Living the good life in Coffin Bay.

Trip Start Apr 13, 2011
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Trip End Jul 13, 2011


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Flag of Australia  , South Australia,
Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Up at sparrows' to beat everyone into the showers. Needn’t have bothered as it appears that noone else here is bothering to shower, had the block to myself and saw noone else near it all morning.

Headed off to the town jetty to meet Darrian for our Coffin Bay Explorer tour, which turned out to be a major highlight.

We now know why Coffin Bay oysters really ARE the best – there are two main reasons, according to Darrian. The first is that the land around Coffin Bay actually sits on a basin of fresh water, and a number of fresh water springs feed into the ocean making the sea less salty here than many other parts of the ocean. Oysters like a lower level of salinity and grow faster and fatter in this environment. Secondly, many of the growers here use "spat" – the oyster equivalent of an egg – from Tasmania to seed their stock, so the oysters share characteristics with the much sweeter oysters we stumbled upon on one of our visits to Tassie. For fence-sitters like me where oysters are concerned, the sweetness is a real plus. I must admit, eating them straight out of the ocean is also a big plus, as they are still round and plump, and not at all slithery like the ones you get in Melbourne. This is because they get rinsed in fresh water in restaurants, apparently. I felt a bit uneasy crunching the little critters raw (ie alive!), but unlike everyone else who just drowned them quickly in their stomach acid, I comforted myself by crunching down on each one, so s/he was well and truly dead by the time s/he slithered down my throat. This way you actually taste the oyster, too. I’ve never really understood the point of swallowing them whole at how many dollars a pop. These ones could be really savoured, and at ONE dollar a pop, you get a whole lot more bang for your pop! We ate a dozen shucked oysters on our last day for $11.50, and the cheapest price around if you were willing to do your own dirty work was $5 a dozen a little way up the coast.

We looked mainly in vain for wildlife, although one dolphin teased us by mucking around under the boat for a while and we did see one little NZ fur seal. There’s a family of them living in the area, along with two elderly gentlemen sea lions who mysteriously appeared together a few years ago and have obviously felt comfortable enough to stay. Unfortunately for the tourist industry, they have not bred, but maybe Elton John will be able to give them a few tips if they decide to expand their family and boost tourist numbers on Darrian’s tours.  

Darrian filled in the time telling us the story of where all the islands got their names. You’ll now have to check my Nullarbor entry if you want the rest of that story, as I started this blog in the middle with a few interesting tales out of sequence.
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