Series 02: Alan Gibson Stewart papers, 1987-1989 - Page 643

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canteen. There we met the crew, most of whom had been staying at Newcastle for several weeks during the vessel's trials. On this trip, the ship's complement also included many of the snior officers of the ferry service. The skipper for the voyage was Captain Frank Walker (no kin to the minister), the only one of our masters with an ocean-going certificate. Tom, having consumed most of his pills, refused his serving of bacon and eggs.

Then we set off: down the Hunter River, out through the narrow gap in the breakwater, into the open sea. Immediately, the "Freshwater" ran straight into a green swell, and dug her nose in deep. The sharp bow sliced into the water, which came crashing up against the bridge windows. Manly's new baby had been baptised.

Once clear of the harbour, the sea was relatively calm. We turned south down the coast and cruised uneventfully towards Port Jackson in sparkling sunshine. A ration of canned beer was brought out and we passed the time pleasantly -- except for Tom who was seasick.  

We rounded North Head at about 2pm and headed down the harbour for Sydney Cove. Abeam of Bradley's Head, "Freshwater" was saluted by the siren of "Baragoola", the sixty year old vessel she was to replace. I stood proudly on the wing of the bridge as

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