Stalking the Giant Cassowary

Back in October, Eric and I were about to cross a busy intersection in Townsville when a white SUV rounded the corner on which we stood. In the three seconds before it vanished into the traffic, I glimpsed a large, colorful decal and the words “Birdwatchers’ Cabin, Atherton Tablelands.” Well, I know a sign when […]

The Red Heart

First, you have to remember that Australia is BIG, roughly 2,400 miles wide. Flying from the east to west coast is like flying from New York to LA. Then you have to wrap your mind around the emptiness, because within 10 minutes of our flight taking off from Townsville, virtually every sign of civilization disappeared. […]

A Few Words on Capt. James Cook

When Capt. James Cook was murdered by the natives of Hawaii on 14 February 1779, the Hawaiians didn’t just club and stab him to death and leave his body in the surf where the attack occurred. They dragged his corpse ashore, and, rumor has it, butchered and ate the great explorer. “Wonder how he tasted,” […]

In Praise of Trees

Me: “Wait, wait, give me the camera!”Eric: You’re not taking another picture of a tree, are you? (He doesn’t say this out loud, but I know he’s thinking it.)Me: “Now go stand next to the trunk for scale.”Eric: Sigh.Me: “Okay, more to the left, back up…that’s it.”Eric: Smiles for the camera.Me: “Got it! Just look […]

What’s in Your Library?

Forty years ago, cruising from England to California, Eric and I met in the Canary Islands a gentlemanly English sailor by the name of Tom Blackwell. Tom was in his 70s and on his third solo circumnavigation aboard a 50’ wood yawl. It was a big, heavy boat with a full-sized, claw-footed bathtub—in which he […]

We Met Him on a Monday

Actually, here in Australia it was 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday, 28 July, when we met our first grandchild, Anderson Gray Sponberg, born in Atlanta on Monday, 27 July. But as we saw the photos pop up on our phone, you can bet that for an instant our hearts stood still. Then we clapped and whooped […]

Shipwrecked in Townsville

First off, despite the sensationalist headline, we have not had a disaster aboard Corroboree. Quite the contrary: Since 30 June, she has been comfortably berthed at the yacht club in Townsville, North Queensland, and with our circumnavigation still on hold due to Covid-19, we expect to be here a while. Though we no longer have […]

Shh! Don’t Tell Anyone About Magnetic Island

When we arrived at Magnetic Island, a stone’s throw off the city of Townsville, Eric and I weren’t expecting anything out of the ordinary. We had spent the past ten days sailing north from the commercial port of Mackay, dropping our hook at a half dozen anchorages along the way. The islands in this section […]

America From Afar

Sickening. Heartbreaking. Surreal. What is happening to America? Waking up on Corroboree, sitting down to a peaceful breakfast, the sunshine of another beautiful Australian day slanting through the portholes, the celestial music of Beethoven emanating from radio, it is staggering to see and hear the news unfolding in the United States 9,000 miles away. It […]

We’re on the (Sea) Road Again

It’s a funny feeling, setting out to sea after eight months ashore, especially in the surreal conditions of the Covid-19 pandemic. But upon selling our car, Glinda, in mid-April and getting word that sailboats could begin to move within Queensland, we were free to leave Bundaberg and return to the wind and waves. Yet even […]