Day 3 - Hayman Island
Breakfast at 7, then a catch up on the day, its pissing down and we take a pic for the folks back home. Turkish eggs again, and a couple of good coffees.
Today is the first real day filming and it’s a pretty good one to start with. We are heading to Hayman Island to film the Great Barrier Reef. We are to meet our cameraman Chris and soundman Bronson at the airport, as we are using a local crew. The car duly arrives and we pack in all our gear, and in no time we are at the airport and hook up with the lads. Laura picks up her lost bag and we all check in.
On the other side I buy some cool shorts for filming in and we all have good coffee, in fact its pretty amazing coffee for an airport. I spot whilst waiting for the coffee a Lamington Krispy Kreme doughnut! Wow that really is a first. Lamington’s are one of the iconic foods of Australia. Its sponge coated in chocolate and dipped in desiccated coconut.
In a flash we are boarding the plane for the 2 hour flight to Hamilton Island. On the approach to the airport our pilot suddenly decides not to land and we soar away from the runway. We all look at each other with concerned expressions on our faces. Over the radio he explains that a yacht is in the way, so we circle and this time land safely. Staff from the One & Only Hayman Island resort are ready and waiting to transfer guests.
We set up the camera and do I my first piece to camera getting on the huge motor launch. The launch is very cool and as we cruise the 50 minutes or so to the resort we film more pieces to camera on the sun deck. The water is a lovely colour and its very warm indeed.
Before long we arrive at the island. It is truly stunning with beautiful sea, palm trees and white sandy beaches. Here we are met by Tracey our Australian tourist guide and Rosalynd who looks after the PR for this island resort. We film getting off and getting into golf buggies to be taken to reception, check in and lunch. The resort is open, cool and very plush. My suite is vast and spotlessly clean and nicely designed. I unpack and quickly head to the poolside bar/ restaurant for lunch. Huge swimming pools surround the bar area, I don’t think I ever seen pools this big. Lunch very good. I order fish tacos; deep fried ham wrapped around avocado (yes sounds odd but is very good) griddled asparagus with macadamias and sparking water. The coffee is good and we chat about the afternoon ahead.
We are quickly shown around the main part of the resort and meet up with Grant the executive chef to chat about equipment and cooking utensils I will need for my cooking sequences. He’s very helpful and nothing is a problem. He gives me a tour of his massive, yes massive airline-style kitchens, they are enormous.
He’s clearly a very busy man looking after 5 large restaurants, staff feeding for 400 plus breakfasts, room service for up to 160 people plus picnics, weddings and functions. He seems a little stressed, then I realise why after a quick chat. He’s had no air conditioning for 4 months and is 26 chefs shy of his full team… fair enough. I then feel guilty about being here and adding more pressure to him.
Will and Laura explore the best place for my 2 cooking sequences. This takes a little time, but we have to get it right. We decide on the beach right out the front of the breakfast restaurant and the decking outside my room. We then film a few walking shots and around this stunning place and by which time its getting dark.
Back at my room I get a chance to take it all in, its lovely, soft linen, nice bathrobes and a nice big shower room. Fresh fruit, Champagne and handmade chocolates finish it off perfectly. My rooms have two decks that overhang the beautiful pool, complete with large comfy sun loungers. My view is of the pools and the neighbouring island, its just about perfect. I make a few notes and have a quick nap, then shower.
We all meet in the bar for dinner. The General Manager Gunter, host drinks at 6:30. We have dinner in the more relaxed tapas restaurant. Its very good, scallops in smoked salmon, delicious paella, good cheeses, hams, fries and tortilla chips, salmon rillettes, mini steaks all perfectly acceptable. Rosalynd walks me back to my room and we all retire early as we have an early start tomorrow, fishing and cooking!