Virus dodging

When we left Ecuador there was a virus in China called Corona and a few cases elsewhere. Not something to worry about.

As we crossed the Pacific we learned that Easter Island and Pitcairn were closed due to Corona. Suddenly the virus was affecting us and we had to change our plan and sail the 3000 miles to French Polynesia. But at least we were well isolated with hundreds of miles of nothing in every direction.

A few weeks later we heard that French Polynesia was also closed but had no choice but to continue. It is not as if the East Pacific is full of other alternatives.

Eventually we reached Hiva Oa in the Marquesas and were given permission to stay as long as we first spent 40 days in quarantine. Luckily the 54 days at sea were counted so within a few days we were free.

While the world was in lockdown, we received flags to show we were virus free and could cruise the islands.

The island had just experienced a long period of lockdown and had no Corona. Restaurants were still closed but we could move freely, shop, meet people, shake hands with strangers and sit shoulder to shoulder with people at a table. As we learned more about the situation in Europe, we realised how lucky we were to be “stuck” in this south sea paradise.

But we are sailors and after nearly a month on the island, we want to see other parts of these beautiful archipelagos. And what happens? This week the government declared the whole of French Polynesia Corona free, published a list of boats that are legally in the islands – including Artemis – and wrote “go sailing”.

I suppose when we are old and people reminisce about lockdown, face masks and home office we will just have to keep quiet.

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