It’s a story straight out of a Christmas-Covid playbook: A stranded man, a son who misses his father, and the will to reunite by any means before Christmas.
Kiwi Dmitry Pelevin was in France back in March when the world started going into lockdown. Desperate to get back to his seven-year-old son Andre, he tried securing multiple flights to get home to Auckland but airlines were culling services every day.
That’s when he had his lightbulb moment: Sailing.
“I had a lot of time to think about it… And sailing across the world is something I’d always wanted to do,” he told 1 NEWS.
Travelling to Caribbean, he collected his boat and embarked on his voyage.
“The cyclone season was starting so I decided to cross the Pacific alone.”
Back home, his son’s mother Olga couldn’t believe what he was about to do.
“We all thought he was crazy. We’d get a small text from Dmitry every other say where he’d tell us he hadn’t seen the earth in days,” Olga said.
The sailor admits there were some scary moments, like when he was fishing for dinner one night.
“I was catching some calamari and I saw a big shadow go under the boat. I started it up and got out of there pretty quickly,” he laughed.
Little Andre has grown more and more excited as Christmas neared, his mother telling 1 NEWS he’s been talking about this day for weeks.
“He’d just keep saying when when when!”
And finally, after six months of crossing oceans, they were reunited on a small pier in the Gulf Harbour Mariner.
“I was missing him so much. I’m very happy,” Andre said.
The pair have lots to catch up on. Andre’s keen for Dad to take him out on his vessel for some fishing.