Michael Gebicki

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Travelling came early, and naturally. My early years were spent between the UK, Canada and the USA. By the age of 15 I ended up in Australia, which has been home more or less ever since. I started out as a photographer and then one day I went to see a magazine with some images from Burma. The editor said “we like your pictures but we’d need a story to go with it,” so I ground out a story, it got published and I’ve been writing about travel ever since. I never feel more alive than when I’m away from home. Sensations are sharper, coffee tastes different, colours are brighter, even the light has a another quality to it when you’re away from the familiar. You also discover different things about yourself when you’re somewhere you don’t belong, and the more out of your depth you are, the more interesting the journey becomes.

I’ve written for Conde Nast Traveller, The Washington Post, Travel and Leisure, The Telegraph (UK), The Guardian and a whole lot of inflight, corporate and car magazines. I also write travel columns that appear every week in Traveller pages of The Sydney Morning Herald/The Age and The Sun-Herald, where I dish out advice as The Tripologist.

Tools. Nikon, iPad, MacBook. I got into Nikon back in film days, invested in lenses and other bits and that sort of anchors you. Also, after more than 10 cameras and some fairly horrific treatment I’ve never had a problem with Nikon gear and that inspires confidence. I’ll be reviewing the gear I use from time to time on this website.


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  1. Anne Teffer

    Michael, enjoyed your 8th Commandment in last Saturday’s ‘Traveller’ very much. Just one small bit of nit picking
    ‘Thine’ should be ‘thy’. — ‘Thine’ is equivalent to ‘Your’. Thank you for beaut articles over many years
    Best Wishes. A Teffer

  2. Corrina SALVESTRN.

    Hi MICHAEL JUST READING YOUR VERY INFORMATIVE ARTICLE IN THE SUN HERALD OF THE LAKES OF ITALY. I have visited all these beautiful LAKES. THEY ARE ALL JUST SO SECTACULAR BUT HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO LAKE GARDA ? It would have to be the best kept secret of all from top to bottom. I did a tour with NEVIS AND BRAYN KING. HIS WIFE NEVIS ‘s FAMILY COMES FROM THERE SO THE TOURS ARE SO INFORMATIVE AS SHE STILL HAS FAMILY THERE. WORTH CHECKING OUT SMALL GROUPS ONLY. WALKING TOURS ALSO. http://WWW.lakegardatours.com.au 0422784063

  3. Patrick

    Michael
    I was on a ship on Valentine’s Day in 1983.
    The ship was the AUSTRALIAN EXPORTER. (ANL)

    Heading to Saint John,Canada (Bay of Fundy).New Brunswick
    We were in heavy seas for days and pushing ahead slowly you understand.

    Luckily most men were in their bunks.

    We were hit by three waves and the seamen on watch said they went over the bow of the ship and he was waiting to see if we’d come up. Probably if you think about it close to 50 metre waves.

    We spilt in the paint locker 5000 litres of oil based marine paint. That immediately sent a volatile vapor fog up through the accommodation area.

    We lost power and emergency alleyway lighting came on which is just generally a very soft orange glow. Add that to the vapor fog and the smell and it was certainly eerie when I left my cabin.

    Everything in my cabin was already in my bunk on top of me and it took a little while to gather my thoughts. The deck boy came past and said what do I reckon.

    I sent him down to get his life jacket. Big John an old merchant seamen came up looking very worried and he didn’t say much but the look on his face was enough for me to wonder what next.

    We had a list to 42degrees which meant the engines turned of so it became a very strange environment.

    We were being battered and bumped by the seas and the crew were all starting to emerge with a sense of unknowingness.

    The chief steward appeared in his underpants wit blood on his face and when we inquired he’d got thrown from his bunk.
    Another had a carpet burn from flying out of his bunk hit the ceiling
    ( deck head) hit the wall (Bulkhead) then ate the carpet.

    The galley and all the fridges and freezers contents were just piled high at the doors.

    Pipes had burst and some minor flooding occurred in the accomodation. The after hatches X 3. Weight bout two tones each and sit snug into the outside decks. They were dislodged and looking now dangerous.

    The temperature was minus one now and a blinding snow storm came in. Lowering lifeboats- forget it – because of the pitching and rolling and heavy seas.

    The galley was devestated and there’s not enough room to explain all the damage except to say that things that were bolted down (stainless steel benches)were thrown up several inches and whilst they were in the air, baking trays stored on the other side of the galley flew and landed under the legs of the bench which managed to put two holes in the tray which meant the benches went up and down at least twice.

    The second mate came down and checked for damage and we had some engineering crew come in and electricians to help get the galley possibly to work cause it was about breakfast time.
    We (cooks explained) possibly what we could put together and everybody understood our position.

    The second mate said he was in the chart room ( behind the bridge) on watch and he remembered all the chart cabinets opening whilst he was on the ceiling looking down at the contents (maps) flying up at him.

    We took a hole in the bow of the ship and all the electrics on the foc’sul (forecastle) we’re swamped.

    The anchor had spun around as evident when we got eventually back to land a week later.

    In all, over 100 men died that night in the North Atlantic Ocean.

    The Ocean Ranger oil rig, a Russian ship and a Greek tramp vessel.

    Possibly I’ll go to Canada in 4 years time to Saint John to the memorial mass and dedication.

    I’ve listened to the radio call out from the ocean Ranger sending SOS but realistically how we ever got through not only from the waves but all the secondary problems that were upon us I’ll never ever know.

    I kissed the ground when we finally got to our destination Saint John in New Brunswick.

    Whenever I went on a ship again in that area I’d always gauge if it was going to be winter in the North Atlantic

    Patrick Walker

  4. Blake

    Hi Mike,

    I was hoping to get your email address to hopefully get some information around the bilateral waiver agreements for Europe.

    Cheers
    Blake


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