We are delighted to announce the 2018 Calendar is out. Here is the story of the 2018 winner, Shane Ross, his cover picture of "Captain Jack" and his November 2018 entry, "Bush Camp"
In my younger days I did every thing from jump the North Coast express train to Byron bay with a back pack and surfboard, to literally camp in a tent under a bridge. What an adventure. Back then I was running from the trauma of the suburban home. I now also realise I was suffering from decent dose of hereditary manic depression. It claimed my father in my early childhood.
Later, I found almost a few decades of calm living in an old terrace house above the ocean. Then, as has forced so many others into homelessness, gentrification moved into the once accepting neighbourhood. This and all the other stressors of life took a toll on my mental health. Soon I was having trouble finding stable employment, behind on the increasing rent, evicted, and placed on the five year rental blacklist.
I am fortunate enough to have a small yacht I can call home. Typically in NSW, it is not strictly legal to "live" on a boat. So I have to constantly move around and explore new places? Better to enjoy the voyage than let the tension of a "normal" life take its ultimate toll?
Everyone loves Jack! He is a seven year old Tenterfield terrier. Given the standard of the other photos submitted for the calendar, I am most embarrassed that this was voted the cover shot. Still, whether it is the street people I find him in deep conversation with when I leave him outside the supermarket, or the tourists amazed at him floating past barking me to row faster, he is one popular little fella
As a puppy I press ganged him into a life on the sea. He lives with me on my 28' classic Herreshoff yacht. It was never meant as a live aboard, but that's what happened. Here Jack is commanding our dinghy on the Pittwater side of Palm Beach, affectionately know in the soapy "Home and Away" as Summer Bay. The little boat is our way back-and-forth to home.
Two: Hawkesbury Bush Camp
A magic place on the Hawkesbury at the cusp of Broken Bay. This bush camp is built on the foundations of one of the many huts that once populated the locale. At one stage there must have been enough displaced and indigenous persons living here that spot deserved its own postcode. Many others lived - and some still do - simply in the nearby caves and bushland. I also wonder how many were ex-inmates of the infamous Peat Island Institute for the Mentally Insane and their families?