So there was nothing else we could have achieved in Ushuaia, they would just not allow us to leave the ship. But we were ready for all kinds of scenarios, including a full month at sea – this voyage, or rather the ship-based part of it, may just as well end in The Netherlands.
Most of us would certainly wish to go back home as soon as possible. Obligations of all sorts, or „just“ the desire to be close to friends and family – pretty much everybody has got good reasons of one or another kind. But the Corona-virus is just closing the planet down. Argentina threatens to declare a nationwide state of emergency (whatever the exact wording was), so we better take off and leave before the close the port.
Our hope was to sail up to Buenos Aires and fly out from there. We would just not be allowed to fly there, the trip to Buenos Aires would have to be on the ship, and we would need a valid flight ticket and of course no normal travels into the country, just a direct and safe passage to the airport. So everybody went and started looking into flight arrangements out of Buenos Aires.
But this hope was not to last long. Argentina announced to close the country soon, and we would not be able to get to Buenos Aires so quickly. We will need a couple of days for this passage of a good 1500 nautical miles.
Anyway, we got a lovely passage of the Beagle Channel. Some of us have been through there dozens of times but you hardly ever really see it because it is either the first day of the voyage when you are busy with briefings, lifeboat drill and so on or the last day and then it is usually at night.
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Near Puerto Williams we could at least say goodbye to our 6 helicopter crew (3 pilots, 3 mechanics) who had finally got their permission to leave the ship with their helicopters and fly into Chile. Home, for them! They are Chileans! And even for them it was uncertain wether they were able to leave the ship and go home. The world is a crazy place these days. We were relieved when they finally got green light, and it was a warm farewell and goodbye and some very friendly flying around the ship.