" Synchromysticism:
The art of realizing meaningful coincidence in the seemingly mundane with mystical or esoteric significance."

- Jake Kotze

May 5, 2014

To Sea in a Sailing Ship

Last year at the Byron Bay Writers Festival I was at the launch for a book titled, To Sea in a Sailing Ship written by Sue Vader, and launched by Mungo MacCallum
"In the fading glory days of the legendary Age of Sail, a slip of a girl fulfilled her dream to sail across the world on two of the last windjammers, L’Avenir and Parma,in the mid-1930s. 
That ‘slip of a girl’– Mary Lang –was the late aunt of Byron Shire writer, Sue Vader
Sue embarked on a voyage of discovery – a journey around her aunt –captivated by the evocative diaries Mary kept as a passenger/apprentice (the only woman aboard) and marvelled  at the historic photographs both by and of Mary. 
As Mary’s daughter, Anne, recently remarked: ‘Who is this fascinating woman? I’d love to meet her!’ 

Both Sue and Anne felt the world needed to meet her too. 
Thus To Sea in a Sailing Ship, a coffee table book of Mary’s superb photographs and poetically written diaries, was conceived."
Sue Vader and Mungo MacCallum at the BBWF 2013
I recently saw this video clip below of Mungo MacCallum giving a political commentary for the Echo newspaper's video web-page and at the 3:20 mark he makes the announcement that he will be having major surgery for throat cancer and won't be able to talk for quite some time afterwards.

Mungo Wentworth MacCallum

"And on that note I’m off on an enforced break – major surgery for throat cancer. 

With good management and good luck I’ll be back on board in about a month. 
Until then, as the man said, maintain the rage. Cheers Mungo."
The view from Billinudgel 
That to me is very sad news indeed, as Mungo is a great talker and I really enjoyed his presentation and questions to Sue about her book on the day, so much so, that I just had to buy a copy for my bookshelf.
Mary Lang –was the late aunt of Byron Shire writer, Sue Vader
For those like me, who like to see how life was on the sailing ships of not so long ago, this book is a must to read.
The pictures are worth a thousand words, as they say.
These are some of the many pictures from the book that give you a glimpse of life on board these sailing ships of days gone by.
This is the second book about sailing that I have bought and read from the BBWF.
The year before I read Jessica Watson's book True Spirit, which I've heard is being made into a motion picture soon.
TRUE SPIRIT the movie
I think Jess would love to read this book of Sue's, too.
Anyway, I hope you are up and about and shipshape soon again Mungo.
I had a great time at this talk and it sure was one of the highlights of the festival for me.
I was enthralled by this presentation and book.

UPDATE: 8/5/2014
Mungo celebrates a successful operation at one of his favourite haunts with partner Jenny Garrett (far right) and daughters Diana and Gail.
How to hallucinate a budget crisis

Mungo MacCallum: December 21, 1941 – December 9, 2020
Vale Mungo MacCallum?


  1. The book sounds fascinating. And she was the only woman on board!

  2. I love these old sailing ships, great photos, we get some come into Cornwall. Not sure if I would want to sail on them for any great distance though.

  3. There are even better photos in the book Mike.These are just the ones I found on the net.