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.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Why is this guy so at ease when his boat seems to be sinking, with no land or rescue in sight?



The man is Julien Berthier, the boat is called Love-love, and neither of them are actually sinking. Berthier is a French artist, and this boat is his most famous work.

Berthier took an abandoned yacht, cut it in half, and designed a new keel which allowed him to sail it at the odd angle seen in the photo. He caused quite a stir in 2008 by sailing it up London’s River Thames, having to frequently assure passers-by that, “Non, non, I am fine, really!”

Berthier insists that he always gives prior notice to coast guards and harbor authorities before taking the boat out for a spin, which is powered by an electric motor. The curator of the Thames exhibition, Caroline Jones, said, “I always thought that this is an optimistic piece because it never really sinks.” The work has since been sold to an unidentified art collector for a reported 50,000 pounds.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

The Riddle of the Sands


Even if its author had died peacefully in bed instead of before a firing squad in a dingy barracks, "The Riddle of the Sands" would have been a noteworthy book. To many it was the classical Secret Service novel; to successive generations of amateur yachtsmen it has been the preeminent yanr about inshore sailing in fair weather and foul; while to its author and original readers on the eve of World War I it was above all a cautionary tale, admonishing the British Government and people to look to their North Sea defenses while there was yet time.

More like fact than fiction, it holds a special place in the affections of spy-novel fans for its richness of technical detail about inshore sailing, its highly sympathetic characters, a setting and plot that recapture the European political scene of the time, and an unsurpassed narrative style which is evident from the very beginning:

Want to continue? Click here.

The book was made into a German and an English movie (each with a somewhat different ending!), the English version starring Michael York and Simon MacCorkindale as Carruthers and Davies, who discover nefarious doings by Germans while on a yachting holiday off the Frisian Islands in the North Sea. For much of the time, you might be forgiven for thinking that the film might've been better titled "Two Men in a Boat", but I loved the detail about sailing and all the scenes of the sea and the German coast (it is the Dutch coast that was filmed, I think).

A perfect to book to read, a perfect movie to watch, a perfect radio play to listen to on a cool and grey day by the river! Here are all three:

- the book "The Riddle of the Sands" and "Das Rätsel der Sandbank"
- the radio play in English and in German
- the movie in English and in German (sorry, only trailers)

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Isn't the world a small place?

Elaine and Neil (who doesn't like his photo taken)


By way of another late birthday celebration, we just had a seafood lunch with our good neighbours Elaine and Neil at the Innes Boatshed in the Bay when I saw a big burly chap and his mate feeding the seagulls at an adjoining table.

The back of his t-shirt was emblazoned with the words "Torres Strait", so I leant across and asked, "Are you two from Thursday Island?"

"No, not exactly, but we know it well", was the reply. The small guy turned out to be Captain Bruce 'Wildcard' Davey of Wildcard Luxury Cruises, and the big chap his mate Grant. They'd just come into port on their 36-foot trawler-rigged boat "Coralie" before heading farther south to Bermagui.

More about Bruce Davey and Wildcard Luxury Cruises on YouTube


Of course, I told them that I had lived and worked on Thursday Island in 1977, and I told them of my visit in 2005. Had I known 'Bluey' Douglas, the skipper of the MV Melbidir? Not only had I known him but he had been my neighbour on Thursday Island who, when in port, would wake me up every morning with his incessant leatherwork; in fact, he had even pounded out a stubby holder for me inscribed with my name.


"Bluey" Douglas with MV Melbidir in the background, sometime in 1977


Not only had they known 'Bluey' but they also knew Ben Cropp; they knew Gary Duff and Tony Tardent; and skipper Bruce was best friend with the "Millionaire Castaway" Dave Glasheen on Restoration Island.

We could've talked and talked but the fish and chips were getting cold. What an amazing chance encounter! And isn't the world a small place?



P.S. Next morning received this email from "Honest Bruce Wildcard":

Delighted to meet you by chance at the Innes family's wonderful fish & chip Boatshed on the Clyde River yesterday 17th September 2020 Peter.

Fancy meeting another who has had the good fortune of spending their formulative years living remotely on another of life's tempestuous adventures on Thursday Island in the beautiful Torres Straits.

We enjoyed our overnite stay in Batemans Bay in full appreciation of Neil and Ben Innes looking after us and making us feel welcome in your beautiful wee seaside village.

The Innes lads and the shop ladies cooked us up a huge free feed of local Albacore tuna, chips and salad washed down with brewed coffees for dinner last night. Delicious, got me a lil stiffy!

A fishermen's chin wag together after of our epic ocean adventures on the 36' steely fishing boat Coralie to date since leaving Newcastle a week ago stopping and overniting at Nelsons Bay, Pittwater on the Hawksbury River, Sydney, Wollongong, Kiama, Greenwell Point, and last night at the welcoming Batemans Bay.

It was quite rolly and rough tied up to the Starfish wharf last night after that stiff 20 knot Sou Easter popped up just after our arrival at midday. We were banging hard against the wharf pylons through the night on the tide change necessitating us to get up from our warm cosy, but small bed bunks to loosen off and double and triple up our mooring lines in the drizzling rain!

Grant and I were up early this morning at 5.30am checking Coralie bilges, topped up the 8V 71 Detroit GM main engine and gearbox oils etc. Cleaned up around the boat a bit, throwing off the mooring ropes at 6am and departing Batemans Bay on our way 50 nautical miles to Bermagui today on far calmer seas expecting to arrive tonight.

Today's weather forecast is glorious for steaming 8 knots south to Bermagui, 1-2 knots all day and small swells though turning nasty Saturday and Sunday 20-25 knots crappy Nor-Easterly on a 1-2 metre slop.

Thank you sending me your emails and your blog. The Somerset Maugham story on German Harry is a classic story of isolation and adventures so hard for today's young generation to find and experience as we have in our long past youth!

I've had an incredible exciting life of adventure as a 3rd-generation professional fisherman, growing up in Greenwell Point near Nowra, leaving Newington College Stanmore boarding school at 16 years old and heading straight to the Gulf of Carpentaria prawning where my wife Juanita and I owned two large prawn trawlers till the late 90s.

We had our four young children onboard doing Cairns School of the Air, their own school teacher for nine years before heading off to Peace Lutheran boarding school in Cairns.

All came back to the Wildcard family's fishing business after school as 4th-generation fishermen and now my two oldest boys Tiger and Tom run the fishing business in the Gulf of Carpentaria catching Spanish Mackerel with five wee 5.50-metre dories from Queensland's Cape York to the WA Kimberleys each fishing season July to Christmas.

Based from Nhulunbuy January to April we operate Wildcard Luxury Cruises and Fishing Seafaris offering 8 or 12-day private cruising through Arnhem Land, Arnhem and Buckingham Bay barramundi fishing, cruising through the stunning Wessel Islands and back to Gove.

Thanks putting the link to WLC website, Peter.

Some links below to several film crews that have come out and filmed us Spanish Mackerel fishing for you to watch.

I'm back in Batemans Bay in a week or so staying with Ben Innes. It would be great to catch up again for another chin way and more yarns of adventures.

Bruce Wildcard xo
M: 0428114413

Fishing the Wild Season 2 Episode 9. Jumping sharks of Cape Carnage.

Andrew Ettinghausen Seafood Escape Season 2 Episode 1 onboard FV Wildcard Spanish Mackerel fishing.

A Marine Parks documentary I filmed in 2012 Drawing the Line DTL Trailer:

DTL promo video links:

Full DTL Documentary watch:


Monday, August 31, 2020

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Three Men in a Boat


Jerome K. Jerome's hilarious story of what is probably the worst holiday in literature has an air of delightful nostalgia and is still laugh-aloud funny more than a hundred years after it what first published with this preface:


Here is the whole book


And yet, it is full of wisdom as well, "... not merely as regards the present case, but with reference to our trip up the river of life generally. How many people, on that voyage, load up the boat till it is in danger of swamping with a store of foolish things which they think essential to the pleasure and comfort of the trip, but which are really only useless lumber.

How they pile the poor little craft mast-high with fine clothes and big houses; with useless servants, and a host of swell friends that do not care twopence for them, and that they do not care three ha'pence for; with expensive entertainments that nobody enjoys, with formalities and fashions, with pretence and ostentation, and with - oh, heaviest, maddest lumber of all! - the dread of what will my neighbour think, with luxuries that only cloy, with pleasures that bore, with empty show that, like the criminal's iron crown of yore, makes to bleed and swoon the aching head that wears it!

It is lumber, man - all lumber! Throw it overboard. It makes the boat so heavy to pull, you nearly faint at the oars. It makes it so cumbersome and dangerous to manage, you never know a moment's freedom from anxiety and care, never gain a moment's rest for dreamy laziness - no time to watch the windy shadows skimming lightly o'er the shallows, or the glittering sunbeams flitting in and out among the ripples, or the great trees by the margin looking down at their own image, or the woods all green and golden, or the lilies white and yellow, or the sombre-waving rushes, or the sedges, or the orchis, or the forget-me-nots.

Throw the lumber over, man! Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing.

You will find the boat easier to pull then, and it will not be so liable to upset, and it will not matter so much if it does upset; good, plain merchandise will stand water. You will have time to think as well as to work ..."

There is so much insight packed into this little book - useful information indeed, to say nothing of the dog! - that you almost regret having come to their final toast, "Here's to Three Men well out of a Boat!"

But that's a whole 184 pages later, so sit back and enjoy! (or listen here to the audiobook)


Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Free Yacht Club membership to every prospective buyer!


How can we afford to give away a membership to such an exclusive yacht club, we hear you ask? Well, here's how: by saving on the overheads!

Overheads such as paying hundreds of dollars for the pleasure of letting some agent advertise his real estate business or paying them their 'hard-earned' commission for some arcane skills and secret knowledge (which consists mainly of pressuring the vendor to drop the price for a quick sale).

Look, we are not suggesting that all real estate agents are a bunch of shifty, lazy, money-grabbing sleazebags who think ethics is the English county near Suthex; we just think that we are far better qualified than any agent to sell our own home - which, by the way, you can read more about at

So here's the deal: you can join the club as a prospective buyer (pretending to be a prospective buyer is permissible!); then, after you've bought "Riverbend", you can throw out the other members (prospective buyers or otherwise) and make it again Australia's most exclusive Yacht Club with a membership of just one - YOU !

Looking forward to your joining the Club!
Peter Goerman
Membership Secretary (also only member!)