drone.
3. Drive the Gibb. For bonus badass points, take your own 4×4 and tinnie. 4. Thermal pools. Bitter Springs is a balmy 34 degrees and the underwater visibility is out of this world, so don’t forget the snorkel and mask.
5. Get Bungled. The Purnululu National Park, home of the Bungle Bungle Range is a half-day’s drive from Kununurra.
6. Bloody gorgeous. There are too many spectacular gorges and waterfalls to list. If you plan on swimming in any, make sure they’re croc-free.
7. Park it up. El Questro Wilderness Park is one hour down the Gibb River Road.
8. Hit the beach. Head up Cape Leveque and stay at Kooljaman, a remote wilderness camp owned by the Indigenous Bardi Jawi communities. The fishing is on tap, even if you’re just lobbing baits off the beach or rocks.
9. Fall over. We’ve never been there ourselves, but the Horizontal Falls are supposed to be pretty epic.
10. Holy ship. The absolute best way to see the Kimberley is via a mothership operation. The Captain went out with Cannon Charters and ate first-class, slept like babies and landed a shit tonne of fish.
OUR 21 HIGH AND LOWS – In no particular order, we’ve listed our top 21 highs and bottom 21 lows from the past five years. Ah, the memories.
1. Meeting Bruce Harris, father of Shark Cat.
2. Turning a disastrous fishing trip around by escaping onto Dunk Island and having the night of our lives.
3. Experiencing the amazing hospitality of the folks in America’s Pacific Northwest. They hosted us, liquored us up with gallons of Captain Morgan and fed us to the brim with mouth-watering crab and salmon feasts. Someone pass the Glock…
4. Catching 86 sails in four days in the Monties with Eddy Lawler and the crew from Monster Sportfishing.
5. Catching a blue marlin out of a 4.6m tinnie on a seized Daiwa Saltist with four different layers of backing.
6. Touring the wilds of Alaska — never thought we’d be dodging icebergs in a Stabicraft.
7.Getting completely baked in Everett, Washington, on “herbal cigarettes” dipped in THC oil.
8. Freebies are good, but we love nothing more than a handmade lure or wallet.
9. Meeting a boatload of legendary skippers and all-round good blokes.
10. Chowing down on wild seafood cookups in remote destinations. Memorable moments include: Kyle Dicecco’s abalone schnitzels on the beach in Marlo, Victoria; Matt’s lobster tacos in a protected bay on Rottnest Island in WA; and Richo’s cray fiesta on a King Island beach.
11. Slaying swords at Lakes Entrance with Tony Kemna aboard his big Bass Strait.
12. Being banned from the old-school Haines Hunter Facebook group.
13. Enjoying VIP tours of world-class boatbuilding factories around the world.
14. Big shout out to our Foundation Members — who put wind in The Captain’s sails via a crowdfunding campaign. 15. Working with the talented crew that help craft The Captain — Brendo, Nick and Paul in particular..
16. Becoming fashionistas and launching our first range of merch.
17. Two words: Jump. Shots.
18. The fact that we haven’t had any major accidents or boat rollovers, er, touch wood. 19. Learning how to build a boat (kind of).
20. Watching the whale on this cover breaching.
21. Not ever having to wear a suit (or shoes) to work again.
1. Dropping our very first video camera in the water after only owning it for a month.
2. Destroying the souls of several cameramen. Hang in there, Nick!
3. Trav nearly losing his leg from cellulitis in Alaska.
4. The Mallacoota brownie saga (if you know, you know).
5. Being threatened with lawsuits by supercilious and litigious charter operators.
6. Burying the nose of a Sea Fox into a wall of water at night and turning the cockpit into a very scary jacuzzi.
7. Jack watching The Captain’s meagre bank balance disappear as Trav buys yet another clapped out project boat.
8. Sleeping in saturated swags on our King Island overnighter and somehow only getting a few scraps from the seafood banquet.
9. Losing more aeronautical craft (drones) in the drink than went down at the Battle of Midway.
10. Getting yelled at by drunken boat builders at media events.
11. Marine clients that never paid their bill but happily spruik The Captain’s content. Big shout-out to Junga.
12. Almost breaking our ribs while jumping the Cootacraft Bad Boy.
13. A mako almost chomping Trav’s leg off while he was filming yellowfin underwater. (Trav often has trouble with his legs.)
14. Having to deal with fragile fishing egos.
15. People stealing The Captain’s content and logos. We’re coming for you.
16. Wheels leaving boat trailers at high speed on highways.
17. Dragging a 23ft broken-down boat through a swamp for hours.
18. When somebody says, “I saw someone wearing one of your Captain shirts!” but then show you a photo of someone in a Mad Hueys tee.
19. People constantly trying to scam Miguel’s contact details from us (he belongs to The Captain).
20. Being the only marine media company that doesn’t get support from Mercury. Come on guys, why don’t you love us? Was it the black anchor thing?
21. Accepting free fishing gear that failed miserably — there’s a reason it’s free.