Sailing happily on life’s journey
SUBURBAN Smithfield may seem a bit tame for Eddie and Ute Haring after 12 years sailing around the world with three children in tow.
The couple were living in New Guinea when the sailing bug took hold. Eddie was an aircraft engineer and Ute (pronounced Uta) was a teacher.
“I was 21 when I left Germany for New Guinea and had read a lot of books from the time of German New Guinea. I always thought it must be an interesting country.”
Ute followed after completing her university studies.
“I was working in Madang for Madang Air Services and various other small airlines,” says Eddie, 79.
After building a 10m boat, they set off around New Guinea with their first child, Katja.
“We decided that boat was too small to travel around the world, sold it and got plans from Holland for the next boat, a 14m fibreglass yacht.
“We built the second yacht in Port Moresby while I worked for Air Niugini. That took almost seven years.”
Second child Iris was born in Port Moresby and son Marco arrived after they returned to Madang.
“We named him Marco because I loved the stories about Marco Polo. He was just 2½ months old when we sailed through the Philippines to Singapore. Everybody said we were nuts, but everything went fine.”
They remained in Singapore for three years while Eddie worked in the aircraft industry. “I never had a problem getting a job.”
Then came Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Seychelles, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and South Africa.
“We stayed 2½ years in South Africa. Marco started school there.”
From South Africa, the family sailed to Namibia and across the Atlantic to Brazil, Guyana, Venezuela, Colombia and the Galapagos Islands.
Initially refused a visa for Galapagos, they eventually spent three weeks there after an immigration official wanted his wife and children to meet Eddie’s wife and children.
“Having children with us always opened doors.”
After crossing the Pacific via American and Western Samoa, Fiji and Vanuatu, they arrived in Townsville to discover their Australian residency had lapsed.
“We sailed back to Port Moresby, I got a job as chief engineer with Milne Bay Air and my wife taught at the international school. We finally got residency for Australia in 1996.
“We’re very happy here. We’ve seen so many places and in Cairns we are surrounded by rainforest. In Germany, we had lots of forest around us and that’s what also attracted us to New Guinea.”
WORLDLY WISE: Eddie and Ute Haring of Smithfield spent 12 years sailing around the world with their children before settling in Cairns. BELOW: The couple pictured during their epic global voyage with their children Katja (centre), Iris and Marco.