19th April 2021
Calpe, Spain – Ibiza Town, Ibiza, Spain via Moraira, Spain
Navigators like Christopher Columbus or Vasco De Gama had it easy. To sail around the World they simply picked up some charts, stepped onto a ship, unrolled some sails and off they went to new lands. They didn’t have the myriad of hastily written regulations, grey areas of travel advice, or misinformation that is prevalent in this Covid prevalent world to navigate around. We’ve been living the regulations, the travel advice and the misinformation as we’ve made our way legally and morally to the Islas Balearics.
Forming a plan to get to the Balearics was not easy, but form a plan we did. After reading and reading again we decided that we’d enter the islands with a covid test, go to anchor and if the authorities questioned us then they would see that we were doing ‘the right thing’. All we needed was to find somewhere to get the test, a weather window and an anchorage.
Scanning the internet we romped our way through town to a clinic to organise the test and in our best pigeon Spanish found that it had to be booked many days in advance, way before we knew what the weather was doing. This was going to be like a chicken and egg situation. With plan A ruled out, plan B was quickly formed. We’d book a test on the island, book into a marina and hope this would be enough for the authorities.
With the weather looking better and better for a trip across in the coming days, research was conducted, frantic emails were sent, phone calls were made, tests were booked and the berth organised. We now just hope that the weather shaped up. Everything was now literally in the hands of the gods.
With everything organised the usual games could resume on Ruffian. Hills were hiked where we found the most prefect platforms for sunset and sunrise yoga, both Ruffian’s and Iain’s hairy growth were removed with Ruffian looking sleek and Iain looking scalped and we finally found summer.
We’d found ourselves an idyllic little spot in Moraira, right next to Makani, right in front of a pretty beach complete with bars that sold beer and vendors that sold ice cream. Nothing says summer like ice creams on the beach and it was with delight that we sat in the sunshine, sucking on the ice-cold yumminess – Iain’s full of e numbers and Fiona’s full of general goodness.
Right on cue the weather started to do its thing. As the sun was setting over the hills, sand dripped off the anchor and we followed Makani out into a flat sea where the stars were starting to sparkle and the miles were waiting to pass under our keel.
We flew across TSS’s, past ships heading to all corners of the Mediterranean and all too quickly Ibiza rose over the horizon. Lights showed us the way in and now we just had to hope that all our organisation was going to come off.
Like clockwork we tied Ruffian up into the smallest of spaces, making sure not to step ashore and not pass on any of our germs to people walking past. Like lepers we waited on board for the check-in procedure; the marineros took our lines so we didn’t have to step off onto the dock, the marina took all of our documents by email, and then the Guarda Civil were upon us. Their first question was ‘PCR test?’, and with a self-righteous grin, we regaled our plan, got their thumbs up and congratulated ourselves.
As the police left it was time for the lab assistants to turn up. Back and forth papers, sample tubes and documents were passed, each rubbed with alcohol wipes and all sterilised to ensure no mainland bugs to be passed onto the island. All we had to do was provide a piffling 2ml of spittle and the lab would be happy.
Fiona cleared her throat and dribbled ml and ml into the tube, Iain however was having more problems. He watched as the level painfully inched its way up spit after spit, it felt he’d emptied his whole saliva system into the tube and all for a trifling 2ml.*
Vasco de Gama or Christopher Columbus never had to give samples to enable them to freely roam the world, but those 2ml’s could give us the passport that we need. It’s now just a waiting game for a negative result and confirmation that we’ve successfully navigated our way through the hastily written regulations, grey areas of travel advice and misinformation.
* Can anyone explain the male/female spittle production differences? We were not alone in this challenge.
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