The short version says we met, then travelled, then built a boat while creating two super boys, then travelled forevermore.
Magic, some would say. Maybe fate.
Here’s a little more of our story.
Jack began life in an American mega-city during the topsy-turvy time following WWII. He grew up amongst skyscrapers and superhighways, smog and streetlights, so he rarely saw the stars and had few escapes from city life except for sandy beaches and beautiful surf. One memorable escape came when his parents took him on a donkey ride down into the gloriously carved Grand Canyon in a scary ride that awakened his love for the great outdoors.
Judith, aka Jude, had a completely different upbringing in a quiet north England town. Her family often explored the green hills overlooking the North Sea, fished for tiddlers in streams, and experienced thick North Sea fog and wild gales.
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 little 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 that we had 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 and finding space everywhere with a feeling of ‘she’ll be right’, we were encouraged to not only start a family but also start the construction of a 12 metre yacht we christened Banyandah, meaning “home on the water” because she became our family’s first home.
After those strenuous, stressful years of construction, with little sailing experience and two sons, just two and three, we began a voyage into the unknown. Frightened and unsure, lacking skills, with mountainous obstacles to overcome, our sea roving life took the four of us around the world in ever-increasing circles on “voyages of education”. Pretty corals, shells, and fishes, and people of all cultures filled our minds with thoughts that life upon this special planet should be cherished. We touched eighty countries having amazing adventures in an odyssey that lasted not the one year first imagined, but on and on for the next sixteen years.
Still hear the call of the wild
After another sixteen years, this time living on land rebuilding the same vessel we home-built in Sydney, we relaunched Banyandah and set sail in 2007 on a voyage circumnavigating Australia to see what had changed.
But now there were many grandchildren. Our physical forms had changed, diminishing our confidence. Nevertheless, we still heard the call of the wild and answered it to be reconnected to Earth, her winds, and topsy-turvy seas.
In our lifetime we have witnessed man take what it wants from the wild kingdom, leaving less for every creature, and we have noted the balance of Nature being greatly upset. This has strengthened our belief that there is a better path for Earth and her creatures.
During our two-year odyssey around Australia we wrote many stories, all peppered with historical notes 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, illuminating a new direction. Being so very grateful to the many who have helped us, and with Earth needing powerful voices to inspire a new direction, we dedicated our energies to sharing our life afloat.
We have now produced six films highlighting Australia’s “Off the Tourist Track.” And four volumes of true stories and practical suggestions gained while sailing those miles.
And, after seeing a need for Cruising Guides downloadable from the internet, we packaged our anchorage information from around this magnificent island continent into electronic guides suitable for most devices .
In 2010, to share all 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, and 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 with Jack and Jude.