Over the past few days and weeks, with many work-at-home movements encouraging people to keep human interaction at a minimum, many are faced with new work environments as a reality of the current global health situation. But what if your office happens to be a superyacht? As the global COVID-19 pandemic forces governments to implement stricter lockdown measures, we check in with crew members to see how this outbreak is affecting their life living and working on the high seas. Captain Kostis Sklavounos gives us the lowdown on what life is like on board the 54.5-metre motor yacht Forever One at the moment. Photo: Merijn de Waard / SuperYacht Times
What is your current location and what measures have been put in place in your area related to the spread of COVID-19?
We are currently in Piraeus, Greece. There has been a gradual lockdown taking place since 11 March and now only absolutely necessary movements are allowed.
No more than 10 people can gather at one time, while maintaining a two-metre distance. Fortunately, essential services such as supermarkets, gas stations, pharmacies, bakeries and takeaway restaurants remain open.
How has the outbreak affected crew life on board?
Massively - as they have nowhere to go while being away from their families and loved ones. Crew vacations have been cancelled and two of our crew members are locked out since the adoption of EU border control.
What special measures are you implementing on board at this time?
We have performed medical tests on all crew, with everyone onboard declared healthy. We are minimising the number of visitors and contractors on board, all of whom are required to wear a mask and gloves as a minimum requirement (which we provide), before stepping on the gangway. In addition, we have created an isolation room to tackle the unforeseen as a precautionary measure and will be disinfecting the entire vessel ahead of any upcoming trips this season. Photo: Claudio Schwarz
How do you foresee COVID-19 affecting your scheduled itinerary over the coming weeks/months?
With still so much uncertainty, only time will tell. As many yacht guests and owners would be travelling from highly affected areas around Europe and the States, I can foresee that this will have an impact on the upcoming summer season's activity in the Mediterranean.Photo: Charlien Gallant
What is crew morale like onboard?
Spirits on board right now are still high and life goes on. The worry is if the lockdown and border control get prolonged by more than a month, when it will become increasingly challenging to motivate and animate the crew.
Any tips for other crew (daily things you have found to be useful during these extreme times)?
Retain hope and responsibility. It is only if you act as if you are contaminated, that we can help our planet at the moment to contain the virus.Photo: James Anderson