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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

University of Windsor establishes first Canadian transportation cybersecurity centre

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The University of Windsor will be the site of Canada’s first organization dedicated to countering threats to the connected transportation marketplace.

The SHIELD Automotive Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence will focus on developing the skills, innovations and policy to secure connected and autonomous vehicles.

Researchers will partner with industry, government and community stakeholders.

Co-founding and heading up the centre will be Dr. Mitra Mirhassani of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Dr. Ikjot Saini of the School of Computer Science.

In the past year, the two University of Windsor professors were both recognized as being among Canada’s top talents in the automotive cybersecurity field.

“Hardware and software vulnerabilities could put personal information and vehicle safety in jeopardy,” said Mirhassani.

“Transportation systems are especially susceptible to attacks from malicious actors due to the complexity, implementation costs and lifecycles of equipment and platforms.”

The SHIELD centre is a continuation of the Windsor region’s focus on developing its cybersecurity ecosystem.

The province has already designated the area as the regional tech development centre for cybersecurity and border logistics.

The cybersecurity centre got a further boost this week with the announcement of a memorandum of understanding with the Automotive Parts Manufacturing Association (APMA).

APMA and SHIELD will collaborate to develop market-based technologies to meet the needs of producers and consumers and build academic programs to address industry’s evolving requirements.

“We hope that this partnership will help to advance a cybersecurity culture shift in the industry in Canada,” said APMA president Flavio Volpe.

“There is much work to be done to protect our collective interest in advancing this country’s globally competitive automotive sector.”

The centre will also promote the sharing of knowledge among parties to advance standards and enhance policies in the field.

Part of the plan is to offer micro credentialing through the university’s Continuing Education programs.

“We plan to offer consultation and test services to small- and medium-sized Canadian companies that will help them stay up to date,” said Dr. Saini.

“Open-access publications and public webinars will widely share the latest information.”

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Hamilton police charge ‘Hugs Over Masks’ protest organizers in two separate events

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TORONTO — Hamilton, Ont., police say they have charged two organizers of an anti-mask protest group for holding events that allegedly violated public health rules.

Police say the events were held in downtown Hamilton on Jan. 3 and Jan. 10.

The force alleges that 40 people attended first event and 60 attended the second.

Current provincial restrictions limit gatherings to a maximum of 10 people outdoors.

Police say they informed the “Hugs Over Masks” organizers that the planned Jan. 10 gathering would result in charges, but they went ahead with the event.

They say a 27-year-old man and 38-year-old woman are facing charges under the Reopening Ontario Act that carry a minimum fine of $10,000 if convicted.

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Ontario issues stay-at-home order to start Thursday as Ford declares state of emergency

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Premier Doug Ford is declaring another state of emergency, effective immediately, in response to surging COVID-19 infection rates.

In a news conference on Tuesday, Ford announced Ontario is issuing a stay-at-home order, effective 12:01 a.m. Thursday.

It requires people to stay home except for essential activities such as accessing health care or shopping for groceries.

The new measures also include restricting the hours of operation for non-essential retail stores such as hardware stores to between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Addressing big box stores, which are allowed to remain open, Ford said an inspection blitz is coming to ensure they are following proper protocols.

“I’m going to come down on them like an 800-pound gorilla,” he said.

Schools in Hamilton, Toronto, York, Peel and Windsor-Essex will not return to in-person learning until Feb. 10.

Other public health regions, including Halton and Niagara, will find out when students can return to class by Jan. 20.

Schools will now require students in grades 1-3 to wear masks and masks will be required outside where physical distancing can’t be maintained.

Child-care centres for non-school aged children will remain open.

The premier announced the restrictions shortly after the province released new projections that show the virus is on track to overwhelm Ontario’s health-care system.

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