Friday, January 3, 2014


She was a decrepit, failed restaurant venture, tethered in disgrace at the end of the Deepie but that night was the pinnacle of the old whalechaser’s career as an eatery.

We weren’t supposed to be there, something about asbestos and public liability but my father was the caretaker, so ... there we were.

Candles glowed in the jarrah-lined innards and a strange, longhaired man played guitar on the iron stairs. Cast iron cauldrons of dahl and rice sat steaming on tables beside huge mounds of baked salmon covered in lemon and strips of bacon.

Dad wanted to introduce his daughters to the woman he would marry. Together, they’d put on a feast.

My guests; my silent beau and the ancient, drunken Scot, were the escape plan if things got too strange.

We slid into red velvet booths, shared green ginger wine, peeled away silvery salmon skin, and broke flakes of juicy flesh from the bone with our fingers. The taste of bittersweet iron made my teeth hurt.

When Hector finally succumbed to his Drambuie on the booth seat, (crumpled kilt, legs askew, it was not pretty) Julian and I climbed back out into the clean night air and stood together on deck. 

Under the full moon, yachts flew like white moths across the harbour on their annual autumn migration.


  1. Time flies like an arrow, and fruit flies like a banana. Sliding into red velvet booths - I remember that. X

  2. Nice. What a shame the usual paranoid health regulations prevented it from being an ongoing venture. It would have added something wonderful to staid old Albany.

  3. Beautiful, Sarah. Makes me wish I was there - but I feel like I was. "Yachts flew like white moths across the harbour..." my favourite bit. Gorgeous.

  4. It's interesting, the memory of that night, that magical bohemian candle lit night - and visiting the whalechaser now as a wreck full of pigeon poo and eggs.