By Bob Norson
As you read this
somewhere out there
.there is someone with their elbows at a bar with
a beer trapped in their hand saying to the bored and sceptical
person next to them
.Some day I'm gonna get an old
boat that needs fixing up and when I'm done with her I'm gonna
take her to the islands and do a little charter business for
a livin. At this point the mate next to em at the bar rolls
his eyes and says with little sincerity, sure ya are mate
and you'll save me a berth on the first voyage won't cha!
Everybody listening in then has a good laugh over the protests
of the dreamer and it's forgotten about.
It's the quiet ones that you have to keep
your eye on
Warren Sparrow Burton is a professional
boat builder. A chippy of notable reputation, he
started looking around for the right boat to do just like the
dreamers talk about. His search took him to the Gold Coast where
he met an old friend of mine, Tyrone McKee, who had sailed a
Lugger down from Thursday Island towing his Hartley 39, Supernova
behind! Ty and Sparrow couldn't agree on price so the Waitoa,
boat number A59 remains in Moreton bay to this day.
Sparrow found the right boat in 1989.
The Ise, boat number A56, named after a famous pearling
coast in Japan,
Had come to hard times at Escape river.
Seems the crew got pissed up one day and passed out with the
boat lashed to a wharf that dries on the low tide. You guessed
.when the low came the boat fell off the piles and flooded,
where she stayed for six weeks. Sparrow bought her as
is, where is and put a rough patch of fibre glass on her
damaged planks and sailed her to Cairns where she was lifted
out and trucked to Mission Beach where she was in the back yard
for five years.
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