Day 5 Gladstone – Townsville


Latitude; 21°39.0 S

Longitude; 150°14.9 E

Distance run in the last 24 hrs; 114.6 NM

Average speed; 4.7 KN

After our busy morning of wearing ship and almost tacking ship, it is time for some maintenance. The decks get scrubbed on a daily basis but occasionally they need a really good deep wash, which involves washing powder and elbow grease. After the deck scrub you can really notice the difference and there is a nice ‘spring fresh’ aroma in the air.

The evening brings us yet another guest swallow in the great cabin. We gently try and entice him back out but he isn’t having any of it. We come to the conclusion that because swallows are roosting birds he doesn’t want to leave in the dark, so we let him be.

On this voyage we have an additional hand, Marcus who is exceptionally skilled in carpentry. Today he has been set a special task. We are heading for Middle Percy Island and should be there by tomorrow, noon. This eccentric little Island marks the gateway to the Islands of the Whitsundays. It has two huts set back from the beach, where visiting yachts from all over the
world can leave their mark. In these huts there are hundreds of unique name plaques and bizarre souvenirs that have been left. So we have asked Marcus to create the Endeavour plaque for us to hang when we arrive and to add our name to the history of the Island.

Marcus working on the Endeavour plaque

Andy Martin was the man who originated this tradition back in the 60’s when he took over the Island. This tradition grew as more and more ships visited. Another hut was built, three times the size of the original to accommodate the growing ritual.  However in recent years it has been a sad story about the ownership of the Island.

In the 80’s Andy Martin was getting on in years and needed assistance with the caretaking of the Island and so he brought in a family to help support the up keeping. Andy Martin left the Island several years later and headed back to England, trusting and leaving the family to carry on the running and up keeping of Percy Island, which they did.

As Andy got older he befriended a man that he had known briefly as a teenager. Unfortunately this man saw the potential to take advantage of Andy and the situation. He convinced Andy that since he had left the Island the family were not maintaining the land as they promised. This resulted in a lot of heart ache and pain and as a result the family reluctantly left Percy Island. Andy passed away in 2003 and unfortunately the lease hold wasn’t taken over by his family, or the family that had been caring for the Island for all those years, but by the man that had befriended Andy while he was ill.

A few of the crew have previously visited this quirky Island, but no one knows if the Island is now back with Andy’s family, or if the man still has the ownership. It will be interesting to find out.

It is a fresh morning but the sun is shining regardless. There is excitement in the air as we are sailing closely by Islands. By 1300 we should be anchored off Middle Percy Island and ready to step ashore with our rustic Endeavour plaque. As lunch approaches it is all hands on deck to lose the sail and prepare the anchor. Everyone is very excited and intrigued to see
what treasures we might find on this little tropical Island.

All’s well.

Furling the spritsail

6 thoughts on “Day 5 Gladstone – Townsville

  1. Did you find the plaque with the cannon ball? We left it by the stairs during Endeavour’s first east coast voyage in 1995. Hi to all!

    • Hi Ant, I hope you are well rested. No didn’t see it I am afraid!

  2. Sounds like a really exciting adventure. Hope you find the plaque. Hope we have an quest to achieve during my voyage from Broome. Looking forward to meeting the crew.

  3. Hello to our daughter Louise Phelps – we hope she is enjoying her second trip.

    Her Mum got a good report from the Dr this morning – please pass on message

  4. Loving reading the blog posts. Is there one from 1 June? Day 4 was 31 May then Day 5 was 2 June . . . . . is there a Bermuda triangle off Mackay somewhere?

  5. Trina – there will be two posts showing from 2nd June, the first of which is for the 1st June. I was having some problems getting online and so it was a day late going up. Don’t worry we are not in a Bermuda triangle!

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