The Old Woman and the Sea

In January 2017 my husband Eric Sponberg and I departed St. Augustine, FL, on our 35-foot sailboat Corroboree with the goal of sailing around the world. I have no idea whether we will make it. As with any journey, the path is never as straight as you optimistically plan. But you go anyway, in hopes of a great adventure and because you can’t ignore the tug in your heart that beckons you on.

This blog will be the story of our voyage…and much more.

Sailing Through Hell – Part I

If you’re going through hell, keep going – Winston Churchill Let me be the first to say it: Nobody twisted my arm and forced me to get on this boat. So in writing about our 3,900-mile voyage from Borneo to the Seychelles, I will try to report and not complain. That said, it was the

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The Wild Orangutans of Borneo

It ought to be easy to spot an orangutan in the wild. How could you miss a huge, hairy, orange-brown blob lumbering out of lush green rainforest or swinging overhead like a trapeze artist from tree to tree? But to find these critically endangered creatures at all, you first must travel to Borneo or Sumatra,

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Go With The Flow

When we departed Bali on 19 June, we had a straightforward plan: Sail east across the Lombok Strait to explore Lombok Island, then north up the strait, northwest to the island of Bawean and on to Kalimantan (the southern part of the island of Borneo), a total distance of roughly 520 miles. We knew that

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Bali – The Victory of Good over Evil

It’s hard to get a handle on describing Bali. Travel brochures would have you believe it’s an exotic island paradise where graceful dancers perform in ancient temples to tinkling musical instruments. Those who loved it long ago now warn against it as a crowded, jaded tourist trap punctuated by American fast-food restaurants. Cruiser forums advise

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Bali or Bust

When Corroboree sailed out of Darwin, Australia, on the morning of 16 May, it was a sea change in every sense of the word. After 16,000 miles of voyaging and three wonderful years in Oz, we were ready to resume our post-Covid circumnavigation and ports were open to receive us. The boat preparations began months

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Farewell, Australia

I promised to write one last post from Oz before we set sail for Indonesia, but every time I try to get a handle on it, I get tears in my eyes. Both on land and on sea, Eric and I have lived and traveled in this vast, beautiful, big-hearted country for three years now,

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Countdown to Indonesia

When Corroboree arrived in Australia in May 2019, Eric and I expected to spend one marvelous year in the Land Down Under then glide on to Indonesia. Covid stretched that to three years, and if we had to be stranded somewhere during the pandemic, we couldn’t have picked a better place than Oz. But with

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The Wild, Wild Wet

Last August, when Eric and I decided to remain in Darwin rather than press on to Indonesia, we weren’t exactly looking forward to the roughly four-month wet season from mid-December through April. Sweltering heat, monsoon rain, fearsome thunderstorms and catastrophic cyclones were on the meteorological menu, during which we would be confined on a 35-foot

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Beware the Orange Juice

When Eric designed Corroboree in the mid-1980s, he included an engine-driven refrigeration system, standard for the time. We never used it, mainly because it required running the engine an hour a day to keep food cold. The droning aside, obtaining clean fuel in foreign ports is not guaranteed and we didn’t want to waste our

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Chrissy Down Under

This year Eric and I will celebrate our third Solstice and Chrissy (Christmas) in Australia. However, as you may recall, in the Southern Hemisphere the seasons are reversed. Winter north of the Equator is summer here, and 21 December is not the shortest but the longest day of the year. School is out from mid-December

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