Alice crosses the Bass Strait Part 1

Firstly I must put in my apologies for being off the radar for a while. Towards the end of the production of The Driver, things got pretty hectic. But I have some downtime before the book gets here and things go mad again.

So grab a cuppa and sit down to the first installment of ...... which is a roller coaster ride of 30 days in the life of me!

In 8 days I boated to and from Tasmania and photographed and interviewed 8 businesses. A precautionary seasick tablet, a glass of wine and some fresh fish and chips at the restaurant on the boat, before heading to bed in my cabin meant I slept like a log and was fresh for my first day on the island.

Being a kiwi, I almost felt like I was home. There were so many similarities.

After getting my bearings I headed around BWT transport and spent half a day loading and learning about the ventilation tubes made in Tasmania and carted to the main land to mines by BWT. It was hard to fathom that other products such as wood, and garage doors cross the straight to and from the island daily!

I had a guided tour though the Huon Salmon factory and spent a night down at the salmon farm to capture the DeBruyn’s trucks being loaded with salmon to go back to the factory for procession. I saw seals only meters from me on the outside of the nets from the fish, and had the biggest frustration trying to capture a fish jumping out of the water as the sun went down diminishing my light source very fast.

I treated myself to some ridiculously expensive whisky smoked salmon, wood smoked trout and caviar which I brought back to the mainland to make a dish to photograph for the book, then pig out on!

I then headed out to meet Ewan from R Stephens Honey and feasted my eyes on some beautiful old Fords and even got to grab a few snaps of Waltzing Matilda and her jet engine. I had a tour of the factory and listened intently to Ewan tell me all about the business. It was at this point I knew I had not allowed for enough time on the island and through a few misunderstandings we were not going to achieve the photo shoot for the bees that day.

Time was not on my side and I couldn’t afford to not achieve something for the afternoon. So I called Mick up, who was recommended to me via someone on the mainland but proved to be very difficult to get hold of as the owner and truck driver of Highland Haulage was often in remote areas with no mobile phone reception. But after a fair bit of phone tag I managed to get onto him and I was in luck, he had trucks out carting hay and the rest were in the yard getting scrubbed up for the local truck show.

I rocked up and as I had hay locked in for Qld, I didn’t want to focus on this. But after a cup of coffee and a chat about the business we decided to use the 9 trucks that were in the yard to create a line up like nothing ever seen before. Nine different brands of trucks, nine different loads of freight and nine different angles but the whole thing looked symmetrical and it was a pleasure to work with the team of drivers who I’m pretty sure could have reversed those trucks blindfolded and still got it right first time!

When it was all said and done, the sun was in the wrong spot so we left the trucks in position. I rolled my swag out in the lunchroom and I got up early to get the money shot.