September 2014 On the Great Barrier Reef

Pitch Panned Out
Captain Trevor Jackson

Every now and again I get the urge to think up some new idea for a trip. ”Where haven’t we been, where could we go and what would we see?” It’s real boys-own stuff and it makes life very, very interesting around here. Of course there are the usual constraints -I can’t be planning a trip to Antarctica on a boat based out of Cairns. But there is scope to go further afield than one might think. I got this urge the other day…bounced out of my bunk, through the cabin door and strode the few metres across the Wheelhouse to the chart plotter.

Mmm now let’s see ”Torres Straits?….going there in December……Far Northern Reefs? ….no that’s September and October……..Yongala?……that’s early in the new year….Come on Jackson………. think!!!”. ”How about heading south?”. Yes! We might be on to something here. I scrolled the screen down the coast to see what wrecks I could remember from dive trips long forgotten, and there it was, my next pitch to Mike. A Hail Mary dive trip from Townsville, through the Whitsundays and all the way down to Shoalwater Bay. Our prize at the end, my all-time favourite dive, the SV Waverley.

I grabbed a piece of A3 paper and started drawing a map. The trip began to evolve like this…….Day 1 we dive the SS Gothenburg out of Townsville, from there we overnight down to the Mackay area where 3 distinctly different shipwrecks await us…the MV Cremer, the SS Singapore and the SS Llewellyn. Once again we steam overnight, to the SV Waverley, then turn around and do it in reverse, with a day on the mighty Yongala to round things out as we near Townsville.

Within an hour I’d put the idea up on the Spoilsport Live Facebook page for comment…. it went BALLISTIC….potential guests began emailing me pleading to know what the dates would be, even going so far as to investigate the tides for me and then suggest the trip dates themselves. I had to tell them all to “Be patient. I need to talk with Mike, if he gives it the thumbs up we will figure out a date and I will put it on the Spoilsport Live Facebook page ASAP”. By the time this goes to print the decision will have been finalised…if non-stop remote wreck diving is your thing….you might want to jump online now….and see how the pitch panned out.

Rogues Gallery

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