Rob Pennicott lived out the dream of many Tasmanians on Saturday (September 3) as he motored up the Derwent River to the cheers of thousands of welcoming supporters.
It was perfect timing for the operator of award-winning Bruny and Tasman Island Cruises, who was able to spend Father’s Day with his family after a journey of more than 12,000 nautical miles around Australia in two inflatable dinghies.
The voyage – named Follow The Yellow Boat Road – was to raise money for charity, but for Mr Pennicott, fellow skipper Mick Souter and cameraman Zorro Gamarnik it also provided a wonderful personal highlight.
“It’s a really humbling experience to come home to this. There is nothing like a Hobart welcome,” Mr Pennicott told The Mercury.
Tracing the waters navigated by some of the world’s finest yachts every year in the classic Sydney to Hobart that begins on Boxing Day, the pair were afforded the rare honour of returning home to a similar reception to that of the race’s leading crews.
The father of three was delighted to have made it back in time to spend Sunday with his children.
“It’s been a long way – it doesn’t look that far on a map,” he said.
With the final leg of the trip still to come, Mr Pennicott plans on taking his kids with him.
The circumnavigation of the country has so far raised more than $180,000 for Rotary’s Polio Plus Campaign.
Mr Pennicott hopes to eventually reach up to $500,000 by the time the journey is completed and said if everyone had been as generous as Tasmanians the total would be in the millions.
Also a strong advocate for the local environment, he will be donating a percentage of the funds to conservation programs.