We have just completed another fabulous Kid’s Fishing Day and to all of you Skippers and Deckies out there who worked so hard to make it such a success, my sincere thanks to you all. Now I know that the photographs shown elsewhere in this edition of Tight Lines will show all of the smiling children and their happy faces but only those of us who were there will actually know the incredible time that was had by all.
Still with the smaller members of our society and looking ahead, we also have the Kid’s Christmas Day where we take out young patients and their parents from the Prince of Wales hospital. Again this is a very special day and once again we need to call out to our Skippers and their crews for your assistance with your boats and your time and we will also need helping hands at our Club to assist with getting all of our guests safely on and off the boats.
Elsewhere in this magazine is a page that finally and correctly covers the simplistic IGFA ruling that relates to the use of backing when compared with a line-class top shot on our game reels. We will certainly be able to cram a lot more backing onto our reels if braid is used and this will certainly help with those fish such as blue marlin that tend to run off an awful lot of string , particularly in the early stages of a fight.
There is not much to report on the local fishing scene although there have been plenty of isolated reports about big yellowfin tuna that are in the 60 to 75 kilo range and I have no doubt that one of our boats very much in the short term, will be landing or tagging that very prestigious first marlin of the season. This can only be you if you are out there and trying as it is highly unlikely that the “First” will be caught at a mooring near our game club wharf. Our shark fishers should also note that the Broken Bay boat “Carnage” has had a pretty good run recently on makos and large blue sharks, so it really is an ideal time to get some points on the board while tuning everything up for the serious business that lies ahead of us.
Sadly the first round of the 2019/2020 season was cancelled along with the Wollongong GFC tournament that had been scheduled for the weekend of the 21st and 22nd of September but the next round of this great inter–club tournament is the Lord Howe Island round where wonderfully, you can fish the entire Central Zone grid marks. We have just been advised as well that the Central Coast GFC have chosen to move their tournament and Central Zone round to a single day on Saturday March 14th, 2020.
This will really start to put some pressure on Central Zone Clubs because, in their wisdom, the NSWGFA at their AGM last July decided that the three days of the Interclub in late February 2020 will also become a Central Zone round. This move is obviously a further attempt to entice more boats to fish the iconic Port Stephens event but with Botany Bay in late January then CCGFC mid March, the Broken Bay tournament 21st and 22nd of March followed by our own tournament and Central Zone round the first weekend in April, it is very much a congested period.
This is also your last chance to purchase tickets in our major raffle that will be drawn on the Friday meeting 8th November. Additionally on that night we have legendary lure maker Peter Pakula talking lures, rigging, spreads and everything to do with improving your fishing techniques so don’t miss out on this one.
Kind regards and tight lines
FROM THE PRESIDENT
ALL PROCEEDS GO TOWARDS THE 2020 PETER GOADBY PRIZE POOL.
2019 SGFC Major Raffle of the Year
A huge thank you to Phil and Vicki Webster for their generosity for the 2019 Raffle of the year, a 4 hour cruise on Lady Audrey includes local beer food and wine for up to 30 people. Tickets are $100 each please see Annita. If you can help sell some tickets please see me.
Calendar of Events SGFC
2nd - 3rd Summer Pointscore Weekend + Lord Howe Island Central Zone Weekend
8th (Friday Night) Club Meeting with Peter Pakula
16th - 17th Summer Pointscore Weekend
23rd Club Closed
26th Committee Meeting
29th Dinosaurs Lunch
3rd Club Meeting
7th - 8th Summer Pointscore Weekend
14th Children's Hospital Christmas Party
21st - 22nd Summer Pointscore Weekend
7th Club Meeting
4th - 5th Summer Pointscore Weekend
18th - 19th Botany Bay Bill Heyward Tournament + Central Zone Weekend
18th - 19th Summer Pointscore Weekend
28th Committee Meeting
An absolute cracker! There’s really no other way to describe the beautiful blue skies that were handed down to us from above (the Fishing Gods) for our annual Kids Fishing Day.
Of course it was also held to coincide with the National Initiative that is “Gone Fishing Day” which was Sunday 20th October 2019. A day to mark in your diary each year, take a break from life and spend time with the family and kids participating in one of Australia’s favourite pastimes, fishing.
Our family (SGFC that is), is a fairly large family. It includes many kids, husbands, wife’s, grandparents and boats of all shapes and sizes. Many of all of the above made their way down to Watsons Bay to spend the day together on this picture perfect day and smiles on the faces of the kids resembled Luna Park. They had an absolute ball and caught some great fish to boot of all species. Some of the boats had the kids on board catching anything up to 7-10 fish per child. Not a bad effort within only a 3 hour window.
If you are a club member and haven’t ever been involved with this event is definitely a lot of fun and you should get involved next year for sure. We also have the Children’s Hospital event coming up soon so make sure you put up your hand if you would like to be involved with that one. We will be needing boats and volunteers to help load kids (several in wheelchairs) onto the boats. Drop me a line or call/text me if you are keen on 0416 027 865 (Greg).
A special shout out to all the skippers, deckies, volunteers and assistants who graciously gave up their time to give an experience to the younglings they’ll never forget. Also thanks to Rapala for Rods and Reels and goodies and Ottos Tackle World at Drummoyne for bait, hooks, sinkers and some secret ingredients burley which seemed to make all the difference.
See you all again next year.
Click the photos to the right for a look at a great video!
from the day!
Cheers Greg Wall
Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament
Click this photo for a link to a great video by Bryan Toney showing what Kona has to offer!
In March most years I head over to Exmouth, WA to fish GamEx a 6-day fishing tournament held in the billfish rich waters of the Ningaloo Reef. In 2016, after having a bit of success at the Gamex tournament the boat got an entry into the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament (HIBT) – we fished it that year and had a great time. In 2019, with the HIBT celebrating its 60th anniversary, we decided it was time to do it again, this time as part of the GFAA AIBT 2018 Championship team.
Many of you will have heard of or even fished the HIBT but for those who haven’t it’s held in, arguably, the blue marlin capital of the world, the glassy waters off Kona. Kona sits on Hawaii’s Big Island, the birthplace of marlin lure fishing, it is a pretty remarkable fishing ground. Protected from the wind and weather by the huge volcanoes that created the island, fishing in Kona is pretty well always in near perfect conditions, and with the shelf only a couple of miles off land you can start fishing, in 500+ fathoms, only a few minutes after leaving the marina!
Day 2 - windy day
The HIBT was established in 1959 as one of Hawaii’s original tournaments. It was one of the very early promoters of tag and release fishing and I believe the original tournament to satellite tag marlin as well. Its well-known founder, Peter Fithian, somewhat of a legend in the Hawaiian and IGFA game fishing scene, and although the years are starting to catch-up to him, he was once again at the tournament holding court alongside some of the sport’s true icons.
The tournament runs over 5-days and attracts teams from around the world – this year there were 41 teams from all over the world, including South Africa, Australia, Fiji, Japan, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Palau and the USA.
To ensure an even playing field for all the visiting teams each team is randomly assigned five boats for the week, a different boat for each day of fishing. Each boat comes well vetted with an expert skipper and crew. Points are awarded as 300 for tagged blue marlin and 100 for all other tagged billfish, then there’s a bonus point scheme in place for any captured fish over 300lb.
Hawaii and the HIBT is well known for its hospitality which starts in the lead-up days and continues right throughout the tournament. There are daily activities for all the WAGs that are organised by the tournament and each night as the boats come in the “Shout Tent” operates an open bar for all anglers and partners. Of course, given it’s in Hawaii, there’s always plenty of Hula dancing by Miss Billfish.
On Day 1 of fishing we drew Ihu Nui, a 45’ Monterey, skippered by the long-term skipper McGrew Rice with his handy deckie Carlton. A great boat and a great team to fish we were the first boat to leave the dock on the first morning. We dropped a blue really early on in the piece and then landed one short bill from a double hook-up later on in the day. A great day’s fishing although we did feel the skipper was a bit distracted throughout the day … and as fate had it, it was his last day as skipper of Ihu Nui as the boat owner and him “parted ways” after many many years later on that evening! Whilst we had an OK first day Team Laguana Niguel Billfish Club scored 4 blue marlin for the day and shot to the front of the pack – where they stayed for the rest of the tournament.
Day 2 had us on Sundowner, a 35’ Bertram - great boats - skippered by Reuben Rubio. Unfortunately, Hurricane Erik was getting a bit close and caused the otherwise glassy seas of Kona to have a just a touch of a ripple on the water for the day and it obviously put the fish off as we didn’t see a fish all day and many other boats were in the same position.
Day 3 we were on a 43’ Bertram named Tropical sun, skippered by Ryan Lutes. With some of the breeze from the previous day still hanging around we got off to a slow start but managed to snag a nice blue in the early afternoon to keep our points ticking over.
Day 4 we fished on Bite Me 6, a 39’ Hatteras, we arrived at the boat in the morning to the music already cranked up by skipper Deneen Wargo, one of two female skippers in the fleet. She was fired up and the fish seemed to react accordingly, unfortunately we dropped a spear fish in the first 15
minutes but then landed a nice blue marlin not too long after. In the afternoon we boated a couple of yellow fin tuna, just the right size for some traditional Hawaiian Poke – pretty much nothing like the trendy poke that’s hit our shores in recent years.
Day 5 we had a beautiful 57’ Spencer called JRs Hooker, skippered by Jean Nogues. Jean and his crew were a team of young guys, all relatively new to the boat and all ultra-keen – they were positioned within the Top 5 boats in the Tournament and were very keen to finish on a high.
Around lunch time we had a nice blue come into the spread and after a quick look at a few lures it inhaled the long rigger and we were tight and quickly settled into the fight. With a 300lb minimum on captures there was a bit of talk amongst the crew about what size it was. After 30 minutes or so we had it within reach and as soon as the skipper caught a good look at it the call was made to bring out the flyers and shortly thereafter it was on the deck.
Given our mid pack performance the fish wasn’t going to mean much to our overall finishing position but the bonus points from a > 300lb were going to have a real impact on JRs finishing position in the Boat / Skipper side of the competition. Given most of the fishing is within 10 miles of the weigh station the skipper fired up the big Cat’s and took the fish straight in to get weighed, eventually pulling the scales at 334 – not the biggest of the competition but one of only a very small handful caught over 300lb. Even better within 30 mins of boating the fish we had it weighed and lures back in the water fishing again – love Kona fishing!
We had one more strike later in the afternoon and that basically wrapped up our tournament – we ended up finishing a bit above mid-pack somewhere but the bonus points for JRs hooker gave them a Top 3 finish overall which was a great thing to finish on.
Overall a great tournament and a great time in one of the worlds really special fishing locations, fishing across five different boats is great as you can compare exactly how a bunch of the best lure fishing crews in the world do it – what they do the same and what they do differently.
If you ever get the chance to head over to Kona for a fish you really should make the effort, it’s a hell of a lot of fun and some of best fishing getting around.
Dreams do come true as a fishermen
Captain Chett Auditore from Finz boat hire gave me a call and his exact words were "Zarko, Portland is firing! Barrels everywhere! It's on like Donkey Kong!". It didn't take me long to decide that I am heading to Portland in search of a barrel. We decided to tow the Finz boat hire to Portland Victoria. As the weather forecast had turned, we only had two days of fishable weather so we decided to fly to Avalon and book a charter with Mathew Hunt fishing services the first day. Heading out of Portland with Matty was amazing! As my first time fishing the southern ocean, within minutes of coming outside of the heads gannetts, whales, dolphins and seals were working a bait ball of red bait in only 60 meters of water. We were marking barrels, but it was very difficult to get a bite. Day two of fishing was quite dead with no signs of life. Matty kept working, looking for a bite until we found a patch of a 100 gannetts working the red bait. The area was full of life! Whales, dolphins and seals everywhere as we trolled the spread through the bait ball. The center rigger, a JB dingo in blue dog colour, goes off and we get spooled by a barrel. Day three fishing did not look fun as the weather forecast was due for strong winds and big seas. We didn't let the weather get in the way of a dream fish. As soon as we got past the heads the Captain spots a flock of gannetts working bait about a mile out. We just had time to get the gear as we approached then bang we are on with the long corner JB Dingo connected to a barrel. A fight time of 2 hour 55 minutes and a memory that I will never forget. Portland Victoria is an amazing fishery. Give Matthew Hunt fishing services a call gun skipper.
330lb Sbft Portland victoria story
Prawn and Oyster Day – Saturday 12th October 2019
By Greg Wall .
Well it was that time of the year again. The time of the year that brings some of our club members out of the woodwork with promises of big round bellies full of sumptuous juicy prawns and salty oysters.
Yes it was time for the annual Prawn and Oyster Lunch (also celebrating another trip around the sun as El Presidente Karen Wright). While the start of the day (weather wise) wasn’t looking great outside, once the gang got together, the beer and wine started flowing, conversation and laughs ensued and the food arrived all bad weather forecasts were forgotten. Actually the afternoon tended to fine up a bit with the sun peering through the clouds and making for a really pleasant afternoon by the water.
It was great to catch up with friends and for many club members, not only a chance to catch up on the latest intel, but quite often a great opportunity to bring down their partner and even kids to enjoy the great location and facilities made available to club members (it pays to belong and we really have a premium location) J
As a quick wrap up, another great event down at SGFC Watsons Bay. Some monster prawns and oysters galore. Pretty sure no one left with an empty belly and already looking forward to the next one in 2020. Please reserve my table!
Claims received after two (2) months will only be considered at the discretion of the Association when a suitable explanation for the delay is furnished.
(c) Procedures for line testing and adjudication of NSW Record Claims shall be the same as those setout and used by GFAA from time to time.
Rationale for the above motion
At the 2018 NSWGFA AGM a motion was tabled to allow the use of line and backing by introducing a new by-law in line with the wording as the GFAA Equipment Regulations. This motion passed. This year’s motion is not about revisiting the issue of backing, rather it is about cleaning up and clarifying the by-laws due to oversight last year which led to confusion and conflict within our by-laws.
Under the NSWGFA Constitution the GFAA Equipment Regulations apply unless we have a specific by-law that seeks to alter or over-ride them. The intent of last year’s successful motion was to align NSWGFA with the GFAA rules in regard to the use of backing. Unfortunately, last year’s resolution did not consider the “Policy for the Use of Monofilament Line for Open Tournaments or Pointscore Competitions” which directly conflicts with the intent and wording of last year’s motion.
In last year’s AGM it was acknowledged that this conflict would arise but that nothing could be done on the floor of the AGM given that the motion was already submitted. By revoking the “Policy for the Use of Monofilament Line for Open Tournaments or Pointscore Competitions” we are able to completely adopt the intent of last year’s motion and align ourselves with the rules of all other Australian state-based associations, the GFAA and the IGFA. As per the intent of last year’s motion the current GFAA rules would apply with respect to the use of line and backing in exactly the same words as those used in last year’s successful motion.
This motion amended and passed
2019 NSWGFA AGM
Following the general report on the last NSWGFA AGM written by our secretary Richard Seccombe and shown on page 4 of this ‘Slick we feel it necessary to expand upon the Notice of Motion that directly impacts on the way we fish and the tackle that we use.
Notice of Motion
Proposed by : The Sydney Game Fishing Club
Seconded by : Canberra Game Fishing Club
The proposed change seeks to clarify last year’s motion with respect to the use of backing and to realign NSWGFA with all other Australian State-baqsed Associations, the GFAA and the IGFA in this respect.
This motion requests that the “With Backing” category of records and the “Policy for the use of Multifilament Line for Open Tournaments or Pointscore Competitions” both be revoked. It is proposed that with reference to the NSWGFA By-laws and Regulations the following changes be made.
1) The current “Policy for the use of Multifilament Line for Open Tournaments or Pointscore Competitions” is completely removed.
2) That under the Records section of the NSWGFA By-Laws and Regulations (By-law 2) be reverted to its pre-2018 wording which read :
(a) The Association shall maintain State records as laid down in the Objectives of the Association (object g) for men, ladies, male and female juniors and male and female small fry. NSW shall issue Record Certificates where appropriate. Note : Small Fry shall be under the age of eleven (11) years when the capture is made. Junior anglers shall be under the age of sixteen (16) years when the capture is made.
(b) All applications for NSW records must be accompanied by full and substantiative certification (as required by GFAA for Australian Records) and such claims must be forwarded by the angler’s Club to to the NSWGFA Office within two (2) months of the date of the capture.
In a roundabout and convoluted way the following detail confirms and accepts the new IGFA ruling that covers the use of backing material used under a top-shot of approved IGFA line-class fishing line.
Pending World Aust & NSW record 314kg to Port hacking smallfry Jayden congratulations to team undertaker
Gordon had served during World War 2 with the Second Australian AIF in an artillery unit in Borneo, becoming a troop commander and Lieutenant. He also served in the Philippines after the Japanese surrender in 1945 during the “mopping up” phase of the occupation of the Islands.
He later became one of the first sales representatives for Lysaghts, a major steel manufacturer and supplier, calling on architects, engineers and construction sites. He was involved in the marketing and utilisation of lightweight steel construction materials. The original AMP Society building at Circular Quay, Sydney, designed by Peddle, Thorp and Walker Architects, was the first Sydney skyscraper to use that technique.
Gordon served on the Club committee for several terms and was always available to assist with the many chores associated with the successful running of the Club and the premises. He was a great fan of the fishing at “The Peak” during a wonderful period of big yellowfin tuna fishing, he and his crew accounting for many fine captures. He was also very keen on his yellowtail kingfish, snapper and teraglin bottom fishing, again they were very successful. He disposed of “Playboy” in 1992.
With advancing age, Gordon was less mobile and in later years we were unable to see him at the annual “Dinosaur” functions but he continued to live with assistance in his house in Clovelly Street until July 2019, when he moved into residential care at The Regis, Rose Bay where he passed away.
We will miss Gordon as a long serving and loyal person who was an important member of the Club in the raging 1960-1980’s when things were mighty busy at Watsons Bay.
Gordon Brown’s 26 ft. cruiser PLAYBOY. Built by Peter Bracken, timber boat builder of Kurnell, Sydney, in early 1960’s.
Gordon Brown on left with Past President and Life Member Hilton Hollingdale in 2004.
It is with regret that we record the passing on July 28, 2019 of Gordon Brown, a long time older member of the Club. He was the proud owner and skipper of the fine 26 ft. timber cruiser “Playboy” that was based at Watsons Bay for many years.
Gordon was a centenarian, having been born on November 6, 1918. He joined the Club in 1962, whilst he was living in Petersham, in Sydney’s inner west. He was a self- employed builder and carpenter, as was his father and grandfather, all of whom were engaged before and after World War 2 in the building of speculative homes and small apartment buildings. Gordon moved to Watsons Bay in February 1969 around the time that he launched “Playboy” from the Kurnell, Sydney, boatyard of Peter Bracken, one of the busiest wooden boat builders of that era. He lived in Clovelly Street, Watsons Bay facing Robertson Park, a short walk to the Clubhouse on the Wharf.
VALE GORDON BROWN- veteran SGFC MEMBER.
VALE ROY E. ALLEN, prominent Member in the 1960-70’s .
Roy Allen with a 29 pound Wahoo on 20 pound line taken off
SGFC Vessel "JAC 111"April 1968.
It is with regret that we record the passing of Roy Allen, a very keen and successful angler member of the Club in the busy 1960-70’s when many great fish were captured off Sydney and later weighed at Watsons Bay.
Roy was born on May 21, 1932 and lived at Bondi during his early schooling and formative years, a mad keen fisherman from early childhood. His secondary schooling was at Hurlstone Agricultural College from where he moved to Sydney Technical College, to graduate as a senior wool-classer, in the boom days of Australian wool production. His occupation saw him travelling constantly around the various grazing properties in the State, often in charge of a team of contracted wool classers.
He moved back to the city in the late 1950’s and worked for Sunbeam Corporation in their wool shearing equipment division, and later for the Sydney Night Patrol Company (SNP) , engaged in security monitoring and surveillance operations. A colleague at SNP at that time was Tom Roche, later a Club President (1973-4) and a Life Member, who was also starting out on a game fishing career with SGFC.
100 pounds (45.45 kg) mark on the old Zacka which he sold in mid-1960’s. He moved on to fishing aboard several Club boats, including Bob Niven’s Quest and Tom Waddell’s several Makos. He maintained his capture record with many great fish from these boats, in the company of friends.
He served on the SGFC General Committee for the seasons 1964-5 and 1965-6, assisting with many activities around the Clubhouse, including the critical installation of security alarms and monitoring devices following an arson attempt on the premises- fortunately foiled by alert Watsons Bay neighbours.
A change of location in 1971 saw Roy and his young family in Cairns, lured to the north by the big fish stories. He crewed and later skippered a number of successful charter boats, including several Baleks, owned by Al Hooper of Sydney. He later ran his own vessel Ridge Runner, a substantial twin hull game boat that captured and released many fine black marlin, including a number of 1000 pound plus fish.
He returned to Sydney in the mid 1980’s and worked in the swimming pool business for many years, before retiring to Tuncurry, NSW. He continued to fish both inside and off shore, particularly on board the Great Lakes GFC vessel Athaldo, until health concerns curtailed such activities. But the whiting, bream and flathead in Wallis Lake knew that Roy was still around, up to his last months. He passed away on September 22, 2019 at Forster, NSW, attended by his family and close friends- a remarkable and respected man with many interests, but with an abiding love for fishing, boats and the sea.
John McIntyre. October 2019.
Roy purchased a 21 ft. timber cruiser christened Zacka and joined Sydney Game Fishing Club in 1961. He was a very successful skipper and angler, capturing a number of very significant sharks and gamefish.
Amongst his catches were;
687 pound (312 kg) whaler shark on 80 pound (37 kg) tackle, an Australian record set in November 1962 that still stands unbeaten, a species often regarded as being one of the toughest fish around.
184 pound (84 kg) thresher shark on 80 pound (37 kg) in September 1963 and a 104 pound (48 kg) thresher on 50 pound (24 kg) tackle in October 1963, relatively rare captures off Sydney.
A white pointer shark of 642 pounds (292 kg) on 80 pound (37 kg) was also taken in September 1963, as a “warm up” for his SGFC season heaviest shark winner in 1964- a 1409 pounds (640 kg) white pointer on 80 pound (37 kg) gear. This was a remarkable capture from a 21 feet long, slow, timber planked vessel. White pointers, certainly of this size, are extremely dangerous creatures and it was widely recognised that Roy and his fishing companion Eric Montgomery had been in the fight of the year. It remains the SGFC record for the tackle class. Roy Allen was also adept at luring and capturing yellowfin tuna during the halcyon days of tuna fishing out of Sydney. Most action was at “The Peak”, off Maroubra when dozens of boats congregated, berleying and live baiting. The heaviest recorded for Roy scaled in at 174 pounds (79 kg) on 30 pound (15 kg) tackle, up there with the heaviest yellowfin ever taken in the country. He caught dozens of others, many over the
About 5:35pm on Saturday 14th of September, 2019, a 41-yr old man from Greystanes was driving his Toyota Hilux on the M1 Motorway, Cowan, towing a boat. He lost control and collided briefly with an unknown B-double heavy vehicle, before jack-knifing and colliding with the rock wall. The 2500kg vessel came free from the trailer and slid 50m before coming to rest. Police from Kuring Gai Highway Patrol were called and attended, and the driver was arrested after providing a positive breath sample for alcohol. Lane 1 of the motorway was shut for 90mins to enable salvage. The driver was subsequently charged with high range drink driving after returning a blood alcohol reading of 0.190.
Be Carefull this is what NOT to do
14th September 2019 PS how much money has it cost him
Great to see two Club Partners working together – Little Audrey 2 recently up on the Short Marine travel lift for her annual anti foul!
Short Marine, located at The Spit in Middle Harbour, offer significant discounts to SGFC members, and will price match any other service yards (conditions apply). They are a one stop shop, have their own marine travel lift (up to 60 feet and 31 tonnes), hardstand yard, marine electricians, marine mechanics, shipwrights and detailers. Everything can be done in-house and they are only 10 minutes from the Game Club by water! Pick up and drop offs available.
For all the skippers– if you are due for your annual out of water work, or anything outside of that - there’s no better place in Sydney Harbour than Short Marine. Give Ryan a call 0432 123 101 to discuss your needs!
John Sartori 27/9/19 maiden voyage out of Sydney
for the Shoki should have weighed this one
The "Benson Ford" oldie but I love it
This ship was decommissioned in 1981 after nearly 50 years of service.
Looking across the bow, it seems that the boat is actually steaming - full speed ahead!
After being decommissioned, it was left to rust for four years before the front part of the ship was removed and perched on top of an 18-foot cliff above Lake Erie , to serve as a vacation home.
The ship still contains the beautiful wood-paneled state rooms, dining room and lounge designed by Henry Ford.
Love the SAINT
The ship was used by Henry Ford to travel across the Great Lakes . Thomas Edison was a frequent guest on this beautiful ship.
The present four-deck ship-house is 7,000 sq. ft., and includes walnut-paneled staterooms, a dining room with galley, and passenger lounge designed by Henry Ford for his personal use while on board.
The ship-house was then owned by Frank J. Sullivan, but after failing to turn it into a hotel in 1992, Sullivan auctioned the building to father and son Jerry and Bryan Kaspar, who still enjoy relaxing there while taking time off from work.
It has been modernized with a garage, a game room, a bar, a state-of-the-art kitchen, and four bathrooms.
The 90-year-old cargo ship is beautiful, as she sits overlooking her former waterways.
This impressive getaway includes five bedrooms, four bathrooms, a captain's office and living room with panoramic views across Lake Erie . “I love the deck on the fourth floor. It's a great place to enjoy a cocktail overlooking the lake and the nearby cliffs, and to watch the sunsets is amazing from there.”
Videographer Nick James, who conducts tours of the home, says, “The most incredible part is standing at the helm with the way the boat hangs over the cliff. It actually feels like you're on the open water. I love the history that remains all around the Benson Ford.”
“In the parlor, you can imagine Thomas Edison and Henry Ford sitting there puffing on their cigars. When you're there, it feels like you're stepping back in time, and that those two famed gentlemen could appear at any moment.”
An incredible beauty of a long-ago ship, still available for water lovers to see.
This ship-home has maintained the historic and beautiful interior, which is updated with modern amenities.
Bryan Kaspar says: “Everyone who sees our home from the outside, wants to look inside. I think everyone who sees it is amazed at the gorgeous woodwork throughout our beautiful ship-home ."
COMMENT: Zero consultation and bungled data used in Sydney Marine Park proposal
By Recreational Fishing Alliance of NSW | 10 October 2019
Read more at https://www.fishingworld.com.au/news/comment-zero-consultation-and-bungled-data-used-in-sydney-marine-park-proposal#BFsiuBS711JsfcYe.99
BACK in January 2019 recreational anglers asked to be given all the recreational fishing data files used by DPI Fisheries to feed the Hawkesbury Bioregion mapping software program, Marxan.
The Marine Estate Management Authority (MEMA) was using Marxan to guide its site selection process and help deliver a Sydney Marine Park. Keep in mind some of this recreational data was collected and paid for by your recreational fishing licence fees, and yet as recreational anglers the way it was used by DPI and shared with others was never publicly disclosed or even discussed with recreational anglers.
Despite requesting that data, it took a “GIPA” – a freedom of information request – to show how little recreational fishing was valued by the NSW Government at the time.
The Recreational Fishing Alliance of NSW (RFA) subsequently made a number of GIPA applications using its own funds.
What then transpired was a seven-month David and Goliath battle over that data that had more roadblocks and stonewalling tactics by DPI Fisheries than the RFA had even seen, but in the end the RFA got the information. Along the way a lot more was uncovered that still warrants investigation, but for now the RFA will focus on the fact that DPI Fisheries did nothing to engage or consult with recreational anglers when these maps were being generated way back in 2016. Yes that’s right, in 2016 plans were already underway to lock anglers out of popular fishing spots, and according to DPI Fisheries, the NSW Government and Ministers were aware of this.
The GIPA uncovered a lot more than just the data and both Niall Blair and Gabriel Upton (Environment Minister) and their agencies were both responsible for the data used by Marxan. Fed with DPI and OEH (Office of Environment and Heritage) data, Marxan produced the maps that were used by MEMA as a way to try and lock us out of more than 20 fishing locations in the Sydney Bioregion. This spurred on the #StoptheLockout movement and forced then Minister Niall Blair to pull the plans even before consultation had even ended.
Not one fisher or spear fisher was asked to validate this data as far as we know, even though the Marxan program’s own Best Practice Guidelines says: “Communication is often left as an afterthought to the planning process and might involve presentation of a map with lines drawn with scant explanation. Stakeholders may then be taken by surprise”.
As a program Marxan has worked around the world to deliver good outcomes. In all of those cases the quality of data will have determined the most balanced outcomes and if everyone has a chance to contribute, the results take no one by surprise.
The data DPI Fisheries used included various values they assigned to hundreds of locations in the region; that data was fed into Marxan and used to help create the maps, without it seems asking one recreational angler in NSW their views, nor getting the input of any of the Ministerial appointed “advisory” councils. The data DPI used was compiled in secret without talking to recreational anglers. It was sourced from outdated and Trust Funded DPI recreational surveys, talking to Fisheries officers, GPS marks in map books and websites, online forums and gut feelings, because DPI “couldn't assign a level of importance or rank them otherwise”. Their words not ours.
The maps that follow have been generated by the RFA using the DPI data that was input into Marxan. The very data they initially refused to hand over.
In maps below, basically Red = 1 and is rated as high value to recreational anglers. Green = 0 and is of low value to recreational anglers. The first map is from Kurnell to Manly and the lack of red areas truly indicates how little our DPI staff know about fishing in this area.
On the map below the arrow below is pointing to Cape Banks on the north head of Botany Bay, it scored the highest value and yet it was still made into a sanctuary zone by Marxan — or did someone else intervene?
And this is only the fishing data. Once OEH, under former Minister Gabriel Upton, put their data in it looks like it overrides DPI data—or they just took Cape Banks off us anyway without a whimper from DPI. The RFA has spoken to local fishing club members who have fished the area for decades and they know the biodiversity values are not special for that part of the coast, and they cannot see why this needed to happen. It has good fishing access, it is safe and popular; club members’ gut feelings were that it was more about simply cutting back fishing locations. DPI failed to seek stakeholder feedback that may indicate inadequacies or errors in the data used, and warrant revision.
DPI Fisheries has failed to widely consult and acknowledge the linkage of “people with place” which explains the strong attachment of recreational fishers to certain spots. One of the key drivers of satisfaction with recreational fishing experiences and DPI have not defended this intrinsic value on our behalf. The data that could have helped give an accurate representation of where we fish and what is important to us was never requested as recreational fishing was swept under the DPI and MEMA carpet.
In the end all that DPI achieved was marginalising and uniting the recreational fishing community in NSW. When the RFA compared the way DPI and the NSW Government ran this process against published and peer review papers on how to best use Marxan it was appalled to see how incompetent it had been at the process and the RFA wonders how much research had been done to avoid these pitfalls. Many overseas failures that are documented illustrate the consequences of ineffective involvement of stakeholders. They all have one common theme, get it wrong and in some cases it has taken six years to rebuild credibility in the community.
With all positions up for renewal on almost all Ministerial-appointed advisory councils in NSW, the RFA is hopeful that strong-willed, knowledgeable recreational and commercial fishers put their hands up for those council positions, continue to keep DPI Fisheries accountable over issues like this and drive changes to the way DPI operates. More importantly do not be afraid to engage and tell the Minister exactly what he needs to hear, not what DPI Fisheries wants you to tell him. As recreational fishers, complacency is our worse enemy and whilst we can still fish, the very same people that delivered this nightmare are still around, only the Ministers have changed. It seems the buck stops with the Minister in the end.
So do you think DPI Fisheries is pushing fishing in NSW to extinction with their own agendas and a complete lack of transparency and do we need a change or will the “NSW - closed for fishing” signs start going up?