Dreams of Pacific Islands
I guess there quite a few explorers out there, here is an idea that may appeal to some of you with a long period (3-4 months) of free time!
At the start of this year I went with Raleigh International (a youth development charity) on Expedition 02A in Chile as "Boat handler"
Yes the title is odd, but the role is much more than that. It is a challenge and fun!
Each expedition has a voluntary staff team, voluntary means free of pay and whats worse you have to make a contribution to costs. Now before you all run away, Qualified outdoor education ie mountain leaders and kyak instructors people can receive a bursary, it may make the difference.
Our expedition was the largest ever, 50 staff, 150 venturers between 18-25 and 30 scientists. All living in tents and a barn basically at the field HQ. Have you cooked for 200+ people?
The venturers complete 3 projects. 1 adventure (eg trecking in the Andes), 1 community, (eg building a football stadium for the locals) and 1 environmental (eg tracking deer in the forests)
After some 2-3 weeks of staff training, the venturers arive, are trained and go out into the field for 21 days on each project.
Our project was (get your atlas) out in the Chonos Islands 80 - 100miles west of Chacboco / Port Aisen a good bit south of Santiago.
Not by chance, I and another instructor (Capt Roger, oh arghh) were in charge of all the boat equipment, planning, safety plans etc which included preparing for a naval inspection of our gear. (They are not a tin pot navy, same strict drill as you would expect in the UK for what we were doing).
With seven 4.5 avon inflatables with 40hp tiller steer 2 strokes, we mapped 700km of coastlline. We travelled by inflatable at least twice that getting around the islands.
You live in a tent on the beach between the dense forest and the sea. The forest stops where the sea stops, so where do you put your tent on high springs??? In the water, no, not ideal right!
But if it were just you, maybe you could find some space. Yes indeed. But, where are the other 24 people going to sleep and where does the science tent go, and the kitchen and the fuel and boat spares? Hmmm.
Oh and there is the small issue of the only medivac being by the navy or a helicopter (if there is one available, if its daylight and the weather is OK).
So I think thats more than enough for now. Here's the add!
Raleigh need experianced qualified powerboat drivers (Im thinking Instructors or advanced with 3yrs varied work) and mechanical knowledge is important. They may take lower tickets, but I don't agree with someone leading 25 inexperianced people when they are not up to it themselves!
They also operate on lakes and elsewhere around the world where the water is not 12c. Its hard work, fun and not a holiday!
As its young people you will be veted etc and have to prove to be suitable for teamwork in an unusual and possibly pressurised siutation. They seem to like running also, not my thing either!
You can ask me questions but best look at the website first raleighinternational.org
Thanks for your attention