B-log ~ October 2016

October 2016                                                     September 2016 >>
Blog of Jack and Jude
explorers, authors, photographers & videographers

South Australia –
Delicious feast suitable to anyone’s taste

The best kept secret is out.! Although Jack and Jude have been saying this for years, Lonely Planet has now ranked South Australia in top 5 regions in the world!


According to internationally-renowned travel company Lonely Planet, South Australia is one of the top five must-see regions in the world for 2017, describing South Australia as a “delicious feast suitable to anyone’s taste.” The state is the only Australian destination to be named.

South Australia was ranked fifth, behind Choquequirao in Peru, Taranaki in New Zealand, The Azores in Portugal and North Wales in the United Kingdom. And Lonely Planet endorsed Adelaide in 2014, when the city was ranked one of the top 10 cities in the world to visit. This year’s “best new openings” include the 66-kilometre Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail, which was formally opened earlier this month.

Sunset at Sir Joseph Banks archipelago SA

Sunset at Sir Joseph Banks archipelago

Early in 2010, when enroute to Western Australia, Jack and Jude discovered that South Australia’s uncrowded waterways contained great diversity and beauty, and we loved the easy feel, good foods and wine at affordable prices so much that later that year we came back to winter in Adelaide. Wow! Adelaide is smashing. Similar to Hobart, it is a capital city friendly like a small country town, and it has lovely parks and hills, a fantastic free museum and botanical garden, vast markets and eating halls that kept us eagerly awaiting another feast. Plus historical sights abound in this “Convict Free State.”

settlers_1835The colony became a cradle of democratic reform in Australia. The Parliament of South Australia was formed in 1857, when the colony was granted self-government. Women were granted the vote in the 1890s. South Australia became a State of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901 following a vote to federate with the other British colonies of Australia. While it has a smaller population than the eastern States, South Australia has often been at the vanguard of political and social change in Australia.

It’s a great place to spend some time.

Check out our South Australia Cruising Guide Here. (It’s the second best kept secret)
Jack and Jude joined with John Steers, veteran SA sailor, to offer their collective anchorage information making this the most complete SA guide available.

Jack and Jude have a berth for Banyandah at the Garden Island Yacht Club in Port Adelaide.
It is available whenever we’re not there – More info here.

Further information –
Lonely Planets South Australia
Fairytale End of Year – June 2014
Safe in South Australia – May 2014
Rough, Tough ‘n Satisfying – January 2015
Photos 2009/10 Voyages of Banyandah
Photos 2010/11 Voyages of Banyandah
Video – South Australia – Featuring Joseph Banks NP
Sailing Southern Ocean – eBook or print

Snug Cove Kangaroo Island

Snug Cove Kangaroo Island


Jack and Jude have travelled far and wide around Australia and we have our favourite spots that charm us every time we return. The Gulfs of South Australia with their diverse mix of culture and wildness always inspires and intrigues us. And like Hobart, Adelaide is a capital city friendly like a small country town. With lovely parks and hills, there’s a fantastic free museum and botanical garden, vast markets and eating halls that keep us eagerly awaiting another feast.


It’s a great place to spend some time.

Check out South Australia’s Cruising Here. It’s the best kept secret!

48th Anniversary and counting
A very special young lady suddenly appeared at our son’s place in perfect timing for hugs and a catch up. It seems her job in Byron is getting her down and being clever she’s exploring her options when going overseas came up. Steady-Jude took the discussion towards long term goals while my head jumped back to being her age and cutting ties the first time. I recalled that divine decree stepped in or maybe a pure accident launched myself in a totally different direction. Just like our dearly loved friend, I was lacking skills, knowledge and confidence, so I really wanted to tell her my story – but didn’t get the chance.

That’s Ok, she likes my stuff, so I’ll tell her right here that to survive while exploring life on your own required not only a mentality focused on self survival, it will be by using your wit and skills to make opportunities, and then making them happen that is the key to a full happy life. This said by a man some fifty years further on, who today is celebrating forty eight years of marriage to the game changer for me. Obviously, no one can foretell the future. Make it the way you want.

Going Back Fifty Years
jack62I was working as a junior draftsman drawing steel fabrications next to the purchasing officer for a small company in east LA, and we often spoke about working our way through Europe, and wondered if we could get a job on a ship working our passage. So one weekend we drove to the docks at Los Angeles Harbor, and on the prowl stopped next to a ship flying the German flag. This was the early sixties, quite different back then. The PO man and myself simply walked up the ship’s gangplank and asked to see the captain and were shown to his cabin, where we gave him our pitch. To our astonishment, his answer was short and crisp, “Can you paint?” We must have nodded. “We sail tomorrow night, be on board by four.” And then we floated out, amazed that it had been so easy.

It being so easy, and not ready to go, we talked about getting our affairs in order, and then returning to find another ship. That plan fell apart within a few months. The PO man had second thoughts. And I studied the map and thought how much shorter the voyage would be from America’s east coast, and probably more ships going to Europe. Before I knew it, I’d responded to a Car Delivery ad and was teamed up with a new guy, delivering a luxury car to New York City. Suddenly I was off. All within a mad week, quit work and closed out the rental, then drove out of town with everything I owned in a Marine Corp duffel bag. After that, things changed rapidly.

A week’s drive across the many states of the US saw the car delivered to an aging grey hair Manhattan man, and presto, I was out on the street for the first time in my life, and after that not everything went the way I planned.

I did discover freedom and lust for life never known before, and I did find a toughness I didn’t know I had, but the bad days deepened in a back and forth tussle until I bumped into my other half about fifty years ago last April. Ever since that moment, our credo has been: Make your chances, then make them happen, gracefully accepting the help of others who love to help struggling souls.

We two are very different from very different backgrounds, and amazingly we are celebrating forty eight years of marriage today. An amazing life that’s produced two very fine sons and 10 splendid grandchildren of great energy, good looks and wit.

On this special occasion let’s think of the little ones with so much ahead of them. And think of the greatly diminished Earth we bequeath to them,  and then know in your hearts that with all our troubles and difficulties this issue of balance and moderation is paramount over all other.

Dads LA

At my dad’s place in LA
Fifty years ago


I believe in the creation that I acknowledge is light years beyond our knowledge except to say that we are special too. Earth is very special among heavenly bodies and we also are very special in the animal kingdom. But animals we are who must nourish their bodies, defecate and stink. I chose to believe that life on Earth is the test of the creator to see if we can live in harmony with the creation and in balance with the other creatures while we learn from Earth, the creation. There must be more meaning to this amazing gift of life than endless wars and need for growth that is only dividing us and destroying Earth. New goals must be our future.

We’re afloat for the next few days to celebrate our forty-eight years of Marriage..

The thirst for “where” in the fishing equation is eternal. Pick up a local newspaper and the fishing column is largely devoted to where they’re biting. But I am going to give my hints on “how” so you can successfully land your dinner no matter where you fish.

There three basic types of fish – those that search for food on the bottom, those that find food on or near reefs and pelagic fish that chase and eat other fish neither close to the bottom nor near the shore. Each requires a different technique.

Christmas Dinner

Christmas Dinner

Flathead, bream, flounder, snapper, and whiting are a few bottom feeders looking for tiny crabs, crustaceans and other foods requiring your bait to be on the bottom. Best is clean sand near areas home to their food, meaning submerged rocks, patches of weed and kelp. Cast or chuck your bait out as far as you can then in easy little jerks give your dead bait a bit of life, slowly bringing it home. Just about anything will work as bait; fish flesh and yabbies the best, even a bit of cheese as a starter will attract a hungry fish. The bait must stay on the hook which should be at the end of your line with a sinker about a metre up. Use only sufficient weight to counter current and achieve good distance.

Since most cruising yachties frequent reef country, it’s important to remember that reef fish like cod, trout, dumbos, live inside caves and hunt for food close to coral edges and right next to bombies. We often drift fish in Little Red as close to a coral cliff as we can without getting hooked up on the coral. Or cast out to put bait as close as we can to the reef, or drop our baited hook down until it touches the coral then bring it up so that it sufficiently clears to avoid a hook up. Coral Fish feed early morning and twilight thru night – middle of day they’re snoozing. We never use a rod and reel with reef fish, just a handline for quick action because coral fish strike hard then run straight for a hole in the coral, and we must prevent them reaching that hole or risk losing the fish, hook and line.

our trolling rig attached to strong point - note shock cord

our trolling rig attached to strong point – note shock cord

Pelagic fish are usually the biggest of our prey. They are fierce predators who will put up a powerful fight for their lives, so our gear needs to be able to withstand much greater forces. On the Banyandah we do not use expensive rods and reels that are difficult to store, instead we have large spools that hold first about fifty metres of 3mm braided cord making the initial fight easier on our hands, connected to a good quality swivel to which another fifty metres of hundred kilo test monofilament line attached to another swivel to which is attached a metre or two of wire trace – pelagic fish have sharp teeth that will easily cut through fishing line. Two other points – secure the braid to the spool with a tail extending to attach to your ship and use a half metre long shock cord held in a bight of the cord just after the spool to ease the brunt of the strike. You may want to use your sailing gloves if pulling in these brutes with your hands, and brace yourself for “runs.” Tuna are powerful fish that jerk their heads side to side, and given any slack will charge off to the side or try to turn. If faint at heart, forget fighting pelagic fish, they will not give up life easily, both in the water and once in your cockpit. On the other hand, if you’re a hunter/gatherer feeding your family, there’s nothing more rewarding than hand to fish battles connected to a beast. It saddens me to kill such beautiful creatures, but I am providing food that must be killed to eat.

20161007_163415Pelagic fish take lures that look like their prey. The bait shops are full of choices. Up in coral country, Spanish Mackerel love shiny silver spoons, our favourite is a plain one by Halco costing less than $20. We used to drag lures day and night across the world’s oceans, until we’d lost far too many to sharks and other big creatures. We then began making our own lures from shiny silver wine cask bladders, making skirts wrapped around a heavy sinker and secured with twine in a groove we cut in the lead. Cut the skirt to produce multiple legs similar to rubber squids.

Tuna run in colder waters and around ocean reefs, especially near the horns. Our favourite lure is a red and white Halco Laser Pro that has a spoon taking it to around a metre deep. Cheaper lures are sometimes not made to withstand the powerful strike and it would dreadful to sentence a beautiful creature to a slow death, being unable to feed having a large lure attached to its mouth. We use good quality, heavy gear to avoid losing the fish and doing this. A few other pointers when hunting pelagic fish – go where they feed, meaning submerged sea mounts and reefs. Divert to pass over or close to these smaller fish havens, and look out for seabirds feeding on bait fish, there’s a good possibility a few pelagic fish will also be there. We do not charge straight through a feeding area dispersing them, but rather sail around its edge where our prey waits for stragglers.

Yellowfin Tuna

One of three Yellowfin Tunas caught – one on each leg of our journey to the east coast

This is by no means a comprehensive guide to fishing, just a few pointers that may help you get a feed of fish. And here is our final word on conserving this fast diminishing resource: Take only what you can eat, and eat what you take. We preserve the bulk of a big fish not eaten within the first few days. It’s an easy process using Mason jars and a pressure cooker, and provides many scrumptious meals that will store in our lockers for a year or two. Good hunting.

Hungry Shark Was Faster Dorado or Mahi Mahi is a fine flavoured fish

Hungry Shark Was Faster
Dorado or Mahi Mahi is a fine flavoured fish


B-log ~ October 2016 — 12 Comments

  1. Hi so impressed with your life we are planning to head of from w.a nkrth next may, what is minimum you would allow for living yearly?
    Kind regards

    • Hi Jenny, cost of living obviously depends on how much you spend, and I’m not being flippant. For instance, some cruising folk like to use marinas, others enjoy frequent meals out, while others are not able to fix a lot of their vessel’s gear and are compelled to hire technicians. Where you fit into this scheme of things I do not know. But what I can say is that Jack and Jude have been on a strict budget since beginning our travels in the early 70s and we managed a vessel we built ourselves and therefore know very well – it’s a simple vessel, a veteran with proven systems, lacking much of the electronic gadgetry so common today. That means we never have to hire expensive “experts” nor do we spend much on new gear, mostly replacing for wear and tear. So, with that in mind, how much we spend to live afloat is very similar to our costs of living on land under the same regime. The good news here is that Jack and Jude are retirees and our cost of living is very close to what pensioners receive.

  2. Dear Jack and Jude
    we had a great chance to meet you, and we think very often to you. We wish you many more weeding anniversary and a lot of pleasure with your sons and grand children. How was your last trip to Mellish ?
    We Wish you the best.
    Eric & Dane – Angouleme- France

    • It is quite an undertaking to voyage to such a wild place and then do an in water search for a 150 year old wreck. We could not find a companion vessel to accompany us for assistance and safety. The one we interviewed just before you arrived proved to be far too great a risk. And both of our good friends with boats and the experience were not able to come this year. We are making plans to visit Mellish after the coming cyclone season. One very good thing – the Duroc is not going anywhere!

  3. Dear Jack and Jude
    After following your adventures , buying your cruising guides and a book (Two’s a Crew) I finally got to meet you in Constitution Dock and later in Crocketts Bay for a proper chat. You welcomed us relative ‘newbies’ in a friendly way that confirmed what wonderful people and shining ambassadors you are for cruising sail.
    I was especially touched by your gift to my partner Dini at Con Dock Jude. Thank you both for an inspirational beginning to our shared cruising lifestyle.
    Colin and Dini

    • Hi Colin and Dini, Thanks for the kind words, we did have fun together while enjoying a few beautiful spots, except the blow out of Hobart. Hope to see you again this summer

  4. Lovely to read your blog Jack & Jude, some good tips and would be interested to hear how “megapulse” behaves and if it works for AGM’s?
    Casilda Cove video…excellent! I was in there in similar conditions Jan this yr. Bonus joy to see Rob & Cate there with you in video…dear friends to this day from Caribbean/Pacific 1990’s

    Currently in Gladstone on R&R after months in Whitsundays, on to Brisbane, leave the boat for Xmas, fly WA see my boys and their mom then Jan, haul @ Boatworks Southport…then the Clarence. Won’t make Tassie this time!

    • Hello Alan, Just gave you a call, and got all the latest news. Be good if we’re still up in Northern NSW when you pass through. Fair winds

  5. Congratulations to the both of you on your anniversary! Hardly seems possile but I want to wish you many more and happy sailing!
    Love & hugs….. your sister in Wa, USA 🙂

  6. Hello Jack & Jude; I sincerely hope you change your “bottom Feeder” Menu from those Mother Flathead or we deplete the “Flathead Race”? There are lots of them in QLD but also lots of others, viz, Pelagic s, Reef and Bottom Feeders”. Last season and so far this year, Prawns, Crabs and Fish have been plentiful in QLD waters but sadly Bragging Boards show large size fish and like Barramundi, the Big Species are mostly always female. Keep up the good work and a happy wedding anniversary to you both. Cheers and all the best and Best Wishes for XMAS & NEW YEAR.
    Cairns, 22 October 2016.

    • Hi ya Harry,
      I knew I shouldn’t have put up that monster flathead photo, a male I believe, and the biggest we’ve ever landed. Plenty of smaller ones in Tassie, and good to hear they’re still thick in Qld too. All the best and Best Wishes for XMAS & NEW YEAR. Cheers J&J