Saturday, November 11, 2017

Batemans Bay / A Birthday Date Day

Batemans Bay is about a 25 minute drive to the south of us. It sits at the mouth of the Clyde River which flows down from the Budawang Mountains in Great Dividing Range into the Tasman Sea.
It is famous for its delicious Sydney rock oysters.
The town is a larger centre than ours and is developing quickly as retiring baby boomers head for a sea change from Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne.
An institution there is the Innes Boatshed. It sits over the water and serves, in our opinion, the best fish and chips in the country. No table service, paper plates, plastic cutlery and you clean up after yourself. You line up to order and wait for it to be cooked before taking it to your table. They have only recently succumbed to the pressure of the 21st century and accepted card payment.
It used to be cash only.

The Innesses are an old fishing family in the Bay and still have a boat that brings in a local catch.
There was a time when the Boatshed was under threat from developers and the building was to be torn down and replaced by a modern aluminium and glass monstrosity. The town had numerous petitions going to save it but the council at the time was unmoved.
Luckily the GFC sent the developer broke and the old boatshed building remains and is more popular than ever.
We had flake, chips (fries) and potato scallops. The latter we found out at the Minnesota State Fair are called Australian battered potatoes in the USA. Flake is a euphemism for shark. Shark was always a staple for fish and chip shops when I was a kid. It was traditionally gummy shark but as tastes change other types of fish have become more popular for the fish and chip combo.
And there was always the question of the mercury build up in shark to a point where an allowable maximum size for consumption was legislated. I always hang out for flake as you don't see it too often any more.
This flake however was mako shark which the Innes boat had caught that morning. It was very meaty and distinctively different from gummy shark but still pretty good.

The Bay is also home to a 'lift span bridge' that allows Highway 1, the Princes Highway in our part of the world, across the river. When we moved to Brisbane from Melbourne by car in 1956, this river crossing was still by punt. The bridge opened a few months after we had passed through.
But now the old bridge is always causing problems getting stuck in the 'up' position after letting boats through or other failures that can hold up traffic for some time. A concept for a new one has just been announced in the last few days.
How long that will take to build is any one's guess.
The current and the newly proposed bridges

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