Jan 062021


december has been a busy month, some of the highlights were kai spearing a magpie goose while hunting with his mate jacob, they cleaned and plucked it and i grilled it on grillzilla, sal & I had 10 days in darwin and then after christmas we had 5 days on the big boat in the wessel islands while kai went to darwin for 2 weeks to stay with his mates over there for new years & his birthday.

our trip to darwin was also to visit the oncologist for a 12 month followup appointment for sal’s radiation treatment and hormone treatment for breast cancer, everything was fine as we expected and they were very happy with her health.

we treated it as our holiday this year, as we wont be going anywhere else! we rented a very smart apartment in wood st in the middle of darwin, but in a quiet area of the city. it was very comfortable and super convenient with a nice roof top pool on the 9th floor and underground parking. we ate most meals out and visited some old favourites as well as lots of new places.

i had a day out fishing with an old mate, don whyte & a friend of his markus spazzapan out of leaders creek, it was an early start, heading off at 4;30am. while we didn’t have any luck with the elusive barra, despite have a few follows and touchs, but it was a beautiful day and i got to see a lot of new country as well as having a lot of fun with don & markus.

our annual trip to the wessels was not without its dramas, on launching the boat on boxing day i discovered i still had a leak into the engine room that i believed i had fixed when i overhauled the stern drive recently. luckily it turned out to be a leak from one of the trim tabs where the hydraulics comes thru the transom at the water line – so although i couldn’t stop the leak, i knew it wouldn’t get worse and it was just a matter of the bilge pump running regularly to pump out what leaked in.

we had a lovely trip up there with light breezes and flat seas, we arrived at cumberland strait at about lunch time and decided to proceed through and anchor off survivors beach – where the survivors of the japanese sinking of the Patricia Cam drifted ashore. its an amazing story, i am sure most aussies dont know that the japanese bombed and sank an australian ship as well as taking one of the crew captive and then executing him. if you havent read the story here are some links,

Pat Cam 1

Pat Cam 2

Pat Cam 3

Pat Cam 4

we found the plaque on survivors beach that the past masters had placed in rememberance, as well as exploring the surrounding area including some small rock art sites.

it was quite awe inspiring to be at this historical site, and it was hard not to think about the hardships these people faced and the incredible luck that they had picked up narritjan & the other yolngu at gali’winku – i doubt anyone would have survived without their specific local knowledge.

after a fairly uncomfortable night due to swell across wind, we decided to go back thru cumberland strait and visit another important historical point of interest, australian’s bay.

cumberland strait is a scary passage of water between marchinbar and guluwuru islands, its got a hole over 110m deep on the eastern side which comes up to about 6m in a very short distance, like the gulgari rip (hole in the wall), there is an enormous amount of water trying to get from one side of the wessels to the other thru these tiny passages – we tried to time it near slack water but still had up to 8kts of tide under us, its full of tidal overfalls, rips and whirlpools – and thats on calm days with small tides! the australian nautical pilot basically tells you how to navigate the strait and then tells you if you have any other option, take it!

australian’s bay gets its name from matthew flinder’s visit there in 1803, he landed there for the night after deciding cumberland strait was too dangerous to navigate when he arrived in the afternoon having sailed up from malay roads. (his boat, that he was heading to england on was called the cumberland), flinders & his men were ashore cutting up a wrecked makasser prow for firewood when some yolngu came to meet them, flinders gifted them some axes and other tools and in his journal referred to them as  “the australians” – the first time in all the years of his circumnavigation of australia that he called them anything other than “indians”! so his final act on australian soil was to document aboriginal people as australians.


Screen Shot 2021-01-06 at 3.14.02 pm

Excerpt From: “A Voyage to Terra Australis.” Matthew Flinders

we also had some of our best fishing at the wessels this trip, I think we are slowly starting to work it out!

we also saw a pied manta ray swimming round the boat early one morning, I have never seen one this colour before, i have also put on a video of me catching a queeny, some pigmy killer whales balling up bait and a view of australian’s bay.

on the trip up we had developed a small issue with the engine, it was running a bit hot and the temp warning light was on, i decided this was likely a worn impeller in the sea water cooling pump, and on inspection I realised that although i had a spare impeller on board, it was not a job to do at sea by choice as it involved dismantling a fair bit of stuff and then removing the whole pump to replace the impeller, so we decided to limit any further exploring and just stay in australians bay until we were ready to go home.

we left on new years day and had a good passage back most of the way, it was a fresh NW wind but thats pretty well offshore on that course and from the aft quarter so it was quite comfortable.

unfortunately as we approached gove harbour a large storm developed over the harbour and the winds increased to 25kts+ and the seas stood up as the tide had started running the other way against the wind, it was soon a white out in driving rain and sloppy seas so we slowed down to make it more comfortable, suddenly the low battery light and high coolant temp lights came on and I knew instantly that the fanbelt on the alternator and fresh water pump had blown!

this meant i had to stop the engine as soon as possible to prevent permanent damage, so i turned into the wind and nasty seas and dropped the anchor and all the chain – but in 20m+ in those conditions I suspected it would be unlikely to hold, i called a friend who lives aboard a boat in the harbour and told him the situation, we were partially holding and partially dragging, but had probably 2nm sea room from the coast, so i felt I had time to replace the belt and get going again, I asked him to be on standby in case we needed a tow into safety.

in the end I was able to change the belt in about 30 minutes- of course you have to take off the power steering belt to get the alternator belt on and off so it was a bit fraught! anyway, we got it done, restarted the engine, winched up 60m of chain and made our way slowly into port in white out conditions.


about 100m from the ship on the export wharf!


rough track from gove to cumberland


details of where we stayed

11.4 hrs 115nm 265lt 2.3lt per nm.




Sep 242016

flying home

that was the view out the window, nearly 12 months ago as we flew home from europe via singapore. its hard to believe nearly a year has passed – nearly as long as we were away for – since we returned home.

i have been very lax with the blog and our lives have instead been largely documented on instagram! i thought i best try a post to see if i could remember how i compile a post!

the last 6 months has been a revolving door of friends staying with us, jeremy & leesi from NZ via bali, tetsj from japan, carl from germany, michiel, boki & dali from the netherlands, ricardo & susana  from portugal via the netherlands, peter phipps and his son surya from melbourne via garma, kade, annie & the boys from melbourne via garma, phil o’brien, territory legend and elisa guittet, fabulous french actress and singer!

rick’s bar and grill has been busy, many wonderful meals with fantastic friends, vicarious travel for us and plenty of good wine and cold beer!


we are back on our own for the moment, and while its nice to have the house to ourselves I suspect the novelty will soon wear off and we will be looking forward to our next lot of visitors!

well i seem to have worked out how to create galleries and otherwise format a blog post so i will leave you with a few more pics and a promise to update a bit more frequently!


Jul 052013

i woke up at lunch time after my sleep following night shift and for some reason i was filled with un seasonal energy and enthusiasm! remembering i had a kilo of beautiful wagyu mince beef in the fridge i thought i would whip up a batch of burgers for dinner.

hamburglaryou can see the colour of the meat here, nothing fancy, some fried onion, 2 eggs, parsley and seasoning. i reckon you could have eaten the uncooked the beef was so good!

i realised i had the makings for some bread as well so i made a batch of bread rolls and caramelised some spanish onions. that was about it, a hot roll, sploosh of aioli, slice of swiss cheese, lettuce and beetroot and balsamic jam and dinner was done!

if you missed our recent trip to bali, i blogged about it on our balibliss blog, http://balibliss.tumblr.com

hamburglar (1)



Nov 252012

tonite was a fine night for tempura, so i whipped up a batch of batter, peeled some prawns and grabbed a bunch of asparagus!

my batter is half plain flour, half corn flour, soda water added and slightly stirred to make a thin and lumpy batter, another bowl of just plain flour for dusting prior to dipping items in the batter.

dipping sauce is some dashi, saki, mirin, soy and water.

 Posted by at 8:05 pm  Tagged with: ,

Jul 202012

the season for mud crabs is here and we have been getting some crackers, although these ones were not the result of a few hours slogging thru the mangroves fighting off crocs, mozzies and sandflies – we actually bought a box of crabs from a local professional as VJ wanted to cook some to take to relatives.

I have been tempting him for some time with stories of my chilli mud crabs and he had cast doubt on my ability to prepare a  suitably impressive version of the classic dish – challenge ON!

i think i can safely say “achievement unlocked” on that score!

i had only cooked the claws in the chilli sauce so today I boiled up all the bodies and picked out all the meat, i decided to make a mudcrab and prawn ravioli, so i mixed up the crab, prawns, dill, parsley and sheeps cheese with an egg and then filled ravioli with the mix and cooked them.

as a sauce i just did a simple wine reduction with a few fresh herbs & shallots and then made it up with cream. crab ravioli a la ricky

there is just no bad way to have mud crab in my opinion, its hard to beat when its freshly caught and poked in the coals of the fire at the beach, it gets that lovely smokey flavour through it and seems the sweeter for being so fresh.

but there is nothing wrong with it boiled and slapped on hot white bread rolls with lashings of lime and chilli mayo – and not forgetting chilli mud crab, one of the all time classics and the specialty of ‘rick’s bar & grill’ – eggs arnhem land. (muffin, poached egg, mudcrab meat and hollandaise sauce.)

anyway, here are all the images from the two meals in a slideshow,


Feb 192012

rob & jane are leaving the art’s centre at yirrkala and we decided to have a farewell dinner for them at our place, the original idea had been to have it at their house but they had pretty well packed up for the move so we figured it would be easier at ours, they were keen to cook up a mexican storm so i got some fish & prawns out to add to the mix and rob & jane brought over the rest of the doings. jane made corn flour tortillas and i grilled them on the weber.

rob made a couple of yummy, spicy mexican sauces and fried some leeks off as well as making up bowls of salad bits, herbs, chillies and a spicy mayo.

i grilled the fish and marinated and grilled the prawns and we pigged out on tortillas, beers and margaritas (which sal whipped up.)

due to the copious amounts of alcohol consumed, rob & jane decided to stay the night and we finished the visit off with eggs benedict for breakfast this morning!


Jan 122012


in cricketing parlance, i have reached my half century, yesterday being 50 years since i drew my first breath. its been a good innings, a few false shots, a couple of streaky edges thru the slip cordon, some lovely shots of the front foot, lost a couple of my early partners to good catches and sharp run outs, but now with my current partner we are building a solid partnership and the runs are flowing…..a little too quickly!  With a bit of luck there are quite a few runs in us yet, not sure I will get a century on this wicket, not many do, but a good 70 or 80 will do me.

mind you this morning i am certainly feeling the effects of the bouncer I took on the helmet, my head is pounding and i seem to need lots of water.

my intention had actually been to let this one slip under the radar and make as little fuss over it as possible, but due to a technical oversight on my part, i failed slightly. what happened was that i got far too much seafood out of the freezer when i decided to cook a nice birthday dinner for sal and myself, so i was then forced to ask a few friends round to help us out with eating our way thru all the food!

i decided to cook tempura seafood and vegetables and darryl and nicole turned up with a couple of bowls of homemade sorbet for desert, john and tomo arrived with a yummy entree of fried pork meatballs and sal had made a lounge room picnic for the kids, we had beer, wine, sake and muscat to lubricate the evening.

it was fantastic to have tomoko show me the correct consistency and mix of the tempura batter, and her help in prepping and cooking the large amount of veges and seafood was invaluable, we had shiitake mushrooms, asparagus, eggplant and ‘cakes’ made with julienne carrots, zuccini and onion. the seafood was prawns, scallops and oysters.

so in the end i had a lovely birthday party, despite my intention to avoid one all together, doing what I love – cooking for friends that love cooking and eating themselves, lots of stories, laughs and that fantastic feeling that comes with sharing life with great friends.

for all the images from last night head over to our gallery, HERE