Sailor Experiences Coronavirus-Stricken World For First Time After Months At Sea

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Sailor Experiences Coronavirus-Stricken World For First Time After Months At Sea

A sailor has stepped foot on a coronavirus-stricken planet for the first time after spending months on his own at sea.


Bill Norrie set sail from Canada back in September on his yacht Pixie and has spent nine months crossing the globe - his only knowledge of the Covid-19 pandemic trickling through to him via the occasional satellite email from his wife.

His most recent stop-off was in South Africa, before the disease had begun to take a grip of the world, but he has now docked in Christchurch, New Zealand, where he was met by a party of local sailors who greeted him with beer and scones.


Opening up about his knowledge of the virus, the 67-year-old told TVNZ: "My wife said, 'The jargon is rounding of the curve, so now we're six feet away [due to social distancing]'.

"So it's a little strange to me. It hasn't really hit me yet, because I haven't really had much contact really."

Despite not seeing a soul for months and demonstrating exemplary self-isolating skills in his little yacht in the middle of the ocean, Bill's entry into New Zealand was initially questioned by officials, who queried whether he would have to spend 14 days self-isolating upon his arrival.

Bill said: "Initially they said, 'You can't come here,' so I was like, 'Where am I gonna go, right?'


"I was the most isolated person on the planet, they didn't want to let me in. It was too funny!"

Bill necked a beer shortly after making land. Credit: TVNZ
Bill necked a beer shortly after making land. Credit: TVNZ

Eventually though, officials saw sense.

The regional harbourmaster, Jim Dilley, said: "We do have such a good network and a very good health system here, so we can afford that, in an individual case.


"He's been at sea for three months, by himself, socially distancing, washing his hands, doing all the right things."

But Bill ain't planning on hanging around for long, and will be embarking on the final leg of his journey back to his wife Cathy in a few days.

In the meantime, locals have been helping him to stock up on food, which hasn't been without hitches, what with stockpiling hardly in vogue at the moment.

Viki Moore, a sailor from the area, said: "I got a few funny looks at the supermarket actually, especially when I went and bought three packets of yeast at the same time. I thought I was gonna be lynched."


If only we all head a sail boat each eh, we could be done with Covid-19 in a couple of weeks.

Featured Image Credit: TVNZ

Topics: New Zealand, World News, Interesting, Coronavirus, Canada

Jake Massey

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