Captain Ron Gertler is nearly 60 years old and has just set sail across the globe with five strangers in their 20s. 

Mr Gertler, who hails from the US state of New Jersey, has been captaining boats since he was 23 years old — but most of his new crew of adventure-seeking backpackers have never set foot on one.

He has spent the past seven months in the Whitsundays repairing a boat originally built for a treasure hunter from New Zealand.

And one week ago, he was prepared to embark on a solo voyage…

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