Dr Andrew Brazier will swap his stethoscope and scrubs for three months alone on a 10m boat when he attempts to sail solo across the Pacific Ocean.
The Faulconbridge doctor who works at Nepean Hospital as a registrar, will face 10m high waves and up to 100km/h winds in his 15,000km (8000 nautical mile) journey across the Pacific.
He’ll leave Sydney on the third or fourth weekend in February, and expects to dock in Los Angeles three months later.
Reading Joshua Slocum’s book Sailing Alone Around the World at age eight, inspired a love of sailing in the youngster, who went on to buy his first boat at 20, and has sailed most weekends since then.
“I saw the open ocean – it was like unlocking the door to possibility. There was a desire to go over the horizon. It was a peaceful, calm experience, completely away from land,” the 27-year-old said.
While he’s lived on a boat for two weeks, and has 1000 solo hours under his belt, his longest solo trip has been for five days along the NSW coastline.
But Dr Brazier likes to embrace challenge, and he has a firm goal.
He wants to raise awareness and $100,000 for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.
“Seventy five per cent of Indigenous kids in remote communities are unable to read at minimum standards by Year 5. The ramifications of this, in a society where literacy is fundamental is profound in both opportunity and health outcomes,” Dr Brazier said.
“The foundation is doing amazing work in lifting literacy levels and instilling a lifelong love of reading in these children,” he said.
“The majority of the achievements and dreams in my life have stemmed from my love of reading … If I can influence the dreams and aspirations of even a few Indigenous children by advocating for their literacy, I'm sure the world will be a better place.”
Home schooled in Faulconbridge, Dr Brazier was taught independence and self-reliance from a young age. He said reading Jessica Watson’s book about her circumnavigation – on the same model of boat he’ll use – made crossing the Pacific solo “a tangible thing to do.”
On board he’ll carry three months of dehydrated food, vitamin C tablets – “it would be embarrassing if a doctor got scurvy” – and 400 litres of water, with a small hand desalinator as a backup.
Follow Dr Brazier’s journey at www.aloneinthepacific.com. To donate: give.everydayhero.com/au/solo-pacific-crossing.