This blog post was supposed to be about our fun times in Turks and Caicos with 3 sets of guests. Rather, it is about the coronavirus and self-isolating. Like everyone else, our world has turned upside-down.
Don’t get me wrong, we appreciate that we are isolated in a beautiful location with wonderful weather and being stuck on Unforgettable is quite awesome. But the question is, where is the safest place for us to be isolated for an undetermined about of time?
A week and a half ago our friends Deb and Chris arrived from St. Louis not knowing if they be unable to return home to the US after a week in T & C. They were extremely cautious on their two full flights choosing not to eat in the airports and sanitized everything they touched. The first full day they were here we lived it up eating in restaurants for all 3 meals. That night we started to feel the pinch and stress of the coronavirus risk and decided to self-isolate. We only left the resort the following day to purchase groceries.
Fortunately, we could still snorkel, walk the beach, see the glow worms, kayak, fish, take dinghy rides, play Mexican Train, and many other wonderful activities. We had it pretty good! We were glad not to be in the US during this stressful time. Turks and Caicos has a hospital, plenty of flights, grocery stores full of food, TP and had NO confirmed cases! We are fully provisioned and safely secured to a dock so we can manage for quite a long time.
Every day they were here the world changed and our stress levels rose. Their vacation was not much of a vacation and our other guests were cancelled. After we dropped them off on land we created an excel spreadsheet listing the pros and cons of waiting out the virus in T & C vs USA. The big pro point for T & C was the lack of confirmed cases. We are aware of the variances in countries’ procedures of who gets tested and inaccuracies but the was a huge point for us. Since I am 60 and Scott is almost 74 we are greatly concerns about our health. Our cons for staying consisted of so many unknown factors: we don’t know if our cruising permit will be renewed, we don’t know if our insurances will still be valid here, we don’t want to be here during hurricane season, the airport closes today so we couldn’t return quickly to the states, we don’t know if we would receive fair medical assistance as foreigners nor how good it is, we don’t know if the Bahamas would eventually prevent us from cruising through their waters, we don’t know how well the food supply will be here, phone and wifi is sketchy here, limited boat repairs/parts here, and…I am LONELY.
The USA column has a gigantic con…Covid 19 is spreading like wildfire. But if we return to a marina in Stuart we have the advantage of familiarity. In this topsy-turvy time of unknown we would at least have comfort knowing we have friends, doctors, family, even boat neighbors, etc. We would know how our insurances work, we could have groceries delivered, and we would have good wifi in order to talk to and see our family.
Thus, we are going to take our chances and return to our home, the good old USA. This decision was made on Saturday and weather will permit us to travel on Wednesday giving Scott time to polish fuel, change oil, install some new cables, etc. We will do an overnighter to George Town in the Bahamas then will probably make long day trips and cross to Lake Worth, Florida. With good weather it should take about a week. Thankfully, we were able to procure a slip at Harborage Marina in Stuart, FL.
I wish I could gather up our children and grandchildren. I wish I could hug them, and keep everyone safe and protected. Of course, that is ridiculous but at least we will have the feeling of being in closer proximity. Sometimes it’s difficult being away from loved ones.
Scott and I both feel that our favorite places are in the islands but paradise can be lonely and uncertain. When life settles down and finances are steady I encourage you to visit the islands. They are regularly decimated by hurricanes and storms. Tourist dollars are everything to the islanders and those may be a long time in returning.
I am thankful to have a wonderful husband with whom I enjoy his company and we get along so well. My heart goes out to anyone that is sequestered alone. Feel free to call me when we return to the states and I will try to brighten your day.