08/13/19 – 03/28/20 – We imagine most of you have noticed we haven’t posted any cruising news lately. It got to be too much of a burden for Tom to format pictures to Paula’s writing, and we just decided to discontinue our blogs. But exceptional times call for exceptions, don’t ya’ think? Plus, for some reason, we seem to have a lot of time right now.
Here’s a quick summary since our last post ending 08/13/19. As planned, we crossed Lake Ontario and did the first two-thirds of the Erie Canal by ourselves. Friends Dan and Linda came on board through the last few locks of the Erie Canal and down the Hudson River to just short of New York City. We had a great time visiting Albany, West Point, and the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) together, then Dan and Linda toured the Roosevelt home and museum, which we had enjoyed on our first Great Loop. After they left us, they took the train to NYC for a few days and we continued on Life’s TraVails to NYC. As we were approaching Ellis Island, we texted to tell them we were coming through the city and asked where they were. They were on Ellis Island! They quickly went to a window and snapped a picture of us as we cruised by (pictured above). We anchored behind the Statue of Liberty that night and toured Ellis Island and the statute ourselves the next day.
We planned to stay 6 weeks in Key West (actually Stock Island Village Marina), sort of a “last hurrah” before any pending sale of Life’s TraVails. But…we just didn’t like staying in the Key West area. We’d toured the tourist attractions the year prior and the party scene didn’t hold anything for us. So, as soon as we could (3 weeks later), we made our way back to Marlin Bay Marina in Marathon to await either a boat sale or April 1, whichever came first.
Meanwhile, we had a great time in Marathon. We connected with old and new friends. We learned to play pickleball at the park across the street, enjoyed a community theater musical, and went snorkeling on a nearby reef. We listened daily to the “cruisers net” on the VHF radio, a “gathering” of cruisers who shared announcements, things to buy/sell/trade, trivia, etc. We bought charts, sold old bicycles (which we replaced with new e-bikes), kayaked with a group through the mangroves, and Paula improved her swim strokes with a coach. We even found a great church we could attend by bike.
And as of March 24, we learned The Bahamas closed all airports to incoming international flights carrying visitors and U.S. citizens were urged to leave immediately. Boats were not allowed to check in through customs and a 24-hour curfew was imposed with few exceptions.
So…we wait. We feel we are very safe here at our marina (it is actually gated and locked) and people are practicing “safe distancing.” Each boat is almost like self-quarantining, and since everything is basically shut down, there is not much to do except work on one’s boat, read (or in Paula’s case, knit) or relax by the pool. Oh, and watch our terrific sunsets! Our boat is docked on what we call “Sunset Row.” The aft deck is separated from the Florida Bay (Gulf) less than 30 feet away by a sidewalk, and we can watch sunsets from our aft deck while other boaters gather in the chairs on the strip.
So, we have great tans after having been in the Keys since Jan 17. And…we wait. At this point, our reservation has been extended at Marlin Bay in Marathon through the end of April. We don’t have a plan for after April 30 but will keep abreast of the news, pray for a quick resolution to this epidemic of coronavirus, depend on our Lord to take care of us and bring others to Himself, and continue to reevaluate what we should do next. So again, we close with, only God really knows where we will go from here. But the good news is we know He has a plan!