We made the best of it!
16 April 2020
It was difficult, at first, to figure out how the Bahamian pandemic restrictions applied to boaters. Initially the orders were to stay at home with exercise allowed up to 90 minutes in your neighborhood. Then, exercise was limited to your yard. What is your "yard" or your "neighborhood" when you are on a boat? We decided not to go to Cat Island based on the "no inter island travel" rule and the fact that Cat would only put us even further from the States during all the uncertainty. Also, the Exuma cays are mainly uninhabited and we figured anchoring in remote spots would be safe for all and would enable us to take walks, snorkel and swim. Beaches were closed but sand bars would be okay.
As cases increased and as rules were being broken, restrictions tightened. Curfews for all businesses including grocery and fuel started being enacted. At that point cruisers began getting more clarification on how to function within the restrictions. We were encouraged to return to our home ports and no one was allowed ashore for any reason. By then we were only getting off the boat to swim right nearby. Not even that would be allowed now.
Fortunately we had gotten food and fuel right before the curfews were put into place and had moved to the gorgeous surroundings of Pipe Creek. We were there for roughly 2 weeks while we waited for a weather window to cross to Florida.
After a very difficult crossing, we made it into Lake Worth. We had hoped to aim a little further north but conditions prevented us from doing so. A pattern of back to back fronts has been moving through the area and is expected to continue through the rest of the month. So far, all windows for going offshore have been too short to be worth our while. So, we're slogging along in the ICW.
Today, ahead of winds expected to climb into the 30s, we decided to bypass St. Andrews Sound (Georgia) and take an alternate scenic and protected route we thoroughly enjoyed 5 years ago.The highlight was seeing a group of at least a half dozen wild hogs. The low point was giving the keel a thorough mud scrub in a stretch of the route that has obviously shoaled since our last passage through. Depths read between 4 and 4.5 (we draw 4.5) for 2 significant stretches slowing us a bit but, thankfully, never stopping us. Whoops!