by Diane Cummings
When COVID-19 started to be taken seriously in the US early March, we had just arrived on Florida’s west coast for a month of cruising. We were in Bradenton visiting very close friends, Sharon and Nick, who we met in the Bahamas in 2006, practicing social distancing and getting very concerned about the pandemic.
We had plans to rendezvous with Scott and Mary (m/v Mascot) and Ken and Brenda (m/v Lady Caradoc). Needless to say, our plans kept changing daily/hourly when we started to hear about stay-in-place orders, shutdowns, marina closings, flattening the curve, etc. Our three boats get stored on the East Coast, and we began to get concerned about possible lock closings and unavailability of diesel fuel.
What really helped us get through this nightmare was the support we gave each other during our trip back to the east coast and the drive home from FL.
We did rendezvous at Burnt Store Marina for three days, where we had social distancing happy hours and talked about the state of affairs. Once we left the Marina, we separated, but were constantly in touch with each other; providing very helpful cruising information. Sharon and Nick would check in with us regularly; providing pandemic updates that they were getting on TV.
All three boats arrived back in their East Coast boatyard around mid-March, had our boats hauled as soon as possible and started the dreaded drive home. Ken/Brenda (Canada) and Scott/Mary (MA) started the drive ahead of us and kept us updated on road conditions and the status of rest areas as they moved North. Once we started our drive to CT, four days later, they kept checking in.