Coronavirus Forces Students To Sail Across Atlantic

by Shelli

By now it’s clear that everyone has their own story about their coronavirus and pandemic experience. When it comes to travel, many people have canceled travel, destination weddings, and so many other types of trips too numerous to even begin to list. Airline restrictions left many people stranded, some of whom had little choice but to sail home!

Could you have sailed home to the Netherlands from the Caribbean? This Dutch group did just that!

Due to Coronavirus Dutch Students Sail Home

Study abroad programs for school aged kids are very popular, but this one I didn’t even realize existed. You can do a six week sail-study program aboard a sailboat.

A group of 25 Dutch high school students were in the middle of their program in mid-March. We all recall what started happening, don’t we? The world and travel, which was especially relevant to these study abroad students, started shutting down.

With airline restrictions in place, their intended flights home from Cuba became an impossibility. So sailors did what sailors do and they, the organizers, crew, and students, set sail for the Netherlands.

coronavirus Dutch students sail home

Image: Wallpaperflare.com

Crossing the Atlantic, this 7000 kilometre journey took five weeks. I’ve been sailing for a day here and there and I enjoy the water, but five weeks is a long time!

How they survived, what they worried about, and whether or not authorities let them off the ship in different ports during the coronavirus lockdowns all makes for a great read.

I appreciate inspiring stories like this. When plans are upended it’s not always easy to rethink, reroute, and reorganize. And then take action given the options available.

Coronavirus forcing the Dutch students to sail home is one of many amazing stories I’ve heard. I can’t imagine this wouldn’t be, even in some small way, a life-changing experience for not only the students, but the crew as well. It’s good to learn that when life gives you lemons, you can make lemonade…….. and in this case, drink it in the company of fellow sailors!

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