Sailing Adventures

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Explore Earth with Jack and Jude


About Us ~ the long and short of it

Jack and Jude

The short version says we met and travelled then built a boat while having two super kids and travelled forevermore.

Magic for sure. 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 sides 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 us married in England, so we planned an African Honeymoon on pitiful cash. And now, over fifty years later, we are enjoying our ten grandchildren from the two sons we raised on an ocean-going yacht built with sweat and tears by our own hands. We still sail Banyandah around Australia.

We have written four true-life adventure books chronicling our travels across the lands and oceans of the world. Taken from journals and diaries, alongside a plethora of logbooks, we write our tales with a touch of humour and like to add history to our practical knowledge. To help share our knowledge of anchorages around Australia, we have compiled three cruising guides. As nothing equals vision to capture beauty and action, we are also proud and pleased to have produced four full-length films-proving dreams do come true.

So, how did these two extremely different people meet? What forces brought us 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 an intricate plan, sending Jack overseas just as Jude began celebrating her graduation as a registered nurse? Did it send Jack, lonely and disheartened, into a Frankfurt Pub looking for joyful laughter and then let him see two bubbly blonds radiant with mirth.

I was a bit shy then, did karma have me do something quite uncharacteristic. Ordering a round of drinks, fidgeting, I approached the two beauties stammering in rather poor German, “Hallo mein Name ist Jack.” Can you imagine? Both girls burst into uproarious giggles.

African Honeymoon
Our honeymoon was a road trip through Africa, north to south in a derelict VW van we’d 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 and a feeling of she’ll be right, encouraged us to start a family and build a 12-metre yacht we christened Banyandah, meaning “home on the water” Banyandah became our family’s first home.

Three stressful strenuous years of construction saw us sail away with little sailing experience and sons just two and three. Beginning a voyage into the unknown, thinking about it now, baby-steps comes to mind. Lacking skills created mountainous obstacles to overcome. In baby steps, we gained knowledge through good and bad experiences and this grew into a sea roving life that took the four of us around the world in ever-increasing circles on “voyages of education.” Pretty corals, shells and fishes filled our minds. Further stimulating us, a myriad collection of people and cultures focused our thoughts on this special planet urgently needing some TLC. Sailing thousand’s of miles, the Four J’s touched eighty countries and experienced an amazing odyssey that lasted not the one year first imagined. By working hard, we enjoyed good fortune all those sixteen years afloat to see our sons graduate high school then wander off to Uni. 

Still hear the call of the wild
Sailing around the world fending for ourselves gave us heaps of practical knowledge and skills. But when we landed we had few assets other than one well-used boat. While our sons attended Uni before joining the workforce, for another sixteen years Jack and Jude, with help from our sons, fashioned a modest recluse on land overlooking the Richmond River and rebuilt the very same vessel we home-built in Sydney.  Relaunching Banyandah in 2007, we set sail around Australia just to see what had changed.

When we sailed away in 2007, we had three grandchildren. Now, in our seventies, they number ten! We are still exceptionally fit, which is a tribute to actually using our bodies. But we are changing, our strength weakening, which tempers our confidence with more caution. But, we have always heard the call of the wild and excel when connected to Earth, loving her topsy-turvy seas, her rivers and mountains, and the wind.

In our lifetime we have witnessed mankind take what it wants from the wild kingdom, leaving less for every creature, and have noted the balance of Nature being greatly upset. Within all we see, feel, taste, and imagine, Earth is unique, with humans the greatest power. As such, we are the dominant carers of Earth and her creatures.

During our two-year odyssey around Australia, we wrote stories peppered with historical notes, 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

Twos 3rd edition

To help publicize “Two’s a Crew,” we produced a film from the 200 hours of video recorded during that voyage. This grew our skills just a 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 ~

Trevor Norton

Two’s a Crew ~ It’s a great read, very informative.
Every cruising boat should have a copy.

West Coast Yacht Charters
Strahan, Tasmania

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.

Two’s A Crew is 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?

Petrea.

Liam Harris

Two's a CrewI love my book and video that I purchased from you and I’m watching and reading them the second time around 🙂
Best of luck and very much looking forward to reading about your adventures.

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.

Susan Schieder

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.

Gil Kaltenbach

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.
Chief Investigator
Marulu – The Lililwan Project

Mark Sheen


Well done Jack and Judith….
I really find you guys inspiring.
I live to see the wild places of Earth.

Mark Sheen

Judy Cooperman in USA

“Your writing style has the perfect pace.
It creates strong images yet skips along without wasting words. Sort of London, sort of Hemingway, but all Capt. Jack.

Your love for each other peppers it perfectly. Good show, and thanks!”

Rosemary Bartle

Two's a Crew“Pearls of wisdom for motivation!
Absolutely loved your book,
A favourite on my bookshelf.”

Graham Swannell

Around the world“Great reading!
Felt I was experiencing some of the world beautiful places.
Also learnt something about sailing and decisions one has to make to be safe.”

Graham Swannell
Head of Design Aeronautical Engineers Australia

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

Diane

Your books are all so well written and are such a joy to read and imagine what it all must be like. My husband has just purchased a boat (inspired by the BANYANDAH!)

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

Nick Sabardin in France

I’m halfway through the book about your circumnavigation of Australia and I’m loving it.
I actually just ordered the DVD to enjoy the footage.

I like your thoughts on life, Earth and mankind, and your writing style too!

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!

Phil Ross, Editor Cruising Helmsman

If you do not follow their blog, I suggest you subscribe.
Alongside Alan and Pat Lucas, if ever there was a couple like Lin and Larry residing in Australia then Jack and Jude would have to be it.
Phil Ross Editor

Petrea McCarthy – Freelance Boating Writer

Thanks for the copy of Around the World. I’ve been saving it for when I could read in the daytime because I suspected it would not be good to read it in bed. And so it proved. I have been reading it at night, and it is keeping me awake. I keep wanting to know what happened next, so continue turning the virtual pages long after the light should be out.
I’m only about halfway through, as I am rationing it to nights when the boat is rolling and I can’t sleep anyway.
So far? Amazing!

Petrea McCarthy – Freelance Boating Writer


"Pesky Rednecks" - that's us!


Comments

Sailing Adventures — 2 Comments

  1. Dear Jack and Jude
    Thankyou for your latest book, I very much enjoyed the read and thanks also for all your travelling stories and pictures.
    Greetings from
    Gil