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South Passage Daily Report

CLIENT: Townsville Sail & Walk

VOYAGE NUMBER:  20230603

FROM: Townsville to Townsville

DATE: 7 June 2023

POSITION: Pioneer Bay, Orpheus Is

REPORT: Red Watch

The morning started dismally; our 0001 to 0400 watch could not locate the drinking chocolate until Red Leader surfaced at 0330. That left only one, Red Two, to partake. All hands were on deck to finesse their Clove Hitch; the easiest of knots, but that’s what they said of the Figure of Eight!

Our morning briefing put paid to our enthusiasm to demonstrate this new knot. The preparation and practice required to set sails and tack was the order of the morning so that we may cross the Lucinda Bar on our way to the next port of call, Pelorus Island.

We transited the beautiful Hinchinbrook Channel, strewn with mountains and lazy clouds that drifted past. It was idyllic sailing until we met the ocean and rough weather. Red Five had the unenviable task of steering the ship to avoid the Lucinda Bar and Jetty; the longest jetty in the southern hemisphere. Red Two’s morning chocolate paid off when Red One espied an approaching vessel on the port bow.

Our team had been well drilled by Red Leader and we were ready for the challenge of tacking; making up the new vang, tensioning and releasing backstays and tack the jib. It was fun and hard work and we all pitched in.

Lunch was onboard as we approached Pelorus Island- somewhere that we had never heard of. We took up a mooring offshore and were able to snorkel the associated reef to see stunning fish and vibrant corals. From the ship we observed a turtle swimming through the water.

Ashore our resident rock-star geologist took us for a tour of the beach and pointed out a nest of dykes that he found and explained how magma had intruded into cracks in the existing rock. It was a riveting talk.

After that it was back into the water and onto ship for a shower and a rendition of Pachelbel’s canon on the ukulele. Much of the ship got involved. It was a dark and stormy afternoon and our clothing that was hung out to dry just didn’t!

In the early evening we had our knot competition. Red Three shone when presenting novel solutions to increase productivity in the Australian economy, “There is much legal tender to be earned selling tender legal.” It had us all in stiches. Red Two shone with his masterful completion of his knot. Everyone was absolutely amazed. (Was the chocolate holding out?!)

This was followed by a chilli eating competition for dinner. A magnificently prepared rice and stir fry / tofu was gobbled down with copious quantities of milk! The eventual scoreline: Crew 1 Chilli 5. After the meal the crew settled into a relaxing evening around the midships table.

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