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The Rock-itt : February 2011
lost on their leg to Coffs Harbour. The rest of the money went toward restocking the larder, which was almost empty, and the much needed parts to give the diesel a complete overhaul, which Errol claims to have handled although I expect Trelawney would have kept a careful eye on the dismantling and rebuilding of the engine to make sure it was done correctly. When the engine was finished and the new sail onboard, on a day with the weather on their side, they left the Brisbane River and headed north toward the Whitsunday islands. A hundred miles further up the coast they came upon Great Sandy Island and chose to take the channel between it and the mainland rather than go right the way round the easterly side of the island which was three times the distance. Although they would save on distance,, the passage also had its pitfalls with a sand bar at the entrance and shallow water giving no more than eight feet at high tide. Trelawney manned the helm and did a first class job navigating Sirocco across the bar and over the breakers, which Errol said were nowhere near the size of the ones encountered at Ballina. A strong cross current made it difficult for Trelawney to hold a steady course and Sirocco was continuously forced into a broadside. But if things weren't difficult enough steering the boat, Rex, who had been trolling, got a strike and as he fought to bring the fish in he managed to get the line tangled round the steering gear and jammed it so it was useless. With Trelawney fighting to keep her nose straight and at the same time shouting profanities at Rex, the Sirocco swung to port, ploughing her bow head long into the sand bar. With Sirocco's nose stuck firmly in the bar, more bad luck came along to finish the job; a large wave broke over the stranded yacht and rolled her on her side. Could this be the end of Sirocco and her voyage to New Guinea? Well you'll have to get March's copy of The Rock-itt to find out. 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 where the serial began in 2009. Log onto www.therockittmagazine.com.au click on ARCHIVES at bottom right hand side of your screen for previous issues. Any problems email me on: firstname.lastname@example.org