Ahoy there lovely friends! Today we are coming to you from the mighty south coast of this gorgeous island home. In fact right now, while Mark and the kids explore Albany’s Whale World, I sit at my keyboard overlooking the glorious blue waters of King George Sound.
It has been way too long between updates, but what can I say? There have been fish to catch.
After the glorious picnic hamper fare of Victoria and the Barossa, we met the coast at the top right corner of the Eyre Peninsula and moved into glittering turquoise seafood territory – which we have largely followed since (give or take a hungry stretch along the Nullarbor where it was little more than beef and flour – very Edward Eyre).
Our time on the Murray was notable for our dismal failure to catch a Murray cod; indeed our lacklustre performance in the fishing department at that point was underscored by our solo successful haul having come from the ‘sure catch’ tank on a trout farm near Jindabyne. (And one of us couldn’t even hook a fish there.)
But we are nothing if not driven by food. The early days on the south coast saw us go through plenty of bait, lost lures, tangled lines and even a hooked finger. Fellow campers took pity and proffered up excess whiting fillets, crab nets and hope – that at some point, the tide had to turn. And at least there was the salty breeze, pink-smeared sunsets and wildly beautiful coastline to feed the soul, even if our bellies went wanting.
Then one morning, lying in the early morning lull by the sleeping baby, there in my Facebook newsfeed was a photo of two wonderfully moon-milky squid. Caught by our very own, glorious provider Mark down at Port Lincoln’s dawn jetty. I gave a small silent fist pump, and that night we feasted on piping hot morsels of chilli salt squid straight from the barbecue, licking the lemon juice from our fingers and feeling like kings.
And so it was on. On our own pastel strip of paradise beach west of Esperance I enjoyed a magnificent wrestle with a silver trevally that went on the barbie wrapped in foil with some simple lemon, butter and bay. On the windswept rocks a little further west, Buddy hauled in two cod for an aromatic French fish soup, finished off with Albany’s finest potatoes and cavolo nero. And Miss Rosie, who has tried her little heart out, finally broke her hoodoo, reeling in a spectacular King George whiting. We’ve eaten oysters, caught our own bait, thrown back our fair share of tiddlers and collected cockles for pasta. And every meal has seemed somehow better than the last.
Thank you abundant south coast. Now we’ve hit new territory – the fertile southwest. And the feasting has moved on to berries, avocados and tomatoes.
Dancing on the beach at sunset, however, continues.