West Pennant Hills mates embark on sailing adventure

JACKSON Cairns has really thrown himself into the deep end this time.

He and five mates have bought a boat in Florida with a plan to sail back to Australia over a year, getting food from the sea and local produce from farmers.

"We all share a sense of adventure which, to say the least, is needed [as] we are all going to have to overcome living in close quarters, language and cultural barriers, tropical disease, pirates and facing thousands of miles of open seas," Mr Cairns, of West Pennant Hills, said.

His crew mates Jon Wright, also of West Pennant Hills, and Brendan Harris came up with the idea.

"The conversation went something like '[Jon] do you want to buy a boat and sail back to Florida?'. Brendan, 'sure'," Mr Cairns said.

Mr Harris will be the skipper and master yachtsman on their high-sea adventure and Mr Wright will look after their website and safety, using his yacht-specific first aid training.

The crew also contains a chef, Jan Urban, and a carpenter, Greg Horne.

An audio-visual technician by trade, Mr Cairns will look after the power on the boat.

"Buying our boat in Florida gives us a chance to spend some time in the Caribbean, which has amazing diving and where sea life is abundant," Mr Cairns, a former Castle Hill High student, said.

"We will be spearfishing for lionfish, diving for conch and lobster.

"From there we will cross the Panama Canal to the Galapagos Islands where we will prepare ourselves to sail to the South Pacific Islands, the longest stretch of water without seeing land — three weeks."

■ Follow their journey: www.facebook.com/pages/The-Foragers-Galley/113805652037212 and http://www.foragersgalley.com/

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