Friday, May 8, 2020

Heading North

Well after 6 seasons in the South East Caribbean we decide it is time to move back north. We purchased a property in Maryland on the Pocomoke River. Riverbend Cottage is just that, a nice little cottage with a great garage/workshop, and a freshwater dock! So, we were planning a nice leisurely cruise up the islands, hanging out, cruising with friends. Everything started out fine, met up with MiVia and CrackerJack. Had great weather, some of the mildest conditions we have seen in a long while. We visited Carriacou, The Grenadines, Bequia, Dominica (wonderful!!!). On to Les Saintes, Guadeloupe, Antigua without any issues. But things were going to change and quickly.

By the time we got to St. Kitts & Nevis the Covid-19 Pandemic was getting serious, on clearing in we were required to fill in a health declaration form and list our five previous ports with arrival and departure dates. We spent about a week there, really having a good time along with CrackerJack and their guests. We did  island tours, a trip to Nevis, Killer Bee rum punch, you know all the usual "island" stuff.

Towards the end of our stay in St. Kitts things really started changing, around the world the outbreak had spread rapidly, border restrictions were beginning to be put in place. We made a unplanned quick run to Puerto Rico, CrackerJack traveled with us until St. Thomas, USVI. We carried on as we were hoping we could clear in at Culebra and get a US cruising License (Sylken Sea is Canadian flagged). Once we were on a mooring in Culebra we used the ROAM app to clear in and at the same time requested  "verified traveler numbers". A short time later we got a phone call from CBP in Fajardo. The had received our application and directed us to appear at the CBP office at the airport in Culebra.

The officer in Culebra was very helpful, after reviewing our documents and submitting our paperwork to Fajardo we were issued both a US cruising license and verified traveler numbers. "That should help expedite your arrival in the US" he tells us.

We had lunch at the Dingy Dock and the next day everything shut down. On to the south coast of Puerto Rico, all the marinas are closed to any boat movement but in Salinas we were able to take on fuel so we filled her up not knowing what challenges lay ahead. We were well provisioned had full tanks so that was our last time ashore for a while. It was March 19th, we decided to go into isolation and beat it to the US.

We anchored in Boqueron waiting for a window. We got one, our friend Rita on Calypso in Martinique has been helping with weather when we are out of cell coverage. She sends us updates based on Weather 4D over our InReach. She can also follow us so the weather is very useful and appropriate. THANKS Rita!

Direct to Acklins where we wait out a blow then on up the island chain. Bahamas at that time was closed to new boats arriving but would allow you to transit, just anchor and DO NOT GO TO SHORE.

We anchored on the bank near North Rocks April 3rd then to Lake Worth April 4th. Again we used the ROAM app. Shortly after filing we received a text message clearing us into the US, no need to appear in pearson. Whew! Big sigh of relief!

We begin our trip north. Pam & John Loving graciously did a grocery & liqour store run for us so once again we were well provisioned. The rest of our trip north was uneventful, when we needed good weather we got it, when it blew like stink we hunkered down. April 19th we arrive at our dock in Pocomoke City, MD. Another sigh of relief!

No comments:

Post a Comment