The Golden Plover was one of the last few tall ships in the world.
Her over 100 year history has seen her sail around the world, weather through storms, burn down to nothing but a shell, star in movies and impact on the lives of thousands who have set foot on her. Originally named 'Plover' the ship was built as a steam launch in 1909. Between 1910 and 1968 she worked several different jobs including a ferry, a fishing ketch and a scallop boat. In 1968 the Plover caught fire and while no lives were lost, her superstructure and decking were severely burnt. The Plover was discarded and left lying in the mud for two years until four Germans, brothers Helmut, Gunther, and Gert Jacoby and engineer Ed Roloff with the rigger George Herbert saw her potential to become a square rigged sailing vessel. Together they rebuilt the Plover was and gave her a sparkling new name to match her appearance, “The Golden Plover”. Upon its completion the Golden Plover took off for it’s first around the world adventure, visiting the Greek Islands, Plymoth and Rotterdam. Her top mast was removed in Holland so she could sail up the Rhine River to the boys home town of Cologne and was celebrated (with a lot of Kölsch) in Germany for weeks before turning back to Australia passing the Gallapogas and Marquesas Islands, Tahiti, Tonga, Fiji and New Caledonia, arriving finally in the Whitsundays. For years she sailed safaris around the beautiful Whitsunday Islands on the East Coast of Australia. She has starred in several movies including Blue Lagoon and Dead Calm. Eventually the Golden Plover found herself in Cairns running day trips to Upolu Cay where she remained for 19 years. In between, she received a complete overhaul, and was in great shape for new tours. Unfortunately, the 101 year old tall ships that graced the Whitsundays for a decade is now gone. After 20 months on the Cairns slipway, the two masted brigantine fell into disrepair and was broken up. All unsable had been sold for scrap and second hand timber in July 2011.
The Golden Plover is no more, but will continue sailing like the Flying Dutchman