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I hope you are all managing to keep clear of the coronavirus as it continues to affect people around the World.  Thankfully restrictions are starting to ease in some countries, where the incidence is decreasing, but unfortunately in others life is still very restricted.  While travel is opening up within some countries and even between some, international travel is still very difficult.  I hope to get to Ukraine in September to charter the two new fleets there, the Kyiv Rus Ukrainian Fleet and the Black Sea Ukrainian Fleet, which developed into fleets from squadrons within a year.  I hope also to get to Taiwan to charter the Taiwan Voyager Fleet there, the first in the Republic of China.  It’s fingers crossed that there is not a second wave of the virus in these countries or here in the UK.

As you are aware, the RI Convention in Honolulu was cancelled, but there was a virtual convention instead.  In keeping with a normal RI Convention, there was a virtual House of Friendship at it and we were offered a booth, which we accepted.  It is open 24 hours each day and continues until the end of July.  We had contacts available for any interested Rotarians to enquire further and a few enquiries have been received.  I also offered a few zoom meetings, so that interested people could meet us to obtain further information, or good IYFR friends could come together for a chat, much like a normal booth.  It was a real pleasure to meet up with friends from around the World and just catch up with their news.

I also decided to use zoom for a virtual AGM, since the real one was cancelled.  I thought it better to wait until after the end of June, since by then we could obtain reports on the whole year.  These reports are here in Rotafloat and any comments or questions will be welcome, as soon as possible.  The virtual meeting will then be held in August and details of this will be circulated to every member.

Zoom meetings have been successfully used by some fleets for their members to keep in contact, while sailing together is not an option.  In my own fleet we have used it to hold quizzes.  Bill Kosar, RC for East of Africa has set up zoom meetings on a Saturday on various sailing topics and if you would like details of these, please contact Bill at william.kosar@gmail.com   This is another good way to meet IYFR members from around the World.

Some sailing restrictions are easing now in some countries and local regattas are beginning again.  Harbours and marinas are opening up to visitors once more, if with limited facilities in some cases, so cruising is becoming possible and hopefully things will slowly return to normal, whatever ‘normal’ will be in future!

The Area 1 AGM in Slovenia, in October, has sadly been cancelled due to the virus, but the Area 3 AGM in Auckland from 13-15 March 2021 and the Area 2 AGM in Ecuador later in March next year are still planned to go ahead.

Here’s hoping you all keep clear of the virus and are enjoying good times again soon.

I hope restrictions continue to be eased and I get to visit many of you before the end of the year.

Robert Burns

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