Jack and Jude, from South Ballina and honorary members of the Nelligen Yacht Club, left crowded Pittwater a few days ago and just phoned from Eden where they stop before heading down to Tasmania. Unfortunately, they passed Batemans Bay and didn't stop over at "Riverbend" as the winds were too good to miss out on. Maybe next time, Jack?
Jack and Jude are doing what I thought I would be doing once I had saved enough money. Of course, as with so much else in life, by the time I had saved enough money to do the things I wanted to do, I was too old to do them.
Jack and Jude grabbed hold of their dream in 1974. To quote from their book Two's a Crew: "When we came to the sunburnt country of Australia in 1969, we found space everywhere with a feeling of “she’ll be right” that encouraged us to not only start a family, but also to start the construction of a 12 metre sailing vessel. That arduous project took three years of really hard work and our two sons were walking by the time it was completed. That’s when we grabbed hold of our dream to share adventure and Nature with them before what seemed mandatory school years. Leaving our rented digs, we moved aboard our new yacht, naming her Banyandah, which means “home on the water.” We then boldly cast adrift our small business and friends. In 1974, with sons aged two and three, we began a journey into the unknown. Starting with no sailing experience, frightened and unsure, we overcame many obstacles while our sea roving life eventually took us around the world touching eighty countries in an odyssey that lasted not the one year imagined, but the next fifteen. When our sons were toddlers, they frolicked with dusky natives on sugar white beaches. When others their age were just starting school, they played and stayed with the Muslims and Hindus of Asia. And when nine and ten, our sons soaked up the culture of Japan before enjoying the good life in Hawaii and the South Pacific as they entered puberty. And when still a bit wild, but now reliable sailing hands, we shared long night watches during a three year circumnavigation of the world on “voyages of education.”"
Read more about their sailing adventures on their website:
|Jack Binder, master mariner and ship's engineer, homebuilt Banyandah with his wife Judith in Sydney. Launched in 1973, a year later, with two infant sons, they embarked on a magical life encircling Earth in ever-increasing circles, taking sixteen years to visit more than eighty countries. In 2007, Jack and Jude, then grandparents and married forty years, circumnavigated Australia aboard that very same craft. Once back on dry land, they wrote the inspirational book Two's a Crew, detailing that adventurous voyage.|
It seems Jack and I have more in common than just a love for sailing: he used to live in Germany - where he met Jude in the Frankfurt Youth Hostel - more than fifty years ago, and in 1974/75 he worked for Bougainville Copper on Bougainville Island - as he writes, "I was in my office when the riot took off and had to be evacuated. Were you there then?". (By that time I was already in Burma, Jack)
And he also subscribes, as I do, to Mark Twain's "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
It's a small world indeed and you can see it all from the deck of your own yacht!
P.S. Where is SY Banyandah now? Follow their circumnavigation of Australia here.