Norman Sanders final wish was to captain his own boat.
Norman Sanders final wish was to captain his own boat. Facebook/Captain Norm Sails Home

Homeward bound: Grandfather's ashes set sail in epic voyage

A LONE sailor, a near 10,000 nautical mile journey and a homemade rig to keep him safe across the seas.

It sounds like the adventure of a lifetime. But for skipper Norman Sanders, this adventure started with his death.

The English-born Sanders left his large family - the West Yorkshire man had six grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren - in tears after he died late last year. He was 89.

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Sanders' family had his body cremated but instead of keeping his ashes on the mantlepiece, they decided to grant his last wish: to captain his own ship across the vast ocean.

And after building a handmade boat - aptly named the SS Norman Sanders - his family launched Sanders out his final adventure, the trip back home, on January 20 from Batemans Bay on the south coast of New South Wales.

Along with Sanders' ashes, the boat had a note attached that would help anyone who came across the marooned craft: "This boat contains my ashes, I am trying to make my way back home to England! If you see me beached please help by sending me back on my way!"

Farewell and fine sailing skipper!



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