In 2015 our friends were taking 3 months to travel the West coast of Australia, and of course they were loaded. Jayco camper, Toyota Prado, surfing, diving and fishing gear, and of course just to make sure you have everything, topped with a rooftop tinnie. This wasn't just any any tinnie, this was a brand new, jointly owned with their best mates and freshly decked out for the trip. What could possibly go wrong?
Anyway, after many weeks of travelling, having left Adelaide and headed west, the tinnie had travelled through Streaky Bay, Cactus, Esperance, Albany, Perth, Kalbarri, Gnarloo Station and was settled at Boat Harbour, Ningaloo Reef.
The tinnie had been out and about for the day, having caught dinner, allowed its passengers to surf the outer reef and investigate the shoreline. Dusk was approaching and it was pulled up on the beach, filled with fishing, diving and surfing gear. Exhausted, the crew settled in for happy hour, the days catch for dinner and finally bunkered down for the night.
In the middle of the night, waking bolt upright, recalling something about high tide and strong winds. Dashing to the beach, wearing not much, a strong offshore, a useless headtorch followed by the realisation that the tinnie was gone! No where to be seen.
The next morning walking north and south along the shoreline, still no sign of the tinnie or their gear. The phone call had to be made. "Sorry mate, we lost our tinnie. It's gone. High tide, offshore wines. Woke at midnight ... had happy hour and forgot to anchor it ... somewhere on the Ningaloo Reef.
Six months later, while watching YouTube videos in a hospital waiting room in the city, OMG that is our tinnie!
As the story goes, Oil Rig workers off the coast of Western Australia plucked an upturned tinnie from the water, they never expected the attached 15hp Mercury engine would ever fire again. The boat and motor had travelled hundreds of kilometres over a number of weeks and was in a bad way. Here is their story about one extremely durable Mercury outboard.
Unfortunately despite reaching out the Mercury via FaceBook we never found out what happened to the tinnie or its outboard motor after the video [a case of cans if someone can find out].
This story has joined our Folklore tales around the campfire and when we stayed at Boat Harbour in April 2022 its story was told with great gusto over a can of The Ocean is Calling - Rose.