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Sailing in the time of Coronavirus

TomY

Alden Forum Moderator
Jun 22, 2004
2,331
Alden 38' Challenger yawl Rockport Harbor
A whirlwind for sure. Today, the US leads the world in confirmed cases of Covid-19. The spread in the NYC area has overwhelmed medical facilities as the infection rate rises there. Yesterday saw a 40% increase in hospitalized.

On our local boating front (not important but it is the thread), my local boatyard that launches boats reports it is cautiously moving forward. They are taking every precaution to protect workers and have allowed anyone to shelter at home (not mandated yet by state lawmakers) if they choose.

Another large marina in the next town is operating similarly. They report some processes will slow down as only one crew is allowed to work on a boat at one time. No public interaction at any yard right now.

These reports are cautiously optimistic and realize the ground rules can change in hours. Our local resources are keeping up with the spread which is - so far - manageable here.

That could change in a few hours time. Once overwhelmed more limits could be imposed on all functions.
 
Jun 14, 2010
1,348
Quorning Dragonfly 1200 home
Laundry mats are hard to avoid when living aboard. I'd also be interested to know how the airborne virus does around fuel dock and gas stations? Do the fumes have any affect on it? A contaminated door handle is a real problem, but what about the gas pumps? Maybe there's an inherent germocide surrounding refined fuel stations.
Been doing a lot of reading on this: Corona virus is easily killed by washing in soap and water, so laundry contamination is no issue. The washing machine, coins, door handle or fuel pump handle are a concern, so wash hands well after handling and before touching face. In a laundrymat put down your own clean cloth on a table or machine before you place clean clothes on it, then put the cloth right into the laundry bag for the next wash. It can spread airborne if a cough or sneeze makes it aerosol/airborne, so stay upwind or keep the wind abeam of the other person. I doubt if fuel vapors would matter.
 
Nov 18, 2010
2,399
Catalina 310 Hingham, MA
Quick Smitty update. We left Antiqua on Wednesday around 10 AM. We had intended to leave at 3 AM to catch the tail end of the wind and ride that as it diminished. However COVID-19 has the local authorities so messed up we couldn't checkout on Tuesday after spending several hours trying. Still took 3 more ours on Wednesday to finally get clear. They have no concept of weather windows. :facepalm: so we were left with the choice to leave right a way and have to motor more than we wanted or wait until Saturday and have potential large seas for our Oh-my-gawda Passage (Nick name for the Anegada, between Saint Maarten and BVI). It's 200 nm and we carry just enough fuel to make that trip under good conditions. Normally this wouldn't be an issue because we would stop at Saint Maarten for fuel. But the islands are closed, even for fuel and rest. We we had to do it as a straight shot.

We had winds around 14 knots dipping to 10 for the first half day. We were able to sail at about 5 knots. Unfortunately the angle was wrong and left us wishing for a whisker pole.

The first night the winds dropped to 11 to 9 knots. We were able to maintain sailing at 3.2-4 knots through the night. Near day break we had some squall lines. We rode the squall line and were able to get to 5 knots again. When the squalls broke up, we had no wind and had to turn on the motor. We had covered 100 nm and this resolved the fuel issue. Well at least as it relates to quantity. We turned on the engine as SXM began to fade from sight.

We have been fighting a fuel contamination issue since hurricanes Irma and Maria. In the next 24 hours of motoring we went through 5 fuel filters and had something clog the fuel line once. We were able to deal with it and got onto our mooring this morning.

Coming past St. John was a surreal sight. Anchorages that are normally empty were packed with boats. Refugees waiting for the weather to be more favorable for a return to the Mainland. We are seeing a lot of cruisers who are having significant plan changes thanks to COVID-19.

Good luck everyone. Stay safe. And fair winds if you can get to your boats.
 

Tom J

.
Sep 30, 2008
1,630
Catalina 310 Quincy, MA
Quick Smitty update. We left Antiqua on Wednesday around 10 AM. We had intended to leave at 3 AM to catch the tail end of the wind and ride that as it diminished. However COVID-19 has the local authorities so messed up we couldn't checkout on Tuesday after spending several hours trying. Still took 3 more ours on Wednesday to finally get clear. They have no concept of weather windows. :facepalm: so we were left with the choice to leave right a way and have to motor more than we wanted or wait until Saturday and have potential large seas for our Oh-my-gawda Passage (Nick name for the Anegada, between Saint Maarten and BVI). It's 200 nm and we carry just enough fuel to make that trip under good conditions. Normally this wouldn't be an issue because we would stop at Saint Maarten for fuel. But the islands are closed, even for fuel and rest. We we had to do it as a straight shot.

We had winds around 14 knots dipping to 10 for the first half day. We were able to sail at about 5 knots. Unfortunately the angle was wrong and left us wishing for a whisker pole.

The first night the winds dropped to 11 to 9 knots. We were able to maintain sailing at 3.2-4 knots through the night. Near day break we had some squall lines. We rode the squall line and were able to get to 5 knots again. When the squalls broke up, we had no wind and had to turn on the motor. We had covered 100 nm and this resolved the fuel issue. Well at least as it relates to quantity. We turned on the engine as SXM began to fade from sight.

We have been fighting a fuel contamination issue since hurricanes Irma and Maria. In the next 24 hours of motoring we went through 5 fuel filters and had something clog the fuel line once. We were able to deal with it and got onto our mooring this morning.

Coming past St. John was a surreal sight. Anchorages that are normally empty were packed with boats. Refugees waiting for the weather to be more favorable for a return to the Mainland. We are seeing a lot of cruisers who are having significant plan changes thanks to COVID-19.

Good luck everyone. Stay safe. And fair winds if you can get to your boats.
Glad you made it home. Be well and stay safe!
 
Jan 7, 2011
1,926
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
I
Just a thought- if it’s closed by the town you might be fined if they patrol it and catch you there.
I might...but I have been a slip holder for quite a while, so I am hoping the guards are a little less Rambo when the marina manager is not in the office.

This is the same crew that decided all slip holders should provide $1M in liability insurance, naming the marina additional insured, because they decided to set up paddle boards, jet skis, etc in half of the marina...and realized someone could get killed. :facepalm:

I will find out tomorrow. I didn’t get a spring line on before they rushed me off on Tuesday, and we are expecting some significant storms tomorrow. I at least need to do that and check the bilge.

Wish me luck!

Greg
 
Jun 14, 2010
1,348
Quorning Dragonfly 1200 home
I

I might...but I have been a slip holder for quite a while, so I am hoping the guards are a little less Rambo when the marina manager is not in the office.

This is the same crew that decided all slip holders should provide $1M in liability insurance, naming the marina additional insured, because they decided to set up paddle boards, jet skis, etc in half of the marina...and realized someone could get killed. :facepalm:

I will find out tomorrow. I didn’t get a spring line on before they rushed me off on Tuesday, and we are expecting some significant storms tomorrow. I at least need to do that and check the bilge.

Wish me luck!

Greg
In my town the municipal marinas (3) are in parks that are closed. If they’re patrolling it’s regular cops. They might be lenient or not, depending on attitude (theirs and yours). At the same time CT declared marinas and marine services are “essential“ so private marinas are spared. The marina my boat is in now (on the hard) is open but practicing social distancing. I expect it’ll be a delayed launch and maybe no extended cruising this summer (more 4 day weekends) but we’ll see.
 
Jan 7, 2011
1,926
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
In my town the municipal marinas (3) are in parks that are closed. If they’re patrolling it’s regular cops. They might be lenient or not, depending on attitude (theirs and yours). At the same time CT declared marinas and marine services are “essential“ so private marinas are spared. The marina my boat is in now (on the hard) is open but practicing social distancing. I expect it’ll be a delayed launch and maybe no extended cruising this summer (more 4 day weekends) but we’ll see.
Well, I will see tomorrow. I am the only sailboat in and 1 of 3 or 4 total boats in (some charter fishing boats are in).

The marina has its own security, not real cops. I can walk in if there are no guards in the shack (but I assume they will be around). There is no gate that is locked...just a toll booth type gate.

I will be civil, will offer to walk in if necessary, and only to check on my boat, add a spring line and be done...can’t imagine they won’t let me in to do that.

Greg
 

TomY

Alden Forum Moderator
Jun 22, 2004
2,331
Alden 38' Challenger yawl Rockport Harbor
We got a text day before yesterday: "Do you want any fresh scallops? Ricky's friend is dropping off a bunch."

Fresh Maine diver scallops are in season right now. Divers have been out harvesting, as usual.

Trouble is, all the restaurants on the coast, are closed. Heck, all the restaurants in the world are closed,,..... Mary Ann walked out an hour later and pulled two pounds of scallops out of our mailbox that were shucked an hour before. No charge.

Another text yesterday: How many lobsters? 5$ a pound, a mercy buy for a friend who's pulling traps, anxious to pay back bills. Truth is, there may not be a boat price for lobsters this spring. As well as shuttered restaurants - tariff problems with China - lobsters may be crawling out of harbor soon to social distance.

Say you do sail this season, where are you going to go? I'm reading news and social media accounts of a growing class war as second homers and urban vacationers are heading to their vacation homes to 'escape'. Some locals are beginning to rebel knowing their support systems, stores, medical services and supplies, will be overwhelmed.

We've seen the wave here. Strange faces, easy to pick out in a small community, are walking by in increasing numbers. We're used to a seasonal influx, but this is way ahead of schedule. The local laugh is that we note that many dress like Mainers, to blend in.

At least they dress like they think Mainers dress. Right now they are trying to be low key because there is a moral issue you may have to resolve; with yourself anyway. Do you stay put -as is recommended- or go to a place with a much lower infection rate (so far)? Tough call, it would be for me.

Luckily we have endless remote spots where nobody lives. You can easily go days without getting close to anyone. I don't expect to see many transients up here this season either. Some have told me, if they do sail, it will be close to home.

Where are you floating pariahs planning to sail this season? If you dare,... to come to Maine, this is a good book to read along the way:

 
Oct 19, 2017
6,371
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
Really nice series of posts Tom. If it weren't for my family and the fact that it is so beautiful in my own backyard, I'd be very tempted to weather the viral storm on the coast of Maine.

-Will (Dragonfly)
 
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dLj

.
Mar 23, 2017
1,154
Hunter 30 Snug Harbor, Lake Champlain
I know for myself, I'm not going to some other remote place. I want that remote place to remain remote. I may wish I lived there, but I will handle whatever comes from right here.

dj
 

DougM

.
Jul 24, 2005
1,884
Beneteau 323 Manistee, MI
I have also heard the “summer residents stay away” line. It will be interesting to see how that plays over time.
The thoughts that occur to me are ...my winter home, where I am now is my second home. My “up north” home is my permanent residence. That’s where I am registered to vote, license my boat and cars, and the state where I was born and raised. Does that mean that out of an abundance of caution and respect for my year around neighbors and friends I should not go there this year?
My place is on a marina and my boat is seawall tied in deeded space behind my home. If the management decides to shut the marina which consists of privately owned slips what does that mean for me?
This may all prove to be an academic exercise if I can’t get into the yard where my boat is stored to work on it and get it into the water.
To make matters worse, all the golf courses are closed, and because of high water there may not be any beach remaining or even open where one can just sit in the sun and read a book...

Lets hope we can pay attention to the stay at home guidelines, and all that and do what we can to stop the spread of this virus.
 
May 25, 2012
2,945
john alden caravelle 42 sturgeon bay, wis
if your paying land taxes, or leasing or renting a land tax property, your a local. IMO :)
 
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