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Here’s a post from Sailing SV Panda, a 39-foot Amel Sharki that is on an around the world voyage. Check out their Facebook page and YouTube site, which is Sailing SV Panda.
We have heard the old saying, that the plans of sailors are written in the sand at low tide. There was a time when we might have casually thrown that saying around, or even foolishly mocked the idea. Well, now we have not only faced a single change of plans, but a repetition of modifications and adjustments that seem never-ending.
Only two months ago, we departed on our around the world journey, with grand plans written well above the high tide mark to sail to the South Pacific and beyond. News began coming in of the Covid-19 virus and quickly turned into a global pandemic. Safely at anchor in the Exumas, we listened to news of country after country closing their borders. However, for a long duration the countries we needed to be open seemed unaffected, Turks and Caicos, Panama, and many of the South Pacific island nations.
Fast forward a few more weeks and that too changed. As much as we attempted to play ostrich and burry our heads in the sand, we now had to face reality. Option one was to continue to Panama and ‘hope for the best,’ whereas option two was the more adventurous route around South America. Not a fan of ‘hoping’ we continued with Option two, sailing southeast to Puerto Rico.
Before we knew it, Brazil, the South Pacific nations, and the entire Caribbean were all closing maritime borders. This was not only washing our plans away, but had turned into a category five hurricane decimating our entire beach.
As we write this article, we are planning a new departure, let’s call it option three. This plan is the absolute furthest we could sail away from the South Pacific, and in climates not originally planned – North. We will sail direct to Bermuda, then on to Maine where we will either spend the summer, or if European countries open, make the leap across the North Atlantic. “But weren’t you only prepared for tropical sailing?!” Yes, indeed we were! We now have a rush delivery of Gill 0S2 offshore foul weather gear and a diesel air heater that a friend and crewmember will be muling in.
Thank you for following our Panda Journey, albeit quite an odd and continually changing adventure!