Luke and Sarah Flanagan moved on Nov.. March, just two days before, was locked on the remote island of Owey off the coast of County Donegal in Ireland Great Britain
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An adventurous couple miraculously managed to evade the entire coronavirus pandemic – by becoming the only residents of a tiny island with no electricity, gas, or running water.
Luke and Sarah Flanagan of Leeds moved on Nov.. March to the distant island of Owey off the west coast of County Donegal in Ireland, just two days before Britain was locked.
The couple had no idea of the impending pandemic and said the purpose of their stay on the 300-acre rocky piece of land was simply to take 12 months to enjoy a slower pace of life.
Luke, 34, and Sarah, 36) easily managed to stay isolated and stay away from Covid-19 while taking scenic walks, fishing, and tending to native plants.
Luke, a carpenter by profession, said, « It was really weird and strange to hear about everything that goes on while you are isolated on this little island.
« The pace of life is so slow, but it’s nice. We spend our days walking the dogs, growing our own food, and learning new skills.
Owey Island is a small piece of land off the Donegal coast that contains a handful of lots with no schools or shops and only two narrow streets.
Luke and Sarah live in a small house that uses coal fires to keep them warm, a tank to collect rainwater, gas bottles for cooking, and solar panels to charge their electrical appliances.
They use the water they collect, as well as water from a well, to wash themselves and clean their clothes, while growing their own forage, raising chickens for eggs, and even braving the seas for fish.
Luke said he started out as a « garbage fisher » and is « not much better now, » but added that he had learned how to catch pollock, the most common species of fish in the area.
Because of their living conditions, he also learned the old-fashioned preparation technique of salting his catch so that it can be stored and remain edible for months.
The couple’s only way off the island is by dinghy about three-quarters of a mile to another island, which is connected to the mainland by a bridge.
Although there are a few houses on Owey, they are only inhabited during the summer months, and according to local history books, 1974 was the last time anyone stayed there for the winter.
Luke and Sarah are originally from Leeds but were enjoying life in the Scottish Highlands when the opportunity arose to move to Ireland.
They noticed an online ad offering the opportunity to rent a small cottage there and decided that the chance was too good to pass up and decided to take a year off.
According to Luke, the homeowner wanted to prove that it was possible to spend an entire winter season on Owey to encourage others to continue doing so in the future.
Luke said that other residents arrived on the island in the summer of 2020 and that many helped them by teaching them how to survive the conditions.
« But as soon as autumn fell everyone left and we were alone, luckily, thanks to the help of other people, we were well prepared to deal with it. ”
Luke said he and his wife Sarah are spending time in Owey tending the property, reading, and playing with their two rescue dogs, both employees who took them along.
Fortunately, the couple can get a good signal on their phones thanks to the nearby shipping lanes, which means they can talk to their families in Leeds and stay up to date on the news.
Sarah, a social worker, said, “My general thoughts about our time on the island are how incredibly lucky we are to be here.
“From learning about the sea, fishing and boats to raising our own animals, things I’ve never had anything to do with.
« It was so cool to learn how much material you really don’t need, and I suspect in the past few years people would have been doing what you have instead of buying what you want. « . ”
Coronavirus, UK, Pandemic, Ireland, Lockdown, Leeds
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