Would I be the youngest skipper/boat owner at the Festival? Probably not though I suspect I would be close, but I bet I’m the youngest with such a special Tasmanian boat. My earliest memories are boating on the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and surrounding waters with my parents in kayaks and our dinghy, The Sally. I grew up on the water, adventuring in the spirit of Arthur Ransome. I recently won a scholarship to study for my Master 5 Skippers ticket at Seafood and Maritime Training Tasmania, so my heart is set on continuing my career at sea. Thistle is my first boat, and I am so proud of her and her strong connections to Tasmanian seafaring and would love the opportunity for Thistle and myself to be part of the Festival.
I have some old photos and a very brief two paragraph account of Thistle’s 50yr life – at some point she was named Paringa. There are also a few names of previous owners and dates of improvements or restoration. This information is the starting point from which I would like to piece together more of her history. A few of the old photos and the snippets of information I intend to display with the boat might be all that is needed to jog the memory of someone attending the Festival to fill in some of the blanks in her history.
I intend to maintain her to the standard her heritage demands but also we have so much to learn from each other on the voyages we will do together.