Man Sails 5,600 Miles Alone From Portugal To Argentina To Be Reunited With His Family

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Man Sails 5,600 Miles Alone From Portugal To Argentina To Be Reunited With His Family

Many of us know what is like to be stranded from our loved ones due to the pandemic. The sadness of not seeing them is one of the hardest things we have had to bear in this crisis. One Portuguese man, Juan Manuel Ballestero, 47, has gone to extraordinary lengths to see his own parents, sailing 5,600 miles over the Atlantic Ocean from Portugal to his parents in Argentina.


With all flights cancelled and his parents being of advanced age, his father is 90, the mariner knew that this was the only way he was going to see them again, at least in the near future. He was lucky as the Portuguese islands where he began his journey, banned all exits just 24 hours after he left.


He told the New York Times:


"I didn't want to stay like a coward on an island where there were no cases. I wanted to do everything possible to return home. The most important thing for me was to be with my family."


A post shared by Juan Manuel Ballestero (@skuanavega) on


The journey made in a 29-foot sailboat was certainly not plain sailing. Particularly when the Cape Verde islands, where he had planned to restock supplies, refused him entry on safety grounds. Soon his power supply ran out, meaning he would have to rely on wind power alone, he then began to run out of food and wine.


A post shared by Juan Manuel Ballestero (@skuanavega) on


Sitting near the equator, the wind then stopped and he was left drifting at sea. This was a truly worrying experience. Low on food, no fuel and without even the wind to carry him, he was stranded thousands of miles from help. Thankfully, after 10 days, the winds returned.


Ballestero, put his resilience and ability to complete the journey down to remaining calm. He said:


"I wasn't afraid, but I did have a lot of uncertainty. It was very strange to sail in the middle of a pandemic with humanity teetering around me. Faith keeps you standing in these situations."


A post shared by Juan Manuel Ballestero (@skuanavega) on


While the journey did have its scary moments, it did allow Ballestero to enjoy the magnificence of the ocean, even photographing dolphins and other sea creatures he met along the way. After 85 days at sea and 5,600 miles behind him, he reached Argentina. Testing negative for CoVid-19, Ballestero enjoyed a reunion with his parents just before Father's Day.


A post shared by Juan Manuel Ballestero (@skuanavega) on


This was a real life odyssey under the most testing of circumstances and is a testament to the strength of will people have to reconnect to their loved ones. Many of us across the world will be facing these same tests today, and we can take inspiration in knowing that by remaining calm we can overcome any obstacle.

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Thinking Humanity: Man Sails 5,600 Miles Alone From Portugal To Argentina To Be Reunited With His Family
Man Sails 5,600 Miles Alone From Portugal To Argentina To Be Reunited With His Family
Many of us know what is like to be stranded from our loved ones due to the pandemic. The sadness of not seeing them is one of the hardest things we have had to bear in this crisis. One Portuguese man, Juan Manuel Ballestero, 47, has gone to extraordinary lengths to see his own parents, sailing 5,600 miles over the Atlantic Ocean from Portugal to his parents in Argentina. With all flights cancelled and his parents being of advanced age, his father is 90, the mariner knew that this was the only way he was going to see them again, at least in the near future.
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