Frequent job changes and the resulting temporary or permanent separation of couples is becoming more and more common these days. Many relationships suffer from constant flexibility. The Swede Bo Ekman has been at sea for more than 40 years, almost all year apart from his Ms., with whom he now lives near the New Zealand capital, Auckland. How does a professional and married life work on different continents?

Devonport Auckland

Does distance relationship improve?

If you follow Bo, long and multi-month distances are good for a partnership: "It makes things a lot easier," he says. "And: you just don't know it any other way."

His wife Margaret also agrees: "Even if it sounds strange: I had a lot of friends and acquaintances here and no time to get bored when Bo was at sea," she says with a gentle smile. “And one came every day eMail or message from him. ”

New Zealand: immigration was even easier

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The two have been married since 1976 - the same year Bo emigrated to New Zealand. “Back then it was much easier than today,” he says: “First I had a six-month visa, then a permanent residence visa that only had to be renewed every five years.”

However, the two had met much earlier, in 1969, when Margaret from New Zealand was vacationing in Sweden. Bo was in the at the time Vocational Training at the Naval School, graduating in 1972 and remaining in the Swedish merchant fleet for two years. Seafaring, he says, was his dream job. In 1961 he went to sea for the first time.

With 34 years captain of a Japanese commercial fleet

But Bo wanted more experience than was possible in the Swedish merchant marine; it drew him into the distance World: So he hired on Japanese and Indonesian merchant ships. In 1980, at the age of 34, Bo became a captain in the Japanese merchant fleet under the authority of the Minister of Industry and Commerce of Japan.

Among other things, he brought logs from Canada to China. China, he says, has been an exciting place in the 80 due to the political situation. He also traveled to Odessa. You can tell that he has experienced a lot. But Bo is not a man of many words: The exciting stories he seems to prefer to keep to himself.

11 months a year at sea

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Bo was at sea 11 months of the year, Margaret accompanied him for a few months of the year - but never for more than four or five months. The two of them particularly liked New Orleans, they spent a lot of time there. Or Rio de Janiero, says Margaret and goes into raptures.

Margaret built and furnished the house in Devonport, a suburb of Auckland on a peninsula in the mouth of Waitemata Harbor, in which the two of them are today, at the beginning of the 90s - with the help of friends and acquaintances. “Bo was gone for 11 months and when he came back the house was ready,” she says with a laugh.

Devonport Auckland

“You can't do nothing”

As it is for a sailor, it is right on the water, not far from the Devonport Yacht Club, which under the direction of the Sir Peter Blake Foundation reminds of another great sailor and adventure from New Zealand.

Originally, the two wanted to live here alone, but when Bo 2006 in pension went, they decided to start a BundB, appropriately named “Captains Landing.” “You can't just do nothing,” says Margaret.

The sea does not let go of him

After his homeland Sweden, Bo had no longing: in the past decades he was rarely there. For his first visit after emigration, he needed 13 years. Also to the 40-year class meeting of his naval graduation class recently he was not there.

But Bo doesn't let go of the sea: He still drives private yachts across the ocean, for example to Vietnam, when he receives an order. "Sitting on land all the time is not for me," he says shortly.

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