Australia

A Continental Cuisine Series

G'day Australia

Day 4 - Great Barrier Reef

IMG 7406I sleep okay but wake up at 5am, open the curtains and catch up on emails and stuff. The sun is slowly rising it’s a lovely sight. I’m the first to breakfast when it opens at 6am. Will is not far behind. The breakfast offering is very good, with great breads, pastries and even homemade baked beans. The staff are very professional, really well turned out and knowledgeable. Nothing is too much trouble and as I order a second cappuccino Bronson, Laura and Chris arrive. We all discuss the day and what equipment is needed. I pick up a banana to take on the boat for later. Tracey explains that its such bad luck to take a banana on a boat, if you do you’ll never catch any fish! Never heard that one before, but take her advice.

When the buggy’s turn up we head off to do a couple of bits to camera on the way to the quay. We meet Ben, Ross, Kai and Christina our crew for the morning. We film getting on the boat and have a safety chat.

The outer reef is only 20 minutes away so off we go. Its a beautiful warm morning and already the sun is very hot.

We fish right on the bottom and before you know it we are into the fish. Some big Trevally and Jew Cod (think that’s what they were) are caught, my arms burn as I try to reel them in. Ross explains that if you’re not quick there is a good chance a shark may try and take it. Its great fun, however, after an hour or so I start to feel a little queasy. I struggle to keep focused and try so hard not to let it get to me. I the end though I’m really sick. Not just me but Tracey and Rosalynd are also pretty rough. Ben the skipper loves it and takes the micky the crew has a good laugh at our plight. As we head back and after a few minutes start feeling a lot better.

Back at the quay there are a few people gathered around looking into the water. I ask what they are looking at. Ross explains they are feeding Jacko, the friendly Grouper. Apparently he’s been coming here 30 years for elevenses.

We all gingerly leave the boat and say goodbye, and then have a quick look at Jacko. He is enormous; they reckon 500kg…and could go to 1000kg and live to 60. He tries to bite our Go Pro as I do a piece to camera.

IMG 7411 wideAfter filming more bits, we have lunch at the pool bar again, then a quick swim to cool off.

At two we head back to the main beach to film a couple of walky bits and meet up with Grant and film him cooking in his enormous kitchens.

Heading outside to interview him he chats through his 4 dishes. Spanish Mackerel with cucumber and apples, Tasmanian wild salmon with avocado and corn tortillas, grilled fish with salsa verde. He explains Australian food uses very little cream or butter, and they love fruits, herbs spices and oils. He’s very good on camera and we do it in a couple of takes.

IMG 7418

Andre his one of his number 2’s helps me with all the prep for my cooking slot. Nice chap. We set up the bar b and table on the beach and wait for the sun to go down slightly, god its hot!!!

I cook Red Emperor in foil stuffed with herbs, citrus and fennel on the bar-b-que. I then make a mixed fruit dressing with peanuts and finish with the fish cooking juices and fresh pomegranate. All looks good and Will is very happy.

Chris and I take a few pics and we pack up just as the sun is setting. All done I head back for a quick swim and a cool off.

Out for dinner in the Italian restaurant, with Warwick Jones, director of services. He is very funny.

I have a pappardelle with soggy mushrooms and no salt, bland sadly. Dessert is a Tiramisu, it is okay but not a real Tiramisu with small coffee jellies.

Back at the room I fall into bed and sleep well, finally.

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