Gosh its 2019 already... each year coming around quicker and quicker. Our first pearling trip of the year was full of fun and adventure. We took 4 new crew over to the ABROLHOS ISLANDS... first it was Sam and Bella a local Geraldton couple, Sam is a chef by trade but also works on crayfishing boat and Bella has just completed her Yoga Teacher Training in Bali they were excited at the opportunity to embrace the pearling experience. I was especially excited about Sam making his signature Crayfish Mornay for us. Crayfish mornay is something we make when you have access to a lot of crayfish (lobster)... thanks to our amateur pots we were lucky enough to have abundant supply. Bella got to do some yoga at the islands too.. a few of the crew joined her.
Our other star couple were John (born in Geraldton) he's a friend of mines son.. my friend called me and mentioned his son was in town with his girlfriend and would love the opportunity to work over there on a tucker trip to the Abrolhos (he'd been living in the United Kingdom for a few years. For those who don't know Tucker trip is where they just go for the experience but receive food and accomodation for helping out. John's girlfriend Carla who is from United Kingdom really got to experience the Abrolhos Island Life.. but I must say they worked very hard. But Carla definitely looks great in the pearling overalls don't you think?
We did take one day off and went exploring to the Wallabi group, did some snorkelling and ended up doing the good old Aussie tradition of playing cricket on the beach it was amazing, the wind was blowing about 25 knots so we went to Turtle Bay which was a beautiful white sandy beach which has squeaky white soft sand and is quite protected the sun and the clear sky made for a beautiful day. Enjoyed some drinks and nibblies on the beach we only saw 3 other people who had gone over with the local Geraldton Air Charter tour company for the day tour to the Abrolhos. We packed up our gear around 4.30pm leaving only FOOTPRINTS and headed back to Easter Group around 4pm.
The next day was back to work and our resident pearling technician (seeder) was able to assist with the sorting of the juvenile shell. Her name is Kazue and she has been part of the Latitude Gallery pearling team for over 17 years. Kazue was born in Japan but now resides in Australia, she can seed all different types of pearl oysters some of which are Pinctada Margaritifera (black pearls), Pinctada Maxima (white pearls like those produced in Broome-Darwin) and Pinctada Fucata (Akoya Pearls) Kazue seeds the Black Lip and Akoya pearl oysters at our farm.
The juvenile shell are 5 months old and were ready to be selected to place in the next grow out phase which is into panels. It took us a few days to manage to pick through to get the fast growing shells as we only want to use the best possible shells. We are looking forward to these shell being seeded which will be in about 18 months. It was a bit of DeJaVu selecting the oysters working along side my husband we both started pearling over 17 years ago. It was nice to see our daughter Olive could still find something to do whilst we were working, jumping off the standup paddle board at the end of the jetty is one of her favourite things to do whilst we are working and yes we get in there with her too, that beautiful water is irresistable.
I would have to say it's been a journey of love sweat and tears and wouldn't change it for the world. Getting to spend time working together as a family is great me and Murray really enjoyed this latest trip and are excited to see what 2019 brings.