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B.C. couple sells everything to sail around the world

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CTVNews.ca Staff, with a report from CTV Vancouver Island’s Christina Stevens


Published Monday, December 31, 2018 8:55AM EST

For one B.C. couple, all it took was “small moments of boldness” to give up their jobs and their home to sail around the world.

The idea of sailing the world had always been a goal for Ben Brehmer and Ashley Stobbart, but one they never really thought they would achieve.

But the death of a loved one pushed the couple to finally make their dream a reality.

”My dad died 10 years ago at a young age and it really triggered us to get going,” Stobbart said. “Like, life is short.”

For seven years, they scrimped, saved, and eventually sold everything to purchase a 41-foot catamaran.

“We worked long hours, we saved like crazy, we put everything into savings and managed to make it work,” Stobbart said.

Leaving from Florida, they sailed down to the Caribbean before heading to the South Pacific, visiting 27 countries along the way.

But the past four years haven’t all been smooth sailing.

Despite having done plenty of sailing on smaller boats, Brehmer says the couple realized they still had a lot to learn out on the open seas.

“We kinda got out there and we realized we didn’t know what we were doing,” he said.

They had to learn how to make potable water, deal with weather, and adapt to living off the grid.

But that wasn’t the only difficulty they faced.

After two years of sailing around the world, money started to run dry.

“We actually, fully, anticipated putting the boat on the hard and flying home and getting some desk jobs for a year or two,” Brehmer said.

But that’s when the couple took another leap of faith and turned to YouTube.

Their channel, Sailing Nahoa, chronicles their everyday life on the boat, as well as teaches viewers how to fish, sail, and more.

“We’re taking other people along with us, which is amazing,” Brehmer said.

The couple developed a loyal following online, which supports the pair through crowdfunding platform Patreon.

Viewers pledge a certain amount of money for each video the couple makes, giving them a sustainable income that allows them to continue their adventure.

With over 20,000 nautical miles under their belt, and only half the world explored, the couple says that the adventure is far from over.

Home in Vancouver to visit family over Christmas, the couple will return to the island of Palau to continue their journey, with Southeast Asia and Africa on the horizon.

“We are living our dream,” Stobbart said.

“We’re planning on continuing the ride as long as we can.”

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LIFESTYLES

Ottawa families give mixed reviews for online schooling

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So, how’s it going with online school? Families reached by CBC Ottawa seem to have mixed reviews. 

Masuma Khan is a mother of two. Her seven-year-old, Hana Wyndham in Grade 2, is attending French immersion virtual school. Masuma is grateful it’s an option, but can’t help notice a lot of down time.

“There’s a lot of, ‘are you on mute?’ In terms of the amount of learning that’s actually happening, it does seem to be not that high,” said Masuma.

Parents who kept their children at home this fall are in the minority, but they still form a significant chunk of families in Ottawa.

In the city’s largest school board, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB), about 27 per cent of elementary students and 22 per cent of high school students chose online learning. The Ottawa Catholic School Board says roughly a quarter of its students are online.

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Top environment official urges Canadians to back Ottawa’s ambitious plans to tackle plastic trash

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The second in command at the federal Environment Ministry challenged Canadians to continue to speak up about the problem of plastic pollution and push elected officials, scientists and businesses to do more.

Quebec MP Peter Schiefke, parliamentary secretary to the minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, made the comments online at Vancouver’s annual zero waste conference on Friday.

He said most Canadians want solutions to curb the tens of thousands of tonnes of plastic garbage that ends up as litter each year on the country’s beaches, parks, lakes and in the stomachs of animals. 

“Making sure that message is heard with industry stakeholders, elected officials and make sure that they are constantly putting pressure on it … so we notice that this is something that Canadians want, the backing of Canadians to go and undertake these huge challenges,” he said.

Schiefke filled in for  Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson at the last minute after Wilkinson was called away to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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OC Transpo’s monthly bus pass one of the most expensive fares in Canada

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OTTAWA — OC Transpo’s monthly bus pass is one of the most expensive passes in Canada, and transit riders are facing another 2.5 per cent hike in transit fares on New Year’s Day.

Ahead of Wednesday’s Transit Commission meeting on the 2021 budget, CTV News Ottawa looked at the cost of a monthly adult bus pass at transit services across Canada. Ottawa ranks behind the TTC in Toronto, Mississauga’s “MiWay”, Brampton Transit and Vancouver “TransLink” Zone 2 access to the suburbs for most expensive transit fares in Canada.

The cost of an OC Transpo adult monthly bus pass is currently $119.50 a month.

The 2021 City of Ottawa budget includes a proposed 2.5 per cent hike in transit fares. If approved, an adult monthly transit pass will increase $3 to $122.50, while a youth pass will increase $2.25 to $94.50 a month.  The cost of an adult single-ride cash fare would rise a nickel to $3.65.

The TTC is the most expensive transit service in Canada, charging $156 a month for an adult fare. MiWay charges $135 a month, and the cost of an adult monthly pass with Brampton Transit is $128.

Metro Vancouver’s transportation network “TransLink” has three fare zones. The monthly bus pass cost for “Zone 1”, which covers Vancouver, is $97 for adults. The “Zone 2” fare, which covers Vancouver and the suburbs of Richmond and Burnaby, is $131 a month.

Edmonton Transit Service, which includes a Light Rail System with 18 stations on two different lines, charges $97 a month for an adult monthly bus pass.

An adult monthly bus pass in Calgary costs $109 a month.

The survey by CTV News Ottawa of transit fares across Canada shows Gatineau has higher transit fares than Montreal and Quebec City. The STO charges $99 a month.

A monthly adult bus pass costs $88.50 in Montreal and $89.50 in Quebec City.

The cheapest adult monthly bus fare is in Charlottetown, at $58.50 a month. A monthly bus pass in Whitehorse costs $62 a month.

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