In this online series, BOAT talks with crew members quarantined on board as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Here we chat with Paul Clarke, captain of the 47.24 metre Christensen superyacht Loon.
Where is the boat?
At anchor in North Sound, BVI. We have been in the BVI since March 14.
How has the virus outbreak impacted your life on board?
As we are normally a back to back charter yacht, the down time has taken a little to get used to as we are accustomed to working 18+ hour days with guests onboard. We are using this time to hit a lot of projects that we can’t normally do during our busy schedule. We are making the boat the best she can be for once we are able to charter again.
How are you keeping busy?
Being at anchor, we are lucky that we are still able to do water sports. We have two kite surfing instructors in the crew and the crew that couldn’t already kite surf have since learnt. It’s a great sport to do as a crew as everyone helps each other out and shares in the stoke when someone lands a new trick or busts a cool move. On days with no wind, we’re out free diving trying to catch some lobsters to put on the BBQ. We also have Monday night quiz night, which is hosted by our chief stewardess Maxine, Wednesday night poker, Friday night movie night, where we set up the big projector screen on the aft deck, and Sunday evening BBQs on the swim platform.
How are you keeping fit?
Lots of crew are doing different things. The girls are on the sundeck doing morning yoga classes for anyone that wants to join. The engineers have set up a small gym on the swim platform with dumbbells and other equipment that they could scavenge. There is a swim club in the crew that swims to a nearby beach every second day which is a one mile return swim.
How is morale on board?
Morale is still good. We're lucky that we are here and know that many other crews have it much worse.
Has the virus outbreak disrupted the yacht’s schedule?
Yes, we have lost many weeks of charter. We’re still hopeful that we can get up to the Bahamas in the next few weeks once their lockdown eases.
What measures has the captain or owner introduced on board to minimise the risk of the virus?
We’re lucky to be completely isolated from the outside world that business onboard is relatively normal. Once the lockdown lifts there will be sanitation procedures in place.
Any tips for crew in a similar situation?
Keep your head up. This will end and life will return to normal. We are lucky in yachting to work for high worth individuals that won’t be as affected as everyone else. Look after yourself mentally and physically and be ready to work as I expect there to be a busy late summer season and a record-breaking winter Caribbean season.
Loon is offered for sale and charter with IYC.