Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Wednesday 04 October |
Saint of the Day: St. Francis of Assisi
Aleteia logo
Inspiring Stories
separateurCreated with Sketch.

Son sails the Atlantic to get to his 90 year-old dad during COVID-19

Juan Manuel Ballestero

Diego Izquierdo | TELAM | AFP

Cerith Gardiner - published on 07/05/20

Juan Manuel Ballestero proves how the love for his father has no limits.

When the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak started to take its hold, Juan Manuel Ballestero embarked on a trip across the Atlantic to reach his then-89-year-old dad.

In a report in the New York Times, the 47-year-old sailing enthusiast explained how he hadn’t hesitated to set out from his home in Porto Santo, Portugal, in the middle of March to reach his elderly father in Argentina 85 days later.

“I didn’t want to stay like a coward on an island where there were no cases,” Ballestero shared in his account. “I wanted to do everything possible to return home. The most important thing for me was to be with my family.”

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Juan Manuel Ballestero (@skuanavega)


Read more:
10 Bible verses on how to be a good dad

The journey wasn’t without a few hiccups. Although he’d stocked up on essentials and fuel before leaving the Portuguese island, he intended to make a stop at Cape Verde in mid-April to pick up more supplies and fuel. However authorities in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean refused him permission to dock. So the courageous sailor carried on his journey in hope he’d get to see his dad, unsure of what to expect as the world battles with the pandemic.

Thankfully Ballestero was able to turn to God during times where he felt uncertain and scared, as he said: “Faith keeps you standing in these situations. I learned about myself; this voyage gave me lots of humility.”

He finally reached the port of his native Mar del Plata on June 17, and was able to embrace his now-90 year-old father 72 hours later after his COVID-19 test results came back negative — just in time for Father’s Day.

To read the full report with more details on Ballestero’s epic journey in the New York Times by Daniel Politi, just click here. You can also find more details on Ballestero’s Instagram page.


Read more:
The role fathers play in helping boys become men

Support Aleteia!

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Thanks to their partnership in our mission, we reach more than 20 million unique users per month!

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting and transformative Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Support Aleteia with a gift today!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Entrust your prayer intentions to our network of monasteries

Top 10
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.