Philip Atkinson - Honorary Bergalia Boy
Like Wade, Philip was born in the local Moruya hospital. Unlike Wade there were no complications and he was allowed home as a happy healthy baby. So far this good fortune has continued thru out his life.
With both parents vets, Philip learnt to ride horses about the same time he learnt to walk. Up until the age of 10 most weekends were spent riding and competing in pony club, shows and gymcana's, usually alongside Wade and his family.
Then there were motor bikes. The bike to start it all was a 1975 Suzuki T M 75. To be honest, this bike was so bad, so poorly maintained, so infrequently operational and with such weird personality quirks that it should have made Philip and bikes into lifelong enemies. It didn't. In fact, inexplicably the opposite occurred. For starters, it was older than him, pathetically down on power, the shocks were worn out, it had a pink seat cover (Why, no-one ever knew. Who would do such a thing? Lets face it, its pretty dam hard to look cool on a bike sporting a pink seat!). And as if all that wasn't enough, the front brake had a nasty habit of locking up with absolutely no rider in put what-so-ever. This usually ended predictably, painfully in a spectacular superman dive over the handle bars. Obviously funny for all those watching, not so funny if you happened to be riding it at the time!
There's few things in life one can be certain of. However, once Wade and Philip started riding bikes it was certain that every weekend you'd find them together talking about going riding, actually riding or talking about the ride they just did. 20 years and 14 bikes later we are still riding, still talking about the ride we are going to do. Crazy!
After school Philip travelled round Australia, working on an Ostrich farm, a commercial fishing boat and as a station hand on a 500 000 acre sheep and cattle station in Western Australia. A cessna 175 plane was used to spot the stock and radio communication allowed the pilot to direct and guide the stockmen.
A 3 year degree in Bachelor of Applied Science - Fisheries and Aquaculture led to a job on an abalone (shellfish) farm in Tasmania and finally a job as an abalone diver.
It was during this time that a phone call from Wade once again changed the direction of Philip's life. 'Come and work on boats' he said. "you'll love it!" With little thought of anything except the adventure, and no real idea of what he was getting into, Philip was on a plane flying towards Holland, a new job with Wade and the chance to work in the crazy world of super yachts. 5 years later and Philip's working as 1st officer on a 50m motor yacht, cruising the Caribbean in winter and the Mediteranean in summer. He's working towards the 500 Ton Masters Ticket, with the goal of captaining the boat across the Atlantic.