Southerly Buster

John Dryden
12th February 2010, 19:25
Just wondered if anyone else experienced the Southerly Buster. My story starts on my first trip on the Olivebank.Well the mate used to get us scraping, varnishing and basically making the jolly boat seaworthy(sawdust and salt water) which we did and it looked like new by the time we had finished.
Took the little boat out for a test run in Wewak,everything shipshape.
Eventually we decided to have a sail in the jolly boat in Sidney harbour so myself,the 3,d mate and the 6th eng. set sail on a fine sunny day.
The harbour was packed with all kinds of boats enjoying a day on the water.Then it happened.
I would say from my memory dozens of boats capsized at the same time and can remember the recue boats helping them through the rain and spray.
Poor old jolly boat was in a right state,the sail ripped to shreds(mate forgot about that)so we laid in the bottom as you do and eventually were washed ashore.
I remember walking for miles until we hitched a lift and got back to the ship at anchor.The old man went ballistic and sent the 3rd mate back to retrieve it in the middle of the night.Of course storm was over then so he rowed it back.