“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” Vivian Greene
We are still here at anchor in French St Martin. We arrived on our little sailing yacht Cirrus towards the beginning of March and are now into our sixth week of lockdown. The French president has indicated that it will run until at least May 11; then who knows. They have slowly clamped down on the restrictions over the six weeks, and the Gendarmerie Nautique are now even threatening to crack down on people swimming off boats at anchor. Hopefully it does not come to this as it’s a safety imperative for us to keep our prop intakes clean of barnacles along with the through hulls to critical items like our desalinator (aka water maker) open. That is before even considering the sanity of our three small kids who have been to land twice in the past six weeks, once where we were chased off the beach by the police. Thus far however the French territories thankfully have avoided the complete 24/7 police curfew on being out of your house that has been in place for weeks now across the lagoon on the other side of the island in Dutch Sint Maarten. We can still at least with a permit go alone to the supermarket to buy food and are keeping SV Cirrus fully provisioned in case we have to leave at short notice.
We woke up one morning this week being buzzed by large military transport helicopters with a massive helicopter carrier anchored just outside us in the bay. After a bit of investigation, we found out that it was in the process of setting up a MASH style tent hospital with 50 beds on a football field near us here. Other than events like that, the days here in lockdown blend into weeks, and the weeks are now starting to blend into months, until they smack us right bang into hurricane season. Now only six weeks away from the official start for insurance purposes, we are trying to plan our escape route out of here, but with almost all borders shut options are limited. In the meantime we wait, while trying to progress border openings via consular support and industry lobby groups. The one border in the region which still remains open to small vessels in limited fashion with 14 day quarantine and restricted movement is Panama. It is a couple of hundred hours (7-10 days) straight sail from here; but if nothing else comes up at least it is out of the hurricane zone.
Interesting times we live in; at least we are getting lots of practice dancing in the rain.
Oh and the photo is a shot I took in Barbuda which feels a lifetime away now.
Love Life, Love Photography
All images in this post were taken by and remain the Copyright of Robert Downie - http://www.robertdowniephotography.com