The Taylor family have not let Covid-19 dampen their spirits. Claire, Nathan, Dylan and Shawn Taylor wear their masks to prevent the spread of the virus. Photo: Supplied
Former Lonehill resident Shawn Taylor, his wife Claire and their two sons Dylan (12) and Nathan (9) have sailed to Linton Bay, Panama, as part of their world tour on their yacht named Mokara.
Their journey began in July last year and so far they have sailed 11 723km and visited a number of places including the Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, St Lucia, Santa Marta, Dominica and more.The Fourways Review previously reported on their trip in An Ocean Adventure [published online on September 28, 2019].The family, who were living in Surrey in the United Kingdom before they set sail, decided to set off on the adventure of a lifetime where they are keen to learn more about other cultures and countries and have fun.
While Covid-19 has delayed many of their travel plans, it has not damped their enthusiasm or love of adventure.Shawn said, “Covid really caught us off guard as it did the world.”When they set sail from Aruba to Santa Marta in Colombia, they were most concerned about pirates, but became aware that something unusual was happening when they were called up by port control to ask if there were any sick people on board.The family ended up spending two and a half months in the marina in Santa Marta due to the lockdown on travel.
They eventually sailed to Linton Bay in Panama, where they had to do two weeks of quarantine when they arrived.”We have opted to stay in Panama until the end of the year. It is not the best place to be as there is a lot of rain and lightning here and the chances of being struck are high.
“We still want to cross the Pacific, so hopefully we will be able to do this still but at a later date.”Shawn said that the family have made great friends along their travels.
“Although we are isolated here and surrounded by jungle, we are not alone. The friends we have made on this adventure will be friends for life.
“The support from friends and family at home has been incredible and we can’t thank them enough for all the positive messages and encouragement to keep going.”
Despite the circumstances, Shawn says he counts himself lucky to be where he is.While in Santa Marta, the family took up the task of cleaning up rubbish (mostly plastic) in the marina.
They teamed up with other sailors to launch a ‘Trashy Tuesday Community’ with the goal to remove 2 020kgs of plastic from the ocean and waterways by the end of the year.
They challenge Fourways residents to partner with them by picking up rubbish, weighing it and sending them their photos. Readers can also donate towards the campaign and support the removal of rubbish from beaches and oceans.Shawn explained that all the rubbish in Linton Bay is placed ashore and burned so that it ends up blowing back into the sea. They can, however, pay for a private company to remove the rubbish.
The Taylors also appeal to adventure seekers to join them on their trip through the Panama Canal or even the sail across the pacific.
Visit www.sailingmokara.com to get in touch, watch their videos and learn more about their journey.