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swoffing safari 2009






















 
04/01/2009  The Adventure Begins
As a kid I used to page through National Geographic magazines and wonder why on Earth the woolly bearded explorers featured in the Rolex adverts would want to climb the worldís highest mountains unaided with no oxygen. What a ridiculous thing to do, but now that Iím a little wiser, itís got me thinking what it is that makes people do things out of the ordinary? Iíll probably never know for sure and I doubt that I will ever find myself on the summit of an 8000m peak, but in my own little world, I have decided to climb my own Everest and in the spirit of adventure have grown my own woolly beard.

Ok, so Iím not a mountaineer, Iím a fly fisherman and I wonít be ascending any mountains any time soon, instead I have decided to wrap up my life in the Ďbig smokeí of Sydney and follow my passion and dreams, doing what I know and love best; travelling, meeting people, fly fishing and having fun. My journey will take me from Sydney all the way across Australia where I will spend the rest of the year exploring the bays, beaches, reefs and blue-water opportunities with a fly rod in my hand.

Australia has been referred to as one of the final frontiers for the Saltwater Fly Fisherman, just ask anyone whoís been here and they will tell you stories of a seemingly endless variety of species and opportunities available to the long-wanded explorer.

To sustain life on the road and on the water in the Australian outback for a year or more, I need to be as self sustainable as possible so understandably the planning and logistics of such a trip are somewhat daunting. So where does one start? Gee, one of those fancy Rolexís would be good!

Anyway for the past six months I have worked day-in day-out at getting this trip off the ground. My little runabout was traded for a Toyota Land Cruiser 4x4 which has been modified with dual batteries providing power to a 40lt Engel fridge and an inverter for charging cameras, laptops and electric toothbrushes. The rear of the truck has a new false floor which will double as a sleeping area with plenty of underfloor storage. I also fitted a high gain antenna to the truck which will give me long range telephone and internet access in remote areas. A new set of Cooper STís will keep the rig glued to the road.

My boat is a 5.2m Southwind centre console that has been modified with forward casting deck, underfloor storage, long-range fuel tanks and a new 90 hp Suzuki 4 stroke. The trailer carrying it has also been re-enforced with dual axles and 4 new wheels and brakes.

Lists of wants and needs were drawn up, scribbled out and re-drawn, budgets formulated, locations scoured on the net and a constant flow of emails from all corners of the globe have been flying around with questions and answers.

So thatís it ... Iím saying goodbye to one life and Iím embracing the challenges, fun times and hopefully insane fishing action ahead of me. Some would call this saltwater fly fishing nirvana; Iím calling it a swoffing safari.
 
 
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