For a little more than 40 days I’ve been stuck with SV Aurelia in the Seru Boca Marina on Curaçao. Time to decide how to proceed.
First few weeks felt like a single moment of wonder. New rules every day. Increased numbers of infections every day. I’m not only interested in Germany or Curacao. For the various options resulting from the pandemic, it was also necessary to keep an eye on Colombia, Panama, French Polynesia, New Zealand, Australia, Bermuda, Azores, Canary Islands, Great Britain and France in order to make a fairly right decision. Good to have a decent WiFi here.
In addition, the professional media are in part overstrained with the pandemic math, basic medical knowledge and speed. It takes too long for usable, factual information to become available. Government websites and social media are much faster and more informative. The latter, unfortunately, are not very reliable either. You need a good sense of which information are relevant and, more importantly, true.
I’ve started to collect the most important of them in another blog, StrandedSailors.info. So they are not only available to me, but also to others. Anyone who would like to support me in expanding this is welcome to get in touch.
In fact, many of the small islands are in good shape. On the mainland, global infection is still growing. Only in a few – mostly economically stronger countries – does the first wave seems to be under control. Also in Germany. If everyone sticks to the rules just a little, there will be few cases in mid-May that can be prosecuted individually without affecting the whole country.
Plan A – Sail on
In theory, I could do it again now. Theoretisch könnte ich es jetzt wieder tun. Da sich die nächste Wartungsstation für Rettungsflöße in Cartagena befindet, Kolumbien jedoch geschlossen ist, müsste ich diese Wartung überspringen. I could sail directly to Panama and with some patient cross the canal. But then the journey comes to a standstill. All the next countries and islands are closed. The covid19 situation in Panama is also not stable. There is a curfew. In addition it is difficult to sail back to the Carribian islands.
Plan B – Sailing home
Many sailboats / sailors are stranded in the Caribbean. Most of them are in the hurricane belt. You should leave by the end of June at the latest. In Curacao, I’m almost sure, but it’s a serious option nonetheless. Potential crew members have been found, route and emergency ports are planned, the weather is in view and a long-term berth in Rugia has been reserved. However, it is very likely that this would mean the end of the circumnavigation.
Plan C – Suspension
Plan C itself has several sub-options. But they don’t have to be decided today, but in a few months. In short, this means: Aurelia will stay on Curaçao until the next Caribbean season. I’m flying home and coming back with friends for another Caribbean season.
In spring 2021 it will go either into the Pacific or finally home.
In der Zeit dazwischen kann ich nach Hause, etwas arbeiten und die erste Etappe im Blog vervollständigen und vielleicht auch endlich mal ein Video schneiden.
In the meantime, at some point I can work at home a bit, complete the blog, or start cutting videos.
The disadvantage of this plan: Without a project at home it leads to higher costs and contains the risk that I cannot come back to my vessel as soon I left Curaçao.
Sailing trough the pacific without being welcomed by the residents is not my style. So Plan A is not an option. Even if the borders will open shortly, it is too late to cross the southern pacific without the risk of cyclones.
Gegen den Willen der Inseln durch den Pazifik zu segeln fällt für mich aus. Plan A steht also nicht zur Debatte. Selbst wenn die Grenzen demnächst öffnen, bleibt für den Pazifik zu wenig Zeit, da im Spätherbst die Wirbelsturmsaison im Südpazifik beginnt.
So sail home? I am not ready to give up the circumnavigation at this stage. There are good signs that Covid19 can be controlled somehow. But there is something sad about it. It would be a good chance to finally sail again.
So only Plan C remains. I assume that there will be a new Caribbean season next winter. The first signs can be seen. I look forward to visiting the Windward Islands with friends. If you would like to take part in a trip (without obligation), just send me an email so that we can see if it fits.