Quote of the Blog: “Man cannot cross oceans until he has the courage to lose sight of the shore” – anonymous
About fifty years ago, a small boy growing up in a small NSW country town had a dream that one day he would sail his own ship across an ocean.
He thought the dream was going to be realised about 10 years ago when he “retired” from auctioneering after heart surgery and sailed north from Sydney, but it will finally happen this December and January when I sail, with my daughter Kylie as First Mate, my 24-foot yacht Seerauber, from Sydney to Nelson, at the top of the South Island of New Zealand, and back.
Seeing that it will be the fruition of a life-long dream, it seemed only appropriate that others should benefit from it, so our so-called “Two on the Tasman Voyage” will also be made as a fundraiser for The Royal Far West Children’s Health and Aged Care Scheme.
This 80-year old organization came into my life when I was about 12. I remember standing on the esplanade overlooking beautiful Manly Beach, on Sydney’s Northern Beaches area, when suddenly all around me were a flurry of small boys, all gazing at awe at the expanse of the Tasman Sea in front of them. One little bloke just stood there, stunned at the size if what he was seeing and then exclaimed: “Geez, that’s the biggest dam I’ve ever seen!” Oh the simplicity of a small country boy’s view of the world eh?
Over the 80 years the “Far West” has been in existence, it has done outstanding job in initially providing, through their Manly headquarters, support and care for underprivileged country children and in later years, that role has extended to creating and maintaining aged care units in country towns across NSW.
Full details on the organization and its work can be found on its website at and the means of giving support is through donating so much per nautical mile for the distance Kylie and I cover from cast-off in Sydney Harbour to tying up there again some weeks later.
Given that the distance sailed will be some where between 2500 and 3000 nautical miles, if you were to donate a cent a mile, and you felt we would cover say 2615 nautical miles, that would equate to an amount of $26.15. Conversely 5 cents a mile would be $130.75.
All donations are tax-deductible, as I understand, and we will be producing an donation and entry form in the next week, which will be available on both my website and on The Royal Far West. There will be prizes, mainly accommodation-based, for those guessing the distance and these will be announced on our arrival back in Sydney in mid-January when the correct distance is known.
Of course, a voyage such as this would not have been possible without sponsors to help equip Seerauber and these include: The Land newspaper, Globalstar, the satellite phone company, and Fountain & Co, my own company. Talks are still under way with other potential sponsors and two Ray White offices, at Gladesville and Port Macquarie have seen fit, very kindly, to also donate for equipment purchasing and updating.
Needless to say, activity is frenetic, covering all the details for fitting out and paperwork etc required for the voyage.
I’ll be back to you soon with a voyage update and if you would like to participate either as a sponsor, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or the CEO of The Royal Far West, Ms Jann Kingstonat email@example.com.