Where are we
Last month, we sailed from the US Virgin Islands to Sint Maarten/St Martin, an island split between the Dutch and the French. Despite having the most dysfunctional internet monopoly on the planet, this is a good place to do work on the boat. Ian has a four page To-Do list and since spear fishing isn’t allowed here, he keeps himself busy with jobs on the boat. We anchored in a lagoon, at the end of an international airport runway – not idyllic but definitely convenient access to all chandleries and boat services.
One job that got done, a new toilet: The boat has two electic-flush toilets that use fresh water from our fresh water tanks. You just press a button, and a swirl of water comes into the toilet bowl, and a vacuum sucks the contents into the holding tank. We estimate that the toilets use up 50% of our fresh water use, which was an odd design decision because we are literally sitting on an ocean of water. So one job was to swap out one fancy toilet for one basic salt-water manual flush toilet that uses no fresh water, no electricity and can be easliy fixed anywhere in the world. I will spare you all the details but the saving grace of this story is that Ian lost his sense of smell years ago.
COVID-life here feels a lot like Covid-life in Toronto last October. Shops are open, schools are online, masks are required. Though apparently nightclubs and indoor bars are open, too. There’s a low level of community spread, hospitals are managing well, testing is easily available, and quarantine or some sort of monitoring on arrival is required in each island country.
We’ve shared outdoor dinners with other folks anchored in the lagoon. And despite occasional gaffs, we’ve stayed healthy so far.
For example, as you’ve read earlier, Ian has this way of being a bit reckless. He spear fishes without a buddy, he walks on tropical grass with open-toed shoes, and after four rum and cokes in a bar, he mindlessly bums a cigarette off a kid who then rolled and licked it for him, during a pandemic.
Where are we going
All hopes of an inter-island COVID travel agreement seem to have fallen apart, and getting accurate info on each country’s entry requirements is a combination of interpreting out-of-date government websites and wandering around social media. We’re aiming south slowly in order to be out of the path of any 2021 hurricanes by June. And en route, we plan to visit islands that only require entry testing and not 14 day quarantine. Next stop is St Barths.
We are very grateful things aren’t difficult, in fact things are pretty awesome. Really, just like everyone else – the only thing we miss are visits with family and friends. And at least one of us misses the safer conditions necessary for bumming cigarettes.
Let us know what you’d like to read about – I haven’t mentioned details about putting a 3rd reef in the main sail or discovering the best ceviche recipe ever, and the multitude of questions that I ponder daily like – Is a Bloody Mary a cocktail or partial-vitamix salad? Will scaling up reef-safe sunscreen make the slightest bit of difference in the decimation of reefs worldwide? Is the environmental footprint of buying fresh mint from Kenya offset by supporting commercial agriculture in East Africa (yes, without looking closely at the label, I bought mint from Kenya and it seems so far away)? Message us to help us come up with blog ideas. Thanks. Stay safe.