In this new online series, BOAT talks with crew members quarantined on board as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Here we chat with Mattia Dzaja, captain of 49.7 metre sailing yacht Ohana.
Where is the boat?
The yacht is now in Italy after returning from the Pacific and South America. Ohana is moored in Porto Lotti, La Spezia.
Are you allowed off the yacht or are you quarantined on board?
The Italian Ministry of Health did not require quarantine for us, because the yacht has been at sea for 30 days. Now we have to follow the state rules, stay on board as much as possible and leave the yacht only if necessary, for example for essential food shopping.
How has the virus outbreak impacted life on board?
It has not had a big impact on our social life. As a crew, we are used to being alone by ourselves for very long periods. We are a very busy charter boat and once the season is on, there aren’t many opportunities to step ashore and socialise. We follow our routine, and now that Ohana is back from a long crossing we have a lot of crew readjusting to do.
How are you keeping busy?
We have to reset after the crossing we just completed and bring Ohana back to cruising mode, then we will start our routine maintenance.
How are you keeping fit?
We plan to diet forever - only joking! The movement we do every day to complete our job list is quite enough to keep us fit. Of course, we can’t go swimming or running, but during a season those things are not always possible anyway.
How is morale on board?
We try to keep smiling and have fun - not easy but it helps. Of course, we talk a lot about COVID and the situation going on around us.
How are you sourcing provisions?
We order online.
What measures has the captain or owner introduced on board to minimise the risk of the virus?
Shopping and any shipments are delivered to the gate. No external technicians are allowed to step on board. Each crew member sleeps alone, one per cabin, and no one is allowed to step into someone else’s cabin. We use the ventilation at full speed and use the engine room extractor fan to improve the normal air circulation. We constantly keep air flowing through the yacht. Anti-bacterial gel dispensers are positioned all over the yacht to be used as much as possible.
Any tips for crew in a similar situation?
Stay calm. I know that you are probably worried about your relatives, but the best thing to do right now is stay calm and stay safe. Control your breath and your energy. There is a long way to go but we can do it by working together.
Ohana is listed for charter with Fraser Yachts.