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.

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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An Open Letter to the Unvaccinated

Until Corroboree arrived in Darwin in August, Eric and I were largely unaffected by Covid-19. True, our circumnavigation has been on hold in Australia far longer than we planned. But of all the places on the planet to be stranded, Australia was surely one of the best. Especially because Townsville, Queensland (pop. 150,000), the city

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Lightning Man Cometh

In Greek mythology, it was Zeus who sent thunderbolts and lightning crackling through the sky. In Norse mythology, Thor with his mighty hammer claimed that role. Here in the Northern Territory (NT) of Australia, that power is wielded by an important creation ancestor called Namarrkon, aka Lightning Man. But whereas Zeus and Thor show off

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Never Smile at a Crocodile

Until now, and despite the many croc warning signs we’ve seen on our Australian travels, Eric and I had never glimpsed a crocodile in the wild. That changed during our 4-day visit to Kakadu National Park at the end of September. Located east of Darwin, this enormous and rugged World Heritage site encompasses almost 20,000

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We’re Not in Kansas Anymore

When Eric and I sailed across the Arafura Sea in August, we passed from the state of Queensland into the Northern Territory (NT), and though it isn’t as drastic as being swept up by a tornado and crash landing in a fantasy world of Munchkins, witches and a fake wizard, we are learning there’s more

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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Sometimes, you want to bang your head against a bulkhead. Sometimes, you want to murder the other person on board. And sometimes, you just have to laugh at yourself, your expectations, and the realities of trying to sail around the world. In our 3-week, 1,150-mile voyage from Cooktown to Darwin, we did all of that.

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Thank You, Cooktown

In June 1770, after striking the Great Barrier Reef, Capt. James Cook and his crew beached their damaged ship Endeavour on the riverbank of what was to become Cooktown and spent seven weeks making repairs. In June 2021, after striking the Great Barrier Reef, Eric and I hauled out our damaged boat Corroboree at the

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Stranded at Lizard Island

Anything can go wrong at any time, I wrote in my last blog post. On 1 June at Lizard Island, things went horribly wrong for us and Corroboree. The short story is that we bumped the reef coming into Lizard Island and broke our rudder. The longer version begins the previous night when we anchored

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