SCHOONER IXDOS – HEALTH MISSION SHIP
This is a story about an ancient mariner fulfilling his dream:
My Dad got me boating as a boy when I enjoyed many happy hours messing about in little boats in Chichester harbour on the South coast of England.
Navy time confirmed my love of the sea. One day we set sail for France in a 20ft sloop; what an adventure across the busy shipping lanes of the Channel, La Manche!
We did it and returned for more… My boats got bigger… there was the 100ton schooner Elsa we sailed from Sweden to the Medway in England while making a film for the BBC. Then came the 50ton ketch Bukefalos from Denmark to the Mediterranean which idyl ended with the birth of my son, and a new profession as teacher.
Teaching mathematics took me further and further away to Germany, Portugal, then the trimaran Peritas to Oxford, and East to Sri Lanka.
Now I was playing with computers and was called to Malaysia and Thailand.
Then came the fascinating challenge to work with the Health Department of Papua New Guinea to devise a primary health care management information system and install it in the provinces of that amazing land.
It was in Milne Bay that I met my vision. It came in the form of the grandson of the first London Missionary Society missionary to P.N.G.
Chris Abel talked eagerly of his dream to rebuild his grandfather’s mission at Kwato. My mission/vision has always been to do with the sea. And so, it was hatched, the dream of the health mission schooner Ixdos.
I came to the conclusion that the many islands in the Pacific were in need of a mission ship such as used to be the case in previous times. Therefore, I set out to provide one. In 2003 I started building the schooner Ixdos in Phuket. I continued to teach at the British International School here and eventually the Headmaster kindly allowed me to bring the ship onto the campus so that the children could join in this effort. We are challenged to provide medical facilities for deprived island children who do not receive childhood vaccinations and who die from preventable diseases at the shocking rate of about 20 every minute according to UNICEF.
Progress has been steady, and we have been successful in building a beautiful little ship well capable of carrying out our mission. The 30ton schooner Ixdos is purpose-built here in Phuket to plans from well-known Australian naval architect Bruce Roberts with construction centered around a clinic and containing sufficient accommodation for a professional crew of doctors and nurses.
We are now approaching the final stage of construction and are faced with huge expense for masts, rigging and sails. Rolly-Tasker, Phuket, have quoted 1.8 million baht for:
- Main mast: 529,000 THB
- Fore mast: 403,000 THB
- Standing rigging: 403,000 THB
- Running rigging: 230,000 THB
- Genoa: 78,000 THB
- Fore staysail: 41,000 THB
- Staysail: 51,000 THB
- Fishermans: 48,000 THB
- Mainsail: 83,000 YHB
The Psalm of the Pacific :
You who turn storms into gentle winds,
And troubled seas into tranquil waters,
You who make yams grow
And bananas blossom,
Wash our people with justice;
Teach us with righteousness;
Speak to us daily;
Strengthen, us to serve you.
Barnard Narokobi, Papua New Guinea
This year has been incredible !
Mission Hospital, Phuket has offerred us a dentist’s chair which will become central to our clinic.
C & C Marine are giving us a generator. We already have a Perkins engine. So much help from so many people…
Our prayer is to complete our ship as soon as possible so that we may become operational and start saving lives.
We anticipate sea-trials in the Andaman Sea, with health outreach to the Mergui Archipeligo…
Merci, and YWAM.
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