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Old 01-02-2013, 15:59   #1
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Dragonfly to join Sea Mercy in Tonga!

Dragonfly, a 65 foot sailing catamaran owned by Al and Jill Wigginton, will be leaving behind their successful charter operations in the Caribbean at the end of their 2013 season to join Sea Mercy in Tonga and operate as their Floating Health Care Clinic (FHCC) for the remote islanders of Tonga. Dragonfly is the first of several interested captains/owners who have contacted Sea Mercy about our Sea Mercy Captain program. A program that we hope will grow into a fleet of part-time and full-time FHCC vessels that like to "sail with a greater purpose".



For more information on Dragonfly and the Wigginton's, you can go to the following links:
Sea Mercy is very excited about beginning our Floating Health Care Operations for Tonga in 2014 and look forward to expanding into our other island nation partners who are also waiting for an FHCC.


We wanted to thank the Cruisers Forum members for their advice and feedback to our early program posting questions and on the fine tuning of our Sea Mercy Captain program.

Sea Mercy
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Old 01-02-2013, 23:26   #2
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Re: Dragonfly to join Sea Mercy in Tonga!

This is awesome! What a great idea. I hope my husband and I will be able to do this...we're gonna need a bigger boat
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Old 02-02-2013, 00:09   #3
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Re: Dragonfly to join Sea Mercy in Tonga!

Richard, having read the progress you have made since joining us as a Goodwill Partner (our first, and so far our only), We at CF are very proud to be part of what you are doing. Who knows, maybe one day one of our readers will be able to offer up their boat to help out as well.

I have to say, Dragonfly is a beautiful boat. And what beautiful souls AL and Jill must have to offer their boat AND a year of their time to your project.

That said, it reminds me of a fella I once worked for in Liverpool. He and his wife spent a few years charters in the Bahamas, and when they got back to the UK they were presented with a GBP 2 milllion tax bill. Yup, 2 million. So they created a charity, raised The Glaciere, an 1899 sunken Baltic Trder (one of those with sails, it does the Tall Ships Parade now) and proceeded to teach diving and sailing to guys from the YMCA. They preferred to do that with their money than see it go into the tax system. They also have great souls. They're still going, and have expanded into a huge Maritime Academy now, but the Glaciere is still there.... The Glaciere Project - 1899 Baltic Trader

Food for thought, perhaps, if any of our members ever get presented with that mega tax bill!
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Old 03-02-2013, 15:29   #4
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Re: Dragonfly to join Sea Mercy in Tonga!

SaucySailoress,

Thank you for the encouraging words, the great story and for your support and belief in Sea Mercy!

We look forward to sharing more good news as the program expands into new island nations.

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Old 07-02-2013, 09:48   #5
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Re: Dragonfly to join Sea Mercy in Tonga!

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Originally Posted by Ocean Girl View Post
This is awesome! What a great idea. I hope my husband and I will be able to do this...we're gonna need a bigger boat
Ocean girl,

Thank you so much for the kind comments. I was just reading your blog and wanted you to know that we will be keeping you in our prayers for a quick and complete recovery. Did you and your husband make it to the Bahamas' as planned last month? I hope so.

Let me know when you get that bigger boat. Would love to work with the two of you in the South Pacific.

All the best to you!

Richard Hackett
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:52   #6
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Re: Dragonfly to join Sea Mercy in Tonga!

Richard,

How possible is it that Sea Mercy would be able to afford a boat of their own in order to facilitate the program? Skippers are so much easier to locate than skippers with big boats!!!
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:20   #7
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Re: Dragonfly to join Sea Mercy in Tonga!

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Originally Posted by SaucySailoress View Post
Richard,

How possible is it that Sea Mercy would be able to afford a boat of their own in order to facilitate the program? Skippers are so much easier to locate than skippers with big boats!!!
SaucySailoress,

The Sea Mercy Captain program definitely allows us to expand into our other island nation partners (Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Palau, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, etc.) with Floating Health Care Clinics much faster, so that will be our first priority for the program. But, there is also a lot to be said for having a "dedicated" vessel working with each island so that there are no downtimes times (no available vessels) for health care delivery during volunteer fleet scheduling.

Where Dragonfly is a dedicated vessel to Sea Mercy (7 months), other "Sea Mercy Captains" would generally accept 1-3 month commitments as they pass through a particular island group. As a dedicated vessel, Dragonfly will train and start in Tonga, then she will rotate to Fiji (or other island partners) to operate for the next year while other dedicated vessels will train in Tonga for a year and then rotate out the following year as funds and resources allow us to expand.

The good news is that we actually have two other vessels (a 70' monohull and a 43 foot catamaran) strongly considering the "dedicated" program for 2015, so all non-dedicated volunteer vessels that join Sea Mercy will be utilized in a short-term support capacity (i.e. specialized care - dentist only, ophthalmologist, etc.) or for emergency/disaster response and assistance (like the recent 8.0 earthquake and tsunami in the Solomon islands). We believe this dedicated non-dedicated combo will be the perfect balance for a successful program.

I hope that helps explain things a little better.

Rich Hackett
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:31   #8
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Re: Dragonfly to join Sea Mercy in Tonga!

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Originally Posted by Sea Mercy View Post
Ocean girl,

Thank you so much for the kind comments. I was just reading your blog and wanted you to know that we will be keeping you in our prayers for a quick and complete recovery. Did you and your husband make it to the Bahamas' as planned last month? I hope so.

Let me know when you get that bigger boat. Would love to work with the two of you in the South Pacific.

All the best to you!

Richard Hackett
Sea Mercy
Thanks I'm cured but weak as a babe, too weak for the Bahamas. Our plans are so fluid! We have RD up for sale. In a year ( our next sabbatical) we may be on a tri in the sea of Cortez, or on a steel hulled beauty working our way around the pacific. We will land cruise a lot too.
We definitely want to be a part of Sea Mercy. Hope to see you out there soon
Cheers,
Erika
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Old 25-02-2013, 21:26   #9
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Re: Dragonfly to join Sea Mercy in Tonga!

We just had another vessel join Sea Mercy! Rebelle, a 44 foot Lagoon catamaran. Great things happening!

The wind is picking up.
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