A Kiwi bound for New Zealand in his catamaran is stuck floating in Central America after the borders started closing around him.

But while Colin MacRae, 34, still wants to bring his 42ft catamaran home, he says waking up to blue waters and white sand each day with four friends is not a bad place to be quarantined.

The Auckland man has spent the past two years re-building and sailing his hurricane damaged Lagood 450 around the Caribbean and had just stocked up on US$5500 ($9124) on food and other supplies in preparation for the journey back to New Zealand when the borders started shutting around him.

Colin MacRae on his way to get supplies from Panama City prior to the lockdown. Photo / Colin MacRae
Colin MacRae on his way to get supplies from Panama City prior to the lockdown. Photo / Colin MacRae

He, along with the four other crew onboard, had already sailed through the Panama Canal six weeks ago crossing the Carribean Ocean into the Pacific Ocean and were planning to be in New Zealand by October for his 35th birthday, friends' weddings and the America's Cup.

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The former chief super boat engineer is now fulfilling his life-long dream of sailing a hurricane damaged boat around the world.

Before they started the seven month journey across the Pacific Ocean, the friends had gone on one last surfing trip up the Panama Coast, only to find countries had stopped letting people in and out.

Parlay captain Colin MacRae, pictured with his first mate Jamie Van Den Bulk, on his catamaran Parlay are in Panama waiting for countries to re-open their borders. Photo / Colin MacRae
Parlay captain Colin MacRae, pictured with his first mate Jamie Van Den Bulk, on his catamaran Parlay are in Panama waiting for countries to re-open their borders. Photo / Colin MacRae

"Panama has gone into full lockdown. Each person can only have one hour a day to go to the bank or the supermarket. So noone is walking around - it's crazy."

MacRae said Panama itself wasn't the safest place as a lot of people had lost their jobs and riots were being threatened so they had distanced themselves from the city and were anchored near the Pearl Islands along with 22 other boats also with nowhere to go.

"There's a full lockdown happening there. We can't visit other boats, we can't go to the beach or anything. We are restricted to this particular area."

He said the rules also appeared to be changing every day which along with the language barrier made it confusing and at the moment they weren't even allowed to swim behind the boat.

"It's a really bizarre situation right now. No one knows where to so we are just all floating around until somebody takes down some of the restrictions - we would like to go to Costa Rica or the Galapalos and ultimately New Zealand. But the problem about coming to New Zealand is we are racing the cyclone season so we don't want to be anywhere near the South Pacific when November arrives."

McRae said his parents were self-isolating in Great Barrier and had urged him to fly home a few weeks ago and join them, but he was reluctant to leave his boat.

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"If all hell broke loss in Panama, we've got the provisions and the means to float out into the Pacific Island in the middle of nowhere and be literally away from everything. We are in a really safe place you know and we literally can't get the coronavirus on a boat in the middle of nowhere."

He could also think of no place he would rather be isolated.

"The Pearl Islands are nothing short of paradise. We are confined to the boat but we get to wake up every morning and look outside and it's crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches. It's a beautiful place to be - the alternative is to go home and be stuck at your parents' house or an apartment somewhere - it's a grim situation out there."

Filippo Gasparini, Martina Alvarez, Colin MacRae, Naomi Lambeck and Jamie Van Den Bulk are stuck on a catamaran in Panama after the borders closed around them. Photo / Colin MacRae
Filippo Gasparini, Martina Alvarez, Colin MacRae, Naomi Lambeck and Jamie Van Den Bulk are stuck on a catamaran in Panama after the borders closed around them. Photo / Colin MacRae

They were keeping entertained by playing cards, making sailing videos for theirYou Tube channel Parlay Revival, documenting their travels around the world for their 40,000 subscribers, doing boat jobs and were slowly making their way through a big pile of beer, he said.

A recently installed water maker which transformed sea water into drinking water meant they had plenty of water on hand and he estimated they had enough food such as rice and pasta to last them five months.

"We are not in dire straits or anything. We've got enough food to last us five months and we are just hanging out and just making sure we are safe."