February 2019 on the Great Barrier Reef


Captain Trevor Jackson

“Wherever we want to go, we go! That’s what a ship is you know! It’s not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails! That’s what a ship needs, but a ship IS, what the Black Pearl really, IS…..is freedom.”

When Johnny Depp drunkenly stumbled through those words in the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, the hair on the back of my neck stood up… what a beautiful line. And for most of the time, let’s say 11/12ths of the time, he was exactly right. A ship really is freedom. Freedom to go wherever you might want too. Freedom to stop, to explore, to move on again. Freedom to see the unseen. All the great explorations ever done by man were made possible by ship. Think Endeavour, Santa Maria, Bounty ..think Apollo 11….Wherever we went, a ship took us there first….

But, for the other 1/12ths of the time, we have to remember that a ship is not ONLY freedom… she is also a machine, and machines need to be looked after. They need nurturing, dolling up, maintenance, replacements, spare parts… heck, they even need new carpets and lifejackets. And so it is that we reached that 1/12th point this month and our beautiful Spoilsport is up for her annual spruce up.

Now for those that love a ship when she’s floating and in action…refit time is a little, well, brutal. Literally, everything gets RIPPED out…engines, gensets, air cons, compressors, pipework, beds, storage tanks… the whole kit and caboodle… The engineers do what they do, the crew do the sprucing up and then its all hands on deck to get her all back together again. The allotted calendar window is exactly 4 weeks and every moment of that time is packed with activity. Dive Masters become painters, Chefs become carpenters, Skippers become safety auditors and Engineers… well they just keep on engineering.

And that’s the point Spoilsport is a machine! She needs that ‘engineering’ so that when she’s out there on the bounding main… she never lets you, or us, down… and if we do the right thing by her for one month of the year for the other eleven she gives us as Mel Gibson would exclaim in another famous movie…OUR FREEDOM!!!!!

Spoilsport back in the water 7th March contact Bre at reservations resv@mikeball.com.

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