We are a husband and wife team who love exploring the world. Karen is from a military background and Rob is from the marketing world. After Karen returned to civilian life her main focus was her art. Rob loves anything fast F1, Indy Cars, V8 supercars but his main passion has been Drag-racing. He worked as a volunteer for many years until his passion became a career.
We are parents of three that grew into six and then multiplied to a further six. One of those six has married and yep they are now going to expand our numbers by another one in 2022. If you say “Great Grandparents” fast it doesn’t sound so scary.
We were fortunate in our careers to travel extensively and we knew that travel was what we wanted to do for the rest of our lives. But with limited funds we knew we had to do it on a budget.
12 years ago we had enough of the corporate world and all it stood for, so we set in motion our plans to sail the world. Knowing little about sailing we took all the courses available, to qualifications of Coastal Skipper.
Then we quit our jobs and had our house on the market, with an offer on the table for purchase. Things looked awesome, until we were caught up in one of Australia’s worst floods. The property was effected in the flood, contract fell through and property prices plummeted. To follow our dream meant many sacrifices and even more compromises.
“Stuff it let’s go sailing anyway” ….. where there is a will there is a way. We spent a year and 7,200 nautical miles crewing on other people’s boats in SE Asia and Europe before cruising the Med for 2 seasons with crewmate, Marc Beerts, on a Jeanneau 43 DS, Alcheringa (Alcheringa is an Australian Aboriginal word meaning ‘The Dreamtime’).
On returning to Australia we were able to finally sell our house and acquired a Whitby 42 ketch, renamed her ‘Our Dreamtime’ and have been cruising Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and it was soon to be the Western Pacific and Southeast Asia on a 5 year plan. You can read about our sailing here at Dreamtimesail
Well that was until COVID hit. Like everyone our plans needed to change. Now restricted to Australia (not a bad place to be).
Ok so let’s look at what we wanted to do in that 5 years. We wanted one big final overseas sail, PNG, Solomon Islands, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, maybe the Philippines and then returning back to Australia to settle down a bit. This settling down meant establishing a small land base to come back to whilst we took shorter sailing adventures within Australia. Now that we felt we were going to be contained for sometime to Australian waters, we might as well get the ball rolling.
Purchasing a cheap block of land on Russell Island close to a good mooring field that would be secure for Our Dreamtime, took place relatively quickly. Building our “Container House” was going to take some time. However this could be completed in stages. Having an off season for cyclones each year in Queensland, would allow us to build for 3-4 months a year. With the first stage being foundations and lock up completed before we set sail again in April 2021.
Well all of this sounds great until you invite council to join in on your dream ….. mmmmmm … well if we tell you every roadblock they put in our way we would now be to chapter 99. The straw that broke the camels back was a security bond the council requires for owner builders using removal houses or containers as a base. This was projected to be a paltry sum of $65K until we completed the build, which in our case could be up to 5years away. Money we certainly didn’t have, or if did have wouldn’t want to tie up in the hands of council.
Then Rob was diagnosed with prostate cancer in April 2021 our world took a ride on the giant drop.
SELL was what Rob screamed saying we don’t need the stress of dealing with bureaucrats. And that was exactly what we did. We completed the two container pods that were to form our “Container House” and we sold them in record time. You can view the Container House walk through here
While awaiting Rob’s surgery, we discussed many options for our future life of exploration. One thing was certain. We were not giving up our wandering lifestyle. We were still going to sail, but in the off season we want to be out doing stuff. Karen has been following a number of #VanLife YouTube channels enjoying their freedom of exploration of the land. So a new project was hatched. “Project Recovery” .
Keep the mind and body busy and it will recover with the enthusiasm to live life to the fullest.
Using the profits from the container house sale, we set out to complete “Project Recovery” and it has turned out well. We have built ourselves a lovely campervan and now have a land yacht that we can explore this wide vast land in whilst the sailing season is at a standstill due to cyclones. You can read about the van build and see lots of photos on the “The Van Conversion” on this blog.
Then it was back to Our Dreamtime to complete a couple of jobs that we wanted to do coming into her 40th year afloat. Yep that’s right. Our lovely lady was launched back in 1982.
2021 hasn’t been all that bad, we have really enjoyed spending the time with family especially being around our fast growing grandchildren this past year. Watching them in their many activities has provided us with much pleasure and these memories will be treasured forever.
So that brings us up to date. If you would like to follow along on our crazy journey you can do so in a number of ways ….. we of course have the usual social media along with a YouTube Chanel but be sure to subscribe to this page where you will get updates on our travel, antics some not so funny in this crazy world we live in.
Thanks for stopping by 😊
What People Say
The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.Walt Disney
It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.J. K. Rowling
Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.Dr. Seuss