We are capable of doing whatever it takes for the family, and Juan Manuel Ballesteros, of Argentine origin, embarked alone on a trip of almost three months aboard a sailboat across the Atlantic to meet his family after the COVID pandemic.
Juan Manuel was in Porto Santo, Portugal, when he learned that his native country had canceled international flights as part of preventive measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
He just wanted to be with his family
It was then that he made the decision to embark by sea and cross the Atlantic Ocean alone. His desire to be with his loved ones in such difficult times, especially with his father, was his great motivation to take a risk on this journey that began on March 24.
I didn’t want to stay a coward on an island where there was no case. He wanted to do everything he could to go home. The most important thing for me is to be with my family.
—Juan Manuel Ballesteros, Argentine navigator, and lifeguard
Had many challenges
As expected, the trip was not honey on flakes. After embarking alone on his ship “Skua,” this 47-year-old adventurer, who is a veteran navigator and lifeguard, had some difficulties despite his great experience.
On April 21, he was unable to land in Cape Verde to get more food and fuel; he had to find another port with the wind’s help. In Brazil, it was necessary to stop for ten days in the city of Vitória due to some inconveniences that further delayed his trip and increased concern at home.
After several months of uncertainty, Juan Manuel docked in Argentina on June 17, 2020. His intention was to accompany his father on his 90th birthday, but it was not possible.
He was tested
Upon arriving, before reuniting with all his loved ones, Juan Manuel had to undergo a Covid-19 test and isolate himself for 72 hours; Once everything was under control and he tested negative, he was able to hug his father and live with his whole family. This 85-day sailing was totally worth it.