Following the yellow boat road

Circumnavigating Australia to raise money for polio eradication

As this story goes to print, three men in two rubber dinghies have just arrived at King Island in the south of Australia. These three men are no ordinary local fisherman, however – the trio have braved crocodiles and high seas to raise awareness and funds for polio eradication by circumnavigating the island continent.

The journey is the brainchild of travel entrepreneur, philanthropist and Rotarian, Robert Pennicott. Joined by fellow skipper Mick Souter and cameraman Zorro Gamarnik, the three began the 12,000 nautical mile journey on 31 May in Sydney. Since that time, the crew have travelled in an anti-clockwise direction around Australia for 85 days in two 5.4 metre (18 ft) rubber dinghies. Along the way they have seen crocodiles, whales, dolphins, flying fish and thousands of kilometres of rugged coastline and sandy beaches. It is currently estimated that the crew will reach Sydney once more on 7 September (dependent on weather).

Those interested in the journey are asked to donate, or to bid for the chance to join the crew for a leg of the journey. So far donations have exceeded AUS$ 150,000, including a bid of $3,000 for a trip from Port Gregory to Geraldton in Western Australia. By far the biggest portion of the donations will go to help eradicate polio – 92% of the donations will go to Rotary International’s End Polio Now campaign and 8% will go to the conservation work of the Pennicott Foundation.

For more on their journey, including blogs and videos, visit follow.theyellowboatroad.com.

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