Past and present
An attempt is made here to record all Ferry drivers.
This is a challenge that will take time to complete
Ian Lewis Peta Dewar Mark Webb Joe Scull Jack Holbrook Wally Edeny Rob Ackerley
Ian has the contract for the ferry. He has lived on the Island for about 11 years and it’s only in the last few years he realised he “ Wouldn’t mind having a go at running the ferry once Rod retires “
It would be right to say that he has taken to it like a fish to water. We all hope he will continue beyond the current contract. No doubt he’ll cross that bridge when the time comes. On asking him about that, he said that that there'll be a lot of water under the bridge before this contract is up.
Ian holds a Master 5 qualification. He also owns a mens wear business in Bairnsdale in Main Street opposite Coles called : Male Domain
No matter what happens , one of the things he will be remembered for is giving us
The drivers featured here are in no particular order
Peta is a local to the area and worked for more than 5 years on her fathers charter boat. Most of us will know the
" Riviera Queen " ,an old Huon Pine classic. " Working on the Queen was like going back in time " Peta says.
When not ferrying us she works on the" Enterprise ".
In addition to that Peta holds a "Waterskiing Instructors Certificate" and teaching that takes all her spare time
She is also a qualified coxswain.
ps : The "Riviera Queen " was sold and has gone to Canberra, working as a
charter boat on Lake Burley Griffin. Peta does not know if it retained the name.
It's not often we see Mark on the ferry. So when we did we had a lot of questions for him
When you go off shore what sort of vessel do you skipper?
Currently skippering the Crystal Ocean which is a dynamically positioned FPSO (Floating Production Storage Offtake tanker). We maintain position (within 0.5 metre) using 2 x props and 3 x bow thrusters (no anchors) -
I included a couple of photos. ( See below )
Are you away from home a lot?
In the past I have been away from home for up to 4 months at a time but now on a much more civilised roster of 3 weeks on/3 weeks off/3 weeks on/6 weeks off
How long have you been this highly qualified?
I qualified with my Second Mate’s ticket 9 years ago (when I was 20) and gradually worked my way up the ranks (and through the tickets) to obtain my Master Class One 2 years ago. It has been a great career which has taken me worldwide.
Was it always your “boyhood dream “to be a skipper?
Growing up in Eden - I have sailed offshore from the time I was 12 and then started working on fishing boats during my school holidays. I got a real taste of boats and as there was no future in fishing, I did a 4 year cadetship with a shipping company and graduated with my second mate’s ticket with the eventual aim to become skipper
How long have you lived on the island?
I bought my ‘bachelor pad’ in 1999 and have lived on the island ever since (with a lot of time away in the meantime!). Met my lovely wife (who was working for one of the shipping companies I used to) and Jane moved from Glen Waverly to the Island in 2003
Did you visit the Island as a youngster?
I visited a couple of times as a youngster and then did an extended family holiday with Mum and Dad and brother on our trailer sailer one summer which hooked me on the area.
Anything else you can think of ?
Hmmmmm…… (1) I approached Rod (on the ferry) in 2000 and asked what I had to do to become a ferry driver - he took me on as a relief driver and I have done so, sporadically, ever since
(2) We bought and ran a sailing charter business in 2004 on the Lakes which we have recently sold
Thank you Mark………and thank you for those two great pictures
Mark and his family have moved to Newcastle where Mark is working as an off shore skipper.
Here is his story
Click on photos
Joe hails from the Banksia Peninsular. If he looks familiar to us it’s because Joe also drives the Paynesville bus.
He does not consider himself a local as he has only lived in the area since late'76.
“My children are locals; they were born in the area “ Apart from being a motor mechanic Joe also holds a Coxswain certificate.
Talk about it being a small world, Joe in his former job, held a management position with AH Plant which supervised the building of the very ferry he now drives
Wally first came to our area in the late 60’s.
Wally then left us to look for greener pastures including a 25 year stint as a nurse in Warrnambool. ( which in the aboriginal culture means “ 2 rivers meeting ").
In 2000 Wally and partner Karen returned to the Island to celebrate his mothers , Joyce Edney’s, 70’s.
It was than when they decided to come back to our Island permanently.They now live in 12th. Wally on the ferry and Karen ( also a nurse ) works as a Massage Therapist.
We welcome the two and hope they enjoy the Island life.t
Jack and Cathy moved to our Island from Torquay , on the Surf Coast , in August 2008. This was just the place they were looking for, quiet and near the water. A great place to retire !
Cathy still does quite a bit of travelling to Torquay to see her parents.
Jack retired from the Police force in July 2008 after 29 years of service. He spend the last 6 years in the Geelong/Corio area involved in Liquor Licensing. Before that Jack spent 12 years in the Dog Squad as a dog handler. He only left the Dog Squad because he was getting too old to be running round after a dog.
One thing he learned from both the Dog Squad and the Liquor Licensing. :
" You can't train a dog when drunk "
Once they settled here Jack realised that the house they bought in Currawong Close needed a lot of work ( or rather Cathy did ) So Jack thought it might be a good idea to get a part time job to get him out of the house at times.
He saw Ian about some work and Ian obliged.
Cathy and Jack are looking forward to meeting new friends
As captured by Tom Ponting
Could you also perhaps clarify that Wine Justice is STILL in business (contrary to idle gossip) and whilst Mr Justice has his ferry hat on, Mrs Justice is behind the bar.
Rob and partner Cheryl are building a house in Gravelly Point Rd.
Born in the Western District, he moved to the big smoke some years ago.
When Rob and Cheryl first moved to Gippsland, Rob worked as a storeman/driver for P F D ( a food servicing company )
When a vacancy occurred on the ferry Rob applied and got the job.
To qualify as ferry driver he had to do a course with SEAMAC.
We wish him all the best and hope that he and Cheryl enjoy the life on our Island.