A wayward Yarmouth buoy has returned from a 5,200-kilometre journey to Norway in a most unusual way – aboard an Aurora aircraft out of Greenwood.
Preben Olsen found the buoy from the Blaine and Hayden – a Yarmouth County fishing vessel – in 2015 on a beach in Andenes at the northern tip of Norway. His friend and colleague Lars Framvik decided to try to find the owner. He set the project aside for a couple of years but resumed this October, using social media.
He reached out to Tracey Saulnier in Yarmouth County with a picture of the buoy.
“Is this yours?” he wrote.
“Yes, it’s my husband’s,” she replied.
Terry Saulnier fished on the Blaine and Hayden out of Yarmouth Bar and lost the buoy in November 2015.
After Framvik learned that the buoy’s owners lived in Nova Scotia, he happened to see a poster of an Aurora in one of his son’s rooms. He then learned there were Auroras based at Greenwood.
“They have been here many times before and on an airshow this summer,” he said. He had actually met crew members in his sports shop, Andøy Sport AS, and they had given him maple syrup as a souvenir.
The next time he saw them in the area on an exercise, he asked about the possibility of returning the buoy on the plane. The crew members received permission from their superior and the buoy was loaded . . . but first it was decorated by Framvik.
“I love to do funny things and to make people smile,” he said.
He then let the Saulniers’ daughter Hayden know the buoy was on the way.
Tracey Saulnier was surprised to receive notification from 14 Wing Greenwood that their buoy was there awaiting pickup. She collected it on Dec. 11 and had her picture taken with the flight crew in front of the Greenwood Military Aviation Museum.
She noticed the buoy looked decidedly different from when it was on the boat.“They decorated it. They put ‘God Jul,’ which we translated to Merry Christmas, and they wrote Happy Christmas and decorated it with markers and some Christmas bells. And they sent us a Norwegian chocolate bar,” she said. Framvik said he’s happy the buoy’s been reunited with its owners.
“It’s an unusual way to meet people and a fun way. Many, many, thanks to the crewmembers and Hayden,” he said.