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South Passage Daily Report

CLIENT: Townsville Sail & Walk

VOYAGE NUMBER:  20230603

FROM: Townsville to Townsville

DATE: 4 June 2023

POSITION: Pioneer Bay, Orpheus Is

REPORT: Red Watch

It was nearly thirty minutes past midnight. The moon was full and bright. Somewhere over the waters corals were procreating. A harsh voice bellowed from above.

“It’s time to come to watch, landlubbers, night watch awaits!”

There was silence on board. Snoring had ceased and dark forms lumbered through the mist. Stephen and Gary scrambled up the stairs to the bright light with its promise of hot chocolate and Tim Tams.

When the boogy woogy Brierley boy from company B sounded the big brass bugle the bustle beneath began. It was not until much later in the morning that reef knots were tied to the tolling of bells and the chanting of mantras. White watch took the points. Porridge followed by scrambled eggs and baked beans on toast excited the scurvy crew. Wayne was particularly impressed by the toast. The fish enjoyed some too!

With great celerity and fearless alacrity our captain steered out of Horseshoe Bay under power of the lilywhite non-beetroot stained marine engine. All hands on deck prepared to raise the sails. Red Watch exceeded itself showing great courage and valour hauling the main sail to position. Ropes were flaked, cleats were made up to and apologies accepted. And we were off…

The wind was blowing south east and so was Simon after breakfast. The captain plotted a course to Palm Island. Our excitable Watch veered and steered the ship. Often in that direction! The highlight of our watch was the sighting of a genuine Palm Island palm floating towards us on a collision course! Stephen sounded the alarm and disaster was narrowly averted.

Our arrival at Orpheus Island as followed by a display of precision docking by Captain Chris on the helm, Jolly Roger on hooks, Phil and Robyn on the ropes with Libby on the ukelele. Did I tell you they’re putting the band back together?

    Just the place for a snorkel the Bosun cried (in Spanish)

    As he landed his crew with care.

    Supporting each man at the top of the tide with a finger entwined in his hair

    Just the place for a snorkel. I’ve said it twice.

    That alone should encourage the crew.

    Just the place for a snorkel. I have said it thrice.

    What I tell your three times is true.

Wet clothing was wrung. Wet bodies showered. Wet footwear dripped. The figure of 8 knot was not knotted by not many. And dinner was served. The pontoon was festooned with fairy lights. A parade to rival the Coronation preceded the arrival of grand silver platters. The repast magnificent as ever. The heavens opened as if in applause of the chef. Night fell from the firmament as weary bodies returned to the hull and settled into the important matters of the day. Photos on Facebook. Unfinished crosswords. Pulp fiction.

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