Thursday 10th August 2017
Redcliffe Queensland  (QUEENSLAND??? … that’s not in Vanuatu?!)
 
The new (Mission 3) skipper arrived in Port Vila yesterday.  My tour of duty had come to an end and in the evening I landed safely back in Brisbane, met up with my wife Rosemary and drove to Redcliffe where we spent the night by the water. 
 
 
Some final thoughts. 
 
Firstly, thank you to Rob for his faith and courage to ask me to look after his boat for the mission 2 adventure. It was said that I volunteered, I’m pretty sure I was pushed. Thank you for pushing me past my comfort zone. None of us know what we are capable of without stepping outside where we are comfortable. And thank you for the absolute support throughout. I don’t think you sleep, your advice was there night and day, and much appreciated.
 
Throughout the mission I could strongly feel the power of prayer. There were several situations where things opened up that were beyond our control. Events unfolded that could only have come through a power greater than us. It was very comforting to know you had taken the time. So a very big thank you to all who prayed, there is no doubt in my mind that the mission was successful because of you. Keep praying. 
 
To the crew, Mark, Todd and Vic, thank you so much for your patience and support. You all worked so hard doing all things … from the sailing of course, to the anchor watches and who could forget the amazing cooking. Like me, I think at times you were stepping outside your comfort zones, and maybe we proved that old dogs can learn new tricks.  Well done and thank you. I also thank each of you for your wisdom and advice, you made us a pretty good team. 
 
Having mentioned the cooking, let me say that in this department we so appreciated of the menu set out for us each day. While it wasn’t strictly adhered to, it did give thought provokers and variants our cooks could use. It would have been very difficult without it. A very big thank you to Edith West who put so much work into it’s planning and creation – it was greatly appreciated.  The ‘Logan Bread” with it’s pre-packed bags and jars has also been greatly appreciated and so easy to cook; it’s hard to get it wrong. (Although if anyone could I’m sure I could have … that’s why the task was delegated to others)
 
There was also a Ships Cook Book, (from previous missions) which was continually used.  Very often with some well thought through variations due to something or other not being available locally. Thank you for all the hard work putting it together.
 
 
On the topic of bread … this is a wonderful thing, made fresh daily and consumed generally within the hour !!  But it was Linda Latimer who put all the work into this. Linda, the way you put the flour-packs together in separate loaf-sized-bags, plus the bags of yeast in the freezer, not to mention the laminated, precise instructions … it made it so easy for the cooks to come up with the perfect bread every day. Well they made it look easy to me. Thank you so much, it was a highlight – and I hope our appreciation hasn’t left the next missions short of stock ?! 
 
It seemed to me that each of the medical team were specially selected. Not just for the terrific things you did for the local people but the way you all fitted together. Just amazing that such a diverse lot could get along so well. You came from different races, different countries and very different backgrounds. Not once did I hear an angry word or a complaint of any sort. Pretty amazing for two weeks of such close living in confined, unfamiliar and sometimes traumatic circumstances. Thank you all for making the experience so good and so worthwhile. 
 
Now to mention Chimere and all her supporters. I have to admit when starting out I didn’t think too highly of our ship, actually I thought she was a terrible old boat. However over the past few weeks I’ve grown very fond of her. She didn’t put a foot out of line, nothing went wrong and she did everything asked of her. And she even looks good. A real credit to all those who put in the many many hours of work. For all who put in, from prayer to hard labour, feel good about yourself, you were very much part of our mission.
 
Finally to all the people at PCV Health. Thank you for your very thorough organisation, your hard work leading up to the mission made it all run smoothly. And thank you for your support as we traveled, it was an honour to be able to be a part of what you are doing.
 
Now over to Captain Jon for Mission 3.
 
Fair winds, smooth seas and some final thoughts 
 
Phil Wicks