WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Kristen Pankratz and her parents find themselves stranded in paradise along with hundreds of other sailors.
They were on their dream trip around the world when the coronavirus pandemic spread. They made it to Tahiti in French Polynesia as borders shut.
With South Pacific countries not yet ready to reopen, they find themselves with no way forward, no way back, and not wanting to abandon their boat. There are some 550 sailboats currently sheltering in French Polynesia, according to maritime authorities.
There are hundreds more sailors stranded elsewhere in the South Pacific — in Fiji, Tonga, New Zealand and Australia.