We are back on-board Genevieve after a long Summer and Fall of lock-down in New York, eager to broaden our horizons and continue our journey north through the Caribbean chain, and out into the big Atlantic Ocean…
We had a very quiet, isolated, but industrious summer in New York. We landscaped the garden at 4 Bay, built a bar (with a bit of skilled help), rejuvenated a Hobie 16, and watched the house get painted fresh white. We stayed put through the end-of-year holidays, but times were quiet! Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year were, as usual, full of cheer, plates of painstakingly-created foods, a decorated tree, etc…but it was just us, a table for two at 21 Bay where we had holed-up in early November as the Fall crispness turned to cold and we closed our unheated house for the season. We were a little social–Martin dusted off the Santa Suit to spread some holiday cheer, we hosted a chilly afternoon mulled-wine and biscotti bonfire, and joined some pals for a lovely New Years’ day bike ride through Fire Island to mark the arrival of 2021. But no internet, mindless cable TV ads, the falling thermometer, and Jeopardy binges started to get to us, so it was with some relief that we packed our bags full of boat spares (no room for clothes!), moth-balled the car, and high-tailed it to the aerodrome. After a fun stay-over at the stylish TWA Hotel, getting our Eero Saarinen fix, we boarded a flight bound for Antigua, arriving January 6.
With negative COVID PCR test results in hand, clearance into the island was painless, the only requirement being that we had to text our body temperatures daily to “Nurse Williams” for 14 days and obey the restrictions. Antigua was, and is, doing very well regarding COVID cases, mainly because the population takes mask-wearing, handwashing, mixing only with their household groups, and distancing very seriously…setting an example for the rest of us.
After two days of hot, hard work in the boatyard, Genevieve was ready for the water and she–and we–were delighted to get her bottom wet and take up residence in a marina slip with power and air conditioning on-tap. Slowly, all the removable parts, sails, canvas, etc., we had removed last season were put back in place and the systems were checked, including our rebuilt Fischer Panda generator (thanks Wesley of Multiserve!). Within a week we were shipshape, inspected, operational, polished, and waxed. We unplugged, slipped the lines and headed out of Falmouth Harbour for a shakedown cruise back to some of our favorite haunts in Antigua. Then we sailed to Barbuda, closed to us last season, to explore the flat but oh-so-lovely island recovering fast from the hurricanes, as evidenced by the amount of high-end real estate developments being planned. These, like the ones before them, will get built, lure the glitterati, and get blown away. Rinse, repeat.
So, our plan was to head north to St. Barth’s, St. Martin/Sint Maarten, Anguilla and then onto the Virgin Islands to get ready for a May departure for the big sail to New York City via Bermuda. However, border closings and restrictions are stymying our intentions. The French Islands and Anguilla are currently closed, and the BVIs have made entry very cumbersome. We don’t blame them: they are trying to make sure visitors don’t bring pestilence. So as we write this, we will stay here and monitor points north. All is OK to make it to the USVI by March to rendez vous with friends and we have unearthed a painless way to get into the BVI for all of April, which is exciting. Then the plan stands to assemble a couple of crew in St. Thomas and begin that sail to Bermuda and NYC, arriving on the North Shore of Long Island in the latter part of May and spend the Summer exploring the local waters of LI and New England.
And after that? We have formulated a rough longer-term itinerary. We will probably sail Genevieve south again to Florida and the Bahamas for winter 2021/22 and return to northern New England cruising grounds Summer ’22. Then we are thinking it will be about time to sail Gen across the Atlantic and spend some seasons in the Norwegian Fjords, The Baltic, UK, and the Med. Well, that’s the current thinking.
Stay tuned as our current Caribbean adventure unfolds. Enjoy the pics…