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