HMAS Paluma on top of Australia

Published on MIDN Gordon Hutcheon (author and photographer)

Location(s): Cape York, QLD

Topic(s): HMAS Paluma (A01)

HMAS Paluma at anchor off York Island, Cape York, Queensland. (photo: MIDN Gordon Hutcheon)
HMAS Paluma at anchor off York Island, Cape York, Queensland.

Yesterday the ship’s company of HMAS Paluma took the opportunity to pause for some well earned rest and relaxation at one of Australia’s most iconic tourist destinations, the northernmost point of mainland Australia, Cape York.

For many, this was their first visit, but for others it was a chance to ‘wet a line’ and relax in the beautiful tropical weather of far north Queensland.

HMAS Paluma, a Cairns-based survey motor launch, has spent the last three weeks operating in the Torres Strait, surveying the eastern approaches to the Prince of Wales channel in support of a national under keel clearance programme. HMAS Paluma's crew have been collecting and processing multi-beam echo sounder bathymetry (depths) and tidal measurements in support of activities to ensure the ongoing navigational safety of merchant shipping vessels passing through the Strait.

After a productive three weeks on the survey grounds, Paluma anchored off York Island so that the crew could head ashore and have their photo taken at the iconic Cape York sign and mix with sightseers who had endured the corrugations of the infamous old telegraph road that is the rite of passage for those undertaking the journey to Cape York.

“This job takes you to some amazing places, and this is definitely one to remember, especially for the crew who have never been here before. It's something most people will never get the opportunity to see, so it's especially great to be able to give my crew some down time here, in such an iconic Australian location,” said Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Peter Locke.

Paluma is due back in Cairns in late February.