A 104 year old vessel and her crew, who after 14 days quarantine at anchor, and a total of 52 days at sea, have now been refused clearance into Portimão, where major refit works were planned after a 3 year circumnavigation.
Just as Cuba were about to close borders on 24th March, the Captain of the Joseph Conrad, a 104 year old classic sailing vessel, made the decision to headback to Portugal and marking the completion of a 3 year circumnavigation, rather than risk being trapped indefinitely in Cuba and risk potential damage from the impending Hurricane season.
After 37 days at sea, fishing as much as possible to conserve supplies, the JC arrived at Portimao on 30th April, receiving permission to anchor only for 14 days and to receive fuel, water and provisions. It was expected that clearance would be given on the 15th day however, at the very last moment possible, clearance has been denied for a further month, with no real reason or justification, until 15th June.
With no illness on board and a quarantine period of now 52 days, nearly 4 times the required period, and with an estimated programme of works in the region of €80,000 planned in Portimão, not only are the crew and their friends and family at a loss, but local suppliers and technicians will also lose out on income from these long planned works, as the JC now has no option but to look for an alternative port to land, sadly leaving her 2nd home of Portimao behind.