On the bounding main: 2 [Subtitle: in which not much happens]

The MV Trinity bay has its own crane, here you see it in action, loading some containers.


Someone, somewhere has to figure out what should go on the bottom, and what goes on top, as in “last on, first off”. Something went awry with the planning this time, more about that later.

We left Cairns around 3 in the afternoon on Friday, and knew that we had until Sunday morning before we’d be docking at Horn Island. So, what was there to do? The licensed bar would be open from about 4:30, for Happy Hour, and for dinner, for starters. (Now you know where my priorities lie.) There was the media room to explore, with about 400 movies available for viewing, plenty of books and board games, for the definitely bored. Oh, and a yummy afternoon tea just waiting for the hungry hoards. Or, you could join the favourite past-time, gazing at the horizon:


Then, before dinner, a tropical sunset:


The meals, prepared by the chef, Peter, and his off-sider, Cohan, were generous and varied. Breakfast included the full cooked offering (typically Aussie: bacon, eggs, sausages, mushrooms, tomatoes, baked beans), as well as a large variety of cereals, fresh fruit, yoghurt, Vegemite, peanut butter, jams and jellies for your toast. We surely weren’t going to starve on this trip. The other 2 meals were based around chicken, fish and meat, with choices for vegetarians as well. And, morning and afternoon teas presented more temptation. Groan, yes, we all gained weight.

I toddled off to my little en suite cabin fairly early, and slept exceedingly well.


On the first morning out, we were offered the chance to visit the bridge and to meet the Master and Commander, Will. (Here he is Ralph, the one in the striped shirt, being quizzed by one of the passengers.)


Here is the exciting view from the bridge.


Will explained the many pieces of technology that assist him and his 1st and 2nd mates to keep the ship safely on course. Every piece of equipment has a back-up, which is comforting to know! He mentioned the gyrocompass which gives a true reading, unaffected by any magnetic forces in the vicinity, as the normal compass is. I envisioned some flashy spinning top device, and asked where the gyrocompass was located, and could we please see it? I was rather disappointed when he opened a cupboard door to reveal this!


For those of you with a scientific bent, here’s some information on the wonders of a gyrocompass: http://adventure.howstuffworks.com/outdoor-activities/hiking/compass3.htm

Not too long after this, the barge MV Temple Bay drew alongside, to receive the weekly cargo for Lockhart River. There were two pieces of cargo, and here’s where the planning had gone wrong. The first pallet was quite long, and some of the cargo also protruded at each end. There was no way they could fit that pallet onto the deck of the Temple Bay, although they spent quite some time trying to do so.  Finally, they gave up, and returned the pallet to the Trinity Bay. The loading of  the other container went smoothly. The implications of this stuff up:

i)  someone who was waiting for that cargo wouldn’t get it until a few days later. They may have made a special trip to Lockhart River from somewhere else, and now they’d have to come back again. (I hope there wasn’t anything perishable in that load.)

ii)  someone would have to repack that pallet correctly when we docked at Horn Island.

iii) someone would have some explaining to do!

Nothing for it but to relax some more.



Filed under Australia

15 responses to “On the bounding main: 2 [Subtitle: in which not much happens]

  1. Pat

    Very interesting cruise! Enjoy!!!


    • Some people just go by water one way, with their vehicle (or boat) as cargo. We picked up a couple at Seisia who had gone from their home in Cardwell to that port by sea, (about 1100 nautical miles) and used the Trinity bay to get back to Cairns.


  2. Dear Yvonne,

    Lovely post! There is a whole literature available on how to correctly store cargo loads and how there’s a lot of logistics involved in getting things offloaded at the right place and time. It also affects ships in heavy storms, if things in a ship’s hold haven’t been made secure and there are gale force winds. Case in point is SS Waratah, an Australian steamship which was lost with all 211 souls on board, between Durban and Cape Town in 1909. Three nations searched for 6 mths but to this day, they still haven’t found the wreck. Was going to write an article about it, but it has been much written about already. They also did studies on what was held below deck and how secuire it was. Anyway, don’t want to go on about it. on a different topic. Have had two ship related-articles published in SA in the past 🙂

    Brief report:
    Don’t mean to “blow my own trumpet,” but thought it might be interesting. …
    Hope you’re doing well – must have been an amazing trip!!


    • You have lead an interesting life, Liz! Someone must not have read the page that explained how to load that pallet for Lockhart River, Liz.

      Poor old Waratah, it seems wise NOT to go on any ship with that name, according to the article.


  3. Caroline

    Sounds lovely and relaxing! With the odd interesting bit of action to observe too – perfect. And presumably not being continually shouted at/bombarded with music/etc as on a cruise ship – and dare I say, no children? 🙂 Were you rubbing shoulders with the crew all the time, in the bar, at meals etc – or did the passengers have separate areas?


    • I asked the Purser (Jude) about kids. She says they rarely have them, and that it’s pretty boring for them. We shared deck and dining space with the crew, but they did have the “first sitting” at meal time. Their cabins were in an upper deck, away from the noise of the engines and the passengers!


  4. Hi Yvonne 😀
    See !!! Striped shirt !! A tiger ! 😉
    That was quite a story about the wrong positioning of the pallet. I do hope the passengers were not wrongly disembarked 😉
    Ralph xox 😀


    • That Princess did a good job when she kissed the cat, Ralph! What’s going on in your corner of the world, now that you’ve given up your percussion career? Besos, Ralph xx


      • Yes she did make a good job of kissing the cat ! Did she kiss the captain, or is that another post ? 😉
        It’s freezing here at 0800 this morning -4degC (25degF) but warm indoors…..so I’ll stay in and keep warm this morning….. and enjoy blogging !! 😀 xox


  5. Arthur Carey

    The happy hour would be my favorite activity, but I admit the teas would be nice too. I would appreciate the vegetarian option when offered. Your cabin appears adequate and comfortable.


    • Not many of us missed Happy Hour, Arthur. My cabin was great, it was one of 2 with a port-hole, and 2 decks above the engine room. The ship is due for a refit, and there was a lot of vibration originating from something mechanical.


  6. That Master and Commander is from South Africa, and has a nice accent.

    We all appreciated the air-conditioning, very much! Our cameras and glasses did a mighty fine job of fogging up when we came on deck, though.


  7. It sounds very relaxing. If there was good scenery on the horizon I would do just fine chilling out on the deck. Oh, wait…if I remember it wasn’t very “chilly” on that deck.
    That girl who kissed the cat and turned him into the captain did a fair job.


  8. How many passengers were there? And, I think I’d like a trip like this for a short while.


    • Hah! Gotcha, niecie! I told you how many passengers, in the first post on this subject. If you could stop buying bathing suits, going down to the ocean, admiring you cute grand-daughter …. 🙂


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