With flights cancelled, man sails the Atlantic to see 90-year-old father

  • 1 week ago
With flights cancelled, man sails the Atlantic to see 90-year-old father

After Argentina canceled all international passenger flights, a 47-year-old man sailed across the Atlantic Ocean for 85 days to reach his 90-year-old father.

Coronavirus couldn't keep a son away from his 90-year-old father. The New York Times reported that a 47-year-old man on an island off Portugal sailed across the Atlantic Ocean for 85 days to reach his aging father in Argentina. 

Juan Manuel Ballestero began his sea voyage in mid-March, after Argentina canceled all international passenger flights due to the growing pandemic, the Times said. He couldn't bear enduring the global crisis away from his family and his aging father, so he said he loaded his 29-foot sailboat with canned tuna, fruit and rice and began his ocean journey from the small Portuguese island of Porto Santo. 

Ballestero is an experienced sailor from a seafaring family. He bought his sailboat in 2017 with the goal of carrying out the advice an experienced fisherman had given him: “Go see the world.” And so he did. 

 

According to the Times, Portuguese authorities warned Ballestero before the trip that he might not be able to return, and friends tried to talk him out of it, but to no avail. Ballestero was determined. Faith helped him overcome the challenges of loneliness, danger, hunger and fuel shortages, and taught him "lots of humility," he said. 

Toward the end of his trip, after word of the voyage got out to the media, Ballestero created an Instagram account to document his adventure. He reached his home town on June 17 to much fanfare, but he had to wait 72 hours for his coronavirus test to come back negative before he was allowed to see his family.

“What I lived is a dream,” Ballestero said after the adventure.

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