photo: Rob Oates
We thought it was time to shine the limelight on a few of our wonderful AWBF volunteers, some of whom have been involved in almost every wooden boat festival from the beginning. Sharing their skills, their know-how and experience, they alone make it possible to present a huge public event that is absolutely free to the community and yet produced to a highly professional standard. This month, let’s meet
AWBF volunteer, founder of Tasmanian Boat Charters and proud owner and skipper of Odalisque.
Pieter is a regular volunteer on the water at the Australian Wooden Boat Festival, generally to be found in one of our Zodiac crews, assisting 300+ wooden boats to find their way into water berths in Sullivans Cove. It’s important work that requires some deft handling of precious craft to get them into position without damage or delay. The boat handling crews also function as our marine rescue responders, in the very rare occasion where a boat gets into distress or an over-zealous sailor gets into the water without his swimmers and snorkel.
Pieter grew up in Tasmania, on the North Coast, spending most of his childhood in and around the sea. His career has always involved Tasmania’s coast and waters – first working with the Dive, Search and Rescue team in the Tasmanian Police force, and then later as a fisherman. He was an abalone diver for 24 years, and it was from his fishing boat, the original Odalisque, that he first began to run charters. It was through his work ferrying film crews, VIPs and researchers into the most amazing and remote parts of Tasmania that he developed a passion for its unique coastal & aquatic environment, and an interest in being able to share these special, isolated and often rugged places with others.
It is this passion that inspired the construction of a new, custom built charter vessel, Odalisque, designed specifically to showcase the parts of Tasmania that Pieter fell in love. Pieter’s water based tourism business, Tasmanian Boat Charters offers guided expeditions into Tasmania’s South West. Charters run for 3, 5 or 7 days from February through May. Just the thing, really, for a post-Festival adventure to discover more of Tasmania’s extraordinary maritime environment.