See Sarah Hicks' story on the Viking and Tony's work
On 6 Aug 2007, Tony Hunt wrote:
I spent a busy couple of days
Thursday and Friday last week taking the
lines off VIKING at Bowen. Fortunately it all went well and even the
sandflies weren't too bad. Particular thanks to Barry Tapp from the
Bowen Port Authority for general assistance and especially for the
loan of a ladder; Cap'n Dan, who turned up on Friday and very kindly
brought me some lunch (thanks mate!); and Sarah Hicks from ABC radio
who arrived later and did an interview and took some pictures which
hope will end up on their website.
The boat is in very poor shape, with the everything of value
off her and the tide washing in and out of the hull through leaks
the stern. She would be a very large undertaking to restore,
by no means impossible.
At this stage one of the most immediate challenges is to reliably
establish her original identity, which remains elusive. A radio
interview I did earlier in the week that went to air on ABC NQ on
July produced a number of callers, all interesting folks but none
to shed any additional light on the matter unfortunately. Looking at
the size and shape of the hull, and the way it is constructed, I
be surprised if she was built by Japanese shipwrights in TI, and she
looks most like an example of the earlier generation of luggers
mainly by Sydney shipwrights in the 1890s. It would be very exciting
if this was true as she would be the only surviving example of this
type that I know of, but at the moment this is speculation only.
On 21 July 2007, Tony Hunt wrote:
"Bad news folks. I've just leaned
that the owner of VIKING has been unable to pay her mooring fees so
the harbourmaster at Bowen has evicted her off the mooring. She's
now ashore on the beach at the side of the "duckpond" and apparently
the harbourmaster is going to have her broken up n the next week or
two. Already she is being stripped of fittings by looters.
I'll try to lobby the harbourmaster for a stay of execution, if
anyone has any ideas please contact me. I expect she's available
free to anyone who can offer her a good home. Note that this is may
be the second oldest TI lugger left in existence (built 1903?)."
On 23 July 2007, Tony Hunt wrote:
"Hi, yes the Harbourmaster confirms
the gist of it. The excavator has already been ordered and the plan
is to break her up in about 18 days time (after the statutory 14 day
notice period expires). However, he was pretty sympathetic to my
point that she is a historically significant boat, and will help if
he can. The options appear to be:
1. Find her a new owner;
2. Take the lines off her before she's broken up;
3. Salvage anything that may be of use to others restoring luggers
(GRAFTON, HB, FLORIA and ANTONIA all spring to mind)."
On 28 July 2007, Tony Hunt wrote:
"I spoke to the harbourmaster again
yesterday, he has issued the ownervof VIKING a notice requiring her
to be removed from the waterfront within 30 days, so he's done the
best he can and cut us some slack. Her owner is currently salvaging
several tons of lead ingot ballast out of her to raise some money to
meet the cost of moving her, however, at the moment there is nowhere
to move her to."
If you are able to help find Viking a
home, even if it is just temporary, please contact Tony Hunt at
firstname.lastname@example.org or Mori Flapan at: ...