Young Busselton dairy farmer Tahlia McSwain signed up for a 23-day journey on a live export ship, but due to COVID-19 complications it has been over 165 days and counting. The live export ship was contracted to do a voyage from Fremantle to the Middle East back in April. However the ship is still at sea. “48 hours prior to us disembarking the ship, the country that we were destined to sign off the ship at went into complete lockdown due to the overwhelming number of COVID-19 cases,” she said. “We then got told we weren’t allowed to get off and we would be travelling with the ship to the next country to do another loaded passage back to the Middle East. “We got to our next loading port and a delay occurred. We weren’t able to load cargo and for the next 82 days we sat at the port, we tried our hardest to get off, but we were unsuccessful.” Western Australia has been in and out of lockdown and now as state COVID-19 restrictions become a distant memory, the ship has started its return voyage to Australia where Ms McSwain will disembark. Ms McSwain is excited to stretch her sea legs and see her family and friends, but she said there are also some nerves. Despite the long duration this hasn’t deterred her from getting back on an export ship in the future. “I love the job and all the aspects that come with being an Accredited Onboard Stockperson, it was just a bump in the road that was unforeseen,” she said.