It’s a strange feeling as I spend the last few hours in the office.

I now sit in the familiar corporate world, surrounded by computers, support staff and client files.  Yet, in just a few short, frenetic days, I will be transported to a very different world.  First, a watery world of ocean waves, advancing weather patterns and the day-to-day routines of the 14 day voyage.  Then once we arrive in Vanuatu, it will be a world of village communities, island isolation and the task of safely transporting medical teams, (and where required, patients) from place to place.

 Nearly five years ago I read an article about yachties working to transport medical teams in remote island communities.   It seemed like a great idea; combining a love of sailing with a desire to do some good in the world.

 It sowed a seed that has continued to grow.  Admittedly, this little seed did receive some water along the way, as I developed my skills and capabilities sailing Bass Strait in my smaller yacht, Tee Pee and then sharing the ownership of Chimere with Andrew, my brother, which we sailed back from Busselton, WA.  Pretty soon the seed, became a shrub and is now on the verge of being a tree.

 So after all the dreaming, planning, spending and worrying, I’m about to separate myself from this desk.  At least for a few months.  Without the wonderful team, here in the office, this venture, or adventure, would not be possible. There’s my financial planning colleagues and partners in business, Gray Foreman and Cameron Darnley, along with our hardworking, loyal and bomb-proof support team of Cheri, Alana and Monica.  Clients will be well service in my absence.

On the home front, there’s my ever-supportive Linda.  It may not be her adventure exactly, but nonetheless, she has helped along the way, shares in the financial commitment of it all and will take on the extra burden of running the household in my absence.  No doubt, the boys, Matt and James, will continue to be a constant source of delight, love and assistance – don’t forget that dishwasher lads, it’s no longer a mystery about how (and who) opens and shuts that door.

As for the boat, Chimere, well, she’s almost ready to head off.   Of course, apart from the usual list of last minute tasks such as servicing the alternator, generator and starter motor, replacing much of the stainless steel rigging, altering the sails and obtaining three new anchors, for both Chimere and the new dinghy.  Andrew has co-ordinated much of this work in Sydney and is just a wonderful partner in the whole operation.  (He also pays half the bills)

 Tomorrow I pack the car and trailer, make the 900km drive north to Sydney and then  go aboard Chimere to manage the last, last minute things, like … where do we put the t-towels and have we filled the water tanks?

 Linda, Matt and James will fly up at the end of next week to wave good-bye on Saturday May 2, (plus drive the car home) and no doubt hand me all those things I’d forgotten to pack; like that third pair of underpants.

 Smooth sea, fair breeze and make another list…

 Rob

 

Rob's last day at the office
Cam, Rob and Gray
Rob's last day at office 23/4/09

Rob's last day at office 22/4/09