17th January 2018
Could you pack up your life and quit your job in order to live your dream? That’s the concept that will take centre stage in a new Channel Nine TV series filmed in the Whitsundays. The new five part series called Living the Dream will focus on escaping life to follow your dream. Spread over five weeks, each episode will focus on film makers Dan Clougherty and Maxine Gray who quit their jobs to sail the Whitsundays.
Although Whitsundays cruises and sailing is a popular attraction in the tropical holiday destination, the series will look at whether the cruising lifestyle is everything they dreamed it would be. Quitting their stressful jobs and busy lifestyle, the sailing rookies bought a 42 foot yacht and sailed one thousand nautical miles from their Sydney home into the sunset of the Whitsundays.
"We did it pretty much on a whim, which was crazy because neither of us had ever sailed before. We just thought, yeah let's do it. Let's take off and see where it leads us. Fortunately Dan's a planner and I'm a die-hard optimist, but we were out of our comfort zone most of the time," said Maxine.
Although Dan had previously crewed with friends and brushed up on his skills with a few sailing lessons before the couple set off, he admits he was often overwhelmed by the sheer work and responsibility of skippering his own yacht.
"It's nothing like the tranquil images you see in the sailing brochures. I lost count of the number of times we nearly ran aground and it's much harder work than you think - although the pay-off was that we saw some beautiful sights and amazing wildlife" he said.
Dan says the five one-hour episodes show an honest account of their adventure, the good and the bad.
"It's all there - the meltdowns, the breakdowns and the close calls. We wanted to show the reality of cruising - how great it is and how hard it is” he said.
Of course they both agree that the positives far outweighed any challenges they may have faced. Highlights of their voyage included the annual Shag Islet Rendezvous at Montes Beach, racing in the Audi Hamilton Island Regatta and seeing a turtle release by the Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre at Airlie Beach.
Living the Dream will air on Channel Nine at 3.30pm on January 27.