Young people arrive in the Netherlands after crossing the Atlantic – Explica

HARLINGEN, Netherlands (AP) With flares and an orange cloud of smoke, parents and even pets celebrated the arrival of 25 young Dutch people who on Sunday completed a transatlantic trip that, despite their inexperience in navigation, they were forced to do because of the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus.

The youths, ages 14 to 17, supervised by 12 crew and three teachers, were on a school boat in the Caribbean Sea when the pandemic forced them to radically change their plans to return home in March.

Floor Hurkmans, 17, said this was one of the biggest lessons of his impromptu adventure.

Be flexible because everything changes all the time, he said as he stepped on solid ground again. The arrival date changed like 100 times. Being flexible is really important, he added.

Instead of returning by plane from Cuba as originally planned, the crew and students stocked up on supplies and warm clothing and set sail for the Harlingen port in the north of the Netherlands on a five-week, nearly 7,000-kilometer trip (4,350 miles) aboard the 60-meter (200-foot) length sailing ship Wylde Swan.

While sailing, the students hung a sign saying Wish List and had their boxes crossed out in crossing the Atlantic Ocean, swimming in the middle of the ocean and surviving the Bermuda Triangle.

The teenagers hugged each other and mentioned each others names as they got off the boat and were hugged by their families, who took their cars to the ship one by one to comply with the social distancing regulations implemented to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

For Hurkmans, the impossibility of any kind of social distancing took time to get used to.

At home you have moments for yourself, but here you have to be social all the time with everyone because you sleep with them, you eat with them and you just do everything with them so you cant sit back and relax, he said.

Her mother, Renee Scholtemeijer, said she hopes her daughter will miss life on the high seas once she is faced with the confinement measures implemented in the Netherlands.

Associated Press journalist Mike Corder in The Hague contributed to this report.

Read the original here:

Young people arrive in the Netherlands after crossing the Atlantic - Explica

Related Post

Comments are closed.