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Sailing in the time of Coronavirus

Jan 25, 2007
188
Cal Cal 33-2 cape cod
My wife and I rented a sailboat in Greece (Not going) At home in Cape Cod, My sailboat is on hard, Marina believes they will launch boats in May? Figawi race cancelled (Nantucket), Falmouth race cancelled, and all non-essential business's are closing for 2-weeks. Doesn't look good here. I've been practicing social distancing my entire life...still.., for me to get through a busy marina, outdoor bar, dinghy dock, and crowded mooring field without contacting anyone is unlikely, hopefully things will pass by June, I'd settle for a September sail at this point. Be Safe folks!
 

TomY

Alden Forum Moderator
Jun 22, 2004
2,298
Alden 38' Challenger yawl Rockport Harbor
here in toledo, all the big auto assemble factories have been shut down. the big steel plants that supply the auto industry are shuttering indefinitely. that will mean the ships will not be sailing. all small businesses will close.
just reporting what's happening here. in n/w ohio.

those fat squirrels out at my bird feeder are looking tastier with every passing day :)
Hahahaha. You kill me, Jon.
 
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BarryL

.
May 21, 2004
757
C&C 110 Mt. Sinai, NY
Hey,

I certainly hope to be sailing this season. Just yesterday I finished sanding off the old bottom paint. Today I ordered new bottom paint and stuff to make the topsides pretty. I hope to launch in late April or early may. I really hope the boatyard is open.

My boat is on a mooring and my dink is at a dock. I don't need to see anyone or contact anyone in order to sail. My wife and kids can some with me (or stay home). We're all living in the same house anyway.

So far, many / most big races that I know of have been cancelled: Newport - Bermuda, American Yacht Club Spring series ,etc.

I hope that by summer the sailing situation is more or less back to normal.

I have no idea how this will affect marina's, brokers and manufacturers. Will any still be around next year?

Barry
 

TomY

Alden Forum Moderator
Jun 22, 2004
2,298
Alden 38' Challenger yawl Rockport Harbor
A week ago, I was thinking that my sailing won't change much. My boats outside, easy to access in a public place where I can work on it.

It's not a typical yard but a place where I don't usually see many people in the spring, anyway.

Today, who knows.... Tomorrow will tell more.

We still have 0 cases of Covid-19 in our county. Luckily the majority that live here are well informed and have been diligently practicing social distancing for a couple weeks now. Of course the virus is here, there's just not enough testing available at this time in our area, and we know that. People are arriving from 'away', there are no restrictions to travel, yet.

Ultimately it will be the yard that steps my mast. They have workers they have to protect.

I'll only launch if I'm confident that I can maintain this scenario, below.

It's not because I'm concerned about picking up the virus(of course I am), it's because I don't want to be a part of growing a pandemic if I can help to minimize the transmission of the virus, that could keep our limited medical resources functioning around here, and that could save lives.

Infection avoided tree.jpg
 

capta

.
Jun 4, 2009
3,731
Pearson 530 Admiralty Bay, Bequia SVG
Oh yeah has this messed with our plans. :facepalm:

Currently in Antiqua. Our plan was to watch Classics here (was supposed to start April 1st but cancelled). Then my Bride was flying home for a wedding at the end of April. A buddy was flying in and we were going around Antiqua and Barbuda. After that, hoping down the island chain to Carnival in Bequia at the end of June. A long overdue haul out in July in Carriacou. Followed by Carnival in Grenada. After that staying around the Grenadines until after hurricane season. Open book after that but probably some work as funds would be getting low.

Two weeks ago we were in Jolly Harbor. Just a routine provisioning trip. No COVID-19 concerns in the islands but it was starting to be a concern in the US. We worked out way over to Green Island and waited out some weird northwest to west swell.

While at Green the islands starting getting a case here and a scare there. Grenada immediately started to take an agressive posture. Closed the University and sent all students but the more advanced medical students home. Then they limited check in ports to two.

Seeing how Grenada was acting I suspected they would close all entries. Everyone thought I was crazy. I told anyone I knew that didn't have alternative hurricane season plans to get out of French islands (they were not limiting or screening any travelers coming from Europe) and make plans to get to Grenada very soon. Most laughed it off or told me they would never deny Americans or Canadians.

We sailed up to Barbuda. Absolutely beautiful spot if you haven't been, probably our favorite in the Caribbean. We had slow data but were able to monitor the developments. More cases in the islands and more travel restrictions. Some of the big French grocery stores started to get empty. We normally have about 4 months of food on Smitty. But we had been spending a lot of time in more remote locations and had eaten into that stockpile. So we made the decision to sail back to Jolly Harbor before another northern front came in and reprovision. We got in, rented a car and did our reprovisioning.

While doing this we didn't really know what our plan was going to be. Our visas are valid until April 23rd. We had thought that we would at least stay in Antiqua, going to the more remote anchorages without bars and restaurants practicing social distancing, until our visas were up. Then we could either apply for extensions (a process that requires a doctor's visit, lots of paperwork and showing we sufficient money to support ourselves) or things would have gotten better and we could continue as planned to head south just probably without the carnivals. This was Friday we did the reprovisioning.

Today, Monday, all ports except Antigua, the USVI and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines are closed. We have been looking at a good weather window to hop somewhere. Grenada has gone from allowing entry at two ports with health screenings during entry. Then to entry at two ports with 14 day quarantine and refusing any boats who have been to the French islands in the last 14 days. Then some cruisers went ashore in Carriacou that were supposed to be quarantined so that port was shut and all cruisers, regardless of how long you had been there, were quarantined and couldn't leave your boats for any reason. Today Grenada closed completely. So far they are letting people stay that are there but that could change if cruisers continue to break quarantine.

This morning we made the plan to sail back to the USVI. We have our own legally registered mooring and we are USVI residents, so we don't think we will be denied entry even if they change things. We have a network of friends that will be doing the same thing. And we have survived several hurricane season there including 2017.

But this choice is not without risk. The islands only survive based on supplies from the mainland. So far no one is panic buying and the stores are fine. There are a lot of boats currently stuck there that had planned to be in Grenada for hurricane season. They don't know the local traditions or customs about hurricane holes. Many have never prepped a boat to survive a hurricane in mangroves and probably don't have the right supplies (we carry 4 anchors, rode for all, an additional 30 feet of chain for going around piles or docks, tons of shackles and thimbles, 40 feet of fire hose for chafe guards and 600 feet of line for tie to mangroves).

So I would say our sailing plans have changed quite a bit thanks to COVID-19.
You do all that on a 31 foot boat?
 
May 25, 2012
2,862
john alden caravelle 42 sturgeon bay, wis
tom, you don't know the half of it. i'm i bullseye to die if i get it. yep, old with bad lungs. steamships: asbestos on every steam pipe in every room, lead paint on everything, coal dust every day, iron dust, steal mills, power plants, and loved tobacco and maybe other things that sailors were known for for the last 6,000 yrs. prolly not.
so i wanna make my face mask out of the wife's bras. she was not amused. i think they are perfect. then, and this is the best idea yet. i want to take her, the wife's, granny panties, and cut 2 holes in the rump to see while i wear them over my head when i go to the market. 6 feet of clearance, no way, i'll get 20 to 30 feet of distance without saying a word. wife is now extra mad. ...... but that's nothing new!
 
Oct 22, 2014
12,336
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
for me to get through a busy marina, outdoor bar, dinghy dock, and crowded mooring field without contacting anyone is unlikely,
William, This sounds like you are truly a social animal.. Hugs and Air kisses? This distance stuff would be really tough. No Raised hand - “Hey Bro” from a distance? I can appreciate and respect it.

Let hope that it is June.... but i too would enjoy a September sail.
 
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Mar 26, 2011
2,588
Corsair F-24 MK I Deale, MD
I went out yesterday.
  • I did not leave my car other than at the marina. No restrooms, no stores.
  • The marina is small and deserted in the spring. Even in the summer, with only 16 slips, I can avoid other people if I choose to. There is very seldom anyone on my pier.
  • I sail solo most of the time, or with people I live with. No risk factor there.
  • On the water there was never another boat within a mile, and only a few within 5 miles.
I will do whatever is asked. At the moment I don't see sailing as a risk in my specific circumstance, but that could change and I will bend with that. Until a few weeks ago I would often walk on the bike path, which except for weekends, was deserted. Now, unless it is raining, it is too crowded for my tastes and for these times.
 
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Nov 22, 2011
794
Ericson 26-2 San Pedro, CA
I went out yesterday.
  • I did not leave my car other than at the marina. No restrooms, no stores.
  • The marina is small and deserted in the spring. Even in the summer, with only 16 slips, I can avoid other people if I choose to. There is very seldom anyone on my pier.
  • I sail solo most of the time, or with people I live with. No risk factor there.
  • On the water there was never another boat within a mile, and only a few within 5 miles.
I will do whatever is asked. At the moment I don't see sailing as a risk in my specific circumstance, but that could change and I will bend with that. Until a few weeks ago I would often walk on the bike path, which except for weekends, was deserted. Now, unless it is raining, it is too crowded for my tastes and for these times.
Though I've not gotten out yet since this all started, your situation sounds similar in many ways to mine. I almost always singlehand anyway. I can go from the parking lot straight to the boat and easily avoid contact with anyone else. If I avoid the marina restroom that should about cover it.
 

Tom J

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Sep 30, 2008
1,630
Catalina 310 Quincy, MA
I am a member of a yacht club and the social component of being in a club is huge. We normally can't make the 1/4 mile walk from the car to the boat without socializing several times. For now, though, the marina is winterized, and I'm assuming the clubhouse is not open. My plan was to dewinterize and launch the boat the last week of May. Here's hoping things will be back to normal by then.:beer:
 
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Jan 7, 2011
1,874
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
I stopped by the marina today to see what the Indiana “Hunker down” directive would mean for the marina. I still need to get some bottom paint on Tally Ho before I splash...but we got 5” of snow over the weekend.

i am hoping to get the bottom painted and the boat splashed before the weekend, but that is very dependent on whether the marina crew (municipal city marina employees) are still working later this week.

I consider getting the boat in the water as “essential” to my sanity and good will. Not sure if the Governor will agree.

Greg
 
Oct 6, 2007
732
Hunter H30c 1982 Chicago IL
About half of my sailing is normally solo. It may be 100% this year, assuming that recreational boating is not simply shut down. I hope it doesn’t come to that.
As for spring boat work this year, I am hoping to start next week, weather permitting, but we are under a “shelter at home” order through April 6th in Illinois, so we’ll see. Not a big deal to wait another week if I have to. Not launching until late May. It just seems like I’m better off at the boat working alone outdoors than I may be in my condo building. How do you stay six feet apart passing your neighbor in a five foot wide corridor?

Edit: By the way, I started my social distancing three weeks ago. Restaurants here were shut down a week ago and the shelter at home order went into effect last Saturday. I am taking this very seriously.
 
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Apr 11, 2010
764
Hunter 38 Whitehall MI
Well in Michigan it’s still too early to launch but I was thinking about doing painting and waxing soon.
Then the governor issued orders today requiring shuttering in place and only essential activities (after our confirmed case total jumped by 250 from Sunday to Monday.
With this order I’m not sure the marina will be allowed to launch boats. While I consider it absolutely an essential activity I’m not sure others will see it that way.
so far the order is for three weeks. Hope things begin to ease so launching will be allowed.
 
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Nov 18, 2010
2,389
Catalina 310 Hingham, MA
Wow good luck @JK_Boston_Catalina310 and stay safe. Glad you have a home to go back to for sure. How long will it take for you to get from Jolly Harbor to USVI?
It's about a 200 mile jump. So about a day and a half. Pretty short as passages go. We plan to leave early Wednesday morning and should hopefully be sleeping on our mooring Thursday night.
 

capta

.
Jun 4, 2009
3,731
Pearson 530 Admiralty Bay, Bequia SVG
Yup. A 2001 Catalina 310. We have owned her for 10 years, lived aboard for 8 and been out of the US for 5. We have been from Maine to Grenada. Go small, go now. Although I think the Pardeys would have issue with our lithium batteries and arch.
My hat off to you. Not my style, but you've got my respect. Sail on.
 
Jun 8, 2004
2,363
Catalina 320 Dana Point
I just stepped onto the porch with my coffee and saw USNS Mercy steaming upcoast on her way to LA, strange days indeed. Yesterday the fuel dock reduced hours to 10am to 2pm M-T and you have to call ahead. And it looks like Catalina is out of the picture for this spring.
 
Apr 14, 2009
703
Sabre 28 NH
I won't be heading to the boat yard in Maine until it warms up a bit. This way I can just stay overnight in the yard. It's a big yard with few people around. I was planning to drop the stick so I can pull new wiring & stop the mind numbing rattling in a blow. That task will probably get bagged this spring.

My wife works at a hospital and although they keep saying all non essential staff will be staying home with pay, they still have her going in. My 14 day isolation clock resets every day when she walks through the door.... What a head trip.
 
Jun 8, 2004
2,363
Catalina 320 Dana Point
My wife works at a hospital and although they keep saying all non essential staff will be staying home with pay, they still have her going in. My 14 day isolation clock resets every day when she walks through the door.... What a head trip
I'd suspect "non-essential staff" is hospital speak for "volunteers" the WITH PAY part is a giveaway.
 
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Apr 14, 2009
703
Sabre 28 NH
I'd suspect "non-essential staff" is hospital speak for "volunteers" the WITH PAY part is a giveaway.
She's worked there for 7 years now. All the people in her office got the call this afternoon. Tomorrow's the last day for a while. They'll be able to work remotely a couple days a week while getting full time pay & keeping their benefits, health insurance. I'm pretty happy about this.
They had a couple of virus incidents on the campus late last week.
 
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