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What a Difference a Month Can Make

First sunset back at Burnt Store Marina (BSM)

I just reread the post from 2.24.2020 that only got posted today. The past month we have experienced a massive change in our world. Who could ever have imagined that we would be in this situation?

Aunt Lynne on moving day unpacking Karen's kitchen

Honey Bear playing with new friends at the tennis court at Karen's new apartments. The complex is very dog friendly and has a dog park and soon to be finished dog washing station.

Karen has adjusted to her new apartment and will begin working from home doing therapy by phone on Wednesday. Shaina is working at the Cleveland clinic in transport and I worry about her health in that environment. My mom moved back to her apartment from rehab after her fall in February. Myers is a senior building and they won’t let family visit residents. Figuring that I could call from Florida daily just as easily as Cleveland (where we could not yet get into our home) I did all that I could to make sure that she was well situated before returning to Florida: care givers, new phone, emergency button for when we cut back the 24/7 care. Most days she sounds good. I know having company with her in the apartment is certainly helping. But she is bored just like the rest of us. Thank you to my sister and brother for picking up the slack helping mom until I am back the first of May.

We went to the Westlake Costco to stock up a bit and had to wait in line to get into the store.

After a few weeks of being single in Cleveland, Bob wanted to join me but couldn’t leave the boat on the mooring ball in Marathon unattended. As soon as a weather window opened, up our friend Stan helped Bob deliver the boat from the Keys to Burnt Store Marina – a raucous 3 day sail. After cleaning the salt off the boat, Bob boarded a plane for Cleveland.`

After living with Karen for more than a month (thank you Karen), hanging pictures and helping her get settled, Bob and I decided to rent a car and drive back to Florida rather than flying. We felt more comfortable being able to manage our environment rather than being at the mercy of others in the plane and air terminals. The drive back was nothing if not quick. We bought a jerry can for 5 gallons of gasoline to take with us just in case. Our rental car only had a 10 gallon tank. There was no traffic and no construction getting in our way. The only issue was once inside Florida we stopped for gas and there was no night-time access to the restrooms. I don’t have to tell you how uncomfortable that was. Some gas stations closed at 9:00 pm, but we worked around that. We brought food with us and drove right through only stopping for gas and restrooms. Passing Orlando was a bit surreal, seeing the Disney exits with no one waiting. 1:30 am we arrived at Burnt Store Marina and Her Diamond was sitting there waiting for us. David and Rhonda had come and turned on the air conditioning earlier in the day, making the cabin very dry and comfortable. After some organizing, we fell into a deep sleep.

Trees were in bloom on the way down to Florida

So for the past week we have practiced physical distancing. We are walking or riding our bikes almost every morning, catching up on our favorite TV shows, finishing some boat projects, watching movies and reading. I am working on the coloring book that Karen got me three years ago when we started our sailing adventure. We took the dinghy about 4 miles north and had a picnic amongst the mangroves in a development called Pirates Cove. Yesterday we took the boat out for the first time since arriving at Burnt Store for a beautiful day sail. We had 12-14 knots of wind, beautiful blue skies and relatively calm seas. It was perfect and reminded me why we started this adventure in the first place. It was just what I needed to recharge for what is to come. It is a good thing that Bob and I are used to being together 24/7. That part really isn’t new for us.

One page from my water themed coloring book

Saw this guy crossing the street on one of our walks.

What are our plans? We can’t get back in to our home till 5/3/2020. We have a house sitter and a contract giving him the right to stay till 5/15. Because he has to rent an apartment for May, he is willing to leave the first Sunday of May. I won’t go into the details here but this has been a real disappointment. I don’t think we will engage a house sitter again next winter. It is too important to be able to get into the house in an emergency. We do have a clause saying we can stay in the house for 7 days even while he is living there, but with the virus and not knowing how he is protecting himself, that doesn’t seem to be a wise course of action.

Took a picnic lunch to Pirates Cove aboard the dinghy. Had a wild ride back with two foot waves.

Texting with friends while the autopilot took us back to BSM - beautiful sail.

So, we will continue to isolate here on the boat – thank G-d for air conditioning. I am trying to check in on friends and family as often as possible. We try to limit the amount of news that we listen to. It can get too depressing to hear about each days increase in the number of deaths. I do think that Governor DeWine has been great and Ohio will reap the benefits of his quick and decisive actions. I wish Florida and the Country as a whole could say the same. People here seem to not realize the severity of the situation. I hope they wake up before conditions become catastrophic. Again, we are distancing from others.

We currently have a pull out date of 4/23. But depending on how things progress, we may just leave the boat in the water for now, come home and then come back in a few months when things calm down to sail for short time and then take the boat out. Right now we are taking it day by day and hope family and friends are safe.

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