After the long-haul scenery in the Caribbean had to worry about the whereabouts of their ships given the approaching hurricane season in early summer, crews in the blue waters of the Pacific are now affected. Many are currently planning to sail to New Zealand from the islands of the South Pacific. But the New Zealand authorities are refusing entry to the foreign crews.
The problem is the same as it was in the Caribbean months ago: Countries that are safe from hurricanes recently closed their borders sometimes to seafarers due to the Corona pandemic.
Yacht crews are permitted to enter only in exceptional cases, such as distress at sea, or for humanitarian reasons. Then the British Cruise Club (OCC) tried to intervene and contacted the New Zealand authorities to find solutions to the concerns of hundreds of yacht crews who had been hoping to ease the strict New Zealand position. But the OCC intervention was unsuccessful.
The arrest of the German crew
As reported by the “New Zealand Herald”, a German crew recently failed to comply with the regulations and yet entered the port of Opoa with the 16-meter yacht “Anita”. The crew was to apply for an exemption, but did not wait for approval. According to the report, all three crew members tested negative for Covid 19 and were arrested.
I am looking for new goals
In search of alternatives, many long-haul crews plan to relocate to areas in the South Pacific that are also not in the path of the hurricane. These include the Marquesas Islands, the Australian Islands and the Gambier Islands.
The yachting infrastructure is certainly much worse than in New Zealand, which will raise questions about the regeneration plans often planned for the residency there as well as the additional travel plans for the many crews.
Resentment among sailors in the South Pacific is great. Especially since the America’s Cup will be held in Auckland in December and there are also exceptions made for larger yachts among others. Because in the case of large-scale repair orders with shipyards, entry can be approved.