The Captain’s Log

Turtles and dolphins and pirates, oh my!

It’s been a fun-filled week on Derwent Hunter as we sailed around the Whitsunday Islands in record high temperatures this week.

The cooling sea breezes have been delightfully refreshing, and everyone has been eager to get into the water to cool off.

We’ve been treated to some dolphin sightings, and hundreds of turtles this week. Our guests got to swim with them at length too – memories to last a lifetime!

We had some junior pirates join us as well, and with the wind blowing a steady 15 – 20 knots, the mighty Derwent Hunter has been in her element!

DH Waz with original dinghy 1947 Wooden Boat Festival 2017Hobart’s Wooden Boat Festival

This week, owners Waz and Jo visited Tasmania’s Wooden Boat Festival in Hobart and made a great find – the original motorised dinghy that belonged to the Derwent Hunter was on display! The dinghy was built for fishing, and had a live bait well and a totally smooth interior so as not to snag the fishing nets.

She was also crucial in establishing the viability of the oyster industry in Tassie (you’re welcome) and rescued a downed DC3 aircraft pilot.

Stoked to have found this little piece of our ship’s history still in action!



Dolphins riding the bow wave of Derwent Hunter tallship in the Whitsundays

Dolphin Facts

Dolphins are one of those majestic creatures that everyone seems to love. Sometimes, we are treated to dolphin sightings on the Derwent Hunter, and like in the photo above, they love to ride the bow wave!

Here are some fun facts about our Aussie dolphins:

  • The most commonly sighted dolphin is the bottlenose dolphin
  • Other species recorded in the Great Barrier Reef waters are: Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins,
  • Australian snubfin dolphins, spinner dolphins, and pan-tropical spotted dolphins
  • Dolphins and whales are both ‘cetaceans’
  • Bottlenose dolphins can swim as fast as 37km/hr
  • Bottlenose dolphins grow to about 4m in length, and 500kg in weight
  • The eat small marine creatures like fish, squid, crabs and prawns, and often work together as a group to herd up their dinner
  • When they jump, they can get nearly 5m out of the water

Most of all we love to see how playful they are, and they seem to smile at you!


Words from our guests this week

“Fantastic experience to be able to swim for 20 minutes with the turtles was magnificent. We saw plenty of coral and fish, fantastic boat, laid back enjoyed the sailing. The Derwent is full of history a friendly skipper and helpful crew. Good food! We were very well looked after all day. Thank you”

-Andrea from the UK.

“What an amazing day! Everything from the snorkelling to the lunch! All of the crew were fantastic, fun, professional and knowledgeable. We enjoyed the history of the boat, never though that a boat could live 20 lives, was such a privilege to travel on a classic boat under sail.”

-Jane from Sussex

“The starship Derwent Hunter managed through the wormhole and landed on the water planet Whitsunday! The disguise as the water vessel was perfect & the quests didn’t notice the stranded alien crew. Well done, thank you for everything you did to make our day great!”



Tallships Derwent Hunter Summer SpecialSuper Summer Special

Enjoy the sea breeze for $20 less!

Book your Derwent Hunter day trip by 31 March 2017 and you can travel for just $175 per adult or $155 concession.

Valid for direct and agent bookings.

Prices valid for travel up to 30 June 2016.

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“We may have all come on different ships,

but we’re in the same boat now”

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

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