St. Lucia For Now

It’s the second half of June. Normally we would be in Trinidad by now and Kalunamoo would be ready to be hauled and put on the hard. We would take that opportunity to do some M&R, especially things that needed to be done when the boat is out of the water. We would also fly back to the States to visit family and friends, visit our favorite doctors, and get reacquainted to the hustle and bustle of big city life. Kalunamoo could be worked on by workers without our interference. We don’t have a problem living aboard even when the boat is on the hard so overall that works out just fine. There is a small community of cruisers and locals that we have come to know there so it’s not like our social life ceases. Actually, it is just as active as when we are sailing.

Of course, this year it’s a little different since the pandemic has “’locked down” much of the world. Even though a very small percentage of the world’s population has been stricken, the stealth, unknowns, lack of treatments or cures, lead most countries to be very cautious in letting the virus spread. That is understandable. It is also understandable that people’s empathy for others is not unlimited.

As of now, only a very few island countries have allowed cruisers like ourselves to enter. Most airports are closed to passenger flights and most seaports are closed to boats like ours. The two countries that many cruisers in this part of the world usually head for to avoid hurricanes or do their annual M&R is Grenada and Trinidad. Grenada is not really out of the hurricane belt but in the last few years has successfully encouraged cruisers to make Grenada their “hurricane hole”. Encouraging tourism is very important for them and so they opened their border, only for cruisers a few weeks ago, subject to a 14-day quarantine and testing. They actually organized a good system specifically to handle cruisers which will pay off in attract future business. Commercial flights in and out will resume in a few weeks (as of now).

Trinidad, on the other hand, still has closed boarders for all and it looks like it might be late July before cruisers will be accepted in. Trinidad is still our preferred destination (plan A) for a number of reasons despite their lack of concern for their marina and cruiser business. At this time, we will wait here in St. Lucia (plan B). St. Lucia itself has closed borders but internally there are few restrictions or problems staying here. At present we are at anchor and could go back to the marina if a hurricane comes this way or if we just want to be on the dock again.

We could have sailed back to the U.S. (plan C) but that would not have solved the pandemic! In other words, leaving the East Caribbean would be a decision by itself and not based on the pandemic. We will eventually return with Kalunamoo but just not yet. But the future, as we all know, is written in sand. Well see what the next wave brings.

Life aboard is quieter as there are not many cruisers around. We have come to know a few but the “social distancing” has impacted happy hours! Maureen has joined the resumed Ladies Friday Luncheon and we’ll see how long that will continue. Our daily routines have not altered that much except that sailing and moving the boat around is severely curtailed. We have much more time to read and watch videos.

Just as no man is an island, no island is a complete world. We still believe Trinidad will open but in the meantime we will remain here indefinitely. Flying out when any airport opens is questionable and flying back is even more uncertain. Eventually the whole world will have to learn to live with this virus and adjust accordingly. In the meantime, Zoom, Facetime, video messages, and email are still pandemic free and, for now, keeps us connected.  

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