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T minus 1

There’s something so satisfying working with your hands. Its task-based work with a clear start and endpoint and immediate feedback on whether you did it well or not. The sense of satisfaction one feels at the end of a day after working on the tools is nothing like working at a desk. Getting home and feeling every muscle in your body ache and knowing the results that effort created. Showering the day off and seeing the dirt and sweat circling down the plughole gives a feeling of renewal, rebirth almost, and the ability to mentally close down the issues of the day and truly see the things that matter. Friends, family and life itself through eyes that are unfettered by residual stress and a subconscious not bogged down by the complexities of business. It’s an honest and dignified way to earn a living and one that true pride can be gained from.

While there will be constant repairs and maintenance on the ocean, the work required to get the boat and all the systems ready is now complete. The preparation has been all-consuming and at times I’ve forgotten that I’m actually doing this to go sailing rather than it being some kind of renovation project. Part of me is sad that its ended as that means it’s time to leave my life and those I love, particularly the boys and their endless smiles and hearts of joy. Oh, how I’ll miss them. While Loky is too young to understand what’s ahead, Naryth is worried about the risks but I hope that he can look back on this as a life lesson in years to come and how one can choose to respond in trying times and that chasing a dream is always possible if you’re determined enough. My farewell present to them both were fishing rods so they can join me in Australia over the northern hemisphere summer holidays in July where we’ll explore Queensland together and hopefully catch a few fish. Needless to say, they loved their new rods and tried to catch “fish” in the middle of the restaurant, narrowly missing other patrons but lots of laughs were had.

I’m finding it hard to get my head around what’s next and the enormity of the challenge, so I think I’ll just pick it up tomorrow. Its 8:30pm and I’m truly exhausted. From tomorrow morning for around 72 hours I’ll only be able to take 20 mins naps until I’m out of the South China Sea given the volume of sea traffic and risk of collision so I’m going to hop into bed and read a few chapters of Moitessier’s classic The Long Way and get lost in his adventures. Adventures that will be mine from tomorrow morning. What fate awaits me over the horizon?

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Rory Hunter
Sailor

Bio

Entrepreneur. Chief Executive Officer, Song Saa Collective. Pioneers of sustainable development in South-East Asia. The collective includes Song Saa Resorts and Song Saa Private Island in Cambodia’s Koh Rong Archipelago. 2006, co-established the Koh Ouen Marine Reserve, Cambodia’s first-ever marine protected area. The reserve has since expanded to 400 square kilometres and has gained the support of Monaco’s Prince Albert II. 2013, founded the Song Saa Foundation, an independent NGO dedicated to preserving Koh Rong’s underwater sanctuaries, providing alternative means of livelihood for its residents and bringing much-needed healthcare and education to the region. Speaker at international conferences, including the G20 Summit in Brisbane in 2014. World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. Member of the prestigious Young Presidents Organisation. Former advertising executive and worked for multinational firms including Saatchi and Saatchi. Graduate, Harvard Business School; studied sustainability and resilience, Stanford University: Global Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School; BEcon, Sydney University. Completed the Coast to Coast in 2015, one of the world’s toughest endurance races, set in New Zealand, in 17 hours; offshore sailor, downhill skier, long-distance runner and proud dad of two boys.