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Meet The Team

Bob Hobman

Crew/Project Diretor

The team is led by English maritime writer/historian Bob Hobman, who has built, filmed and navigated native craft through Indonesia’s Spice Islands and the Pacific for four decades. He has built and sailed a 20 meter dugout canoe 5,000 kilometers across the Indian Ocean from Bali to Madagascar

Robin Davy


Ex-professional diver and workboat skipper who has shared many an adventure with Bob, starting with building an Indonesian perahu and voyaging around the islands then back to Australia. Robin was also involved with the Sarimanok journey from Bali to Madagascar and the Jukung race along the same road.

Glenn Marshall

Glenn Marshall has been researching early human migration through the Indonesian island chain for over 20 years.  Recently he has developed low-cost ocean drifters to monitor Indonesian sea currents using satellite GPS technology. Glenn has a degree in geology and has been a high level infrastructure manager in central Australia for many years, focusing on sustainable urban infrastructure. 

Finn Davy


A commercial diver hailing from the north of Australia. Finn's life has revolved around the ocean since an early age, using it as a constant source of adventure whether it be surfing, sailing or the construction of ancient rafts.

Rose Ridgeway

Crew (Kythira to Crete)

Rose was raised in the Borneo rainforests, followed by schooling in a French Lycee and university in London. She was a part of Bob's last Lombok Strait raft crossing and travels widely, with a home in Bali and frequent visits to England and Australia.

Dylan Bennett

Crew (Kythira to Crete)

Dylan is one of the original members of the expedition and life-long friend of the Hobman and Davy families. He is a senior maths and science teacher who left his home town in his early twenties to explore through Indonesia and Spain, and hasn't looked back since!

John Kalligeros

Crew (Kythira to Crete)

John Kalligeros was born in Hobart Australia and brought up on Kythira. Working as a Project Manager in a management consultany company, he has come full circle round the world back to where he started only to find another adventure in its making.

Ton Leenarts

Ton Leenarts is the official First Mariners artist. His paintings are well known in the Western world and in the other half as a devoted wanderer seeking inspiration for his uniquework. As a mariner he claims no credit for the fact that The Netherlands is largely below sea level.

Alicja Purchula


‚ÄčAla has always lived close to the sea from her early days on the Baltic to chasing the coasts of Australia and Asia. She's always been fascinated by the ocean and it's spoils- the people, cultures creatures and adventures it brings. By trade she's a Registered Nurse but also volunteers with refugee health promotion organisations and is always looking for the next escapade

Kadek Hobman


Born and raised on the island of Bali, Kadek has grown up listening to his father's (Bob Hobman) adventures and sea voyages. So it is little surprise that the search for travel and adventure are always on his horizon.

Philippos Pierrakos 

Crew (Kythira to Crete)

Not waiting to hear the answer to “why not” is the trick that brought this Greek to Kythera on the day of the departure, next to John, his pal, on a raft with eight more companions to be, leaving behind training and event projects in Athens for a few days of freedom - this is how they call constant paddling on an a few square meters of bamboo nowadays.

Costijn Zwart

A Dutch sailor and academic completing a PhD on the isotopic signal of rainfall in north Australia. He comes to The First Mariners from James Cook University in Cairns, Queensland, where he is preparing his yacht to take him and his wife into the Pacific next year.  He has joined the project to cross the Timor Sea by bamboo raft because - “I am fascinated by the fact that our ancestors managed to migrate across oceans that we, at present, consider ‘dangerous’ or ‘adventurous’ despite all the modern safety nets we have at our disposal."

Michael Leake

Michael is coordinating the post-departure logistics in Rote after the raft departs for Australia and then arrival logistics in Australia once the voyage reaches the other end. He operates a tourist resort in Broome in northern Australia and worked in the mining industry for many years as an environmental manager and logistics manager. He was a logistics engineer in the Army reserve for many years and is a regular visitor to Indonesia with a strong interest in geology and archaeological tourism.

Barth Van Der Geer

Barth van der Geer, carpenter and tool knapper, is focusing on primitive stone tools, their use and fabrication. Barth has a degree in geology/palaeontology and spent many years excavating on mainland Italy and islands of the Mediterranean. Recently he joined an excavation in the northern Philippines looking for more traces of the earliest human colonization of the islands of Southeast Asia. Barth will provide the Timor Sea raft’s stone tool assemblage at the building site at Oeseli, Rote.

Immanuel Felipus

Age 48, Immanuel is part of the raft crew that will be sailing from Timor to Australia in 2020.

Daniel Mooy

Age 46, Daniel is part of the raft crew that will be sailing from Timor to Australia in 2020.