Last month marked a 30th anniversary for third generation fisher Barry Warren.
On Wednesday, June 16, 1982, his trawler The Imlay was capsized in rough weather and sank 20 nautical miles east of Gabo Island.
What followed was a remarkable story of survival.
The day he watched his boat float away with her hull bottom up, never to be seen again, was to be the last day he fished for a living.
"I loved the life, I loved boats and the sea," Barry Warren recalls from the family home on Monday.
"I wasn't interested in sport because my work was sport, tuna fishing with a pole, that was the ultimate sport.
"Man against the beast, they were big fish."
Back in June 1982, Barry and his crew, Allen Rowland and the late Steve Hughes, were trawling in 400metres of water 20 nautical miles South East of Gabo Island.
Barry had given away tuna fishing with the decline of the species and converted the Imlay to a board trawler, also doing the occasional survey for the Bass Strait rigs.
He didn't see the freak wave that broke over the aft quarter and filled the deck, causing the capsize.
He was in the washhouse, cleaning up before having a cuppa and a sandwich.
Instead of that simple meal he would spend the next six days depending on a life raft, barley sugar and canned water in freezing conditions.
With no 'official' survival training but decades of sea time between them, Barry, Allen and Steve quickly established rations, watches and routines that helped to keep morale up as they drifted further from land each day.
Barry even tried telepathy to 'reach' his wife Wendy to reassure her that hope was not lost.
"I was trying to pass the time away and I'd read a bit about how some of the Pacific Islanders could communicate with mental telepathy," Barry laughed.
"I was sitting there sending messages to Wendy 'we're alright, we're alright, we're not drowned', I was keeping that up.
"She claims she knew we were ok, she wasn't going to give in but whether it worked or not I don't know."
The men kept their darker thoughts to themselves, not wanting to bring the others down.
"One thing worried me," Barry said, smiling now at the memory of it.
"Two nights before we went missing I'd watched a thing on killer whales and they were feeding on seals that were up on floating bits of ice.
"The killer whales would come right up out of the water and tip the ice to get at the seals, and I kept thinking 'I hope no killer whales come along because we look like three seals sitting on a bit of ice'."
Back in Eden, it was a tea towel of all things that finally raised the alarm. The crew had not had time to issue a may day.
"I think Nipper Aucote dredged up our radio logbook and a tea towel out of the galley, would you believe," Barry said.
"He brought it in (to port). Pat (Barry's brother) saw the tea towel and said 'Yep, that's off the Imlay'."
An extensive search and rescue was launched and the men heard planes on two occasions, but were concealed by a rain cloud.
The inflatable raft flooring needed regular pumping to keep the men off the wintry 16 degree Celsius ocean and the canopy never quite sealed properly, letting in water which kept them wet and cold as temperatures fluctuated between 16 and eight degrees Celsius.
"Oh it was cold, oh Christ it was cold," Barry says.
"We'd cuddle up of a night to keep warm and we'd warm the water up."
Hyperthermia had begun to set in when they were rescued on June 21.
"The quack came up and interviewed us when we got home and I was telling him when I was on lookout for any ships coming past, my eyes would pick up what looked like two headlights of a car coming towards me and he told me that was one of the first signs of hyperthermia," he said.
Their bodies had also taken a beating from lack of nutrition.
They drank 1.5 litres of their 12-litre supply but had made good use of a rain shower on day four.
They rationed out 250 grams of barley sugar each, three times a day from a four-kilogram stash.
They drifted some 100 nautical miles east before the saga ended.
They had barely enough time to light a hand flare when they heard the approaching HS 7487 from Sale, the third plane they had heard, but when it banked they knew they had finally been seen, though it was later revealed the pilot had seen only the smoke.
It left them “far too choked up to shout for joy and there wasn’t a dry eye in the raft”.
First two, then three smiling faces were turned to the skies as a Grumman and a RAAF Orion joined the first spotter plane.
Supplies were dropped but the men were virtually helpless to reach them until a string of life rafts and boxes were dropped in the path of their drift.
They quickly scrambled aboard the centre life raft and set about organising their lifelines as the south-bound ship Tasman Venture headed their way.
The wind was 25 to 30 knots when they finally hauled themselves aboard the big ship.
Barry was last to leave the raft, and while Steve and Allen enjoyed hot soup he showered and shaved before joining in the shouts of whisky and champagne.
As they celebrated at sea, and Eden rejoiced on land, they barely felt the gale that Barry feels would have surely finished them off.
"It came away a right gale about two hours after we got on the ship," he said.
"Survive that? No, not by what I spoken to other guys who have been in a raft."
These days, he's all but done thinking about that time, unless someone knocks on his door to hear the story.