“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain


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Dealing with a Pandemic on a Sailboat

I sit here this Sunday morning doing the same thing that I do every Sunday morning: enjoying coffee in the cockpit of Smitty, listening to Acoustic Sunrise on the Boston radio station Mix 104.1 (thank you magical internet), and feeling blessed to be in yet another beautiful anchorage in the Caribbean. Today, however, instead of my usual Sunday Funday Care-Free attitude, I am very worried about the future.

My worry is the same as yours, the Coronavirus and its impact on the world. We are in Antigua, where their first case of the virus has now been confirmed. Just about every island in the Eastern Caribbean (the area of which we currently are cruising) have been affected.  Most countries have put travel restrictions in place, including not allowing travelers from high-risk countries. As the USA is now considered high-risk, what does this mean for us? We don’t know. Our cruising permit in Antigua & Barbuda expires in a week, since we have been in this country for almost two months, we are pretty confident we can get another month approved, but then we would have to leave the country by the end of April, as our immigration approvals are only good for 90-days from initial arrival. Then what? Where do we go? These are our hourly discussions.

The good news is that we live on a boat and have a different mindset then most people. We have weathered severe storms (two category 5 Hurricanes) in the Caribbean and are well aware that you always need to be prepared.  We have enough non-perishable food to last at least a couple months, a water maker, extra fuel, plenty of wine (thank you very much French Islands) and, of course, the Rum Tank! And yes, we already have all that stuff that people have gone crazy buying and are hoarding: hand sanitizer, toilet paper, bleach, Clorox wipes, medical-grade face masks, two half-face respirators and one full-face respirator, with appropriate filter cartridges….Now that I have just typed all that I am thinking maybe we should be selling Smitty with all this stuff on her…she’s a gold mine!  Didn’t I just read about a Canadian couple that made $70k from selling Clorox wipes at an exorbitant price?

We came to Antigua specifically for the Classic Yacht Race, which I have always wanted to see, which of course, has just been cancelled. Most islands are starting to cancel all large events as well as closing restaurants/bars. For how long? No-one knows.

So, do we stop cruising for now and go back to the USVI? I don’t know.

What I do know is our plans for today:  make blueberry pancakes, continue to obsessively read every update and contemplate our plans, and, rum drinks on the beach while soaking up the Caribbean sun and social distancing ourselves from others (except Kevin & Cheryl on sv Leaf Nu, they have been deemed safe) –  that should brighten my mood! 

Stay Healthy All and try to have a Happy Sunday-Funday!