Story By: Juan Fenandez Mayes, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
An Argentine sailor stranded in the Spanish port of Cadiz since mid-March due to the COVID-19 lockdown has said that the “environment is benefitting from the break and has less contamination”.
Jose Gritti, 34, has been stranded in the port city of Cadiz in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia since 18th March.
He was caught in a storm in the Strait of Gibraltar when he decided to dock in the nearest port in Cadiz.
After turning on his radio to hear the weather forecast, Gritti only heard COVID-19 updates and the announcement of a nationwide lockdown that took effect on 14th March.
He told local media: “I knew that the virus existed and that it was spreading, but not to the point that all the borders were closed.
“At first they didn’t let me disembark, but after a few days I was allowed to do some shopping. Everything is pretty deserted.”
Newsflash contacted Gritti so he could talk about his experience. He said. “I started travelling in October of last year. I was sailing around Barcelona and then Ibiza.
“From Ibiza I went to the Canary Islands to sail around the Mediterranean and visit some islands I had never been to.
“I sailed around the Canaries then went to Porto Santo and from there I came here. That’s when I got caught up in this craziness of the pandemic.”
When speaking about his long journey, Gritti told Newsflash: “I’ve been travelling on this boat for one year, but I’ve sailed on other boats too. I’ve been travelling a lot for the best part of 10 years, ever since I left my home for the first time. I only return on rare occasions.
“My home doesn’t exist anymore, I live on my boat. My entire life is on this boat. I have spent the entire pandemic here, I have been sailing alone. The truth is I have not been keeping track of how long I’ve been on board.”
He added: “I think the environment is benefitting from the break it is having.
“You can already tell the air is cleaner. People have stayed in their homes and stopped contaminating the air as much with car emissions.
When asked about his plans for the future, Gritti told Newsflash: “The idea for the trip this year is to sail around the Mediterranean. I’m not too sure where to go next, but I want to sail the Pacific Ocean and around Patagonia.”
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