I (Dr Sheddy) was born in Queensland, Australia, in a rural beach town. I have ALWAYS loved animals and even as a little girl would rescue frogs from the rain, hand reared baby birds and kept insisting we needed more pets.
Joel was born in the USA and moved to Australia in 2006 to complete his degree in Marine Biology and Aquaculture. I was in my second year of veterinary school when he moved in to the infamous 'Uni Hall' of James Cook University, where I had been living.
Our love story is typical of people our age... some one at the clubs put a date-rape drug into Joel's drink and he fell off the 2nd floor balcony of our campus... the next day EVERY BODY was talking about American Joel, and although I had seen him around I felt I needed to know more about this character. Funnily enough that same day he came strolling into my friends room, all dazed and confused, and left after saying not a word. I was intrigued... with in weeks our love affair had bloomed and we rarely left each others side.
10 years on we decided we should move into a tiny aluminium box and spend every waking moment together...
I have been so lucky in my career to have worked with an amazing array of animals all over the world. I started my career as a cat and dog vet, and quickly became the towns exotic pet vet and specialized in Birdy medicine. I then became the head wildlife vet for a busy koala hospital in South Australia before moving to China to help rescue bears! It has been an absolute whirl wind, and Joel was always there to support me every step of the way.
Joel has enjoyed a career working with algae, corals and fish but although he was passionate about marine life boats kept calling his name on the wind! So he worked as a ship-wright's assistant in the year leading up to getting Chuffed.
Now I get to save animals and Joel gets to sail (and fix a boat constantly!) so we are both as Chuffed as can be!!!
THE STORY OF CHUFFED
SV Chuffed was built in 1990 in the Gamelin ship yards of France. She is a 37ft Aluminium Hull sail boat and her previous owner had run out of time for her in his older age. Joel watched Chuffed online for 11 months as the price slowly dropped from $90,000 USD, to $60K and finally to $45K at which point he jumped on a plane to Panama to check her out in person (you can see why I say Chuffed is his mistress... they basically online dated). As he was flying through the air I saw online that she had been sold! Joel was rightfully devastated but figured he would stick around in Panama and see what happened.
With in days Joel had received a phone call to say the sale and fallen through and she was now on offer for $25K and so we bought her!!!
Chuffed is an older lady and in need of some minor repairs. She is in shape to sail, but small jobs like wiring, plumbing, cleaning and all the rest need fixing. The truth is a sail boat is always in need of repairs and most old cruisers tell you it's a bucket in the water to throw your money into, but we are loving doing her up and giving her the TLC she deserves.
You might also be wondering what Chuffed means - its Aussie/English slang very pleased or content... which is exactly what we are!!!
The beauty of Chuffed is that Joel and I can combine our passion of travel, sailing and animal care into an amazing adventure that we hope can help inspire people and change the world one community at a time! We are offering free veterinary care and education to the communities and animals that need it most as we travel. For now we are travelling around Central America and the Caribbean, taking our time so we can really help these animals. We hope to continue our journey through the Pacific to Australia and hopefully beyond!!!
So how do we live with out working?
Well Joel and I have always enjoyed the simple things and never really spent our money on anything but travel. So we saved up in preparation for this big day and have enough to keep us going for now. But we hope as time goes on our Documentary Series on our adventures will help keep our dream alive, and if necessary I will get some paid work at veterinary clinics along the way.
We have also found the 'if you scratch my back I will scratch yours' system is working well for us so far! We get so much free food, rides and beer through the work we do for animals which also helps keep us going for longer.
If you have any questions please let us know in the comments.
Lots of Love, Stay Chuffed!
Dr Sheddy and Cpt Joel
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