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The Rock-itt : March 2011
Last month we left Errol and the crew of Sirocco firmly stuck on a sand bar between the Queensland mainland and Great Sandy Island. It was hoped that taking the channel instead of the open side of the island would save them som e time, but unfortunately not are they well and truly stuck but a large wave has rolled them over onto the vessel’s side...... Now read on. As Sirocco rolled over, Charlie Burt was thrown into the water but managed to swim back and clambered up the anchor chains just as another large wave struck. But this time a divine spirit must have intervened, because not only did it dislodge Sirocco from the sand bar but it also rolled her upright again and gave Trelawney the opportunity to regain the steering and head Sirocco back into the deeper part of the channel. I dare say that a shout of hooray would have split the air as Trelawney spun the wheel on a course to safety. Gradually regaining their composure after the harrowing ordeal, they began to take time out as they slowly chugged along the channel to look around them at the magnificent country side which now stood off their starboard side. Errol in his own words described the island and the mainland in this way: The scenery was beautiful on the waters behind this Island. Little sheltered inlets, their gently rolling banks matted with gorgeous wild flowers in full bloom sent forth gusts of perfume and offered a constant speculation as to their extent and content. To the left on the mainland, the country was flat, divided by intersecting waterways, little running streams thickly sown with bright green water lilies. Dropping anchor in the warm translucent emerald green water, they ate a meal then wearily bunked down for the night. At day break and with a stiff breeze in their sails they were well on their way to the next port of call which is the home of the sugar cane and the famous Bundaberg (Bundy) Rum. Bundaberg is situated approximately 375 km north of Brisbane and on the plains of the Burnett River. W hen Sirocco reached Bundaberg it was the city’s show week, when people from all over the local countryside headed in to enjoy lots of different exhibitions and food fairs with drinking, of course, and the ever popular side shows which set up in side show alley. Errol and his crew decided to join in with the locals and visited the exhibitions, possibly had a drink or two and eventually ended up in side show alley where they mingled with the locals, watched the horse racing events, and lastly ended up in the boxing tent. The boxing was usually run by a not so reputable gentleman who had a troupe of ex-pugs. The idea was to charge at the door to go in, then offering a purse to the winner, invite anyone in the audience to challenge one of his boxers who would usually dispatch the challenger, who was nearly always charged with Dutch courage to the canvas. There was no purse paid out so it was quite a lucrative business. But on this occasion after much badgering from Rex Long-Innes about the state of their finances, Errol climbed into the ring to take on the western districts champion, Jack Cowper. Cowper, a big rangy slugger, stood waiting in the middle for the tall young The Sirocco in full sail Locals welcome Show Time week in Bundaberg 1930