We went to sleep with a modicum of mobile wifi and, at about 3am, I got a text from my provider saying “that’s it, you’re done”. That means we woke up with no internet connectivity at all and no way to buy any without going ashore – into the land of people and their germs. The only cell store that seemed to be open for business told us they were sold out of sim cards. Luckily, it turned out we already had SIM cards for a US account, so we were able to get them reactivated. Whew! (And yes, we sanitized our hands, our phones, our credit cards!)
Next up, we worked on plan A – getting the boat shipped. We were able to line up all the things we need to do that: a marina that will take the boat out and the mast down, a truck that will ship the boat, a marina in Rochester that will splash the boat (Thanks Stewart and Allan for your help in finding this marina!) Finally, we needed to secure a car that would take us up to meet with the boat. Done, done and done! If all goes well, the boat should splash in Rochester on March 31. However, nothing is certain anymore. Businesses – including marinas – are closing down around here.
The marina that will do the work here in Florida has two locations. The location closest to us just got closed today. The other location is in Fort Pierce. It’s not so densely populated there, so there may be more chance that they will stay open, but every day things are tightening, and they really can’t be certain that they will still be open next Friday, when we are scheduled to be hauled out.
So, next we worked on contingency plans. One contingency plan would be to leave the boat in Florida – ideally on the hard, but if not then in a wet slip. Then we get in our rental vehicle and head north. We’ve had a bit of success in this plan. We secured a wet slip at a nearby marina. We can be here for a week, a month or many months if needed. However, it would be a shame to leave the boat here for months (and not cheap, either!) So, while we are waiting for next Friday to arrive, we will continue shopping for another storage option.
Another option is, of course, to get back out there and sail north. It would only be a few miles out before the gulf stream starts giving us a lift. The weather looks good for the next few days and we could make some major miles. We’d also be very isolated from others. However, this contingency doesn’t get us to Canada in the same time frame. At best, we might be able to sail to the Hudson River in 10 days or so. But more likely, weather or unexpected events would add a week or more. The New York Canals don’t open until May 15 (several new realities from now), so at best, we’d still be crossing into Canada from the US, but we’d be doing so later. So, we will keep an eye on this option, but our focus is on getting home quickly, and this doesn’t seem like a likely candidate.