The Snow Petrel.
In the summer of 2006, a thirty-one-year-old expat Kiwi, Ben Tucker, set off from Tasmania in his small home-built yacht with the tentative goal of reaching mainland Antarctica. As crew he had recruited his youngest brother Matt. His destination was the remote Mawson’s Hut at Cape Denison - statistically the windiest sea-level location on the planet - with a possible diversion to the South Magnetic Pole. His budget could not even stretch to a second-hand radar.
This fascinating voyage was recounted by his father Jon last Friday night in Oamaru. Jon was allowed to join his sons as their cabin-boy at the last minute - on the promise of good behaviour. It was a real joy to spent time with Jon and Barbara Tucker last Friday and Saturday in Oamaru.
John Tucker giving a lecture on his sailing trips: Photo: Bob McKerrow
John and BarbaraTucker with their family of five young boys, gave up their teaching jobs, loaded up ten boxes of school-work, and sailed away into the South Seas. Jon put up this post (below) during his talk. Experiental learning at its best. His sons turned out to be world-class sailors.
We stayed with Jon and Barbara at the Oamaru Creek Bed and Breakfast on Friday night and had a long breakfast the following morning with them to talk in detail about their sailing journeys.
L to R. James Williamson Barbara Tucker Bill Nye and Jon Tucker. Photo: Bob McKerrow
Special thanks to Bill Nye at Adventure Books for organising and sponsoring the evening.