Neues

Update on the EL.CA.NO. project

 

In spite of the restrictions imposed in France to deal with the current pandemic the Outremer boatyard in La Grande Motte, in the south of France, has managed to function at 70% capacity throughout the crisis. By mid-April the hulls have left their moulds, the boat has started taking shape and I have been assured by Outremer that they are going ahead with the planned launch in July.  The original schedule was to leave by late September or early October this year. That timing was based on a planned transit of the Magellan Strait in December or not later than January, so as to pass through that critical area during the austral summer.

 

As more is known about the possible long-term consequences of the coronavirus crisis, it is now clear that a return to normality depends entirely on when a vaccine becomes available and how quickly sufficient immunity is reached among the various populations to allow the lifting of travel and personal movement restrictions. My real concern is that if the situation in the rest of the world continues to be uncertain with travel restrictions in some countries, it would be unsafe or even impossible to stop at some of the places en route. 

 

In spite of my born optimism, I am now forced to accept that a departure this year is no longer realistic and the only solution is to postpone it by one year in the hope that by then such a voyage would be possible. A significant attraction of such a delay is that the revised timing would mean that my voyage could be completed by early September 2022, exactly 500 years after Juan Sebastian Elcano’s successful return.

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