Bon Voyage Jon Sanders
We are full of admiration for this sailing legend departing on his 11th world Circumnavigation at the mature age of eighty. Crikey that’s older than Jack and Jude! We know Jon from our time in WA and he’s more at home miles from land on his own, so he’ll be having a grand time sailing his beloved Perie Banou across the seas. Especially with bushfires raging in Australia and 40° C temps in Perth today. We envy him greatly. Who amongst us couldn’t use ten months away from the madness we call daily life.
Be sure to follow his travels, (tracker here) Jon’s humorous streak makes his reports not only informative, they’re lighthearted and fun. And on this voyage he’ll be busy collecting ocean samples testing for micro-plastics.
Jon said, “As someone who has spent over 60 years traversing and enjoying the world’s oceans, I cannot sit idly by and watch that same environment be choked to death with plastic waste,”
Regulars to this blog will know of Jack and Jude’s campaign against plastic in our Australian waterways. Insidious stuff floats and breaks down into micro-particles that find its way into living tissue like fish flesh and shellfish, and from there into humans. It does not go away.
Those of us who have sailed to faraway islets have been dismayed by the amount of plastic found on faraway shores. If you have seen our Coral Sea film, you would have gotten a glimpse of what lies on remote shores around the world, and been disgusted to see litter on what should be pristine islets hundreds of miles from man.
Don’t get me started. I’m beginning to understand what is a grumpy old man syndrome. We cry watching what’s cherished being polluted and frankly, we seem helpless to alter or halt this continuing catastrophe.
At the moment Jack and Jude are particularly sensitive to these matters having spent the last three months reviewing voyage notes from the 1980s and comparing what’s gotten better, like more whales, and what’s gotten worse, like population and pollution.
It’s been fun reliving the time our sons grew into men tackling oceans that test the best sailors, taking us to Africa for a safari in the last wild kingdom, Galapagos to wander through the intricacies of nature, Rapa Nui to witness the results of over-population, gliding everywhere in-between, contemplating the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvellous structure of reality accompanied by sea fairies whispering ageless secrets. You can bet Jon will do lots of this.
A few weeks ago, we took time off to celebrate fifty-one years of marriage, a monumental event. And so, of course, we went camping and took the kayak for more fun. Jude and I have spent so much of our lives closeted together in a small space that we prefer being alone when celebrating our successful union. Kind of like Jon, he prefers his own company, not that he objects to a night out swapping stories and having a hearty laugh just like us. Guess we long-distance sailors enjoy Nature and wide-open spaces to tickle our thoughts. Nothing better than a flock of gannets dive-bombing school fish to bring a smile. Our most treasured image, a thousand porpoise frolicking alongside Banyandah mid-ocean. The glint of sunlight on the tips of the waves adding zest to the sparkles on the creatures.
Thoroughbreds Racing ~
Like Melbourne Cup thoroughbreds racing for the finish, Jude and I have been working tirelessly adding the final touches to what has become a beautiful and sometimes frightening family adventure. We’ve been adding historical notes and images to the humour and scary bits to create an exciting coming of age saga packed with beauty and wonder.
Here’s an update: Just before setting off to celebrate our anniversary, Tujays Publishing placed an order for the first proof copy of Around the World. We wanted to check the layout and fonts and see the full-colour cover in our hands. The internal text wasn’t finished, there were many more images to include, and other time-consuming add-ons like headers, footers and page numbers. Our last two weeks have brought the number of photos and charts up to a whopping one-hundred-fifty. She’s a ripper.
Last Friday, we uploaded the final version and a great cheer rent the air as we ordered a second proof copy to make sure all is 100% A-OK. Delivery of that should take a week to ten days and then we’ll sit down for a final read before releasing our new book.
Book Cover ~
Upon our return from Japan in 1982, the Australian Women Weekly wanted to publish a story on our adventure featuring Banyandah entering Coffs Harbour.
A problem arose with the gale blowing, but we went out and the photographer hid behind the harbour light as we sailed past. The sea broke over him several times. He captured our cover image at the cost of his two Nikon cameras.
Price increase ~
In 1789, Benjamin Franklin quipped that there is nothing more certain than death and taxes. In today’s world, we can add product cost increases to this ancient proverb. During the month, our printers informed us they have not increased prices in eight years and must pass on costs or go out of business. Eight years of cost increases have added a hefty amount to both production and delivery. Therefore, effective immediately our book prices have been increased.
By completing Around the World in Ever Increasing Circles, we now have production costs and have set the retail price. It’s the largest book we’ve written with 520 pages; but easy to hold even when lying in bed or “horizontally polarised” as Harry Mead used to say going to his bunk en route to Mellish Reef. You will enjoy reading of our life with the boys. They were little terrors, afraid of nothing and wanting to try everything, which promoted our motto: Do it while you can.
Vital Signs ~
Ever watch a circus man blow up balloons? They grow bigger and bigger seemingly without bounds—until crr-boom. Well, mankind has been growing bigger at an accelerating pace, heedless of our effect on the Ark. Like that balloon, our egos have grown larger with self-importance just as our system of management has been getting so ungainly, we use electronic machines to make our decisions. Instead of giving us strength, could it be machines weaken our ability to survive?
Looking back, we’re so busy. Hardly time to cuddle our kids. Or enjoy a quiet time surrounded by Nature. Here are graphs from this morning’s newspaper showing humanity’s trajectory destroying the Ark. Jack and Jude say it’s time to take a break and re-evaluate before there’s nothing left – you know just in case those eleven thousand scientists have a point.
Here’s the rub: Those scientists say the urgent changes needed include ending population growth, leaving fossil fuels in the ground, halting forest destruction and reducing eating meat.
Of course, we could do anything our heart’s desire, like past generations did when our population wasn’t over the tipping point. When we had a lot more open spaces, that’s always good for our souls. And could enjoyed the antics of the wild kingdom. Did you know the global wildlife population decreased by 52% between 1970 and 2014? Crikey! There won’t be any critters left by the time our grandchildren set off to explore Planet Earth.