One of our goals when we bought Sea Raven was to try and find a way to give something back. Sure we needed to find work too, and our original plan involved getting Sea Raven back up to speed and then looking for charter possibilities in Mexico, while at the same time looking for an opportunity to include the local children. We hoped that we would find a place where there was enough tourist business to support us doing day snorkiling/diving/sailing trips, and allow us the time to take the kids out and introduce them to sailing and through that, the oceans.
That dream was shot down by bureaucracy, and to be honest we didn’t really feel like Mexico was going to be the place for us. We both loved Mexico and her culture, but the sad reality is that the closer to the water and tourists you get, the less Mexican things feel.
So we decided to head closer to (my) home, NZ via the Pacific Islands.
With our baby due to arrive we flew to Holland to be with Sabine’s family and friends for the birth. While there, I planned to surf through the net and see what I could see in regards to chartering in the Islands, what was already there, what hoops we would have to jump through, and if we would likely be happy there.
While researching online, I came across a post on a sailing forum about Sea Mercy. I jumped over to their page and read through what they had done so far and what they hoped to achieve. It took about 20 mins for me to fill out the Sea Captain application form and send it on through!
Since then we have watched and read, as the first trial run passed by and after talking to Rich, one of the Sea Mercy founders and Directors, for over an hour on Skype, we committed Sea Raven and her crew to the 2014 season in Tonga!
We hope to make the experience enjoyable for the volunteers, we get to do all the things we wanted to do with chartering – meet new people, welcoming them into our home and showing them how beautiful, important and of course fun the ocean is, while they provide a necessary and important service for the people of Tonga.
Of course there’s along way to go to get there. We still have the rest of hurricane season to wait out in the Sea of Cortez, and then finish prepping for our Pacific Crossing next March, but now we have a goal it makes all the little chores I still want to do easier, with out something to focus on it is too easy to become a little lazy!
So check out Sea Mercy’s website and facebook page, and think what YOU can do to help us, medically trained volunteers are the obvious starting point, but as it is a self funding organisation, donations are still really important – and not just money, but goods & services, advertising, logistic assistance and the list goes on!
Stay tuned as we continue preparing to join the Sea Mercy crew in Tonga for 2014!