Australia's most exclusive Yacht Club with a membership of just ONE !
(don't spoil it by joining!)

Strict dress codes apply:

Life-jacket and tie for gentlemen and inflatable bikinis for ladies.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Passage report from SY Atmosphere

SY Atmosphere is approaching Eden, its last landfall before heading down to Tasmania.

Captain Donald, Admiral Megan, and their 9-year-old son, Master Gunner Shay, report that all is well except for the fact that they have a leek on board - see photo below:


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Atmospheric pleasure

Maggie and Douglas aboard their yacht "Atmosphere"


When the 2003 Herreshoff Nereia-designed ketch "Atmosphere" anchored just off "Riverbend", I wasted no time in rowing out to introduce myself as commodore (and only member) of the Nelligen Yacht Club to Captain Donald, Admiral Megan, and their 9-year-old son, Master Gunner Shay.

They had bought the yacht in Townsville three years ago and have lived on it ever since. They are now on their way to the Australian Wooden Boat Show in Tasmania as Donald is a traditional wooden shipwright and hopes to find some work down there.

Donald, being Irish, knew all about one of my favourite books and movies, "The Riddle of the Sands", by Robert Erskine Childers, and they'd been in Ireland in 1997 when Tony Hawks travelled "Round Ireland with a Fridge" (another Irishman, Alan, had introduced me to this book when I revisited Thursday Island in 2005 - click here). It has since been made into a movie; guess who's placing an order on ebay soon? ☺

Of course, we gave them full membership to the Nelligen Yacht Club, complete with matching t-shirts, and treated them to afternoon coffee and cake and long (and longed-for) hot showers, and they treated us to their stories of sailing around Australia. It was a pleasurable exchange for both parties!

Fair winds and following seas and long may your big jib draw, Donald, Megan and Shay!

P.S. If you're on facebook - which we are not - you can read all about their adventures on facebook - yachtatmosphere; they also have a blog/website at


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

And the Sea Will Tell


Alone with her new husband on Palmyra Atoll, a tiny Pacific atoll, a young woman, combing the beach, finds an odd aluminum container washed up out of the lagoon, and beside it on the sand something glitters -- a gold tooth in a scorched human skull. The investigation that follows uncovers an extraordinarily complex and puzzling true-life crime story.

Vincent Bugliosi was able to draw together the hundreds of conflicting details of the mystery and reconstruct what really happened when four people found hell in a tropical paradise.

And the Sea Will Tell reconstructs the events and subsequent trial of a riveting true murder mystery, and probes into the dark heart of a serpentine scenario of death.

The story was subsequently made into a three-hour TV movie which was shot on location on Palmyra Atoll.

Click here for the other six parts

And after you have watched this thrilling movie, sit back and relax and have a look at what everyday life on Palmyra Atoll is like:


An Island to Oneself


An Auckland-based German documentary-maker, Ulli Weissbach of Pacifica Productions, wants to make a film about Tom Neale, the New Zealander who spent several years alone on Suwarrow Atoll in the middle of the South Pacific.

Until the film comes out - if it ever does! - , here's Tom Neale's book An Island To Oneself. Enjoy!

Click here to open online book in separate window


Sunday, July 12, 2015

England expects



The Royal Navy is proud to announce its new fleet of Type 45 destroyers

Having initially named the first two ships HMS Daring and HMS Dauntless, the Naming Committee has, after intensive pressure from Brussels, renamed them HMS Cautious and HMS Prudence.

The next five ships are to be HMS Empathy, HMS Circumspect, HMS Nervous, HMS Timorous and HMS Apologist.

Costing £850 million each, they comply with the very latest employment, equality, health & safety and human rights laws.

The Royal Navy fully expects any future enemy to be jolly decent and to comply with the same high standards of behaviour.

The new user-friendly crow's nest has excellent wheelchair access.

Live ammunition has been replaced with paintballs to reduce the risk of anyone getting hurt and to cut down on the number of compensation claims.

Stress counsellors and lawyers will be on board, as will a full sympathetic industrial tribunal.

The crew will be 50/50 men and women, and will contain the correct balance of race, gender, sexuality and disability.

Sailors will only work a maximum of 37hrs per week as per Brussels Rules on Working Hours, even in wartime.

All the vessels are equipped with a maternity ward, a crèche and a gay disco.

Tobacco will be banned throughout the ship, but recreational cannabis will be allowed in wardrooms and messes.

The Royal Navy is eager to shed its traditional reputation for "Rum, sodomy and the lash", so out has gone the rum ration, replaced by sparkling water.

Sodomy remains, now extended to include all ratings under 18. The lash will still be available on request.

Saluting of officers is now considered elitist and has been replaced by "Hello Sailor".

All information on notice boards will be in 37 different languages and Braille.

Crew members will now no longer have to ask permission to grow beards and/or moustaches.

This applies equally to female crew.

The MoD is inviting suggestions for a "non-specific" flag because the White Ensign may offend minorities.

The Union Jack must never be seen.

The newly re-named HMS Cautious will be commissioned shortly by Captain Hook from the Finsbury Park Mosque who will break a petrol bomb over the hull.

She will gently slide into the sea as the Royal Marines Band plays "In the Navy" by the Village People.

Her first deployment will be to escort boatloads of illegal immigrants to ports on England's south coast.

The Prime Minister said, "Our ships reflect the very latest in modern thinking and they will always be able to comply with any new legislation from Brussels ."

His final words were, "Britannia waives the rules."

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

SV Silver Girl

Robert Bryce in front of the schooner "Silver Girl', named after the Simon & Garfunkel song 'Bridge Over Troubled Waters'. She was made famous in San Francisco years ago for having won the Master Mariner's regatta, which was a wilful error on the part of the Yacht Club that was tired of 'Wanderbird' winning it repeatedly. Her tender was the scatologically-named 'Breaking Wind'.


Nelligen Yacht Club's Commodore, Secretary, Treasurer and only-Member unanimously admitted Robert Bryce as Honorary (but not necessarily honorable) Member.

Robert used to own SV Silver Girl, however, both he and she are now in drydock, he mainly at the not-so-dry Savusavu Yacht Club in Fiji.

However, he's just now relaunched his maritime career in a more modest manner:

Welcome to the Club, Robert! May you pass only fair winds whilst in the head.