Aboard Aurora Australis bound for the unreal world


The phrase ‘work life balance’ is a cliché but also, for many, a dream. However, when your work involves sailing the Southern Ocean between Hobart and Antarctica, it’s hard to be home for dinner and a relaxing evening with the family. 

This is reality of Gerry O’Doherty, and at this stage he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Gerry has had many careers, but looking back, he sees them all leading to his current role on board Aurora Australia, the icebreaker that sails from Hobart to Antarctic bases during the Antarctic summer, from about October to April.

He says: “Originally I’m from Nelson Bay, I’ve pretty much grown up around the water, sailing, fishing, surfing and diving. My seagoing career commenced in the late 70s when I started work on a prawn trawler in Port Stephens and the NSW coast.”

It’s not hard to believe that being aboard Aurora Australia would be a mighty distraction from the real world, yet the long stretches away from home must take their toll, especially for Gerry’s wife Mary-Jane and their sons Riley and Morgan.


Aboard Aurora Australia bound for the unreal world (Aurora)