2 February 2011
Great site! The historical bits make great reading.
OK, feel free to update the site with any bits of this that may be useful:
John Holiday set sail as planned, but with a different crew. (John Francis having been waylaid by his impending marriage!) JH got as far as Penang, returned briefly to attend JF's wedding in Adelaide, and on his return to Penang, found his boat in a very bad way, courtesy of mishandling and abuse by the 'caretakers' he'd arranged. He returned to the Western Australian iron ore mines, determined to rebuild his finances and start again.
In 1973, now divorced and living in Sydney, John Francis bought a bright yellow SS18 from Kim Swarbrick. Like the larger SS24, this vessel was surprisingly roomy for its size. Not big enough to live on, of course. But regardless, that's what John did, first moored off Mosman, then in Elizabeth Bay, with his long-time companion Nulla, a part dingo-part Border Collie which, while born in the middle of the Nullabor, was a 'waterholic'. John at this stage was working at the 2JJ (now Triple J) studios at the top of William St. Every morning he'd row ashore, Nulla swimming alongside. Nulla received an award, for '2JJ Dog of the Year, 1975'
John Holiday had meantime re-stocked his bank account. John Francis (reluctantly) sold the SS18, and they purchased a 38 ft ferro-cement sloop, ripped the engine out (since it was causing trouble and "neither of us knew much about engines"!!) and in 1976 set sail first for New Zealand, then Chile, Peru, and through the Panama Canal, where they parted company. JH going on to wreck the boat in Belize (and subsequently buy other boats etc etc), JF and his (then girlfriend, later wife) Vicki to ferry another yacht through the French islands to Rarotonga.
This story has as many parts to it as there are arms in Pittwater, and since it's no longer Spacesailer territory, let's leave it there!...................
Writer / Filmmaker
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