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The Rock-itt : May 2011
It’s back again onboard the Sirocco as she finally drags her way out of the “Narrows” having been firmly stuck several times on mud banks before reaching clear water and the coastal town of Rockhampton or “Rocky” to the locals, all 40,000 of them who inhabited the town in 1930. The diesel was still playing up so Errol decided to make a complaint to the service department of the manufacturers in Sydney who agreed to send a maintenance engineer to sort out the problem. They said he would be there in two weeks. So Errol and the crew decided to sit-pat until he arrived and made themselves familiar with “Rocky” while waiting. But during this period, Errol got into more trouble than can be imagined, eventually ending up in jail for brawling in an illegal back room gambling joint, then afterwards escaping and leaving Rockhampton with the law hot in pursuit. Sirocco fled up the coast as quickly as she could sail, putting as much distance between her and Rockhampton’s constabulary as she could. Out at sea it felt good to shake the tardiness of city living from themselves and get back to the honesty of nature. It was getting warmer as they progressed further north and as they passed Percy Island they could see white sandy beaches with rows of coconut palms fringing the shoreline. They ate on deck feeling the warmth and the gentle balmy tropical breeze caress their bodies as they watched the hues from the sunset melt into gold, bronzes and greys as evening approached, and they fell asleep overwhelmed with tiredness and a sublim e feeling of relaxation. Next morning they began to explore and enjoy the beauty of the wonderful surroundings that northern Queensland is famous for, white sandy beaches, warm translucid water and endless sunshine which created a tropical paradise. They rowed over to Percy Island and began collecting coconuts. The coconuts when green and not yet fully ripe have a husk which covers the actual nut of the fruit and when it is in this state the milk is sweet and cool and the best tim e for drinking. Otherwise when the nut matures, the meat inside the shell of the nut becomes firm and is a wonderful source of fibre. They filled the dinghy and took as many as they could store aboard, then tried to catch some fish to Sirocco under full sail This is how Errol and the crew of Sirocco would have seen the main street of Rockhampton in 1930