DODGING crocodiles in the Top End and braving the roaring forties in the Southern Ocean are two challenges Sydney sailor Poppy Moore is more than ready to take on.
The Balmain IT professional is circumnavigating Australia to raise money and awareness of Parkinson’s disease on a trip of a lifetime that will take at least a year.
English-born Poppy, 44, has been sailing for 20 years and decided to make her way around the country’s coastline after her father Chris was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.
“I’ve always loved travelling and exploring new places so I decided to combine my passion for sailing and exploring with raising funds for Parkinson’s,” she said.
Speaking to The Senior from Port Macquarie, her second stop on the trip since leaving Balmain on March 29, Poppy said one of the highlights was meeting people along the way and also seeing the stunning scenery.
“Since we left Sydney we’ve had a pod of dolphins following us and we’re looking forward to seeing whales too.”
Poppy underwent extensive preparation for the 30,000km journey, taking almost two years to fit out her 31-foot yacht for the trip.
“My IT background came in handy and I rewired the boat. And now I’m very familiar with power tools and know the boat inside out,” said Poppy, who plans to visit sailing clubs, Rotary clubs and Parkinson’s groups along the way to tell her story, raise awareness and also pick up crew.
Poppy’s father was diagnosed with the disease more than 10 years ago, but she said his condition has recently deteriorated rapidly.
“He’s in a bad way, so I brought the trip forward so he can see it,” she said. “My parents live in England but love visiting Australia and this is another way for them to see the country while I’m travelling, using Skype and Facetime.”
And as for crocs and gale-force winds, the experienced sailor said her East Coast 31 yacht, Scaramouch, should be able to handle anything.
“I’ve met two of her previous owners, including one family who had her for 18 years. They found out about my trip and came to see me and the yacht in Port Stephens, which was amazing.
“They told me she had sailed up and down the coastline, so she should know these waters!”
Poppy hopes to raise $12,000 and has already raised $4000.
Sailors can join Poppy along the way, and she will also take part in regattas and sailing competitions en route.
- To follow her journey and support Poppy visit her Scaramouch – Sailing for Parkinson’s page on Facebook and Scaramouch Parkinson’s page on everydayhero.com.au
About 70,000 Australians live with Parkinson’s, a progressive neurological condition that affects people from all walks of life. The average age of diagnosis is 65. For more information on Parkinson's, phone 180-644-189, www.parkinsons.org.au