Included on this site are photos and information for which there wasn’t room in Dark Sun nor in Quest, or which I have acquired since publication of the books, as well as articles, reviews, newsletters, feedback, etc.
From 1993 till 2003, with the support of Dibbern’s family, I researched and documented the adventurous and committed life of George Dibbern, a fun-loving vagabond, visionary and controversial sailor-philosopher with views well ahead of his time. I examined what motivated him, the sacrifices he made and what became of the family he left behind in Germany. The ensuing biography, titled Dark Sun: Te Rapunga and the Quest of George Dibbern, is a timely and inspiring chronicle of what one man can accomplish when he thinks for himself and acts upon his convictions.
My goal to bring about an affordable reprint of George Dibbern’s much sought-after book Quest has also been met. The process took several tries and in the end I self-published, but to see the new Quest take shape has been very rewarding.
In addition, my long-held vision of a restoration of Dibbern’s ketch Te Rapunga is being realized! Twenty years after my husband and I made our first research trip to Australia, I received the news that the boat had been purchased by an a group of wooden boat and local history enthusiasts, backed by an eco-tourism company of Bruny Island, Tasmania. The restoration of this historical boat will, they feel, be a way of bringing attention to Dibbern’s life and philosophy, so applicable to these challenging times. The progress of this new adventure will be recorded in the Restoration segment of this site.
The “George story” seems to be never-ending, and new findings continue to appear. In the early years of my research, there was nothing about “Dibbern” on line — except for fine bone china. That has changed substantially and thanks to the generosity of people who have known him and have sent memorabilia as well as anecdotes, newspaper clippings and photographs, the Dibbern collection continues to grow. It will be up to the Dibbern families to decide where the collection will ultimately be housed, but in the meantime, for anything you might want to know about George Dibbern, this is the place to visit.
Bruny Island Coastal Retreats have released a set of videos about the restoration of Te Rapunga.
A few weeks ago I received a small “package” from Andrew Denman, whose company Denman Marine in Kettering, Tasmania, has been contracted to complete the restoration of Te Rapunga. Read more
An update of the George Dibbern web site was long overdue. Coincidentally with the move to modernize came the fantastic news that Bruny Island Coastal Retreats in Tasmania, Australia, along with a group of wooden boat and local history enthusiasts, had bought Dibbern’s ketch, Te Rapunga with the intention of restoring her. Read more
When I sailed my 28' boat into Squirrel Cove this summer and visited the Craft Shop in the harbour, Dark Sun jumped off the shelf into my hands. Now that I am home, I have delayed any further boat work until I finished reading your masterful work. I was sad when I finished reading, a few hours ago, because I enjoyed it so much I wanted more. I read all the notes, what an amazing work of research you have done, I felt that throughout the book. Then I had to go back and reread parts, the index was helpful.
[…] I felt you ‘pulled no punches’ in the descriptions of all the characters involved, warts and all, but you have also treated everyone with dignity and respect.
[…] And yes, as another reader has commented, how sad that the family from Germany never came to visit. But that view is obvious now only after you have put the whole life of George Dibbern into perspective. It could not have been a perspective that family members would have had at the time. Such are the tragedies of life where we cannot see and understand without the view that the future would so clearly provide.
[…] Your writing and the George Dibbern story are inspiring.