Denmark to the Canary Islands
In the dark we see 6 policemen walking towards us. Oh, have we kept the required distance between us? We start moving a bit apart, some of us towards the shore to make distance. 4 other people behind us on the beach move towards us, and suddenly they show a police badge and ask us to stop. “Identificación” the policemen says with authority in their voices.
To put it short: We have been thoughtless and stupid. Over time quite a few danish boats have come to Las Palmas in Grand Canaria, and we spent quite some time together without being close to other people. We might stretch it as far as saying we live in a bobble keeping Corona out out of it. But that doesn’t matter in this situation. We have arranged to meet on the beach for barbecue and some games. We would be more than 10, which is not allowed, so we would have to split up in groups. But we never did… furthermore, we didn’t check up on the rules of drinking and eating in the public, outside bars and restaurants, was illegal due to Corona measures. I guess we were under the influence of, not alcohol, but the sense of community we all have experienced since our journeys began, and which was clear here in Las Palmas where our different paths intersect. So we became careless for a moment. Seen from inside the bubble it wasn’t so bad, but we have to follow rules and regulations, and respect for the spanish people, which have had manu challenges in these Corona times.
The community of danish cruisers, and spirit within it, has surprised us. Right from Camaret sur Mer where we met Idefix, then Papaya, Cap Maj, Pura Vida, Stella, Anemis, Else Maria, Lulu, Artemis, and more are coming. It is really hard to explain. Somehow we are all on the same mission, with all the challenges and joy this brings along. We don’t have to explain how deep we miss especially Nanna and Freja, but also the rest of our family and friends back home in Denmark. Or how it is to get caught in bad weather. Or how fantastic it is to sail with dolphins jumping around the bow of the boat, or maybe even see a whale. It was clear to us up to our departure how blessed we are with family and friends, and our new sailing families out here is not a replacement, but an extension, where we are certain more of the friendships will last long beyond our circumnavigation. While our money disappear from our bank accounts we get richer and richer on what really matters.
And what about Laura, who is stuck with her parents? She thrives big time. We were not sure how many other young people could be found on the boats here. Plenty, we are quite surprised how many, and she has made many good friends.
“I forgot my facemask” is a very used sentence when returning to the boat few seconds after leaving it. We are traveling a world influenced by Corona virus. When we decided to stick to our plans, one of the reasons was we believe the virus will affect the world for a long time, and we have to adapt and be able to live with it until some day a vaccine will bring it to a level of a normal flu. This choice introduced many unknowns. Would we be able to enter European ports, will there be a second wave, and will we at all be able to enter the Caribbean islands? We have now reached the Canary Islands, and so far it has not been a problem. The marinas are open, maybe except a period with closed english ports, but as we sailed the french coast it didn’t affect us. We have had to skip sailing to Morocco, but other than that no changes. We follow the regulations and measures in each country, well until we didn’t, which we don’t plan to repeat. From a selfish point of view we have always been able to find a free berth, even here in Las Palmas, which normally is overbooked at this time due to the ARC (regatta across the Atlantic). It has however, been obvious how much the world is affected by Corona as we have seen many ghost towns which would normally be lively tourist towns.
We can see that from now on it gets harder. Especially when it comes to having family and crew fly out to us. It is very complex to figure out which rules apply in the Caribbean and what the consequences are if going to a specific island. Often a number of negative tests are required and as each cost around 100 Euros or Dollars it is really hard on the budget. We were looking forward to land on Tobago after crossing the Atlantic, but we have to skip that. Luckily there are manu other beautiful places in the Caribbean to make landfall.
As I’m writing this we have to deal with another big challenge, as June has broken her arm. You will have to hear more about this later (or follow the Facebook updates). So far we have enjoyed our adventures: The Frisian Islands, The Dutch Canals, the many anchorages in the Galician Ria’s (bays), Porte, Lisbon, and now the Canary Islands.