As we near the beginning of May, it’s more evident that things around the world are not usual. We’re continuing to check in with crew about their experiences with COVID-19 and their current status and situation. Share your stories with us — email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Capt. Jeff Ridgway of the 47-meter Burger M/Y Ingot is currently in St. Kitts waiting out the COVID-19 lockdown. At the moment, the vessel’s calendar has not been greatly affected. “We were scheduled to be in the Caribbean until mid-May,” he says, noting that it may now be extended by a few weeks. “The big change was that our ‘in-service’ time was canceled as we were approaching the Caribbean, so we have not had any yacht owners or guests on board since departing from Florida in early March 2020.”
Ridgway has been lucky, he says — he personally has not experienced any adverse effects from COVID-19 and is obviously still able to keep working. “Everyone is healthy but dealing with a variety of difficult personal and financial issues,” he says. “Crew management dynamics have changed with the local lockdown and lack of options for socializing away [from] the vessel. We are, overall, very lucky here.”
The good news is that the crew are able to keep working as usual, and in fact, they’re getting more done. “We are accomplishing time-consuming tasks and accessing spaces that are usually difficult to find the time to access during a normal, in-service Caribbean season,” he says. By that, he means bilge cleaning, cleaning and painting deck lockers, deep cleaning interior areas, inventories, deep cleaning crew cabins, drills, crew training, etc.
He has adjusted the workday, shortening it by two hours and he “encourage[s] the crew to get creative with their after-work activities to keep spirits high.” Of course, as Ridgway says, there’s not much to do right now, so free time might not be optimal. “Our priority is to keep the vessel in top condition so that we are quickly able to go back into service when we get the OK,” he says. He is providing weekly updates and tentative plans to the vessel’s owner, and they provide “their input, guidance and instructions.”
For more related content:
Crew Perspectives: Capt. Rob R.Crew Perspectives: Capt. Bill Hipple
Crew Perspectives: Bosun Sheldon Rainbow
Crew Perspectives of COVID-19
Crew Perspectives: Capt. Peter Vazquez