There has been a lot of media coverage of late of the infamous “Super Trawler” which is docked in Port Lincoln. With it came a whole lot of mixed feelings in the community and it wasn’t until recently I was told of the first super trawler to ever come to Port Lincoln; the Tacoma which had the exact same effect on the locals all those years ago.
The construction of the Tacoma started in 1944 by the Haldane brothers who weren’t afraid of a bit of hard work. 7 years of hard work to be exact. With cranes unavailable they chopped, carved and carried huge logs of wood, the longest measuring at 70ft and all of them weighing up to 25 tones in total. The brothers had different ideas of what they were going to use the ship for but alas, life happens and plans changed. It was destined to revolutionise the South Australian fishing industry with nets capable of catching up to 1000 tones, it was a super trawler in every sense of the word in those days.
After moving their families from Port Fairy in Victoria to Port Lincoln the brothers had an unsuccessful start but eventually they went on catch the first Southern Bluefin Tuna in Australian waters using a net.
That was just the beginning of what was to be a long and remarkable adventure which you can now hear all about from a select few that were there from the start. The Tacoma still sits proudly in Port Lincoln waters as a testimony to good old fashioned hard work and persistence Tours of this magnificent boat are available every Friday at the modest cost of $12 per person. Whether it be the original skipper, crew members or children of the Haldane brothers you will be taken on an adventure, learning how to catch Tuna with long fishing poles and what the crew’s favourite pass times were, not to mention a tasting of the delicious famous scones made in the old wood oven.
For those of you who want the real experience the Tacoma runs an annual Tuna trip where you can fish for Tuna just like they did back in the day, with the overalls, hard hats, poles and all. Be warned it’s not for the fainthearted. Eleven days out at sea living in each others pockets but trust me when I say it’ll be a trip of a life time that you’ll be proud of. For more information call on 08 8682 1124 or visit their website at www.tacoma.org.au.
Now I bet you didn’t know that!