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The Rock-itt : October 2010
Hobart to Hollywood Welcome back to another instalment of "Hobart to Hollywood" and the life and times of Australia's very own celluloid hero and swashbuckling adventurer, Errol Flynn. At this point in time in our series it's 1930 and Errol and three of his mates from Sydney are on their way up the east coast of Australia in Errol's fifty year old yacht, "Sirocco". Having battled heavy weather on the first leg of their journey to Port Stephens, things were not much better on the second leg to Coffs Harbour. Now as they set off on the third leg they are full of optimism that their luck will change and the weather will turn for the better. To their delight the weather did go their way for once and as they left Coffs Harbour, "Sirocco" began showing off to her crew as she planed across the glassy green brine without a rock or a roll. She had a stiff South-Easter at her stern and was cutting a good seven knots as she headed north, which meant she could possibly reach Brisbane next day, all things staying in favour. It was a clear cloudless blue sky that looked down on the 44ft cutter as she steadily slid along just a wisp of foam breaking from her bow and a curling wave quietly leaving her wake. Flying Fish were in abundance as they propelled themselves through the air, hitting Sirocco's billowed sails and falling to the deck flapping and wriggling all over the wooden planks. They are not the most palatable fish to eat and although they were easy pickings, Errol and the lads were disappointed after cooking and consuming a few. But better things were to come as a trolling line which Rex had set up suddenly went taunt and shot across from the stern to the starboard side of the yacht running at speed and parallel to the vessel. Rex tried to haul it in but with the Sirocco racing along plus the weight of whatever was on the end of the line, which was apparently massive, made it impossible to bring it in. Charlie moved to give Rex assistance but still, even with the two men heaving their hearts out, no impression was made. Errol, who by now was witnessing the duel between whatever was on the line and the duo at the other end called out through cupped hands," Pull, pull... my God, you fellows couldn't pull a Chinaman off your sister, here give me that line." Errol took hold of the line just as the giant fish made a run, taking Errol overboard with it. Letting the line go Errol finally surfaced a good twenty metres away and had to tread water nervously for a good ten minutes before the crew could bring Sirocco from the crow's nest