Being born in landlocked Zimbabwe, or Southern Rhodesia, as it was known at the time, Jean had little opportunity to learn to sail in her youth.
Her love of the Ocean and travel was nurtured from a very young age by her family’s annual holiday treks to the coastlines of Mozambique and South Africa.
After obtaining a degree in Economics and Psychology from the University of Natal in South Africa, the political events in the region influenced her decision to leave Southern Africa with her daughter, Natacha, in 1985 to join her two brothers in Australia.
Since her arrival in Melbourne that year, she has worked hard at re-establishing a home base and developing a respected career in Direct Marketing.
It was Peter who introduced Jean to sailing, and they became the sail trimming team on Corniche, an S&S Defiance they raced upon on Port Philip Bay. With her love of outdoor activities, photography and scuba-diving, sailing became a logical leisure activity.
Few people after only 2 years of weekend experience would gladly face the idea of crossing the Tasman.
However, this is what faced Jean when she and Peter joined "Sweetwater", a Swan 57 wintering in New Zealand in 1997 to crew her up to Indonesia.
She was pleasantly surprised at the lack of sea-sickness she felt - albeit living off dry biscuits for several days during a slightly bumpy crossing of the Tasman.
For Jean, one of the high and low points of the voyage was diving in Indonesia and seeing the stark contrast of pristine coral and those areas man has devastated.
She describes buying Hinewai as one of the most exciting moments of her life and is enjoying the challenge of sailing her - and learning all the trades to bring her up to the stand required for such a trip as planned.
Jean is extending her sailing qualifications, having obtained her Restricted Radio Operators Certificate and is currently working through relevant Royal Yachting Association Courses.
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