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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So Far, So Good

When Eric and I sailed from England to California on Duprass in 1977-78, we met an outgoing English couple whose sailing motto was “So Far, So Good.” They employed this phrase, they explained, so as not to become overconfident and assume that just because any particular leg of a voyage was going smoothly that it […]

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Countdown

When Corroboree sailed north from Bundaberg in late April 2020, there was still some hope that the recently declared Covid-19 pandemic would be brought quickly under control and we could proceed to Indonesia as planned. By the time we reached Townsville at the end of June, it was clear we weren’t going anywhere. And as […]

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Of Ghosts and Gold

In December 1871, three prospectors—Hugh Mosman, George Clark, John Fraser—and their horse boy, a young Aboriginal named Jupiter, were searching for gold when their horses got spooked in a thunderstorm and bolted. Jupiter, so named for his luminous eyes, was sent to retrieve them, and when he found the horses beside a stream, his eyes […]

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A Stitch in Time

The first thing you learn when you’re diagnosed with a melanoma in Australia is that virtually every Aussie has either had one themselves or can claim a friend or family member who has. That’s not surprising in a country that is: 1) populated largely by people of white-skinned European descent, and 2) exposed to intense […]

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Water, Water, Every Where

What a difference a year makes! In January 2020, bushfires were ravaging Australia, and my blog post was titled “Australia is Burning.” In January 2021, rain is the order of the day. Not to mention two cyclones within two weeks. On 3 January, Cyclone Imogen struck the York Peninsula, the pointy tip of northeast Australia, […]

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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 […]

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