Ahoy, first responder families! | Bega Valley Region Activity Wrap Up

First responder families recently had an amazing opportunity to head out to sea for a wellbeing activity, when they experienced a Reef Fishing charter in Eden. The activity was a great way to be active and learn a new skill, or develop an existing one. It was also a great way for our participants to connect with others who also understand the ‘first responder’ life. Let’s hear all about it from Hayley.

“‘Early riser’ was given a whole new meaning, with first responders meeting at Eden wharf at 5.45am for our Family Reef Fishing Charter. We were given a quick rundown of what’s what on the boat – from where the safety gear was located, to the right technique required to reel in the BIG fish!

We departed Eden Wharf just as first light was starting to make it’s way into the sky – full steam ahead to Snapper Country! On the way out, an SES member on board pointed out the cliff face where the team do their abseiling training.

It wasn’t long before the first snapper of the day was landed by the littlest person on board. Each time a fish was brought up, it was measured to make sure it was the right size. The right side of the boat (or the starboard, in sailor speak) was the place to be, with snapper coming in left, right and centre.

Being out on the water and watching the sunrise over the horizon certainly made up for the 4am start to the day! A large albatross landed nearby and watched us fish… we decided we needed a name for him, so he became Albert the Albatross! Our skipper explained that there are actually quite a few species of albatross, all with slightly different features. We all laughed at how uncoordinated he seemed as he ran across the water with his massive feet.

Among the many snapper that were landed, the first responder family fisherman also reeled in a beautiful wrasse (with electric blue markings on it’s body) as well as a Kingfish who was a little bit undersized, so was returned to the sea.

The families on board enjoyed warm cups of tea, coffee and milo, cheese and bickies, party pies, sausage rolls and lolly snakes! When we got back to the wharf the catch was divided up, to take home for many fish dinners to be enjoyed with family and friends.

We cruised to a few different spots, drifting a bit before moving onto the next location. A highlight was driving in close to the beautiful rocky coastline, where Ben Boyd Tower sits out on the cliff watching over the ocean.

Luckily, the Fortem staff member was the only one to experience seasickness… which was actually quite amusing for the rest of the people on board. Everyone onboard shared in my joy when we got back to land!”

Find a Wellbeing Activity in the Bega Valley region on our Wellbeing Activity Calendar.

Fortem activities are designed to support the mental fitness of our first responder families. Read more about Our Approach.
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