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South Passage Daily Report

CLIENT: Sail Trek Voyage

VOYAGE NUMBER:  20190609

FROM: Townsville To: Cairns

DATE: 12 June 2019

POSITION: Brammo Bay, Dunk Is

REPORT BY: Blue Watch

After much encouragement Andrew woke the crew with a glorious rendition of the Rousse on the bugle. He received much praise (and laughter) for his rendition with the general consensus it was far better than Blue’s rather lacklustre attempts. Blue watch should note that according to military custom it is usual to play the last post at the end of the day, not the beginning.

Breakfast as usual was excellent. Cath as always excelled herself, serving up an endless supply of hearty good food. Bacon and Eggs were especially welcome in the wet and windy conditions we faced.

We were disappointed to see the weather had deteriorated. Benny discovered that leaving shoes out in the rain was perhaps not the best Idea. He has a lot to learn as he progresses to senior pirate.

Crew are now becoming more familiar with handling the sails. Still mistakes get made. There is a healthy rivalry between the watches with the quickest not necessarily being the largest. Still, there is a strong sense of cooperation between the watches.

Ship’s company was increased by one Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster) who joined the crew during the man overboard drill off Dunk Island. Able Seaman Booby Bob assisted the skipper with navigation and blue watch with furling the jib until he fell unceremoniously into the ocean and continued on its way.

After an excellent lunch of pasta and parmesan cheese rolls we were ferried ashore by Robyn. From afar the resort looks quite luxurious but on closer inspection the still unrepaired damage from Cyclone Yasi was evident. The two parties separated with a more ambitious walk following the coast to Coconut bay before ascending to the highest peak on the island. A second party followed the trail from the resort directly to the top of Mount Kootaloo. The two parties enjoyed the lush tropical jungle tracks the range of tropical vegetation and the great views from the summit.

Upon return from the longer walk the second party assisted unloading a small vessel carrying provisions for the resort. I am sure not a few eyed with some envy the several cartons of beer that we helped unload and all were disappointed we weren’t given any as thanks for our efforts!

We were picked up by Robyn and were transported back to the ship. The final party were met with silence as we came alongside. After much calling Mark stuck his head out saying he had instructions to repel all boarders. Upon seeing we had the skipper with us on board, Mark decided that discretion is the better part of valour and let us board. All enjoyed the walks a great deal. Even though it was a bit drippy we nevertheless enjoyed ourselves.

Of note I did some research to the HMS Fantome, a memorial to her visit in 1922 is to be found opposite the jetty. HMS Fantome was a steam sloop of the Cadmus class, she was built in 1901 rigged as a Barquentine for the Royal Navy, she was commissioned into the RAN during world war one and continued her work as a survey vessel before being paid off in 1925. She visited the island for four days in November 1922. The ship’s logs including that of its visit to Dunk Island are available on the web and they provide a fascinating insight to naval survey ships of the time.

Many of the crew are clearly not as young and fit as they once were. Some members suffering the effects of the long 12km walk convinced Graham and Mark they could not continue without feet and hand massages and were duly attended to. The rest I am sure will be a bit sore tomorrow.

A very tasty dinner of Chicken stir fry was prepared by Cath. All then had the opportunity to buy South Passage shirts with a brisk trade occurring in the captain’s saloon as the skipper and sailing master plying their wares.

The captain informed us that due to the wet conditions the decision had been taken to remain at Dunk Island tonight with an early start in the morning for our passage to Fitzroy Island. Andrew B.


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