Explore Earth with Jack and Jude
About Us ~ the long and short of it
The short version says we met and travelled then built a boat while having two super kids and then travelled forevermore.
Magic some say. Maybe fate.
Here’s a little more of our story.
Growing up in a mega-city with few escapes, Jack blew up his neighbour’s garage when testing his first rocket then found a new passion when riding a mule down the steep walls of the Grand Canyon. A raging love for the great outdoors saw him at twenty-one hitchhiking through Europe where he met a lady willing to try anything and make it happen.
Judith, aka Jude, had a very different youth. Raised in a quiet Northumberland seaside village, her family often took long walks upon green hills overlooking the North Sea.
Her mum wanted them married in England, so they planned an African Honeymoon on pitiful cash. And now more than fifty years later, they’re enjoying ten grandchildren from the two sons they raised on an ocean-going yacht they built with their own hands. They still sail Banyandah around Australia.
Authors of four true-life adventure books chronicling their lifetime travels, each written with a touch of humour, history, and practical knowledge, plus three cruising guides, and four full-length films, proving dreams do come true.
So how did these two extremely different people meet? What forces brought them together? Some say fate takes us through life while others believe karma brings good fortune to those doing good for Earth and her creatures.
Did karma weave the intricate plan that sent Jack overseas at the precise moment Jude was celebrating her graduation as a registered nurse? Did it send him lonely and disheartened into a Frankfurt Pub looking for joyful laughter and have him see two bubbly blonds radiant with mirth. Being a bit shy, did karma then cause him to do something quite uncharacteristic. Ordering a round of drinks, fidgeting he approached then stammered in his rather poor German, “Hi, my name is Jack.” Can you imagine, both girls burst into wild giggles.
Our honeymoon was a road trip through Africa, north to south, in a derelict VW van resurrected from a Scottish field. From South Africa, we came to Australia intending to earn enough to make it to Japan for Expo 1970. But once in the sunburnt country, finding space everywhere with a feeling of ‘she’ll be right’, we were encouraged to not only start a family but to also start the construction of a 12-metre yacht that we christened Banyandah, meaning “home on the water” She became our family’s first home.
After those strenuous, stressful years of construction, with little sailing experience and sons just two and three, we began a voyage into the unknown. Thinking about it now, baby-steps comes to mind. Frightened and unsure, lacking skills, with mountainous obstacles to overcome, in baby steps that grew into a sea roving life taking the four of us around the world in ever-increasing circles on “voyages of education”. Pretty corals and shells and fishes, and people from all cultures filled our active minds, which focused our thoughts that this special planet is to be cherished. In addition to thousands of sea miles, we touched eighty countries and experienced an amazing adventure in an odyssey that lasted not the one year first imagined, instead, on and on for the next sixteen.
Still hear the call of the wild
Going round n’round the world fending for ourselves left us with heaps of knowledge and skills, with few assets other than one well-used boat. There followed another sixteen years carving out a modest recluse on the land rebuilding the very same vessel we home-built in Sydney before we relaunched Banyandah and then set sail in 2007 to circumnavigate Australia just to see what had changed.
In 2007 we had three grandchildren and today they number ten! We are exceptionally fit for our age, which is a tribute to actually using our bodies, but they are changing, diminishing our abilities and confidence. Nevertheless, we will always hear the call of the wild and are delighted when connected to Earth, and her topsy-turvy seas and winds, her rivers and mountains.
In our lifetime we have witnessed mankind take what it wants from the wild kingdom, leaving less for every creature, and we have noted that the balance of Nature is being greatly upset. With the creation being all we see feel, taste, and imagine, Earth is unique with humans the greatest power. As such we are the dominant carers of the creation.
During our two year odyssey around Australia, we wrote many stories peppered with historical notes that were set within the matrix of two grandparents sailing a powerful craft through some of the world’s most dangerous waters. Adding maps and photographs, this became our first book, “Two’s a Crew”
To help publicize “Two’s a Crew,” we fashioned a film from the 200 hours of video recorded during that voyage. This grew our skills just that little bit more and illuminated a new direction. Being so very grateful to the many who have assisted us, and with Earth needing strong voices to inspire a new direction, we dedicate our energies to sharing the goodness of our life afloat.
We have now produced six films highlighting Australia’s “Off the Tourist Track.” As well as four volumes of true stories and practical suggestions acquired while sailing those miles.
And then after seeing a need for Cruising Guides downloadable from the internet, we packaged our anchorage information around this magnificent island continent into electronic guides suitable for most devices.
In 2010, as a means to share this information, we established this website that has grown into another positive reason to continue sailing and exploring. Please enjoy our blogs and short stories, our online videos as well as our drone footage from around Australia. You may also download our books in electronic format for the cost of a cup of coffee. Question gladly answered. Also, please join our newsletter mailing list to be kept informed of new adventures, anchorage information, and practical tips.
Welcome on Board, Jack and Jude.
BLOG: “Our Life Afloat”
Comments and Reviews of our Books ~
Niki and Lauren at ZULU Waterways
TWO’S A CREW
The book is fantastic. So well written and a perfect balance between sailing details and historic notes and written with a raw honesty which is so essential for a Cruising book.
Niki and Lauren at ZULU Waterways
Bill and Juanita
We both have now read Where Wild Winds Blow.
The history of aboriginals saddens us but good to learn.
You have encouraged us to Put Nature First.
A good approach to life. Thanks
Petrea McCarthy, Ideas Locker Cruising Helmsman
Excellent yarn, Lovely ending, Really enjoyed reading it.
It’s a fantastic book that warrants a second and third read. Chock full of tips and hints for the not so experienced, history woven through in an interesting way, and a great story. Sailing story, love story, history, travel – what more could a reader want?
He raves about your books to anyone who will listen
Jeffery from South Australia wrote, Absolutely loved your books, felt like I sailed along with you and experienced every adventure with the same views about the environment.
I’ve sent both your books to my elderly father (85) who spent the majority of his life on the River Murray and was always around boats. He’s now in an aged care home. Regardless he is a tough critic but raves about your books endlessly to anyone who will listen.
You guys are amazing!
My partner and I are building a boat and found your voyage under Australia to be so inspiring. Quite clearly you told us about the importance of having routines in place, who does what, what to watch for. We purchased all three of your books and reading them has given our confidence a big boost. Thank you.
Lisa from WA
Where Wild Winds Blow has changed my life. I read your dedication from a copy in the library and immediately bought your book even though I have never sailed and may never step on a boat. The thought scares me. But through you two, I have vicariously experienced true love and known the courage Earth’s great explorers must have had. God Bless.
Where Wild Winds Blow.It’s a great read!
I was surprised that I couldn’t put it down for I had already followed you on your blog.
The historical notes are always very interesting and I loved how you included stories from your past sailing adventures too.
You both have a wonderful and infectious sense of adventure. Thank you!
Dr. James Fitzpatrick
Oh my god, you two are brilliant. It is strange having read this ‘chapter’ of your life and knowing that much about such a brave and loved up couple. Thank you for sharing the stories.
Marulu – The Lililwan Project
Well done Jack and Judith….
I really find you guys inspiring.
I live to see the wild places of Earth.
Margaret Muir, author
“I love your evocative descriptive passages.
Judith’s presence is felt throughout, sharing the same strength, courage and love of the wild as her man.”
Margaret Muir, author of Floating Gold, Sea Dust, & Condor’s Feather
I just want to say that the world needs more people like you and thank you for sharing your stories. We hope to be “guided” through our adventures by you both. All the best to you and yours, Diane
Caitlin and Michael ~ “Bass Voyager”
We took your advice and crossed the Strait to King Island, Three Hummock Island and, since yesterday, pretty Stanley!
We owe you a great debt of thanks as we have had such a wonderful time exploring the Western islands of Tassie – and now we are on the Tas mainland – a dream for both of us since we were kids!