Exit Strategy – Day 4

Well, with most of the major blocks in place, we were left today with mostly worry and busy work to consider. Our primary plan is still to have the boat put on a truck on Friday. And there’s a bunch of work to do to make that happen. But with so many things changing on a daily basis, we also need to keep a contingency plan warm. We drew up the following lists of to-dos for both scenarios and started working on the things that are common to both.

To-Dos for Leaving Boat at MarinaTo-Dos for Hauling and Shipping Boat
Close all through-hulls
Remove sails
Hook up shore power
Set fans on high
Run out the fuel in dinghy, using fresh water
Put foil on all hatches and windows
Top up the diesel and add biocide
Remove any food that could spoil
Empty the fridge
Store dinghy on deck
Tip up cushions and mattress to maximize ventilation
Pack clothes, food, water, meds & docs
Inform the marina of departure
Cancel shipper and haul out marina
Clean out head
Close propane tank
Empty the water tanks

Shuttle the rental car to Fort Pierce
Get the boat to Fort Pierce
Close though-hulls
Remove sails
Remove Dodger
Remove solar panels from bimini
Remove bimini
Remove solar panels from davits
Remove davits
Remove GPS antenna
Store dinghy on deck
Buy anti-freeze
Replace coolant with anti-freeze
Pack clothes, food, water, meds & docs
Empty fridge
Clean out head
Close the propane tank
Empty water tanks
Stow jerry cans
Stow life sling and life ring
Secure the boom to the deck
Stow swim ladder
Stow fenders
Hire rigger to derig (pointless, but mandatory)
Stow cushions
Stow fender boards
Turn off power
Stow top-of-mast fiddly bits

At one point in the day it occurred to me that there may be a way to have our cake and eat it too. On the one hand, we want our boat to arrive in Lake Ontario. But, of course, our far more paramount concerns are staying healthy and getting home. It occurred to me that if someone else could simply deliver our boat to the haul out marina on Friday, we could skedaddle much sooner. So, I had some dock conversations (at a healthy distance) and lined up a few names of delivery captains. So, back to working the phones for a while. I think we may have found the right couple. They have a boat in this marina, so they are coming by soon for a chat. They know the area well and seem very seasoned. So far, it feels good. Fingers crossed.

Our shower easily converts into a sail locker.

If we are able secure delivery services, we should be able to get on the road by Monday, I hope. However, this also means we’ll be arriving at the border in advance of the boat. The question then is, do we step over the border as soon as possible, or do we stay on the US side, ready to cross at a moment’s notice? The advantage of staying on the US side is that, by doing so, we’ll be able to get back on the boat and sail home. We’ll be able to do our two weeks of voluntary quarantine on the boat, if we want. If we don’t wait for the boat to arrive, and cross the border as soon as possible, our boat will be stuck in Rochester for an unknown amount of time.

Hmmm. I’m guessing that everyone that just read the above paragraph just thought “What? Just cross the damned border already! The boat will be fine. Get it later. Stop obsessing about the boat!” You know, you are a wise readership! I think we will take your imaginary advice and run with it.


  1. My rusty 2 cents: I actually think you should stay on the US side (close to the border ready to cross) and wait for your boat. Honestly, you are not going to be able to do anything, visit anyone, or go anywhere once you arrive in Canada (and there will probably be personal contact restrictions beyond the two week quarantine). Your boat may become a great refuge. And your quarantine time can begin once you board it. If the folks renting your house are unable to move back into their house (reno is halted, etc.) you won’t be able to ask them to move. After your adventure it may be very difficult to remain cooped up in a house for weeks on end. Your boat seems like a valuable asset worth keeping close and ready if needed.


  2. As long as you remain healthy and can remain healthy, I would say get on your boat and sail home. However, I also have nightmare visions of Americans foaming at the mouth in huge numbers and taking to the streets with guns. Perhaps you shouldn’t watch Contagion on Netflix. Will you be allowed to sail home, through the locks, etc.


    • Thanks Susie. One thing I think we forgot to mention is that we think our travel medical insurance is basically null and void. We are definitely not covered if we need medical care related to the pandemic, but it looks like ALL USA coverage is cancelled, now that the Canadian government has issued an advisory against coming here. So, there’s a risk that we break a leg and end up bankrupted. Sailing home would take weeks or more. Still think we should be sailing home?


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