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so who's heading to the caribbean this winter?


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A frozenhawaiian in Portland, Maine...now that's about as close to the exact opposite that you can be from my sailboat. Built in Southwest Harbor, ME and heading to Haleiwa, HI in the not so distant future.

Aloha from Phil & Kolibri

 

 

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We're heading to the Bahamas in Nov/Dec from the west coast of FL. Plan to stay there until June then return to the US. Hopefully they relax the entry requirements (currently negative RT-PCR covid19 test within 5 days of arrival) by then.

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Was in St Thomas about a month ago. Big town was more or less closed but America harbor was like Ft Lauderdale, good or bad.  There were charters going out of the marina every day I was there.  I think they shut back down after I left for Florida not sure.  BVIs sound like they will be closed up for a bit.

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23 hours ago, SASSAFRASS said:

USVI update

https://usviupdate.com/

They are open from 19th.

open for now. the USVI has taken a very cautious approach from the get go, which makes sense considering they're medical capacity is jut slightly above zero. BVI it sounds like they might not open back up to americans at all this winter. I'm watching it and 'Ill make a decision in the next week or 2, not gonna sail my ass 1800 miles down and to not be able to charter and also not be able to visit the islands that I like and then have to sail my ass 1800 miles back up to maine. fucking covid

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On 9/19/2020 at 9:42 AM, frozenhawaiian said:

open for now. the USVI has taken a very cautious approach from the get go, which makes sense considering they're medical capacity is jut slightly above zero. BVI it sounds like they might not open back up to americans at all this winter. I'm watching it and 'Ill make a decision in the next week or 2, not gonna sail my ass 1800 miles down and to not be able to charter and also not be able to visit the islands that I like and then have to sail my ass 1800 miles back up to maine. fucking covid

A number of the islands are open besides the USVI'S but as you say who knows what will happen.  We're going but our stay may be limited to the USVI'S.  If I was talking a boat there for charter purposes I probably wouldn't go.

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2 hours ago, Bryanjb said:

A number of the islands are open besides the USVI'S but as you say who knows what will happen.  We're going but our stay may be limited to the USVI'S.  If I was talking a boat there for charter purposes I probably wouldn't go.

I’m in Puerto Rico now 

ports and marinas will open this week

https://caribbeanbusiness.com/puerto-rico-gov-presents-new-coronavirus-safety-mandates/?cn-reloaded=1

i believe that inbound vessels still need corona testing 

double check with port authorities before arrival 

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2 hours ago, slug zitski said:

I’m in Puerto Rico now 

ports and marinas will open this week

https://caribbeanbusiness.com/puerto-rico-gov-presents-new-coronavirus-safety-mandates/?cn-reloaded=1

i believe that inbound vessels still need corona testing 

double check with port authorities before arrival 

We'll all be tested before we leave.  We'll watch our temperature while underway and if anyone shows a fever we'll head east, back to the states.

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13 minutes ago, Bryanjb said:

We'll all be tested before we leave.  We'll watch our temperature while underway and if anyone shows a fever we'll head east, back to the states.

Double check all regulations

 Presently 

“Travelers entering Puerto Rico must fill out a Travel Declaration Form through the Puerto Rico Health Department's online portal, get a molecular COVID-19 test (nasal or throat swab) no more than 72 hours prior visiting the Island, and show proof of a negative result or they must quarantine.”

 

 

 

 

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Going  to USVI having the form printed and filled out was pretty much a free pass.  I had the form and PCR test cert, handed to the official and got a wierd look. They each had a stack of blank forms.  When they saw they were already done they said off you go and threw in the stack. A good way to save 30 min. 

 

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My boat's on the hard in Grenada, but you can't get there from here, and I don't think that's going to change anytime soon. Here's a link to US Embassy info for Grenada https://bb.usembassy.gov/covid-information-grenada/, which says:

"There is currently no announced date for continuation of commercial passenger flights to and from the United States, and all travelers coming from the United States to Grenada through other means must submit to COVID testing and quarantine in a Grenadian-government approved facility."

I could fly through another country, but because I'd still be coming from "high risk" US, I'd either have to wear a tracking device (that I have to pay for) for 14 days and have limited movement if I test negative, or quarantine in a Grenadian-approved facility for 14 days if I test positive before I could go to my boat. I'm not willing to do that, so I don't expect to see my boat again until the end of 2021 or the beginning of 2022. The US is the only high risk country listed on Grenada's travel  guidehttps://bb.usembassy.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/247/Entering-Grenada-A-Travellers-Guide.pdf

I haven't looked into it recently, but I imagine that US sailors entering Grenadian waters may face similar quarantine requirements. I know that was the rule in the spring and early summer that some cruising friends were facing who were trying to get back to Grenada. They wound up leaving their boat in Guadeloupe.  

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9 hours ago, frozenhawaiian said:

well I pulled the plug on my caribbean season. too much uncertainty and not worth it this year. 

It's a tough call.  It was more or less the same in the USVI and it is here in Bocas Panama. As Tourism is the primary industry there is a big push to get people back and things flowing like before.  They have already shut down a few of the bars and clubs after only being open a few days due to violating the rules.  The locals are exhausted they have been in a hard quarentine since March.  I think the same yoyo will be going on throughout much of the Carribean once hurricane season is over.

If you were only going to cruise I would probably go for it, but you are banking on chartering so that's a big if, probably made the right call.

 

 

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On 9/14/2020 at 7:17 PM, frozenhawaiian said:

I'm officially a month out from my earliest departure date. planning on heading to the USVI for the winter. any one else heading that way for the winter? 

No, I’ll be getting up and going to work this winter.  It’ll be great.  Don’t worry about me.

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On 11/5/2020 at 2:28 PM, SASSAFRASS said:

Safe travels, Eta vs 2.0 track has been all over last two days.

Waiting out the storm coming in Bald Head Island Cape Fear with lots of other boaters the docks are full. 

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Sitting at Yacht Haven right now.  The BVI's are dead, probably for the season, the USVI's are slammed, the charter boats are booked through the season.  We're here till late December then off to St Martin then Grenada then back to the USVI's (March) to meet guests.  The fuckwits in the BVI's are impounding boats that wander into their waters and fining them $20,000.

 

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10 hours ago, Bryanjb said:

The fuckwits in the BVI's are impounding boats that wander into their waters and fining them $20,000.

The fuckwits are the people not respecting the BVI's decision to shut out travellers to protect their country's limited medical resources from being overwhelmed by the virus. Good on 'em for impounding and fining these inconsiderate assholes. Maybe this belongs in the American Dumbass thread.

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1 hour ago, Jim in Halifax said:

The fuckwits are the people not respecting the BVI's decision to shut out travellers to protect their country's limited medical resources from being overwhelmed by the virus. Good on 'em for impounding and fining these inconsiderate assholes. Maybe this belongs in the American Dumbass thread.

Round Of Applause Gif GIFs | Tenor

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2 hours ago, Jim in Halifax said:

The fuckwits are the people not respecting the BVI's decision to shut out travellers to protect their country's limited medical resources from being overwhelmed by the virus. Good on 'em for impounding and fining these inconsiderate assholes. Maybe this belongs in the American Dumbass thread.

I'm with you Jim....it's amazing the disrespect some cruisers, either liveaboard or charterer's show by violating territorial waters.  Good to see the BVI's clamping down on it.  We were going in for our PCR test in one of the Windward Islands a couple days ago when we were waiting in line with another, now liveaboard cruisers.  We were talking about the BVI incident and this guy proceeded to tell me how when they chartered in the USVI's they would cross the BVI border and got to the Indians, Baths, etc without checking into BVI.....asshole.

And yes, they are protecting their own citizens as everyone there knows the only way they are going to get the virus is to have it imported.  It also appears there is a fair amount of drug trafficing going through that area which will also increase their border awareness.  https://bvinews.com/cop-arrested-in-largest-drug-bust-in-bvi-history/

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3 hours ago, Jim in Halifax said:

the BVI's decision to shut out travellers to protect their country's limited medical resources from being overwhelmed by the virus. 

Out of curiosity, as I was wondering why and how, as we enter winter and then next phase of coronavirus case spikes, people are travelling —I’m stuck working anyway but aren’t countries closed to travel, I thought?!  —I checked the BVI’s official policy.  Seems they’re re-opening the country to tourists as of Dec. 1 - the usual quarantine, etc rules apply. 

Health Minister statement:

 https://bvi.gov.vg/media-centre/statement-minister-health-and-social-development-honourable-carvin-malone-tuesday-10th

”No doubt, we see world-wide how the COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly changing situation.  Some first world countries are closing down their borders while we are making considerable attempts to open ours. 

“In the balance of lives and livelihoods we are compelled to open our borders and like all other jurisdictions we must appreciate that we will have to coexist with this virus.”

And here’s what the country’s premier said: https://bvi.gov.vg/media-centre/remarks-premier-and-minister-finance-honourable-andrew-fahie-phase-iii-reopening

“as a responsible Government, we know that reopening our borders in this COVID-19 era where the majority of the world is experiencing major spikes, calls for us to take a balanced and calculated risk that do not compromise the health, safety and wellbeing of our people, our visitors, and our economy. 

“That is why we will continue to take all precautionary measures so that we do not compromise the preparatory work we have done over the last 7 months that have keep us all safe.”

Finally, at the end of his remarks (link above), as a peroration and hedging his bets in a time of trouble, he did just as early colonials would’ve done:  invoked God.  (Or as Muslims say, ‘Inshallah’ —‘if God wills it.’)

We will get through this, with GOD on our side, because God is with us, and where God is, we are, and where God is all is well!

So, there you have it: officially they’re re-opening the country Dec 1, with health policies in place.  And, apparently also officially, at least as suggested by the premier, some god will look over and protect them.  Phew. So it’s all sorted out.

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1 hour ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Out of curiosity, as I was wondering why and how, as we enter winter and then next phase of coronavirus case spikes, people are travelling —I’m stuck working anyway but aren’t countries closed to travel, I thought?!  —I checked the BVI’s official policy.  Seems they’re re-opening the country to tourists as of Dec. 1 - the usual quarantine, etc rules apply. 

You're pretty much spot on.....travel and chartering is a shit show and will probably get worse.  A lot of the islands have opened their airports and allow entry by pleasure vessels, but the cost of entry is high and it all depends what countries your arriving from.  You may spend your entire holiday quarantined in a hotel at your expense and not being able to leave your room.  We just sailed from Grenada to SVG.  Entry cost us US$650!  We're sitting in quarantine right now, but hope to be cleared in as our PCR tests are negative.  Entry requirements change by the week.  You're smart to stay where you are....

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On 11/22/2020 at 6:56 AM, Jim in Halifax said:

The fuckwits are the people not respecting the BVI's decision to shut out travellers to protect their country's limited medical resources from being overwhelmed by the virus. Good on 'em for impounding and fining these inconsiderate assholes. Maybe this belongs in the American Dumbass thread.

How is it a boat tacking east, offshore, is a covid risk but taking them to shore, putting them in jail, impounding the boat and fining them isn't?  This isn't about protecting the population, this is all about money.  Just like the mandate last fall by the BVI's that boats stored in their marina's must hire an agent to "look after the boat", it's all about the Benjamins.  It's their border and they can do what they want but it's still a fuckwit move.

And by the way, the only boat I knew of that sailed back and forth across the US/BVI border last year without checking in was Canadian,  until they were caught.

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Having just sailed from North Carolina to Florida I don’t think our exposure to Covid-19 is any more than at home. In the anchorage everyone stays on their own boat, no longer do you get the drink invite. Everyone is masked at the dinghy dock and most stand away wile your going by on the dock. The exception of one person in South Carolina helping us get fuel, everyone has been masked, and almost all the cashiers had plexiglass in front of them. Going to the store is no difference as we put on a mask to get our groceries the same as home. Most of our exposure to people is outside in open air, we seldom take a slip in a marina. As of right now sitting at anchor in Fort Pierce Fl. It appears that we may not go to the Bahamas and go to the Keys. The cost have gone up tripled and the entry process continue to change. It looks like this year we won’t be going. Unless there is change for the better later in the year. 

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23 hours ago, Bryanjb said:

How is it a boat tacking east, offshore, is a covid risk but taking them to shore, putting them in jail, impounding the boat and fining them isn't?  This isn't about protecting the population, this is all about money.  Just like the mandate last fall by the BVI's that boats stored in their marina's must hire an agent to "look after the boat", it's all about the Benjamins.  It's their border and they can do what they want but it's still a fuckwit move.

And by the way, the only boat I knew of that sailed back and forth across the US/BVI border last year without checking in was Canadian,  until they were caught.

Because when you are in BVI territorial waters, they are responsible for your rescue, salvage, etc, should you get in trouble, under the terms of the SOLAS treaty and you would be putting their SAR people at risk. Enforcement has risks too, but sometimes making an example is worth the risk. There is no way the hospital in Road Town could cope with a Covid outbreak. And as to making a little windfall on agents' fees...who can blame them? They have had some rough years recently between weather and this virus.

And yes, there are Canadian Dumbasses too; America does not have a monopoly on morons.

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Yes, they must be so happy to have the revenue since they didn't get to sell the coke.  Recently they stopped, impounded and fined a couple of 70 year olds out for a day sail after they wandered across the border by a couple hundred yards.  I've seen this serve and protect movie, Straight Outa Compton.

Sorry, this is just bullshit.

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4 hours ago, Bryanjb said:

Yes, they must be so happy to have the revenue since they didn't get to sell the coke.  Recently they stopped, impounded and fined a couple of 70 year olds out for a day sail after they wandered across the border by a couple hundred yards.  I've seen this serve and protect movie, Straight Outa Compton.

Sorry, this is just bullshit.

You are an entitled prick aren't you?

How dare those silly little people interfere with your holiday plans, don't they know who you are?

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Before you start with the name calling please remember, this is CA, not PA. While I'm certainly not without blame from time to time, I know my flaws and am working to always listen to differing opinions while holding out a hand of friendship

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14 hours ago, European Bloke said:

You are an entitled prick aren't you?

How dare those silly little people interfere with your holiday plans, don't they know who you are?

Actually I have no plans to visit the BVI'S anytime soon so this doesn't affect me, there are lots of beautiful places to sail in the Caribbean.  Why put up with rude and obnoxious agents in the BVI'S, plus it's become very expensive to sail there.

And if you think I'm tough on the BVI  government you should here what is being said by the BVI citizens who's livelihood being destroyed by this fuckery.  There not happy with the thuggery of their customs officers.

Any way, have a wonderful day you european socialist twat. 

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On 11/22/2020 at 9:52 AM, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

...

We will get through this, with GOD on our side, because God is with us, and where God is, we are, and where God is all is well!

...

Some people believe they have god on their side...

Myself I’m waiting until I have vaccines on my side...or actually inside my arm.

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11 hours ago, Latadjust said:

Sorry, that was aimed at the situation,  I feel for the people of the BVI who rely on sailing tourism 

I feel for them, for any official, having to deal with entitled tourists.  Sheesh. 
 

And here we are, where calling someone a “socialist” is supposed to be a terrible personal insult.  (And, perhaps as bad an insult, calling them a “European”.)  Sheesh.  

 

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10 hours ago, MauiPunter said:

How much was the mooring?

For one month for Osprey $324.00 + $24.30 Tax = $ 348.30 Total 

Included in the price  use of the dinghy dock, one free pump out a week, pump out boat come to your mooring, no direct discharge into the water allowed in the harbor. Laundry, showers, and restrooms, and if you have a car a parking space. There is also a morning radio net on ch. 68,  and a bus to the grocery store. The marina takes Covid-19 seriously with hand washing stations and masks are a must in all covered areas. 

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The flood of European boats is arriving, but very few from the US? I presume the vast majority of these will go back to Europe in early summer, only a subset heading on to Panama.

 

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Pretty steady flow heading through the canal when we were there few weeks ago, mostly Euro boats.  They just banned UK and South African travelers who have been in either country in the last 20 days from entry to Panama, wouldn't be surprised if things get tighter here soon.

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Yeah price of a tourism driven economy, sucks.  One of the big pro surfers in Bocas is sick as is his wife and dad.  He is hammering on the surf community to take it for real.  Seems to be having a positive impact.  They stopped all vessel movement this summer and there is talk of implementing the state covid fence again.  Time to get moving

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They are starting to extend quarantine protocols given the ramp-up of imported Covid cases in the Caribbean......might make it hard to impossible to enter other island countries.  Grenada has just spiked in Covid cases due to problems at the Sandals Resort and is now a high risk country in addition to St. Lucia.  Entry protocols remain fluid and SVG just announced they have extended incoming quarantine at hotels to a mandatory 10 days for incoming flights (and by default, incoming vessels).  Not a good year to charter, especially if you plan on multiple island country cruises.......SVG 10 Day Hotel Quarantine

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Not sure some of these ralleys are going to end up with happy campers.  A lot of Panama Posse boats this year many heading to Carribean.  Kind of hard to explain what a real lockdown is for people who have not had to deal with it. We finally got out moving around and there are boats here we have never met, isolating in remote Ancorages.  Had our first dingy theft in a long time too so that side of it is ramping up.  Most people think Bocas is alot higher cases than reported, people won't get tested because they are worried about it closing again.  Most of the tourists are easy to spot, condom on the ball sack mask around their chin if they are wearing one at all.

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1 hour ago, Huggy Bear Brown said:

They are starting to extend quarantine protocols given the ramp-up of imported Covid cases in the Caribbean......might make it hard to impossible to enter other island countries.  Grenada has just spiked in Covid cases due to problems at the Sandals Resort and is now a high risk country in addition to St. Lucia.  Entry protocols remain fluid and SVG just announced they have extended incoming quarantine at hotels to a mandatory 10 days for incoming flights (and by default, incoming vessels).  Not a good year to charter, especially if you plan on multiple island country cruises.......SVG 10 Day Hotel Quarantine

Ughhh. Not a good sign for this sailing season. We are in Grenada now, was a covid free bliss....now curfew is back in effect. Thanks Sandals!

Fingers crossed they can still pull off Antigua Sailing week.

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On 11/24/2020 at 7:22 AM, Jim in Halifax said:

And yes, there are Canadian Dumbasses too; America does not have a monopoly on morons.

You take that back, you God damned liar! We are the leading global exporter of morons. No one can compete with us.

Now that that's out of my system, @OSPREY  if I may ask, what is your very rough monthly cruising budget? Have you been blindsided by any unanticipated expenses?

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19 minutes ago, Ajax said:

 

Now that that's out of my system, @OSPREY  if I may ask, what is your very rough monthly cruising budget? Have you been blindsided by any unanticipated expenses?

On this trip which has been more expensive than usual in the neighborhood of 30% more. We have been out 7 weeks and have been averaging about $500.00 a  week. We have had a lot of bad weather from Oriental NC to Boot key Harbor which has added a lot to the cost, four days dockage  in Bald Head Island ( nice place ) waiting out remains of a hurricane. And motoring down the ICW. The most motoring I have ever done Small craft warning most of the way down. We normally run outside jumping 300 miles at a time. This year only long passage was Cape Fear to Fernandina Beach Florida. Down the ICW we motored about 48 miles a day average. Not many good anchorages for our draft, so we were going to more marinas  than normal. It took us twenty days to get to West Palm Beach Florida from NC about double the time. Big ticket items were dockage and fuel, fresh food is up 25 to 40 % from last year. Basically last year about $350.00 a week this year $500.00. Normally we would be in the Bahamas, and I hope we still go but it’s difficult entry now because of Covid-19. 

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That's not bad all things considered.  Food has went up a crazy amount here, the road closures on the mainland bumped it up even more and they seem to like the new premium even though things are moving again.

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16 minutes ago, SASSAFRASS said:

Yeah I would be embarrassed to post what we have spent the last couple months....

Yeah but you hauled out and did big maintenance. You also have a large,  wooden boat. You also eat well.  ;)

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4 hours ago, Ajax said:

That's actually $1k to $1500 less than I expected. You give me hope. 

Osprey has a lot of storage space. And a large refrigerator and a good size freezer. When we find good prices on food we are able to stock up. It can make a huge difference in you monthly budget. I didn’t add in the cost of wine. We don’t drink cheep wine, I thought that the cost has been very different on  ever boat I have sailed on. I raced on one boat in the Bahamas that had only Blatz Light on board. I mean like thirty cases and he drank it warm. And have raced on boats with full bars. A lot of the boats I have been on asked what I liked and had it on board. I generally go that way and find out what my guests like and get it for them that go’s for food also. 

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Ohhhh I see you leave the booze out... Then maybe I could put some numbers up haha.

You made me have a involuntary convulsion at the mention of warm Blatz, it must be 20 years since I have even seen Blatz let alone warm ones, so gross.

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12 minutes ago, SASSAFRASS said:

Ohhhh I see you leave the booze out... Then maybe I could put some numbers up haha.

You made me have a involuntary convulsion at the mention of warm Blatz, it must be 20 years since I have even seen Blatz let alone warm ones, so gross.

Just to add to how bad it was lunch was fried SPAM on white bread ketchup optional.  How ever I was 14 and was just so happy to be able to go sailing in the Bahamas. 

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2 hours ago, Ajax said:

Yeah but you hauled out and did big maintenance. You also have a large,  wooden boat. You also eat well.  ;)

Are you trying to say he is fat?  :P

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Lotta charter boats here in the USVI'S, Dream Yachts moved from Scrub Island BVI to Benner Bay USVI'S.  The mooring fields aren't full but busy, the anchorage are busy, bars and restaurants are busy, lots of outdoor dining.  The BVI'S are empty or appear to be so looking across the narrows.  We'll stay till after the first then watch for a window to go East.  St Martin appears to be an easy entry with a covid test which we can get in Charlotte Amallie.  Then down to Antigua, with the same protocol.

Things are workable, actually good here, probably because most activities are outdoors.

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Panama is inching its way back to summer protocol.  Weekend QT and male female shopping days with curfew everywhere, PTY and Colon are back to the full on ID number shopping and full meal deal.  Canal operations are supposed to be going like normal and SB can receive boats any time, they bring over techs to administer PCR test at the dock and usually have results in 24hrs for new arrivals.  I would be cautious on trip planning heading this way.  Would guess CR and some others may not be far behind and if they stop boat movement in Panama make sure you are somewhere you want to be.  They have never closed canal access so even if you were somewhere else you could get permission to love to Colon or PTY to transit.

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6 hours ago, Huggy Bear Brown said:

I was looking at the entry protocols for USVI.....while a pre-flight test is required, did you have to do any PCR tests on arrival prior to being released from quarantine?

There was no second test required and there was no quarantine.  We went straight to our boat and we're free to travel.

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