With international flights into Argentina cancelled, Juan Manuel Ballestro, an Argentine living in Portugal, decided to sail solo across the Atlantic to ride out the pandemic with his family. Seafaring runs in the family. Juan Manuel is a life-long sailor, and his father, who turned 90 while awaiting his son’s safe arrival, was a ship’s captain. Juan Manuel’s vessel, a 29-foot sailboat named Skua, made the trip in 85 days. There were challenges -– loneliness, fear of other ships overtaking him and not being allowed to restock as planned in Cape Verde, among others. Juan Manuel was cheered on by wildlife sightings, such as being accompanied by a pod of dolphins on and off for 2,000 miles. “The most important thing was for me to be with my family,” Ballestro said.

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