Update on Matangi and About Time, Liesl King
A couple of months ago we caught up with RCYC members Rob Liddle and Thomas Merlier, who were in lockdown aboard their yachts Matangi, a Compass 47 and About Time, a Lavranos 36, in Martinique. Authorities in the French Overseas Territories, which include Martinique, began relaxing Covid-19 restrictions on the 11th of May. Residents may now move around and several businesses were permitted to resume operations provided they could implement social distancing measures. Restaurants, bars and large shopping centres however remain closed. Social gatherings are restricted to 10 people and the use of face masks is compulsory on public transport. Beaches are still mostly closed as well.
Rob reports that he is still in Martinique and that the easing of restrictions has definitely improved life for him. “The situation here is that there are still restrictions relating to restaurants, bars, social distancing and mask wearing, but personal sports and so on are now allowed, which makes life almost normal for me.”
For now he has decided to stay put as the world is not yet properly open to visiting yachts. “All destinations that allow entry require a quarantine period of 14 days on arrival. So for me the options are to stay here until a hurricane threatens, and then sail south for a few days. The decision will then be whether to come back here or sit out the quarantine in say Grenada or the Grenadines. Mexico is on the cards from November onwards.”
Lockdown seems not to have taken too much of a toll and Rob is upbeat about staying put for now and seems to be rather busy in fact. “Oh there is plenty keeping me busy. Sleeping, baking and cooking, boat chores, swimming, snorkelling, paddle boarding, rowing or sailing the dingy, going for walks, mountain biking, chilling, meeting new people, social media and trying to find time to study Spanish. Way too busy and shopping happens in there somewhere too.”
Thomas, Lisbeth and Gypsy the cat have departed Martinique and are on their way to their home town of Brussels, Belgium. They are currently passing Spain, heading for the entrance of the English Channel. From there they will head to Nieuwpoort on the Belgian coast. Immigration formalities will occur at Antwerp Harbour. Once cleared, they can then set off on the last leg of their journey up the inland waterways to Brussels. You can follow About Time and her crew’s journey by clicking here.