CAPTAIN Neil Farmer has retired after 46 years working on the water.He spent the past 24 years as a Sydney marine pilot.

Mr Farmer’s career started in 1975 as a cadet with the Australian National Line. He then worked for Brambles Shipping on the Bass Strait trade. Then, in 1992, Mr Farmer moved to New South Wales, working as a tug master with Waratah Towage in Port Jackson, Port Botany and Newcastle.

Mr Farmer joined Sydney pilots in 1997. He also served as president of the Australasian Marine Pilots Institute for one two-year term, which ended 2019.

“Reflecting back on my whole career, I’ve been very privileged to do lots of really great things,” Mr Farmer said.

Mr Farmer and Lynette, his wife

“But, the person who has made it possible is my wife. She’s tolerated it when I went overseas and supported everything I’ve done. I’ve been very lucky; she’s the perfect seafarer’s wife.”

“And another important part of my career has been all the friends I’ve made while working on the water,” he said.

“I aim to maintain those friendships; they’re very important.”

When DCN asked Mr Farmer what comes next, he said, “I have grandkids, a caravan, and I just bought a boat – a 40-footer. That’ll keep me busy.”

“I’ve also taken an interest in the Sydney Heritage Fleet. I’ll get involved there in whatever capacity they’ll have me,” he said.

“Sydney is arguably the best harbour in the world,” he said.

“It has been a privilege to be a pilot here, a place most mariners would dream of working.”