Thursday, January 18, 2018


Possibly delirious  from a holiday in steamy Darwin , our  S(h)ipping  Reporter , the only one north of Wollongong ,  produced  this  bumper New Year  roundup  of  activity on the Townsville waterfront -renowned for its  ghost fleet which receives little media  coverage- a  tough   area  where  local  scribes  rarely  venture  on  foot  or  in  a  tinny .
From his leaky coracle , he photographed  the large billboard  sign  for  World Rugby League matches played in  Townsville in October and  early November  2017, actually being  removed   on   January  18 , more than two months after the last  event ,  from   the  prominent  site  next  to  the Townsville ferry  terminal . It has  been  replaced  with  a  Commonwealth  Games  booking  sign .
On the same  day , our nautical  reporter was  stunned to see the   Townsville Bulletin  actually had a  detailed shipping report  on P2 , with no photo,   about the first shipment of  1600 cattle  to China . As reported in the past , at  times you can have two live cattle ships in  port and there is not a line about them in the Townsville paper, no information   about   how many are  being  loaded  and  the ultimate  destination .  But in this case, it was a  first, and it seems everybody connected  wanted  to   be   quoted . All  the  media  had  the same  details which indicated there  may have  been  handouts  all  round .  The vessel involved   was the  Bison Endeavour , below, which  had  featured in a  previous  S(h)ipping  Reporter's  post .  
Limping about  the  waterfront  with his pet parrot on his shoulder, also  on January  18 , the S(h)ipping Reporter  noted that   the massive  anchor of the  aircraft carrier  USS Coral Sea still  displays the   red  graffiti   name  RECKLESS , rust   showing through . Pointed  out  several times in  this blog is the fact that this anchor was  a  gift  from America  to  Townsville , deserves better treatment .  Not  far  from the Townsville Bulletin  office  is a derelict  building  topped with   RECKLESS   in  large  letters . Any  landlubber  reporters  noticed  this ? 
The  strangest  sighting , above,  by  SR  the same   day  was in  the heavens over the  port - a  cloud  formation shaped  like  the  side  profile   of  the head of   bushy browed   former  Australian  Prime  Minister, Sir Robert  Menzies , also known as Ming the  Merciless , whose wife  had  an  Australian America's Cup  yacht named after  her , Dame  Pattie . When  it  failed to  sink the  yank swashbucklers  it  was  nicknamed  Damned Pity .  
Bloggers will  immediately notice  the snozzle   of  true blue   Sir  Robert    seems  somewhat  blotchy - our expert waterfront  reporter  suggested  it was   due  to  the  Conservative leader's time as  Warden  of the Cinque  Ports , when  he did indeed   sink   many  a  port  and  numerous  other   libations .

There were other  vessels of interest in port on January 18-cargo ship  Olivia  and Golden Taka , a chemicals/ oil products  tanker, built  2004, sailing under the Panamanian  flag.