Tag Archives: cargo ship

On the bounding main: 4 (Wrapping it up)

What’s happening? Man down! The rumour is he has a fractured femur. Now, we see the first aid team go into action, and an ambulance bloke arrive. They lifted him onto a pallet and hoisted him over to the dock.

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Phew, lucky that was just a practice run for everyone!

I think this is the lifeboat I’ll be in if we have any problems. That’s good, I like those oars.


Now what?

7 bells have just sounded. Is that the signal for happy Hour? No, I remember now, it’s time to get up on deck, and get a life jacket and abandon ship!


In the middle of this, a deck hand noticed that a big fish had taken the bait at the end of the long line trailing after the boat. Everything came to a halt as it was hauled in.


There’s always someone who is late for the action.


Have I missed something?

Quick, get your life jacket on, dude!


I’m really happy with my life jacket, obviously.


What’s that? Oh, this is just another  practice, and it really is Happy Hour after all.

Some good stuff about the MV Trinity Bay:

* they generate their own 240 volt power. (Darn, I could have brought my hair-dryer)

* they have an on-board desalination plant to supply potable water

* they have their own sewage treatment plant!

* all food scraps and left-overs are frozen for disposal when the ship docks (Jude, the Purser said “If it’ll attract flies, we freeze it”.  Simple really.)

So, that’s it folks, my big cruise has come to an end. Would I go again? Yes, but not in the hot weather.


Filed under Australia

On the bounding main: 1

Before I get down to the nitty-gritty of the recent trip I took on a cargo ship, I’d like to share with you some of the whimsical things we saw on the MV Trinity Bay.

This sign appeared one day, right after breakfast. This set of stairs was the only access we had to the decks, so we wanted those sailors to hurry up with the swabbing, already. They eventually remembered to let us swarm onto the decks.


On the second day, some of us went on a tour of the bridge, where the Master and Commander let us in on some of the tricks of the trade. My eyes kept wandering to this little display.



A new form of good luck charm, maybe?


There’s no guessing needed here, as to who owns this mug.

I kept looking at this blotch on the deck, and finally was able to decipher what it said. I sure didn’t know that Lord Nelson had died on the MV Trinity Bay! We need to rewrite a few history books, it seems.



Filed under Australia

5 Days before the Mast

The Dismal Swamp newspaper recently advertised “local’s rates” for a 5 day cruise up to some of the Torres Strait Islands. During the wet season (November to April), the weather can be unpredictable, so that’s when we locals are invited to take advantage of the special rate. 

Don’t get too excited, this was not on some luxury cruise ship, but rather the hard-working cargo ship MV Trinity Bay. Here is a recent photo from the company website, showing happy passengers on the lower deck, waving at a passing helicopter. Well, I assume they’re happy, and not signalling to the pilot their desire to be rescued!


The Trinity Bay is one of 27 vessels owned by the Sea Swift shipping company. The fleet delivers a variety of general and refrigerated cargoes to remote communities in Queensland and the Northern Territory. For many people, these ships represent the only way they can obtain needed goods and supplies. (Does that remind anyone of another city that many of  us like?)

The Trinity Bay can carry up to 48 passengers in 15 cabins. There were 26 of us on this trip, which left Cairns on 15 November.

We travelled inside the reef, this  sheltered us from any rough weather that might have been encountered in the Coral Sea. It’s about 1000 km (468 nautical miles) from Cairns to the tip of Cape York.

Our first destination was Horn Island off the tip of Cape York, and just north of Thursday Island, which was the second stop. (REEFVTS represents Reef Vessel Traffic Service.)

Image courtesy of AMSA

Image courtesy of AMSA

Here’s what we saw from the deck, as we waited for the ship to be loaded.


OK, that sets the scene. In my next post, I’ll tell you more about the northbound trip, and the history of Horn Island.


Filed under Australia