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The Rock-itt : January 2011
Hobart to Hollywood Happy New Year to all of you Errol Flynn Fans and welcome back to "Hobart to Hollywood", the serialized life and times of Australia's greatest ever Silver Screen Hero. If you caught December's instalment you will know that the year is 1930. Errol and the lads have just left the beautiful little fishing village of Ballina, New South Wales and are heading across the border for Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland in Errol's veteran 44ft yacht "Sirocco".,....... now read on...... The Sirocco's trip to Brisbane went sublimely and for once without any harrowing incidents. Sirocco scooted along with a light breeze on her starboard quarter making good headway across the top of a smooth, green, glassy, sea. The weather was warm and clear and there was no hint of sea sickness as was on other legs of the trip and I expect there was an ambiance of peace and well being felt by all on board. Reaching Cape Morton, a rocky headland located at the north eastern tip of Moreton Island, just off the coast of south east Queensland, Errol decided to drop anchor near a small survey steamer which had been anchored in the same position for over a week. The crew of the survey vessel certainly would have been glad to see some new faces onboard and welcomed Errol and his crew over. After the usual repartee and exchange of seaman's banter a game of poker was suggested and a seaman's chest was set up on the Fo'castle of the steamer to make do as the card table. Although Errol and the lads had no cash to play with they offered food and clothes as their bank roll which was readily accepted by the steamer's crew just to keep the game going. But it was an unfortunate mistake to have suggested sitting down with the crew of Sirocco for a game of cards, because after the last hand was played Errol and the lads loaded their winnings onboard their dinghy and carted away with them, four large hams, six bottles of pickles, three rounds of roast beef, a box of carpenters tools, several woollen sweaters and last but not least an alarm clock which they found out later didn't work and complained profusely that they were gypped. Back onboard Sirocco they headed across Moreton Bay toward the mouth of the Brisbane River where they were almost run down in the blackness of night by a large steamship as it ploughed through the inky blackness of the bay, obviously oblivious of Sirocco's presence. It was only by some skilful steering by Errol that they avoided being run down and their journey to New Guinea being brought to an abrupt end. It's around forty miles from the mouth of the Brisbane River to the city of Brisbane and there was a strong current running toward the sea. It took Sirocco a full day to cover the distance, eventually mooring as night fell on another yacht's mooring line, which seemed appropriate for the late hour of arrival. Errol had anticipated that the trip from Sydney to Brisbane should have taken a week, but instead it had taken them a month, four times the amount of time first calculated. New Guinea was still a long way off and at this point in time some doubt whether they would even make it at all must have been in their thoughts. But the fact that they were enjoying the journey made them push thoughts of failure out of their minds. It was all or nothing and a good positive approach to tackle the rest of the journey. They decided to stay in Brisbane for aslongasittooktodoafull overhaul on the cantankerous diesel engine. Errol in his memoirs The Sirocco in full sail Getting a photo taken before the football match, Brisbane 1930