We are back. In Canada. Not exactly at home, it seems, but close! Our trip was safe and uneventful. We drove through the day and night and into the morning. We slept a few hours in various parking lots as needed. I tricked myself into sleeping by putting on episodes of British Baking Show for Kath to watch. Each time, I was asleep before I could find out what a “bakewell” is. There were no fuel shortages. No National Guard massing at state borders (as some had warned us.) We had no issues crossing the border. It was an easy trip.
Kath’s mother volunteered to stay with her sister for two weeks while we self-isolate in her apartment, in Welland. (THANK YOU! THANK YOU!) We showered, ordered a pizza, slept through a Netflix series featuring great actors reading terrible dialogue, and then slept some more. We are in an ebb tide now. The nervous energy that fueled every task and every decision is washing away from us and revealing a very new world.
For the past week, we’ve spent every waking hour working hard to get home. We sailed hard. We worked hard. We had so much planning to do. There were so many options to consider, and so many little “gotchas” that could trip us up. What if we can’t enter the US? What if we can enter the US but cannot exit? What if a highway closes? What if there’s no gas? All these what-ifs had been swimming around our head every minute.
At five miles an hour, heaving up and down on waves far larger than forecasted, we spent hours watching the coast of Florida grow, wondering whether we’d be allowed into the country, and whether we really wanted to be there at all. Then, after getting in, we spent days worried about whether we’d make it out. Should we fly or drive? Should we move the boat or leave it here? Will the boat get lifted? What if it doesn’t? These were fretful days. Ironically, they were spent within earshot of kids obliviously spending their spring breaks cruising up and down the channels in party boats. While we worried about our families, about how to leave the boat, and about how we could travel a few thousand miles through a country that was clearly out of touch with the times, without touching anyone or anything, the party boomed on all around us.
Now, here we are, sitting on our hands. Our worries about how to get a phone, a car, a dock, etc. are all resolved. There’s no urgent need to get this or that done before x or y happens. We can relax, I suppose. But there’s no sense of satisfaction. No sense of closure. Our family and friends are all worried for the future, and we are too. It turns out that all those urgent tasks were excellent ways of distracting ourselves from the longer-term worries. They were keeping us busy both physically and mentally. Now, they have dissipated.
As of an hour ago, our plans to get Spartan home are on hold. The marina that is doing the haul-out will be closing at the end of the day, but the trailer to haul Spartan cannot be there until tomorrow. Spartan will be put on the hard today in Florida and will need to wait there until the marina reopens. Could be two weeks from now. Could be much, much longer. As for Kath and I, we also have no fixed plans and no fixed address for a couple of months. We will probably take a few more days of freedom from logistics before we pick up the phone again and consider where to go next.
We are on day three of isolation, but it really doesn’t feel that different. In fact, we have more room to spread out now than we’ve had in months and months of living together on the boat! So, I expect we will breeze through the remaining days. We are healthy, happy and loved. After a year of indulging ourselves, it will definitely be time to find a way of serving others. Also, maybe I’ll get a dog.