Golden Bay in the north west of New Zealand’s South Island is something of a hippy kind of place somewhat reminiscent of famous Byron Bay, not too far away in Queensland, Australia. It’s a colorful little town and absolutely the kind of place you might expect to find a cafe on an old french boat once owned by iconic french Ocean explorer and diver, Jacques Cousteau.
The “Expresso Ship” on Jacques Cousteau’s old vessel the “Physalie” overlooks a scenic bay at Port Tarakohe. I spent the night parked in my camper van by the boats moored there, bobbing up and down in the water, their ropes clinking the masts in the wind.
Olly, seen in the picture, has owned the boat for nearly five years and found out about its history from local sailors who knew the boat when it first arrived in New Zealand some years ago. In stone cold sober seriousness he told me that a one legged old pirate called Jack Devine knew all about the old boat and her illustrious history. If he was joking about that I couldn’t tell, but Jack Devine sounds like a pirates name to me.
Olly lives on the boat and is something of a laid back kind of character who loves his nautical life of serving and roasting premium organic fairtrade coffees. He had planned to sail to nearby Nelson to take advantage of the tourist dollars, but has never really gotten around to it. Maybe one day he will, though something tells me that he and the Espresso Ship are both right at home in Golden Bay.