Home Canada German couple sailing the world find unexpected refuge in B.C.

German couple sailing the world find unexpected refuge in B.C.

German couple sailing the world find unexpected refuge in B.C.

By Binny Paul, Native Journalism Initiative ReporterCampbell River Mirror

Fri., March 12, 20213 min. read

Early Newspaper

Marion and Paul Bauer left Bavaria in 2017. They boarded their sailboat planning to circumnavigate the globe.

And they enjoyed every nautical mile of their post-retirement existence, crossing European cities through the Baltic Sea, proceeding towards Cape Verde in Africa and from there sailing the Atlantic Ocean.

When they had been nearing Panama in April 2020, they heard about “the coronavirus” through a transient satellite message from a member of the family.

Paul and Marion had no opinion about the extent of chaos this fresh virus had induced wait on on land as they had been out of verbal replace for months. Marion, a nurse by occupation, assumed that it’s miles going to also very well be something to attain with the heart since it had the time interval corona in it.

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By the time they reached Hawaii, the human flee’s social etiquette had changed. Faces had been masked, social distancing had place in and all community gatherings had been prohibited.

Life at sea became as soon as no longer very varied from the isolation that became as soon as being undertaken wait on on land, so the couple spent most of their time on boat while docked at ports with their routines unchanged.

But they needed to pivot their sailing notion to the south Pacific Ocean as most countries in the space had begun implementing strict lockdowns.

They carried on towards Alaska with the hope of anchoring in Canada sooner than heading to the U.S. where they decided to quit and notion their path to expose wait on and head dwelling. Their arrival in Canada in October closing 365 days at Prince Rupert became as soon as “no longer the ultimate journey,” acknowledged Paul.

“We had been denied entry and no longer even allowed to anchor at the port to refuel,” he acknowledged. “There had been other sailors who had been let in at the identical port nonetheless no longer us.”

Drained and upset, they had no option nonetheless to expose around and head towards Washington.

It became as soon as during this stretch that their boat– named Luna Mare – sustained a leak after bumping into a rock in the Strait of Georgia at evening, diagram Campbell River. The emergency, relayed through radio, led officials to present them entry into Campbell River, where they had been ready to anchor and fetch their boat mounted.

The repairs took over a month and gave them time to quarantine and resolve a damage from all the unexpected challenges.

Paul and Marion went for long walks, explored the a gigantic selection of hiking trails at Elk Falls and made a couple of chums in the city. Their opinion about Canada as an “rotten” space slowly changed as they anchored at Discovery Harbour in Campbell River and planned their route wait on to Europe.

They gain spent pretty over 5 months in Campbell River as they waited for the subsequent sailing window to transfer wait on.

Thanksgiving of 2020 became as soon as spent on boat – Marion made a distinct turkey dish and Paul made his signature beans with chestnut and bacon. On Christmas and Fresh Year they connected with their grandchildren and family by strategy of video calls.

And they cast a upright friendship with a couple of Campbell Riverites.

“Other folks are nice right here,” Paul acknowledged, redeeming the infamous influence he had of the nation upon arrival.

Ten years in the past, when they took sailing lessons, they both never imagined they would undertake a world sailing toddle love the one they embarked on, and they certainly didn’t sit down up for a world pandemic to be the cherry on the top of their peril listing.



When they place out in 2017, they wanted to journey existence at sea and no longer lawful resolve into the routine of retirement that awaited them after their careers, says Paul. 2020 certainly exceeded all their expectations of this journey, according to him.

“Life at sea is soundless,” and even almost definitely helped them sustain sanity when COVID-19 had grew to develop into existence upside-down for many land dwellers.

This week, Paul and Marion departed Campbell River, homeward creep through the Atlantic Ocean. They intend to total the final leg of their toddle – sailing through the waters of the Pacific Ocean – when the world is “wait on to ordinary.”

German couple sailing the world find unexpected refuge in B.C.