Covid 19 coronavirus: The Kiwi stuck in the middle of the Pacific

When I flew to the Marshall Islands on February 28, the only disease anyone was interested in was the measles. The check-in person in Honolulu needed to see my vaccination proof, as did the air-steward before I boarded the plane, and finally, I showed it one more time going through customs on arrival.

I had travelled from New Zealand to the Marshall Islands to join friends on their yacht. The plan was for a month of diving, kiting and exploring. Then I would fly back home on March 25.

The plan started out fine, and by March 4, we were anchored on an uninhabited atoll at least 24-hours’ sail away from the nearest cellphone tower or internet connection. We had a satellite phone on board for emergencies, but other than that, the outside world was out of reach. When we signed off from the world, the travel restrictions and lock downs in the news were really only for China, and toilet paper was still being purchased in an orderly fashion.

A friend had suggested I write a travel article about my trip and so I was keeping a diary. The first few days of it read like any tropical holiday. “I saw my first seahorse!” “What is this fish I just shot and can we eat it?” “B*%* sunburn!!!!”

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