Malolo Lailai Bound.

Part 1.

By Peter Andrews, © 1998.

 

From the bowsprit of the Bounty, mid South Pacific. A similar image taken by myself, was published in a sailing publication without consent. The image was taken with one of a number of other camera's I had taken out to the end of the bowsprit to capture this image. The bowsprit is considerably the worst place on the ship to fall overboard. Considering the bottom of the ship is relatively flat, a person falling from the bowsprit could be drawn along the length of the ship's keel and into the path of the rotating propellers. One person who was not prepared to take the risk, wrote a small article about the voyage and sent it along with the image I had taken with their camera, to a sailing magazine for publication. Considering the lack of consent or any acknowledgement for the image, I contacted the editor of the publication and successfully enforced copyright regulations to receive payment, accreditation and an apology, published within an editorial of a later issue.


"It must have been blowing at least fifty knots, a wind squall that seemed endless yet lasted for five or six minutes. There were only two, Nathan and I aloft, to furl the fore upper topsail... Yet this was not Cape Horn or the stormy North sea, nor a mid Atlantic hurricane or anywhere in the region of the Roaring Forties. No, just Rose Bay in Sydney Harbour on an Autumn day".

Abstract. 

What commences with a reflection of a miserable wet day on the barquentine 'Svanen' on Sydney Harbour, the story shifts back to mid 1990 and a two week voyage across the South Pacific on the Bounty Replica. The voyage from Norfolk Island to Malolo Lalai in the Fijian Yasawa group of islands, was subjected to severe tropical storms and a large number of problems -- stemming from the condition of ship. Added to this was a significant communication breakdown between the master and the entire crew, one that ultimately led to a walkout while the ship was on a slipway in Suva. Yes, another mutiny on the Bounty story, but one that was quite funny for those who were there. Back at sea, three yachts were missing and 36 shipping containers were floating around in the South Pacific. The containers just simply fell over the side of a ship during the first of two storms encountered by the 'Bounty' on the way to Fiji. Despite the drama, there are also some wonderful and exciting moments and of course, an interesting tale of a very sick Zodiac rubber tender.
 

The Barquentine Svanen arrives at Wollongong, mid 1998. This ship built in 1922, arrived in Australia in 1988 as one of the First Fleet Re-Enactment vessels. Now based in Sydney, Svanen regularly makes offshore voyages including one to Wollongong each year to slip for maintenance.

"The 'Bounty' at sea is an incredible experience. However at the time, she unfortunately had been allowed to get into quite a run down state. During the voyage quite an alarming number of things broke down... and motoring through the tropics as the master was alleged to have some fear of the wind, was of no further help to the situation".

The constant happy smiling faces of Cathrine from Norway (right) and Jane from the United Kingdom, preparing some potatoes for an evening meal on the Bounty.


"The wind was now howling along between forty to forty five knots and the ship was surfing down three to four metre swells".

Taken from a cliff top on Norfolk Island, the Bounty at anchor. For a couple of days, the ship had to seek shelter in the lee of Norfolk Island from stormy conditions, before any crew change and a restock of provisions could take place.

"When the ship returned to Sydney, news filtered out that the crew had walked off the ship in Suva -- another 'Mutiny on the Bounty' story. This one however was quite amusing and has been recited many times over in various bars, taverns, parties and reunions all around the world by those who were there".

Life on deck between watches. When the weather was calm, lazing about on deck under the warmth of the South Pacific's Winter sun was bliss.


"It must have been hell of a good party as one of the guy's who flew back with the mate landed at Sydney's Kingsford Smith with his face firmly planted to the tray table and I believe it was quite an effort to get him off the plane and through customs".

 

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Peter Andrews ©1998. All Rights Reserved.

     

Click here to obtain Part 2 of Malolo Bound.
     

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