Dayworking Down Under

8 September 2008 By Di Thompson

It’s game on for dayworkers Down Under!

The marine clean scene is cracking here in South East Queensland, so if you're looking to get a foot on board, these tips will have you looking like a pro.

If you're heading down to Marina Oceanus, Versace or Gold Coast City Marina, you'll notice there is plenty going on for dayworkers.

From Coomera to Southport and Main Beach, you'll find marine services buzzing about, with day crews busy doing all manner of duties necessary to get dozens of gleaming vessels off the docks and cleared away to their next destinations.

At this time of year, more of the boats will be heading north to the Whitsundays and The Great Barrier Reef. There are no less than a dozen detailing crews busy doing wash downs, scrubbing teak decks, polishing stainless and buffing hulls.

The interior crew are on deck, too, with all the tasks of laundry, dusting, vacuuming, heads and beds, and of course the provisioning to be stowed away before departure.

The marlin season out of Cairns and Lizard Island will see no less than 50 sports fishing boats with their accompanying mother ships cruising around the north, from September to November. When the season is on, it's a great time to get someone to show you how to rig baits, as that will almost guarantee you a spot on the deck of a marlin boat.

The anglers who base themselves out of Cairns are an easygoing lot and very approachable. Alternatively, if you fancy yourself as a gourmet, that will stand you in good stead for getting a job on any boat that needs a galley specialist. It's always good to be in the right place at the right time.

Around these parts, someone nearly always knows someone who needs a crewmember.

If you happen to be about on the Gold Coast in between superyacht gigs, do a dockwalk and ask anyone if they might need a hand. Should they not need you, they will know someone who will.

You may want to fill in some downtime and are keen on a casual gig for a few weeks. There are often delivery jobs between ports for suitably qualified captains. Be sure to check up front what they are paying you, as daily rates can vary.

Unlike marinas in some parts of the world where you can wander right up to the aft deck of a megayacht, Australian marinas take security quite seriously here. You will find that many on the Gold Coast are under lock and swipe key.

If you intend to begin at the farthest end of Sea World Drive and work your way back to town, Versace is peculiarly the most visitor friendly. Dockmasters Derek and Guy are well informed and will steer you in the right direction if your internal GPS is messing with you.

Moving on less than two minutes walk to the former Marina Mirage, now known as Marina Oceanus, introduce yourself to Ian "Rooster" Mayan. He's one of the most well-known, respected gentlemen in the Australian yachting industry. Always a delight to deal with and happy to do anything for superyacht captains and crew.

Next on the big three is the Southport Yacht Club, which recently spent millions on a superyacht extension with forward bookings until September 8th. It's now quite difficult to gain entry until you've had an on-the-spot police check and been read the riot act. Then only if you are wearing the right cap and pay a site fee can you get in. It can be that difficult.

The club, on the other hand, hosts an annual Jimmy Buffett parrothead party with prizes for the most outrageous outfit, and the person who downs the most Margaritas!

See you there.