70 yr old Neil Smith circumnavigates Australia

70 yr old Neil Smith circumnavigates Australia

Neil Smith circumnavigates Australia in his seventies, then sails quietly back into Smithton

Posted on 24.10.2016

The weathered old timbers of Wild Wind immediately suggest adventure. Tethered at the quiet Smithton wharf, the old fishing boat actually looks at rest after four years circumnavigating Australia.

Old beer barrels for carrying water sit on the deck near a hatch from which the wizened head of Neil Smith has just appeared.

“Come on down, kettle’s boiling,” he beckons from the top of ladder steps before disappearing again to clank about with his wood heater.

“It’s only people with common sense have a wood heater on a boat,” Neil says, throwing a little off-cut of local pine into the fire chamber.

“You burn a pound of gas you get a pound of moisture. Warm while it’s going but soon as it goes out, terrible damp.”

A few minutes with Neil and you know exactly who you’re dealing with. Practical, humble and with a ‘can and will do’ attitude that has taken him on the adventure of a lifetime, sailing right around Australia, solo.

Not a bad effort for man who had virtually no schooling (he remembers getting there a bit in grade two). On the way around, he batted a saltwater croc away from his dinghy with an oar and cured his own kidney-stone complaint that had been slated for surgery.

Source
ABC News

Share

FacebookTwitter

Have a story to tell or news to share?

Let us know by Submitting a News Story

Discover Queensland

Explore all of Queensland’s adventures.

Start Exploring

What's On

Apr

27

Sights of Remnant Bushlands

- inclusive biodiversity walk
Read more

Apr

27

Climbing Single Pitch Natural Surfaces

Climbing Single Pitch Natural Surfaces short course
Read more

Apr

27

Volunteer with BeachCare – Rainbow Bay

Come along and join in on some free community coast care activities with BeachCare and help preserve our coastal environment.
Read more

Latest News

Prison-based parkruns set to launch in Australia

Prisoners in Australia set to participate in weekly parkrun events

Read more
MTB Marathon Championships Relocated

2019 National Marathon Championships relocated due to disastrous floods in Townsville

Read more
Australia Zoo Wildlife Camping

Australia Zoo partnership to deliver multi-million wildlife camping experience

Read more

Become a member

QORF welcomes applications for new Community and Green Circle Members from organisations and individuals involved in the outdoors

Learn More
Tail Lights by Georgina Pratten