10 May 2023

Thirsty crew loves local hospitality

| Troy Rowling
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IT was happy hour at the Evans Landing wharf on Saturday as Weipa locals answered the “beer o’clock” call from a crew of thirsty commercial fishermen.

The four-man team of the Oceanwild trawler had docked at the wharf to market some of the spoils from their annual Gulf catch when they decided to post a tongue in cheek request on Facebook that any donations of beer would be gratefully accepted.

As a steady stream of locals lined up to purchase freshly caught prawns, scallops and squid, a few of Weipa’s good samaritans proved the festive spirit was already alive and well by arriving with a treasure trove of chips, burger rings and, of course, beer.

The appreciative crew reported that downing a few beverages was the perfect celebration after returning from four months at sea.

Among those rediscovering their land legs was 20-year old French backpacker Teddy Raout, who had spent his time on the water in the dual roles of ship’s cook and novice commercial fisherman.

Mr Raout said while he was formally trained to deliver gourmet breakfasts, steak dinners and French pastries to the eager crew, nothing could prepare him for learning the ropes of netting wild prawn, fish and squid.

“I didn’t have fishing experience so it’s like nothing I’ve done before,” he said.

“I’ve got three days left on the boat and then I’m looking forward to seeing more of North Queensland.”

Oceanwild will arrive in Cairns later this week and will offer their 30-tonne catch to shoppers in the run up to Christmas.

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