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Getting Away from It All Ain’t What It Used to Be

When sailors cast off the docklines to head south, we imagine they are leaving the cares of the world behind. Sadly, it’s not that easy this year. Andy Turpin, the ringleader for the Pacific Puddle Jump, has been keeping the fleet up to date with the quickly evolving circumstances in the Pacific.

Bora Bora Lagoon
If you have to shelter in place or practice social distancing, Bora Bora is a pretty good place to ride out the turmoil.
© 2020 Marine Nationale/PM Sabine Boudard

Andy writes: “As many of you are already aware, ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic are expanding daily, as world leaders take unprecedented steps to slow the spread of this illness.

“Yesterday Andrew Glasspool of the Jeanneau 44 Tintamarre shared this info from his yacht agent, Fernanda Rivera M: ‘Good day to everyone. This is very important. The government of Ecuador has just closed all entries to the country, by land, sea and airports. No one will be able to enter the country or arrive in Galapagos in any way. I’m truly sorry about this, but it was just announced today due to the coronavirus having become a pandemic situation worldwide.’

“Ian and Ann of the Allures 45 Tourterelle shared this news about Panama: ‘Yesterday Panama closed its marinas to new arrivals and immigration was closed for both arrivals and departure, and no zarpes are being issued. We did hear today that some boats got zarpes in Flamenco, but that was the only place open. The situation is due to be reviewed next week. So maybe not quite as drastic as the initial information yesterday and it is certainly a fluid situation. We have also been told there will be no small boat transits through the canal for two weeks — after which the situation will be reviewed.’

“Since that report, however, we’re told that transits are still being scheduled.”

As of today, the Cook Islands have closed to yachts through June 30, 2020. It also includes air travel restrictions and a 14-day self-quarantine requirement.  More information here.

As we all know, the situation is changing rapidly. If you are planning to cast off for some distant port, check-in with your destination first. We understand that New Zealand is currently requiring a 14-day quarantine for new arrivals by air or sea. If you’re lucky enough to be mid-ocean, enjoy it.

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