The Captain’s Log

Turtle seen from the deck of tallship Derwent Hunter in the Whitsundays

Derwent Hunter supporting turtle conservation

We have to say a huge thank you to everyone who has sailed with us over the last five weeks, for the contributions that have been made to our turtle rescue tin!

At the start of the day, guests buy ‘drinks tickets’ to get soft drinks, chocolate bars, beer or wine, then at the end of the charter, we refund any unused tickets.

Five weeks ago we introduced a turtle rescue tin, with all money raised going directly to Eco Barge’s Turtle Rescue Hospital. Guests have the option of donating their unused tickets if they wish, but many have gone over and above and made extra donations too!

So far we have been able to donate almost $450! Not a bad effort for just a few weeks in operation.

The whole idea actually came about after several guests asked if they could donate their unused tickets to a good cause locally, and with our big focus on turtles and the marine environment, the turtle rescue tin was born.

Our passengers are just as enthusiastic about our turtles as we are. Hopefully we can keep up to good work!

Crew of the Derwent Hunter on deck at Abell Point Marina Whitsundays

turtle hand signalHere’s our crew making the hand signal for “turtle” – useful when you are underwater and want to tell someone you’ve spotted a turtle!
Here’s how: place one hand over the other, palms facing down. Wiggle your thumbs in a forward rotating motion… it looks like the head and front flippers of a turtle swimming!

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Super visibility this week!

The visibility has been SOOO good this week, Captain Ena didn’t even have to get in the water to get this really clear photo of a turtle swimming around the boat!

Turtle seen from the deck of tallship Derwent Hunter in the Whitsundays

Update on the turtles in care this year

Fidelio, a beautiful green turtle, was found at Butterfly Bay in March suffering from float and he has a previous old boat strike wound to his shell. He is doing really well in care and defiantly has an appetite, however his float is taking a while to go and he is still in the hospital 6 months later. With continued care we hope that Fidelio will make a full recovery.

No name yet
A new turtle can in from Mackay this week, she already has a tag which means she has previously been in care somewhere else, we are trying to find the details of her history and he previous name. She seems healthy and we think she had just gone onto the beach to bask. We will keep an eye on her for a week and if all still looks good she will be released again.

Ducky is another juvenile Green turtle who was found just outside Abell Point Marina. He came in suffering from float, which means he cannot dive down to reach his food, he was severely malnourished when rescued. During care he has lost his float and has started to eat more. He made a remarkable recovery and was released after about 4 months in care.

Midge is a juvenile Green turtle who was found 100m off the beach in the mangroves at Midge Point in August. He was suffering from Fibropapillomatosis (the FP virus) which causes growths on the turtle. Luckily he was found early and only has a small growth on his nose. He has been transported to Cairns Turtle Rehab Centre to undergo specialist care.

How can you help?

Eco Barge survive solely on donations. You, your business or your customers can make a tax deductible donation to help with all their operations.

While the Centre is not open to the public, they are always in need of volunteers!

If you ever see a sick or injured marine turtle please contact the RSPCA Qld animal stranding hotline on 1300 ANIMAL (264 625) or Fauna Rescue Whitsundays on (07) 4947 3389.

Booked your Christmas Party yet?

How about a day or evening on Derwent Hunter? We have 3 Christmas party options available to suit groups of 10 – 40 people, starting from $100pp. Find out more!

More on Christmas Parties


October Sale now on

Book this October for travel throughout summer, right up until the end of March!

Adults $175
Students/Seniors $155
Kids $99

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“Only if we understand, can we care

Only if we care, will we help

Only if we help, shall they be saved”

-Jane Goodall

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