Devoted dad gets around flight bans and coronavirus lockdowns by sailing 13,000km across the world to get home in time to spend Christmas with his son
- A loving father sailed for six months so he could spend Christmas with his son
- Dmitry Pelevin got trapped in Europe when COVID-19 hit in March
- So he decided to set sail solo from the Caribbean on an epic adventure
- After setting off in June he reached Auckland’s Gulf Harbour Marina on Thursday
- When he passed a COVID-19 test he was allowed entry without isolation
A loving father has undertaken an epic solo sailing adventure around the world to be reunited with his seven-year-old son.
Dmitry Pelevin dropped anchor at Auckland’s Gulf Harbour Marina on Thursday after travelling 7,000 nautical miles from the Carribean to New Zealand.
The sailor was forced into the journey after getting stuck in France back in March due to COVID-19 flight cancellations.
Pelevin had been living in Russia at the time the pandemic took hold and threw international travel into disarray.
He struggled to get a flight back home so after some consideration he bought a 37 foot 2002 yacht.
Dmitry Pelevin dropped anchor at Auckland’s Gulf Harbour Marina on Thursday after travelling 7,000 nautical miles from the Carribean to New Zealand (pictured is Dmirty Pelevin with ex-wife Olga and son Andre)
He had about ten years experience sailing including time racing with the Royal New Zealand Yacht club in the past.
But he had never set sail alone before.
‘I have never done solo sailing before but it was one of my dreams,’ he told the AM show NZ.
‘It was a good way to get home because no flights were available when I was stuck in France.’
His first destination in New Zealand was Opua, 270km north west of the Auckland.
After touching down he passed a negative COVID-19 test and was given the clear to enter the country.
He had about ten years experience sailing including time racing with the Royal New Zealand Yacht club in the past
He was told he did not have to go through hotel quarantine because he had been at sea for more than two weeks.
He arrived in Auckland on Thursday, and found his Andre eagerly waiting his return.
Pelevin had originally planned to arrive on October 17 for Andre’s birthday but troubles at sea kept them apart.
‘The last bit was the most tricky, because cyclone season has already arrived. I was squeezed between the cyclones, one passed behind me for a couple of days. I was very lucky with the weather all the way,’ he told Stuff.
He struggled to get a flight back home so after some consideration he bought a 37 foot 2002 yacht and set sail
He also encountered mechanical issues early on during on his trip.
‘I had some problems with the boat. My engine was broken just after the departure from Panama, so from there to Tahiti I was almost doing it without an engine. I had my main sail torn off, so I was sailing with just one sail,’ he said.
He said he is just happy to be reunited with Andre, Radio NZ reported.
‘Now it’s all fine. I’m with my son and we are now planning what we are doing for Christmas,’ he said.
‘Andre will stay with me on the boat tonight and I’ll talk to him about the boat, about the journey and starting from tomorrow we will probably will go somewhere and go to the beach.’