As a child I had a love/hate relationship with the beach.
Growing up in Brighton with the beach at the end of my street was a blessed life of fun ’tis true, but it also meant we never felt the joy of having our own, much yearned for backyard pool. Because, as dad liked to so annoyingly state;
Why would you need one when you had the World’s biggest swimming pool at the end of your street?
I should mention that as soon as my sister’s and I left home, mum and dad put a pool in.
I remember the day dad came home with a Kayak.
The excitement we felt.
We spent all summer lugging it down to the beach, and then crying all the way home because the bloody thing weighed a tonne and we were tired after kayaking all day.
That Kayak gave us so many memories though…
Like the time my sister and I were paddling out quite far off the shoreline. She was in the kayak and I was in a rubber ring being dragged behind her. Two young maidens, scarily as it were, splashing around in dark water without a care in the world…
So there we were having a gay old time, when she lifted the oar and a gigantic, veiny fluorescent blue jelly fish was sitting on it.
Naturally, we totally lost it.
Screaming hysterically and paddling in as quick as we could to the shore.
And naturally, everyone on the crowded beach thought there was a shark.
People were climbing over each other and fleeing from the water like a scene from Jaws. Appreciate the hilarity (peppered with ferocious anger) when we got back on land and regaled everyone with our near death encounter of the jellyfish kind.
Ahhhh, yes, such pleasing, priceless memories.
But, I also had a love/hate relationship with the kayak too.
Like the time I decided to paddle it to shore from my parents boat which was moored a few metres out. I remember the day clearly, it was the annual Brighton sandcastle competition – anyone age 30 and over will remember this delightful event.
So there I was minding my own business, probably licking an icy pole, and wading around the shallows when… ARGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
I knew they were worth screaming hysterically over and scaring the neighbouring seagoing civilians about. I knew they were ugly, gross and wobbly. But holy hell, I didn’t know how much those bastards HURT!!
I started yelping and sobbing, and then bravely paddled back to the boat in terror. When I arrived I remember the look on mums face… My entire lower leg was a criss-cross of raised, blistering welts. I’d been stung. I’d been whipped and slashed. It was nasty and without mercy. Obviously I now just have a hate relationship with jellyfish. And, I never went in the kayak again.
I also had a love/hate relationship with mum and dad’s boat, Chaos.
I know, I KNOW, I can hear you moaning it now, “That spoilt little shit”. And, I freely admit that I probably was.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED that boat.
I loved the water, I loved the salty smell of its galley. I loved clinging to the bow rails while we crashed through the waves. I loved the dolphin sightings, I loved the fresh Tommies and foot long King George Whiting…
But, I was a kid and when we were being forced to spend another long weekend fishing in Kangaroo Island or Edithburgh when all I really wanted to do was hang at Magic Mountain eating fairy floss and playing Golden Axe, it bred resentment.
In hindsight, what I wouldn’t give for them to still have that boat…
Growing up, my parents weren’t wealthy, but they worked really hard and they bought nice things.
I realize now they just wanted to create memories for their family. Just as Cory and I are doing with our own girls.
Dad loved that boat, and so did mum.
And it was fantastic.
About 24 foot, with a large stern deck and a raised bridge. Stepping from the back deck down into the little galley kitchen with a small toilet and shower on the left. There was a freezer bench seat, and 4 person dining nook. Directly underneath the bow deck was a bedroom with bunks the whole way around, and a large lower queen bed that could be made up by adding a removable board. I can still remember the smell of the blue coloured mattress fabric covers, salty and slightly musty.
They soon began diving, and became regulars on the local scene. We travelled far and wide with their dive buddies too, but then weekend after weekend of missing out on mischief with my friends because I was instead keeping watch over mum and dad’s dive flags, bred resentment too.
Basically, as soon as my sisters and I were old enough to flee and create chaos, far away from Chaos, we did.
Mum and Dad sold the boat around the time I was having my first underage hangover, and began travelling overseas to tropical destinations to cure their aquatic wanderlust instead.
But I do have the memories, years of beautiful, priceless memories…
I remember random Saturday night’s fishing just with dad. He’d let me get a KFC burger on the way and always bait my line for me. It was pretty special.
Running around the deck with my childhood friends, jumping in too deep water, and swinging around off the side like little monkeys. Eating Calipo’s and sleeping out on the deck.
I remember swimming in aquatic reserves with fish circling me like a whirlpool, and mooring on incredible, hidden South Australian beaches that most people can only dream of visiting. Unreachable, unless by sea.
The excitement I used to feel when mum and dad’s oxygen bubbles would ripple the surface at the Seacliff wave recorder… How many scallops would be in their bags?! I adore scallops and I always will, but eating them freshly shucked and seared on the deck of a boat, nothing will EVER compare to that.
I spent my entire childhood at the beach and on the boat, out in Holdfast Bay.
Salt is a celebration of the wonderful bay I grew up in. It’s a celebration of the wonderful childhood I had down at the beach. But, it’s also a celebration of the wonderful childhood memories you had down at the beach.
Do you remember your toes in the sand and licking an ice cream down at the Bay? Eating seafood, meandering along the jetty and gazing out over our most iconic beach on a lazy Sunday afternoon…
I do too.
We want you to join us for this incredible and rare treat next Sunday on May 1st.
I will be cooking a 3 course Seafood Lunch, with a Southern twist. The star of the show, my Louisiana Boil made with entirely local seafood.
Imagine if you will, a big top tent with the sides raised, shoes optional.
Seafood as far as the eye can see, wine from the always impeccable Howard Vineyard, craft beer from the legendary Big Shed Brewing Co, dessert from the insanely delectable Gelista, event styling by the ethereal beauties at Pop Up Picnics, and all to the sound of smooth tunes and lapping waves…
If you love the beach and you love seafood, this is an event not to be missed.
A trip down memory lane… Or maybe just a dreamy day to create new memories…
SALT: A Bayou experience at the Bay
Sunday May 1st – Glenelg Beach
11am – 3pm
All inclusive food and beverage event. Gluten Free friendly. 18+ only.
For more information about this exclusive and rare event, please go to the following link; http://www.holdfast.sa.gov.au/page.aspx?u=4903&t=uList&ulistId=0&c=32042
To buy tickets, please go to the following link; http://www.tastingaustralia.com.au/en/whats-on/event-calendar/2016/may/01/salta-bayou-experience-at-the-bay
For more information about Tasting Australia, please go to the following link; http://www.tastingaustralia.com.au/en
For more information about the City of Holdfast Bay, please go to the following link; http://www.holdfast.sa.gov.au
Please note: All professional images used in this blog post are the incredible work of Jacqui Way Photography.
**** UPDATE ****
RAINCHECK FOR GLENELG’S TASTING AUSTRALIA EVENT
SALT: BECOMES A SPRING SEAFOOD BEACH FEAST
Event moves to 11am-3pm Sunday 30 October, Glenelg Beach (northern end)
City of Holdfast Bay Mayor Stephen Patterson says this weekend’s forecast risk of inclement weather
has prompted event organisers to move Glenelg’s highly anticipated seafood beach feast, ‘Salt: A
Bayou Experience at the Bay’ to a new Spring timeslot. The event will now move from Sunday 1 May to
11am to 3pm on Sunday 30 October, to kick off the Holdfast Bay summer event season.
“Salt is conceived as an exclusive, high-end seafood feast in a pop-up picnic setting right on Glenelg
Beach, so the weather will play a big part in creating the ideal setting,” Mayor Patterson said. “Given
the forecast risk of inclement weather during set-up and on the day, our event organisers have made
an early call to postpone the event until Sunday 30 October, when we’ll be enjoying Spring sunshine.
“As a unique gourmet event, Salt will now be offered just as people are coming out of winter
hibernation and enjoying the change in season, so it’s an ideal way to start the Holdfast Bay events
Mayor Patterson said Salt: a Bayou experience at the Bay features South Australian food identity Bree
May, who will prepare top quality local seafood in the Cajun tradition. The event’s “simple but
spectacular” four-course menu will be complemented by premium wines from Howard’s Vineyard and
locally crafted ales and ciders by Big Shed Brewing.
Event organisers will contact ticket holders directly, and Salt will be promoted again closer to the new
October event date.
“Ticket holders will hear from us directly, but they are also most welcome to contact us on 8229 9999
or email@example.com for further information.”