Stories of the sea

March 19, 2020 BY

Three generations of pilot boats pictured at The Heads, the notoriously narrow entrance to Port Phillip Bay. Photo: JAMES GRINTER

LOCAL maritime favourites will feature at Queenscliffe Maritime Museum’s event Fishy Tales: Stories from the Pilots, on Saturday, March 21.

Port Phillip Sea Pilots (PPSP) have operated a pilot service from Queenscliff’s shores for 180 years, helping vessels navigate Port Phillip Bay’s narrow entrance and underwater reefs.

Port Phillip Sea Pilots’ coxswain, Jim Grinter and captains Dean Zanoni and David Burns will join retired coxswain Ivor Guest, and retired shipwright Jack Beazley to share
their experiences.

From ferrying the pilots to and from the ships, 24-hours a day, in all sea conditions – to the evolution of the pilot boats, the evening will cover it all.

Mr Grinter will also talk about the modern launches and works, including Mavis III, during the Port Phillip Sea Pilots’ Queenscliff workshop.

All five guests will talk around the couch with insider stories of launches over the last five decades, and a fascinating insight into “what the Bass Strait can dish up”.

Information about Queenscliffe Maritime Museum’s newest exhibit will also be available on the evening.

The PPSP was first established in response to the dangers ships encountered entering the early ports of Melbourne and Geelong and the shipwrecks that resulted.

Today, the distinctive orange launches of the sea pilot service continue to service modern ships entering through The Heads (and or ‘The Rip’).

Fishy Tales starts at 7.30pm. Cash bar sales will be available, tickets are $20 and can be purchased at Queenscliffe Maritime Museum, phone: 03 5258 3440 or head to

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