Elena Manighetti and Ryan Osborne are yet another cruising couple whose long-planned world cruise has been interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent closing of countries all over the world. In the Caribbean, this has created a crisis of where one can make landfall and seek shelter. Plus, what are all of the boat owners to do about the coming hurricane season with Trinidad and Grenada closed?
For many, the choice has been to gather in the U.S.Virgin Islands and then sail to the States in a huge, free flotilla organized by the Salty Dawg Sailing Association. As of April 22, 180 boats have joined the flotilla and organizers expect many more. The SDSA flotilla will begin departures in May. Read the full story below.
For Elana and Ryan, the situation came as something of a rude surprise. They had left the Canary Islands in February before the full nature of the Covid-19 crisis was apparent. At that point China was the center of the outbreak and news about it was still not in the headlines. Europe, particularly Elena’s home country Italy, was beginning to show the effects of the pandemic but the Caribbean was still wide open.
Twenty five days later, when they made landfall in St. Vincent, they were met with closed borders and a denial of entry. There was no place to go, no shelter available and they didn’t know what to do. Read their story, which has a more or less happy ending, as published by the BBC, here.