22 March 2020 | Rodney Bay Marina, St. Lucia
My readers keep asking why I’m not writing in the blog more. Some of it for me is I have been doing this for a while and I am always wanting to find something new to write about and a lot of it is the same. Boat repairs, finishing boat repairs and finally getting to sail. The wind in my hair, beautiful sand beaches, crystal clear waters and the list goes on and on.
With the boat getting older there are definitely more repairs needed, just like our own bodies as we age. I often loose sight of why I choose this lifestyle. Then I have people join me and we are laughing and sharing new experiences together and it all comes back to me. It also helps when to go back to Summit county and it is cold, cold, and more cold with that funny white stuff falling from the sky. I did have some great skiing.
“Let’s go try the new lift. “
“Yea Right, its all double black diamonds except for the bailout road trail which is still blue. Tis is only my third day skiing.”
Yes of course I did it. You would think one get’s wiser as we get older, but nooo. Crossed my tails and down I went sliding down the hill. No yard sale as I didn’t loose any skis or poles. The slide was actually kind of fun.
“That doesn’t count as a run since you slid have way down it.” my friend says.
“I actually thought it was pretty fun sliding down. I had considered not even trying to stop and just go all the way to the bottom.”
Arriving back to St. Lucia where I left Mile High Dream I get busy getting ready for my next crew, two couples, one I know and one that are their good friends. I’m slowly getting things prepared and I receive a text.” We’re here. “
“Huh” I ask myself. I go through my calendar and check that I have them arriving tomorrow and not today. Shortly after a get a note.
“OOPS, we just realized that we told you we would be coming in tomorrow instead of today. Will it work or should we get a motel for the night?”
“It will all work, you just have to live with the mess that I am in the middle of. See you soon.”
So much for kicking back. I jump into turbo mode and at least get the clean sheets on the bed.
The weather is good so we sail over to Martinique to spend 10 days there. Everything is working out great and we have a wonderful time together. Great food, laughter and fun. We see 3 humpback whales, two very close, turtles and plenty of fish. Then the Corona Virus starts hitting home.
Martinique is being hit pretty hard and as we sailed by the main harbor there was a cruise ship anchored in the middle of the bay.
“That’s a strange place for the ship to be anchored. They are usually at the dock.”
We check the local news and sure enough it was not being allowed into the country due to some cases of the virus on board.
We keep watching the news and the cases double in one day. The custom offices are now working on shortened hours.
“MMM, It may be time to head back to St. Lucia.”
We get up the next morning to go to the local custom’s office. It is a computer located in someones business and they are closed. We call the local customs authority and they tell us that only two office are open and they close at 1:00. It is faster to sail there than go by car so we rush back to the boat and head to La Marin. We do not arrive in time so we have to wait until the next morning.
I call St. Lucia and they assure me that everything is ok and our arrival the next day will be totally fine. The next morning finds us at the custom office at 7:45 for an 8:00 opening and we are the 7th in line. True to Island time the office doesn’t open until 8:25, we get checked out of the country and head towards St. Lucia.
Knowing that the customs office is open until 4:30 in St. Lucia, we take our time, turn the motor off and just sail. It is delightful and peaceful. This is what it’s all about. 3 miles away from St. Lucia and I get an Email. “We are sorry to inform you that the marina is now closed, all ports of entry are now closed and you may not enter St. Lucia.”
“What the F….”
I call the marina while one of my crew calls the US embassy.
“Yes ,we were just notified,” the Marina office tells me.” If you haven’t cleared customs you cannot come into the marina. and customs told us they are not allowing people in.”
We turn around headed back to Martinique.
“US Embassy how can we help you?” they ask. We explain our situation. “Martinique is closing their boarders at midnight tonight. The only problem is that all customs offices will be closed so you will not be able to clear customs. Since most of you have airline tickets for your flight out of St. Lucia I recommend you continue to go to St. Lucia. I’ll call the customs office there and explain the situation.”
We all look at each other and brainstorm our options. We were all amazingly calm during this entire ordeal and we decide to head back to St. Lucia. Once we arrive ,we drop anchor and all of us head to the health office before heading to customs. We are not the only boat in this situation and the St. Lucia government is making an exception and allowing us to enter.
Wow, what a relief. Its time for a celebratory drink after we get back to the boat and dock at the marina. The relief is apparent in all of our faces, realizing we just dodged the bullet of having to just float around for who knows how long.
Both couples make it back safely to the states and I am safely docked at the marina. The grocery stores still have plenty of food and restaurants are open until tomorrow when only take out is allowed. Now I just sit and wait and see what happens around the world. I still can get to the beach and walk around, enjoy the warmth and feel I am relatively safe with only two cases being reported in this country. At least for now.
Oh No, Toilet Paper Crises has reached St. Lucia. Well sort of, as the bathroom was out of it. No cleaning on Sunday to refill. I guess I’ll just have to carry my own around.
Life is one big adventure. I try to make the best of it and live every single day the best I can. Some days are better than others.