Torres to Tassie: Episode 2

Missed this week’s show at 4pm on 10? Catch up at or watch again Saturdays. Check the 10 tv guide for local times!

Pilbara coast map

Jase, Simon and their mate Kiel are continuing on their mission to return the P-47 Thunderbolt engine back to Horn Island on behalf of the Beck family, formerly of the Beck Museum in Mareeba. The trip thus far has taken some surprising twists and turns, stops and dives. But they finally get the motor to the terminal where the Sea Swift crew gets it ready for its final ferry back to the spot where the plane went down.

Being this close to the tip and having a first timer along, Jase suggests a ‘back way’ to get Kiel to the famous sign for his very first time. There are a few tricky spots to navigate with the remnants of the recent rain still crossing their path. But there will be no lollygagging around, and they’ll have to pick a line. When in doubt… keep going?

Kiel gets to make a big tick on his bucket list, as the crew get some selfies at the sign. Then it’s time to unload the tinny and make the 25k journey across to Horn Island where they meet up with historian Vanessa Seekee to have a look around. This place is filled with World War II history as it was a key location when it came to defending the Coral Sea.

Getting to see the wreck of the P-47 Thunderbolt is fascinating, as its demise was more of a mishap by a pilot doing a buzz over some mates on the ground. This Top Gun miscalculated and destroyed more aircraft on the ground than the Japanese managed in an air raid. Thankfully they all survived.

The boys also get a chance to look over the old airfield pitted with bomb craters still evident on LiDAR imagery. There are also horseshoe shaped bomber dispersal bays which kept the whole fleet from being taken out at once by an attack. And boys will be boys, as they get a chance to live out the battle at the command centre and anti-aircraft gun. Enemy down!

Lured in by beautiful conditions, the boys throw in some lures of their own. There are good trout and trevally out there, but so are the sharks who are busy chomping away on their afternoon tea. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em… so Jase cooks up some tasty Banana Cake for a sweet snack.

The engine arrived on the island after the boys left, so we look forward to updates on this piece of history!

SPECIAL THANKS to Vanessa Seekee of the Torres Strait Heritage Museum and Tours. Visit them on Facebook or better yet, plan a visit in person!

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Torres to Tassie: Episode 1

Missed this week’s show at 4pm on 10? Catch up at or watch again Saturdays on 10BOLD. Check the 10 tv guide for local times!


Jase and Simon are back, and this time their mate Kiel from Western Australia is along to join in the adventure! The boys have been given a mission by Norm Beck whose father Syd ran the Beck Museum in Mareeba for many years prior to his passing. The museum was home to many aviation and war treasures collected over Syd’s lifetime. Now Norm would like to send the 1.2-tonne engine from a P-47 Thunberbolt back to Horn Island where the aircraft had crashed on take-off in 1944.

Old mate Stew arrives with a spare trailer to tow the massive engine for the first leg of the 950k journey. So they hit the road north, and as soon as they leave the pavement, the skies open. It’s an omen of what they’ll be facing ahead, and Kiel has a baptism of fire when it comes to the Cape York wet!

Arriving at Musgrave Station, the team unload Swampy, which will stay parked up here for the next few days. Now the challenge is to move that engine from one trailer to the other without the benefit of an antique crane. Using a tree, ropes, straps and Boss Ring plus a little bit of physics knowledge from back in the day, they manage to get the old machine over without sending Kiel flying.

Back on the road, the team come across some fellow travellers who got caught up in the mud left behind after the rain. Using the recovery gear on board, they make quick work of getting the caravan out of its sticky situation and back on solid ground.

With everyone on their way again, it’s not long before they hit Deep Creek, which is living up to its name. This crossing is too deep and swift to attempt, so the boys find a spot to set up camp and wait for it to drop.

The next morning, it is smooth sailing until they hit the Archer River. Though it is running high, it’s still driveable as long as they stay on the high side of the causeway. Blackout, Maxy2 and Maxy all make it through without issue, but not long after the boys get past, the cameramen ring through on the radio saying that another driver in a lighter vehicle had come off in his crossing attempt. The boys quickly turn around to attempt a rescue.

There are more crossings ahead with 300ks to go. They spot more vehicle carnage along the way before hitting another crossing. On this day, there is no bridge and only troubled water. When it’s proper deep like that, there’s no choice but to wait it out… and cook up some afternoon tea! Jase makes up Butternut Snap Cookie Desserts or Butternut Wagon Wheels. But no matter what Jase calls them, Simon calls them ‘delicious’.


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