From the Sunday Tasmanian – 3 April 2011

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A feature on Flinders Island made up a good chunk of the travel pages of last week’s  Sunday Tasmanian newspaper. We were particularly taken with this passage [see below] about a boat builder, a tip on how to avoid the necessities of boat-moving permits and Whitemark’s carols by candlelight celebrations. The price of the boat charter isn’t bad either.

Fishing Business

Mike Nichols runs Flinders Island Dive. Mike’s a former school teacher who came to the island, embraced the islanders Can-Do attitude and built  himself a beautifully crafted steel boat even though he had never welded so much as a billy-cart before. The boat took him five years to build. When the time came to launch it the local police officer suggested to Mike he would need a permit to move the boat. Mike told him that wouldn’t be necessary as he’d tow the 12metre boat from the paddock to the launch site when no-one was around. Mike chose quiet Christmas Eve to launch and immediately drove into Whitemark’s carols by candlelight celebrations.

Diving instructor Mike is a laid back fella and 4hours in his company is a pleasure, fish or no fish. Still on the morning we spent fishing with him we began trolling at 10.55am. The first pike was on the line at 10.57am. During the charter we watch dolphins off the bow, catch more pike and a salmon and then go skin-diving for abalone and flathead. Later we cooked two abalone for an entree while Mike cooked up the flathead for dinner for his partner and child.

Mike will take out a family of four people to some of the other Furneaux Group islands for up to five hours for $500. He also sells and hires dive gear and takes divers to some of the Furneaux Group’s wrecks.

Contact Mike on 0428 598 529 or flindersdive@activ8.net.au

Mike Nicholls in command

Photo Credit: David Scott - Mike Nicholls in control

Flinders Island Fishing Vessel

Photo Credit: David Scott - Flinders Island Fishing Vessel

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