WMD  -  Weapons of Mackerel Destructionwmdes3.jpg


For the last one thousand miles of sailing up the Great Barrier Reef we have been engaged in a battle with the mighty mackerel.  So far the mackerels are winning.  These aggressive aquatic predators have hit our trolling lines at least five times, and four out of five times they escaped just before we landed them on deck.  These mackerels are about a meter in length.  They are fast swimmers and they put up a strong fight when you get them near the boat.


Mackerels love to eat other mackerels.  When a mackerel hits your lure, you have to pull it in quickly before an even larger mackerel hits the hooked fish and strips him off your lure.  We lost one mackerel just that way.  We were pulling the mackerel in and another fish hit him before we could reel him in.  Not only did that fish steal our mackerel, it also hit the second lure that we were trailing to starboard and it stole the lure as well.



We have been using four inch minnow lures with two sets of dull, rusty treble hooks.  The poor condition of the hooks and lures probably has been responsible for the mackerels shaking out the hooks at the last minute.  When we arrived in Cairns, Australia, we decided to up the ante in our battle with the mackerels and we purchased Weapons of Mackerel Destruction known to us as WMDs.  We have new fishing lures with sharp hooks.  With our new weapons of mackerel destruction, we are sure that fewer mackerels will escape our grasp.  We will keep you posted on how the mackerels are doing with our new WMDs

 Who's Watching Who?  The Whales Are Watching Us!
Each year more than one thousand humpback whales migrate along Australia's east coast.  The Queensland newspapers advertise whale watching tours in the areas around Fraser Island, Moreton Bay, and the Whitsunday Islands.  I am always skeptical about such advertisements.  I thought that the chances of seeing a whale up close would be remote.  I also thought that whale watching tours were just an easy way to extract money from the purses of unsuspecting tourists.
The truth is that we aren't watching the whales.  Instead, the whales are watching us.  As we sailed up the east coast of Australia, more than one hundred whales scrutinized Exit Only as it inched its way along the Great Barrier Reef.  Each day dozens of whales spouted their presence along the horizon.  They spy-hopped and even jumped clear out of the water to get a better look at us as we sailed by.  Most the time the humpbacks kept their distance.  Only one of them swam over to our boat and gave us a closer inspection.  That particular humpback swam in front of Exit Only, then dove under the yacht surfacing behind the yacht, and then followed us for a couple of minutes before moving on.  This curious whale was not aggressive, and after a good look at Exit Only, he swam off.
The rest of the humpbacks saw us coming in the distance and consistently kept their distance at least one hundred meters from us as we sailed along.  I am sure they knew we were there and were following us with their whale sonar because they consistently stayed the same distance from us.  The jumping whales always did their aerobatics a safe distance from our yacht.
I envied the exuberance of these free swimming freight train sized mammals.  Their awesome power is balanced  by gentle instincts that pose no threat to humans.  It's hard to imagine how anyone could ever harm these beautiful animals.  The whales are watching us from a distance and hopefully we won't betray their trust and send them into extinction.

Crocodile Triathlon


Let's talk about motivation. 

How fast would you swim if a twelve foot crocodile was chasing you?  Although you might not set an Olympic swimming speed record, you would probably get a personal best when it came to how fast you swam in your own crocodile freestyle race!


In Cairns, we are in the heart of crocodile county.  Only a crazy person would jump into murky crocodile infested water and go for a swim.  Nevertheless, that is exactly what a bunch of athletes are going to do in the Cairn's Triathlon.  However, they are pushing the odds in their favor by swimming the triathlon inside a kilometer long crocodile net.


This net connects to the land at both ends of the net.  The upper edge of the net has an air bladder that floats the net on the water's surface.  The bottom of the net has a chain that keeps the net in contact with the muddy bottom of the tidal flats where the swimmers will tempt the crocodiles with flailing arms and legs.  This is definitely a feast that crocodiles think about when they dream.  Yummy swimmers everywhere.  I am sure most of the athletes don't look forward to swimming in the murky water of crocodile land.  On the other hand, just the thought of swimming with crocodiles will get their adrenalin pumping and chances are we will see some fast times in the swimming competition.  Crocks rule!

Log 1 Peter Pan Around the World
Log 2 Weapons of Mackerel Destruction
Log 3 Pirates of the Malacca Straits
Log 4 Kissing Cobras
Log 5 Debriosaurus Rex
Log 6 Go Ahead - Live Your Dreams

Log 7 The Man Who Built His House on a Rock
Log 8 Ambivalent Eagles
Log 9 One-Shovel Full at a Time
Log 10 Hitchhiker's Guide to Planet Earth

Log 11 Keeshond

Log 12 The Red Sea Blues

Log 13 Feel the Freedom

Log 14 The Danger Zone

Log 15 Lucky Man
Log 16 Dream Machines - Land Rover Defenders

Log 17 Trade Wind Dreams
Log 18 Logs With Fins
Log 19 Everywhere, Everything
Log 20 Shark Slayer Is History

Log 21 Viking Funeral - Burial at Sea
Log 22 Improbable and Impossible

Log 23 Keep on Trucking
Log 24 Dream Machines II
Log 25 Bodysurfing Whales
Log 26 Hitting the Wall
Log 27 Surviving the Savage Seas

Log 28 The Next Step
Log 29 Welcome to Barbados
Log 30 Atlantic Rally for Cruisers
Log 31 The Man with the Unplan
Log 32 Dali Dolphins
Log 33 Flying Like a Turtle
Log 34 The Foolish Man Built His House on a Pitch Lake
Log 35 Go West Young Man
Log 36 Crossing the Atlantic in a Row Boat
Log 37 The Unsinkable HMS Diamond Rock
Log 38 Catamaran Capsize in 170 mph Winds
Log 39 When Are You Coming Home?

Log 40 Master and Commander of Anegada - Frigate Birds
Log 41 Baths of Virgin Gorda - Batholiths of Central Arabia

Log 42 Free at Last
Log 43 Stalking the Wild Manatee

Log 44 Spreaderman
Log 45 Attack of the Flesh Eating Bees
Log 46 Sharks and Coconuts
Log 47 Stingray Picnic
Log 48 Boo Boo Hill
Log 49 Whale Slayers
Log 50 Noddies (Not Naughty)


Log 51 Exumas Land and Sea Park
Log 52 David and Goliath
Log 53 Turquoise Clouds of Paradise

Log 54 Momma Nightjar
Log 55 Maximillian The Great
Log 56 Chiton Kingdom
Log 57 Flying and Holding On
Log 58 Far Horizons
Log 59 Clouds Are a Sailor's Friend
Log 60 Getting Connected
Log 61 Fear
Log 62 Grand Schemes and Other Important Things
Log 63 If Jellyfish Had a Brain
Log 64 Cousins That Don't Kiss
Log 65 Swimming With Sharks
Log 66 Perfect the Way You Are
Log 67 Space Travelers
Log 68 Aliens
Log 69 Monsters of the Mind
Log 70 My Butterfly Collection
Log 71 Somewhere Other Than Here Societies
Log 72 Five-Hundred Pound Spiders
Log 73 Red Sea Sunsets
Log 74 Gibraltar Sunrise
Log 75 Big Sea - Small Ship
Log 76 Just Cruising
Log 77 Castle Mania
Log 78 You Must Know the Sea
Log 79 Flying Like a Goat
Log 80 The Joy of Photography
Log 81 Universal Camouflage
Log 82 My Rainbow Collection
Log 83 Indian Ocean Reward
Log 84 Fiber W
Log 85 Turkish Reflections
Log 86 Mirrors and Mirages
Log 87 Lycean Tombs Rock
Log 88 Rigging Emergency
Log 89 Pamukkale
Log 90 Volcano Land
Log 91 Sniffing the Air
Log 92 Why I Don't Kite Surf
Log 93 Resurrecting Exit Only in Turkey
Log 94 Greased Pole Competition
Log 95 Tsunami Damage
Log 96 Afraid of Living
Log 97 Living on the Edge
Log 98 Borneo Adventure
Log 99 Uligamu Tree Tender with Full Benefits
Log 100 God's Fireworks Display

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