I am fascinated by every story I hear where someone had been away from the world for a long time and comes back to find out about COVID-19. The story about the various Big Brother contestants being held without any knowledge was mind blowing to me. Now we have this Canadian dude lost at sea which almost certainly will be made into a movie starring Tom Hanks.
This guy Bill Norrie embarked on a year long journey around the world starting last September from his homeland in Calgary.
(swipe three slides on this Insta to see the video of this dude the day he set sail)
He usually takes these trips with his wife, but she stayed back this time to take care of their grandson. The one time she doesn't come you get a fucking global pandemic, go figure. She would normally leave him short notes to keep him updated on what was going on. After a pit stop in Africa for repairs, Norrie continue on his journey.....and then corona happened.
Cathy did her best through texts and email to keep Norrie informed of the latest developments but, isolated and cut off from media, it was difficult for him to understand. He would receive a sentence or two from Cathy each day, and it slowly began to dawn on Norrie that what was happening was major. But the experience was surreal, given that Norrie had gone months without seeing another human.
When you're limited to just a few messages a day it's hard to describe what the hell is going on in the world right now. Give me unlimited words and I'd still have trouble. Every day is something new. Everyday we could be going completely back on what we said yesterday. And then there's this poor dude battling the seas as he's completely disconnected from the world. Imagine getting fragments of the story and trying to draw your own conclusions? I'd assume I'm the last person on Earth. I'd brace myself to deal with a population of zombies from I Am Legend. My boat would find it's way to shore and you'd find all sorts of makeshift weapons for survival. How could you know based on abbreviated messages?
And then April 25th happened…
On April 25, Norrie saw a huge storm was heading his way. He didn't want to go any further south, so he sailed just underneath the island. He was struck by its spectacular beauty, having not seen land for two months. But fearsome waves soon began to form and Norrie needed to chart a course between small islands to get around Tasmania. Norrie climbed up to the companionway to chart his course — and froze. Coming toward him, he saw a wall of water. It fully engulfed him.
He held his breath. Secured by a harness and tether fastened to padeyes (rigid rings that lines can be attached to) in the cockpit, he was safe — but soon, the boat tipped over.
The dude's sailboat CAPSIZED!!! I'm actually laughing out loud just picturing this all happening. You simply cannot script this.
Somehow he gathered himself, and despite the boat's electrical system being destroyed he sailed on. All he had left was a backup GPS and a compass to help guide him. All of his maps and charts were destroyed because they were made of paper. Hey dude, if you're traveling at sea for a year by yourself maybe get those vital pieces of paper laminated or something! What an idiot. One wave hits you and there goes all your information.
Finally he reached New Zealand, and even though the country was hesitant to let him in at first, he eventually made his way to shore and was greeted like a king.
Norrie was welcomed with beer, biscuits and freshly baked goods. Media snapped his arrival, and he soon became notorious — an international traveller arriving in the country in the wake of a long lockdown.
What a wild ride. Dude's been out of touch with the world for months and now comes back to it under attack by a virus. Basically the plot to TNT's The Last Ship where people come back from a trip at sea to like 75% of the world dead. Okay, not as extreme, but similar concept. I can't imagine his thought process. Actually yes I can! Write a book that gets made into a movie and you never have to worry about money ever again. Just survive.
So what's his next move? Back out to sea! Fuck this shit, he's not dealing with corona and the risk of getting it. Dude can survive a giant wave capsizing a boat, he's not scared of no ocean. Corona though? No thanks. Dude's gotta get home to see his wife and write the book. New Zealand to Calgary here we come! Someone get the movie rights to this man's story right now. Honestly I wouldn't go home until at least this half of the story is written. Get that shit to an editor in case you die on the way back. Always gotta have your eye on the prize. The Pulitzer Prize that is.
Anyways, safe travels on the way back Bill!
P.S. I can't even imagine how many free lives I'd need to get to the point where Bill is at right now — 1,000? 10,000? The number doesn't exist?