When Canberra brothers Phil and Mikey Jacob first heard of Merimbula’s Australia Day tradition of floating from the causeway to Spencer Park, they knew it was something they just couldn’t resist.
The inventive brothers both carpenters put their heads together and came up with the ingenious idea of floating down Merimbula’s top lake to Spencer Park in an iconic Aussie back yard.
“What else do you do on Australia Day? The back yard is the best place to be – even better floating down a waterway ” says Mikey Jacob.
The brothers said it took them a little bit of brainstorming to come up with the idea and they floated around a few other possibilities before settling for the backyard complete with hills hoist.
“There were loads of possibilities, like lamingtons, picnic table, deck with a barbecue, even Sponge Bob which we thought that was a bit too American – so we ditched that .“
“Our friend Poppy Snow came up with the idea of the grass and it just took off from there.”
A Hills hoist which doubles as a gazebo (which Phil says is the norm in summer) takes pride of place in the middle of the plastic lawn.
Hanging off the clothes line is a peg basket and plenty of life jackets as well as a bottle of sunscreen. A lighter dangles from a piece of string tied to one of the wires.
“To light the barbie or a ciggy,” says Phil.
Plenty of thought has gone into creating the typical ‘floating’ Aussie backyard.
On deck you will find everything but the garden hose, which for logistical reasons missed out. But it was considered.
“We thought about a hose with a sprinkler. We had an idea we could spray people with the hose, but it was going to be a bit too much trying to use an electrical pump. But hey the thought was there.”
There is hardly anything the tradie brothers haven’t thought of. Onboard you will find everything needed to spend time with your mates on Australia Day.
An esky full of cold beer, a Weber barbecue complete with heat beads, snags, lamb and a sprig of rosemary. A tradie [Makita] radio is under the clothesline next to a couple of deck chairs. Even the cricket game gets a look in. A wheelie bin with painted stumps sits on the corner of the lawn opposite the trampoline.
Almost everything on board is recycled and everything including the barge itself will be used again.
“The decks are going to become a cubby house, the drums are going to be re used as a pontoon,” says Phil.
“We aren’t sure yet about the fate of the clothesline.”
For now the idea of it being used as shade while the crew of Canberrans and a couple of locals lazily float down the top lake seems like the perfect idea, just as good an idea as a ‘floating’ backyard on Australia Day.