Talking with tourists

German couple sailed into Port aux Basques during Astrolabe Days

Published on August 14, 2017

Martin and Lydia Goll have sailed the Cheglia all the way from France.

©Rosalyn Roy / The Gulf News

There were no less than five sailboats tied up at the government wharf on Aug. 5.

The Cheglia is named for a small village in Italy where the couple loves to visit with their whole family.
Rosalyn Roy / The Gulf News

While a few of them were taking refuge from the high winds and rains forecasted for that night and the following day, the Cheglia had intended to stop in Port aux Basques as part of her journey.

Martin and Lydia Goll are from Wiesbaden, Germany, just west of Frankfurt. The couple had only just arrived from Nova Scotia for their first visit to Newfoundland.

“We started in France in October last year and sailed down the coast of first France, then Spain, then Portugal, then Morocco, then to the Canary Islands, to Cape Verde and then across the Atlantic into the Caribbean,” said Martin.

After visiting many different islands in the Caribbean the couple visited Puerto Rico, then Turks and Caicos, then the Bahamas before heading to Norfolk, Virginia and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Now retired and enjoying life at sea, Martin was a CFO for a company in Antwerp, Belgium and Lydia is a former TV journalist. The couple has been sailing for many, many years, though this is their first long distance journey.

“It’s very different than anything else,” said Lydia of long stretches on the open ocean.

Self-reliance and thorough preparation for every possible scenario is important when living on a sailboat.

“You prepare your boat, you prepare yourself with two or three backups always in mind,” said Martin. “So we have many different systems and many different electronics.”

After Port aux Basques the couple plans to head east, visiting outports and resettled communities along the way, perhaps even a few fjords, before sailing back to France.

Although the duo has many memories of their journey to take home with them, for Martin the best part so far has been Canada.

“People are so helpful, so friendly, so unselfish, so supportive — so that was the best for me.”