How Explorers Jack and Jude Use Avenza Maps in Their Life Afloat

View of the lake mountains and greenery of Tasmania

Imagine sailing across the globe with nothing but the sun, stars, sky and sea for company. Now imagine you had no GPS to navigate and find your way around. Yes, you read that right. In the world we live in today,  it seems only possible to leave the house with a map that is connected to one of our smartphones or smartwatches, but for the wilderness explorers Jack and Jude, this was different.

The Adventures of Jack and Jude


Young Jack and Jude on their honeymoon


Jack and Jude found their way into each other's hearts long before GPS became the standard mode of navigation. Nature's magic and their shared love of adventure brought them together, and the rest is history. In 1973, Jack and Jude launched their homemade ‘Banyandah,’ meaning 'Home on the Water' in the first nation language and set sail with their two toddlers around the globe. For the next sixteen years, they sailed around the world by only using sextant navigation. They were survival champions by the time the GPS was released.

After retiring from sailing the world, the explorers shuttled back and forth between their home base in New South Wales and Tasmania. They began their expedition into the deep Southwest forests in search of the historical Gould's track. They spent the majority of their time attempting to clean up the path in order to locate the historic track. During their cleanup, they encountered a few high school students participating in an orienteering course in the same area. These children became an important part of their adventures, and they affectionately referred to them as their grandchildren. Together with their grandchildren, Jack and Jude pursued the project of clearing and locating the Gould's track.

In the process of locating the Gould Track, Jack and Jude discovered the Hydro team's famous yellow-painted diamond shape with red dot markers. Around this time Avenza Maps was released, and Jack and Jude began using it to flag these markers and mark places of interest.

Discovering and Using Avenza Maps


Jack clearing dead branches to make a better and safer access

Jack and Jude's expeditions grew in size. They formed a Wildcare volunteer group and spent several years clearing and tracking the Gould’s path so that other explorers could use it. They found that manual mapping and orienteering were more complicated and cumbersome, and with the help of Avenza Maps, all their quests became effortlessly meticulous. Data collection directly linked to a GPS coordinate made sharing information with other explorers easier than ever. Having all of their maps in the palm of their hands made their journey more enjoyable, and Avenza Maps became an essential part of Jack and Jude's adventures. 


Gould’s trackmap plotted by Jack and Jude


Their usage of Avenza Maps grew when Jack and Jude explored the shores of Macquarie Harbour. They discovered algae bloom in what had been pristine waters, now home to 32,000 tonnes of fish. Because of the fish farming methods, the world heritage area was coated with grunge green mass, which was causing a serious problem. Jack and Jude made the decision to improve the operation of the fish farms. They organized annual clean-ups and used Avenza Maps to locate the pipes and floats covered in fish farm ropes on the beaches. They also used Avenza Maps to mark the locations, export the data, and share it with authorities to expedite the cleanup. 


Jude walking on the bridge across Sandstone Creek


Jack and Jude realized that using Avenza Maps made their expeditions far more structured because they could plot and collect data and easily share it with their Wildcare colleagues and government officials. They found the feature of geotagging photos and notes particularly beneficial because it allowed them to plot a point and provide data on the condition of that specific location and add photographs as a reference. They were able to accomplish so much more and faster by using Avenza Maps App on their iPad, and today, the track is a lovely walk in a world heritage rainforest park.


A Journey of A Thousand (Nautical) Miles


Jack and Jude have travelled far and wide in their most precious, Banyandah. Two children and ten grandchildren later, they are still doing what they know and love best - spending time in nature and taking care of Mother Earth. They have written and published four volumes of true stories and produced six films highlighting Australia’s offbeat tracks.

Jack and Jude enjoying a sunset while sailing


Jack and Jude’s passion and vision are to clear paths that will encourage tourists and explorers to visit these exquisite and hidden areas. They constantly encourage people to get involved and be a part of nature. They speak to school children and tell them stories about their adventures and showcase their findings during their adventures. 

To know more about their journey afloat and see what they are currently pursuing visit

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