by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
The Rock-itt : November 2010
Charlie could make out a flag just visible on the shore line and motioned to Trelawney to see if he could read it. He scanned the shore line with binoculars picking out the flag fluttering in the stiff breeze. A black ball was emblazoned upon it. Errol checked the code book for the meaning of the black ball insignia. It had written, “Bar Dangerous. Do Not Attempt to Enter Entrance”. Errol knew that it was dangerous and unethical to go against maritime rules but they couldn’t sit where they were with an unreliable engine and at the mercy of unfavourable weather conditions. Errol called for Trelawney to run up a signal pennant for a pilot to come out to guide Sirocco in through the bar, but whether it was because of the tiny size of Sirocco’s pennants that couldn’t been seen from the shore or the fact that the bar was too dangerous to cross even for a Pilot, no help arrived. Unanimously they decided to go in despite the fact that it could cost them Sirocco as well as their own lives. Trelawney ran out a heavy length of rope from Sirocco’s stern to act as a sea anchor. This would help keep the bow straight and stop Sirocco broaching and being rolled over in the breakers. Battening the hatches and lining up the entry beacons, Errol started the diesel and ever so slowly steered Sirocco for the less turbulent spot he could make out in the boiling surf. Once certain that they were in the best position possible Errol gunned the engine riding Sirocco high onto the swell. As she came screaming down the face of the breaker her bow dug in, lifting her stern clear of the water completely exposing her rudder. If it couldn’t get any worse suddenly the steering gear broke rendering the helm useless as it free wheeled around pushed by the wind. Trelawney reacted quickly, though and dove for the tiller mounted at the farthermost part of the stern. The actual arm of the tiller arm had been removed leaving a short stump which Trelawney wrestled with and eventually got the stern back into the water and saving the vessel from being dashed on the port side breakwater. Waves were breaking around them with one washing Sirocco from bow to stern and although it seemed as hell was about to claim them no one left their post as they fought frantically to save Sirocco and their own skins. After what seemed like an eternity battling the wind and the sea, Sirocco broke through the maelstrom and into the embrace of the calm waters of the Richmond River. Join us again in December as Errol and the lads stop off in Ballina. If you have missed any of the instalments of “Hobart to Hollywood” and can’t lay your hands on a hard copy from one of our outlets, you can go back to when the serial started. Log onto www.therockittmagazine.com.au . The breakwater with the entrance to the Richmond river The consequences of crossing the bar in bad weather The Sirrocco in full sail