B-log ~ October 2013

October 2013                                                                        September 2013 >>
Blog of Jack and Jude
explorers, authors, photographers & videographers


Our grandchildrenThis is our son Jason, his lovely wife Alison, and 5 amazing grandsons: Jayden (8), Tyson (6), Riley (4), Kylen (2), Ashtyn (6 weeks)
Of course we miss them, we like to take them exploring and camping, and we will again, but we must continue taking these journeys through the wilds of Earth, while we can.

A Very Nice Omelette Indeed.

Jajuweddingcake2It gives us great pleasure to announce that on full moon Saturday, the 19th of October, Jack and Jude will celebrate 45 years of marriage. It is no mean feat for two strong-willed people to stay together that many years. And we’d not try to hoodwink you into thinking that our road has been a bouquet of roses. Far from it. Like two snarling cats, we fought from the very beginning, and we tossed in the towel on at least one occasion. Heaven only knows how many times splitting up was threatened. But, looking back, we like to think of our time together as something like making a very nice omelette. When two eggs are cracked into a pan they stand off separately, each hanging on to their own identity, for each represents a single life. But the road of life mixes them up, first in swirls where the two parts can still be identified. Until, as time goes on and life swishes the mix more intensely, the two becomes one. Spices are added that enhance their flavour, as well as delicious additions that brings variety to what has now become a full and flavoursome gourmet delight.

Our secret we found, besides having good fortune, is honest no beating around the bush talking out our problems with respect for the other. In doing so brought us that little bit closer together. Undoubtedly, we are unique. Not in that we have shared the same bed for four and half decades, but because that bed has always been rather small or bobbing about in Earth’s wild kingdom. It’s a fact that when life runs normal is our toughest times. The old humdrum existence has our eyes wandering towards what’s thought to be greener grass, but which often hides a bed of thorns. Better to work on what you’ve got than chance everything for the unknown. Of course that’s where the good luck comes in.



Introducing Carolyn Shearlock from The Boat Galley Carolyn Shearlock

We recently met Carolyn online via the Facebook page “Women Who Sail” and visited her website where we found literally hundreds of great cooking recipes as well as a plethora of useful ideas. In fact there is so much information available for NIX that we just had to share it with you. Take a browse around The Boat Galley.


Coral Sea Video

We shot nearly fifty hours of HD video in the wilds of the Coral Sea, a lot of which is truly beautiful. There’s so much wildlife out there living their lives, raising hatchlings, training their bubs, courting, catching food, and carrying on, it was as if we were just one of the neighbours. We had invested a nice chunk of our limited funds in new cameras and sound gear, all of which performed admirably. Now it’s been a couple of months, so where is the polished finished product? The problem is that our computing power has proved to be underdone. Anyone doing intensive computing knows the symptoms of underperformance are hours of frustrating waiting while the machine does its thing. Jack has lodged himself behind his video editor for enumerable hours and has come up with lots of half-finished threads, but it’s been slow going. Now that we are back with a good internet connection, he is tracking down a more powerful machine to process the AVCHD formatted video that is produced by our new HD cameras. But, alas, with all new goodies comes a price tag, these high-powered workstations aren’t cheap. What all this means is that you will have to be a little bit more patient. But if anyone knows of a good quality workstation with at least 15.6” screen, a fast I7 processor, a minimum of 8 gb of RAM, and fast dedicated video card, we’d appreciate a quick email.

YellowBrick Updated:

Another project that is still under construction is our updating of our YellowBrick Blog with notes and photographs and the odd video going right back to the start of this voyage from Ballina in June. Jude’s has been taking notes from the ship’s log while I have been uploading them to existing and new waypoints on our YellowBrick page. Drop in for a peruse, and remember, as time goes on this will form a complete view of our voyage around Australia.

Jude’s Knee:

This is proving to be one of our greatest hurdles. It’s now ten weeks since she smashed her femur into her tibia fracturing and depressing the knee plateau by a whole centimetre, and she still can’t walk without crutches. Bad enough on dry land, but on a rollie boat, where ropes must be pulled, watches taken, steering done, meals prepared, all the while rocking about, it’s just plain hard yakka. Adding to this, we are not as young as we once were. Jude’s arms have developed a wee bit of sag this last decade, and Jack’s body is also loosing its grip. But, step by step, we are going forward, and we will overcome this difficulty. If anything, our bonds have been strengthened by overcoming this adversity. Now if Mother Nature will only co-operate and give us a fair wind for a fast trip down to Perth / Fremantle.

Death by a Thousand Cuts – Where has all the seagrass gone?

Tourists prize Shark Bay for the dolphins of Monkey Mia and Hamelin Pool’s bizarre ‘living fossils,’ the stromatolites, which are living colonies of primitive blue green algae established around 3500 million years ago. However, for marine biologists and environmentalists, Shark Bay is also home to the world’s largest seagrass bank. The Wooramel seagrass bank – named for the Wooramel River, which feeds nutrient-laden sediment into Shark Bay – stretches for 1030 sq km. This vast underwater meadow includes 12 species of seagrass – more species than any seagrass ecosystem in the world. This habitat provides food and shelter to a diversity of marine life, from invertebrates and fish, to foraging dugongs and sea turtles. So you can see how important it is to Earth and her creatures But how might this World-Heritage listed ecosystem fare in the future, in a changing world? Read more here


The Wind Gods Are Picking On Us

20 to 30 knot southerlyNorth and south of us are easy winds. But centered over Shark Bay, Zeus is howling – and he’s forecast to batter us for another four or five days. It’s not dangerous – just can’t get off our boat. Imagine – just the two of us locked away from everything. Lovely :>)

Shark Bay

The Green Machine Returns

Packed away in April for our 1000 NM voyage from Tasmania to Ballina, our Green Machine has laid dormant in its rubberized storage bags for the last five months. The crocodile infested Kimberley is not a place to paddle a kayak, nor is it safe for a lady with a busted knee! But that’s in the past. Hooray!

Jude loving the outingJude loving the outing

Must admit the first paddle was short and painful for our arms and shoulders. But the next morning’s outing saw us putting on the power in a feel good romp against the wind exploring the enclosed waterway beyond the nearby One Mile Rail Bridge. Our track marked in gold in the photo. And yesterday, we trebled that distance to explore the vast waterway around Whitlock Island, track marked in red.

Track of kayak Carnarvon

Plenty of fish up in the mangrove shallows.

mangrove shallows

And one lonely turtle.lonely turtle

The Varied View from our Floating Home

Dawn MistDawn Mist

Hot Sun Cool and Windy Hot Sun Cool and Windy (click to enlarge)

The BOSS and Mary Anne

Here’s a snippet of our life afloat telling about the dangers of strong winds and anchorages that are doubtful.


B-log ~ October 2013 — 9 Comments

  1. Love the Adventures.

    Jack replied – Thanks Dave. Your DVDs will be posted on Monday then you’ll get a closer look. The one of us in SA is grand, covers Adelaide around to Port Lincoln, and focusing on the Joseph Banks National Park.

  2. Jack and Jude

    Glad to hear things are OK, Jude getting better and the very informative travels in WA are noted. I will look and see what I have not got from you to date and buy myself some XMAS presents soon. Cheers Harry.

    Jack says thanks Harry, glad you like our snippets. A bit dry up your way. How you coping?

  3. Hi guys i have been following your journey & hope Jude’s knee will come good sooner than late. Thank you for your travel’s as they are giving me the courage to venture out off my fat bum and out of my chair to do more and see more. Safe travels.

    Jack says: Glad to hear our travels encourage you to get off your “bum” because life is short, and wonderful, fascinating and a down right thrill when we interact. The mysteries of life and questions on man’s effect can keep the ol’ grey matter churning for hours and hours.

  4. Keep on keeping on. Lots of love, MM

    Jack replied – Nice spot to write a novel. Bit warmer than Tasmania, you can swim everyday, with the dolphins if you want.

  5. Congrats Jack and Jude on 45 years together! We hit 38 years on the 25th Oct (35 years of those afloat) and agree wholeheartedly with your description of a very special “omlette”. It hasn’t always been easy but working through those tough times really does strengthen your relationship. I am sure you agree that you wouldn’t have changed it for the world. Best wishes for a speedy mending of your knee, Jude. All the best, Jan and Nick

    Jack and Jude reply: Wishing every happiness and congrats on 38 years together through the good times and hard ones. Boats seem to forge strong bonds, or break people apart. Love to share another anchorage with you, but don’t think we’re coming to Borneo….Well, not in the short term :>)

  6. I really enjoy hearing your stories, I am in Libya now and live 3 streets from the sea. When I get the opportunity (security permitting) I walk to the sea; cast my eyes afar and think of the times I have shared on the sea. It was a blessing for me to have met you those many years ago!

    Jude replies: Julie you sure get around to the remote spots on Earth. Your mention of security reminds us of Egypt and the other Red Sea countries. Be cool and look after yourself.

  7. Hi guys, sorry to hear about your leg Jude- hope it will heal without surgery.
    I really like reading your newsletters,blogs etc…
    Keep adventuring.
    I especially loved reading about the Kimberley area in your book. I am just starting out with keel boats/ we brought a Sonata 6 (good learning boat). So are learning by trial and error – great fun. Hope to one day cruise around Aus.
    Take care guys

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