Shaolin in Cairns for Chi­nese NY

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Danaella Wiv­ell

PORT Dou­glas’s Chi­nese junk Shaolin has sailed into the Cairns Mar­lin Ma­rina for the first time to cel­e­brate the Lu­nar New Year.

Shaolin Junk Cruises owner op­er­a­tor Flynn Bick­ford said the junk had a sto­ried his­tory in Asia that would be shared with pas­sen­gers.

“It’s an au­then­tic junk from China built in 1969,” he said.

“It was used as a shell-col- lect­ing ves­sel around Palau and Guam.

“The owner passed away and his wife couldn’t sail it, so she had to sell it.

“That’s how it came to be in Port Dou­glas.”

Af­ter buy­ing the boat two years ago, Mr Bick­ford and his wife Skye de­cided it was fi­nally time to bring a gen­uine Chi­nese ex­pe­ri­ence to Cairns for Chi­nese New Year.

“Skye spoke to the Great Bar­rier Reef Chi­nese New Year or­gan­is­ers who said it would be a great idea,” he said.

“In Port Dou­glas we hardly ever have Chi­nese pas­sen­gers, we mostly have do­mes­tic and Euro­pean vis­i­tors.

“Hope­fully it’s the same in Cairns and we can give lo­cals and Euro­pean vis­i­tors and maybe even Chi­nese vis­i­tors a gen­uine Chi­nese ex­pe­ri­ence.”

The junk will make four trips out of the Trin­ity In­let daily from to­day (Fe­bru­ary 8) for $50 per per­son.

Pic­ture: JUSTIN BRI­ERTY

Flynn Bick­ford, owner and skip­per of Shaolin, at the Mar­lin Ma­rina, Cairns

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