The Queensland gunboat Gayundah, so recently put into commission, is again in the river after a brief cruise . It is only a week to day that she piled up steam for a cruise with her new crew about Moreton Bay. Saturday morning saw her return, and she is now lying in midstream at the Botanic Gardens buoy. Captain Drake, acting commander, courteously supplied the following interesting outline of the trip to a Telegraph reporter:
For many reasons the trip was a short one. It was done for a purpose, though, and that purpose was fulfilled. A vessel newly in commission provides disadvantages which have quickly to be overcome. A number of men new to a vessel have to shake down, as it were, into their own particular grooves. The routine of a vessel has its own peculiar characteristics; these have to be learned and remembered. With this purpose in view a start was made last Monday. Under easy steam the gunboat was steered for the bay. On the trip down and during the day strict routine work was enforced. In fact, the trip consisted of drill and work of the nature described. The north-east side of Mud Island was our resting place the first night; thence to the Pile light, where communication was effected, and on to Dunwich, via Sandgate. The passage of Bribie Island afforded an anchorage on Wednesday night. Early on Thursday morning, and long before the mists of the night were dispelled, we were under steam for Pinkenba wharf. Here Captain Switzer came aboard for the purpose of adjusting the compasses. This accomplished, and Captain Switzer landed, the Gayundah made Lytton, when we again anchored. Here several movements of an important nature, such us “abandon ship,” “fire stations,” &c., were successfully practised.
Captain Drake appears to plume himself upon the conduct of his men. He apparently feels he has the right material for the formation of a reliable and disciplined crew aboard. This is satisfactory. Another short trip, lasting a few days, will probably be made to-morrow. During the trip health and spirits were good. When possible the men were shown their commander did not object to fun and pastime in their proper place. Stern discipline is most effective where such relaxations are at times allowed. Fishing from off shore for instance, was allowed on two or three occasions; A pleasant change in diet was the result. It is understood that so soon as the gunboat commences her training cruises her company will be increased by additions from the Naval Brigade.
The Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 – 1947) Mon 12 Dec 1898 Page 6